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Frederick Douglass was born in 1818. At the age of about 19, he escaped from captivity and spent the rest of his life working to liberate slaves. He rejected the brand of Christianity slaveholders practiced but embraced the God of the Bible. After learning to read, he regularly read the New Testament to slaves. God used Frederick to speak out against slavery and eventually 4 million African American slaves were emancipated. Long ago, God used another man, Gideon, to deliver ancient Israel from Midianite oppression. Gideon seemed timid, so God had to call and strengthen him for the task. One way God did it was by consuming with fire Gideon’s sacrificial gift of meat and bread. Seeing his food go up in flames and the angel disappearing in thin air convinced Gideon that his call was from God and that God would help him succeed. Today, God still calls people, equips them, and empowers them to fulfill His Kingdom agenda. May we listen carefully when God’s calls us to tasks great or small, knowing that obeying God’s will is the key to joy and our own fulfillment.

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