1 Kings 3:3-15 (NIV)

3 Solomon showed his love for the LORD by walking according to the statutes of his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places. 4 The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” 6 Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day. 7 “Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” 10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for–both riches and honor–so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” 15 Then Solomon awoke–and he realized it had been a dream. He returned to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord’s covenant and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then he gave a feast for all his court.

Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

DEVOTION -Terry Cobb (Missouri)

During the last week of every December, many magazines and television shows devote special editions to the “year-in-review.”  I too conduct a year-in-review.  Before I stash my old calendar in the kitchen drawer, I thumb through the months of scribbled appointments and activities.  This helps me reflect on the events of my personal and spiritual life.

While I tack up my shiny new calendar, I wonder, What do I need to do differently to make this a better year and to be a better Christian?  This reminds me of the passage in 1 Kings when God asked Solomon, the newly crowned king, what gift he would like from the Almighty.  Solomon realized that he lacked maturity and needed help  in ruling a kingdom.  Rather than wealth, long life, or revenge against his enemies, Solomon asked God for wisdom.  God was pleased and gave him the wisdom he needed to lead his people.

Our Creator has already given each of us gifts.  As I look ahead to the new year, I pray for wisdom to recognize my gifts and to seek opportunities to use  them in God’s service.  I hope that when I thumb through the calendar this time next year, the dates will be filled with scribbled notations of days spent serving God.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: This year I resolve to use my gifts to serve God.

PRAYER: God of all times, give us wisdom to serve in your kingdom.  Teach us to love others as you love us.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: SOMEONE SEEKING A FRESH START

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