Matthew 7:7-11:- "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. …If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (ESV)

An electric chainsaw can be useful in the right hands. I was up a tree the other day at my parents' house cutting down a branch with my dad's chainsaw. It was a bit scary because I am aware of its power to slice through anything, tree or human!

My father is now sadly too frail to have done the work, so when I had completed it he said I could keep the chainsaw. I keep it at his house, there being not much call for a chainsaw in a basement flat with no garden.

My dad's chainsaw reminds me of God's desire to give gifts, according to His will (1 John 5:14-15). For example God does not give gifts, like chainsaws or snakes, to toddlers. If he did give dangerous gifts to toddlers they would hurt themselves or others. So, in my understanding, it would contradict His exemplary character of fatherhood.

I believe God gives good gifts to all of us: some different; some the same; all to be used, handled with care and ready to go. He grows and prepares us in various and different ways. For instance David, a mere youth, was a boy who became skilled in the use of a slingshot and grew up to lead a nation. Elisha followed Elijah and learnt the power of prayer, so too the disciples followed Jesus and learnt the Good News. They all learnt to do the will of God.

Do I know what the will of God is for me today? Are the gifts I have "sharp" and "well oiled" for use? Am I willing to take a risk, go out on a limb and use them? That reminds me I must have a look for rust and wear. How are yours? They could be needed today!

1 Corinthians 12:4-7:- Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. (ESV).

PRAYER: Father, in the cleansing blood of Jesus wash us, to deliver us from all that is past. Remind us what this means to You. By Your Holy Spirit, replace in us those things that have been lost, broken, stolen or worn out. Sharpen our blunted edges, quicken and refine us so that when the day is past and all is done, we can be found still standing with You.

In our time LORD, grow Your Church. Amen.

Rod Marshal Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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