We all have a lot of responsibilities in this world. When you finish a task or a job, do you feel good about the work you did? Many of us feel accomplished and want an acknowledgment for our creativity and work. When the foundation for the Lord’s temple was laid, King David encouraged the people to give thanks to the Lord for what was accomplished. “When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord…With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: ‘He is good;  His love toward Israel endures forever.’ And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.” (Ezra 3:10a, 11)

Completing the foundation for the temple required great effort on the part of all involved. But no one tried to get praise for himself and his own hard work. Instead, everyone praised God for what had been done. All good gifts come from God–talents, abilities, strength, and leadership. We should thank God for what has been done in and through us! “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)

We may sometimes wonder why God gave us certain gifts instead of others. When John the Baptist was questioned about that he replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.” (Jn 3:27) The Lord gives us the talent and calls us to a path He has for us. In time, He may give us more to do if we are faithful stewards of what we are first asked. “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48)

The more resources, talents, and understanding we have, the more we are responsible to use them effectively. God will not hold us responsible for gifts He has not given us, but all of us have enough gifts and duties to keep us busy until Jesus returns. It’s also important to remember that we are all in this together. Just as each part of our body contributes to the whole, so too does the talents and abilities of each of us contribute to the well-being of each other, the world as we know it and the kingdom of God.

Today I am thankful for the way God created me and the gifts He has given me. I am (generally) unafraid to speak up, to speak the truth, to love generously and I am boisterous. He has given me gifts of discernment and questioning, writing, organization, and a creative spirit. Lord, I thank you for the talents you have given each and everyone of us. Help me Lord, to use these talents to bring glory and honor to your name and build up your kingdom. Help me to be humble and realize that we all need each other. Remind me that the talents you have bestowed can be beneficial to others in some way. Lord, thank you for entrusting these gifts to me to be used as you see fit.