The LORD said to Moses, ‘… and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship…. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you.’”  Exodus 31:1,3,6

Have you ever heard anyone say they’re all thumbs? Can you imagine how silly we’d look if we were? Holding anything would be almost impossible. We need our fingers, eyes, ears, and noses as well as all the other essential parts of the body. Just as our physical bodies are made up of multiple necessary parts, so is the Body of Christ. We all have a part to play.

My husband was incredibly talented with his hands. There wasn’t anything he could not repair, build, or figure out if it required hands-on ability. I often joked that I had to give away my appliances in order to get anything new. He was always doing some type of maintenance work at our church as well as for our neighbors, friends, or family.

For much of his life, he didn’t see his ability as anything special. He certainly never considered it a spiritual gift.

Then God opened his eyes to the truth of today’s Scriptures. Just as preaching and teaching are spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit, so were the skills he had. Once he learned to value the spiritual gift God had blessed him with, he experienced a contentment in his Christian life he had never know before. Only then could his gifts be used to the maximum benefit of the kingdom and for God’s glory.

Never underestimate your talent and how God can use it. He gave it to you uniquely — for a reason.

Father, help us to realize you’ve placed each of us in the Body as is pleasing to you. You’ve gifted each of us in a way that will best fulfill your purposes for our lives. May our deepest heart’s desire be that our gifts be beneficial to the body of Christ. Amen.

“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”  Galatians 5:14

The COVID-19 virus has changed life for many of us. I still go to the store for essentials, and sometimes it’s awkward, as when a lady and I were both eyeing items on the same shelf. I couldn’t get close enough to look at prices, so I kept my distance until she had moved on. I also found myself not pushing my cart down an aisle that already contained another shopper. No way I can keep the six-foot rule! Things are surreal!

Many Christians rightly see this as a unique time to reach out to those around us who may be frightened and confused. But how? How do we “social distance” the Gospel?

Our daughter has a new puppy. I got the early morning shift, and the other day, as I waited on our front step for the puppy to do all her sniffing around and finally do her business, I surveyed our neighborhood. I began to think about the current isolation and wondered how I could love my neighbor as myself. And a simple but powerful thought hit me. Every house I saw had people with problems, anxieties, and needs. I might not be able to touch them right now, but I could touch the Throne of Heaven on their behalf.

How are you loving your neighbor these days? I felt like “I can’t do anything but pray.” But I see now that prayer is the most powerful and effective thing we can do!

Lord Jesus, you know I am not good at loving my neighbor even in the best of times. Thank you for showing me that I can do so powerfully by lifting each one up to your Throne of Grace. May I be faithful in doing this each day. Now, and after this pandemic subsides. Thank you. Amen.