August 26, 2016
Dying on the Vine
I Corinthians 12:4-6
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in men.”
For the first time in my life I decided to grow a vegetable last year. I was talking to the farmer where I purchased my flowers and told her what I wanted to do and she suggested a table top tomato plant. She said they were easy to grow, easy to maintain and I could put them someplace where I would see them every day so they wouldn’t die on the vine.
She was correct on all points: table top tomatoes are easy to care for and maintain, plus they sat on my deck so I see them every day and I can watch them as they flowered, fruited and matured right before my eyes. If only our spiritual gifts were as easy to grow, maintain and watch. Maybe then so many Christians wouldn’t allow their gifts to die on their spiritual vines.
There have been several times I almost gave up writing Daily Prayers and Words for Today. I often thought “no one reads them any way” or “what I’m doing isn’t helping anyone” or, and here’s the best excuse I had for giving up this portion of my ministry, “who am I to try to help people live a fuller life in Christ. I struggle with stuff every day, how can I help them?”
During these times of defeat, I’d still write the Daily Prayers and the Words for Today but I’d keep them for myself, determined never to send them out. Then, I’d get an email from someone saying, “hey, where’s the daily reading?” Sometimes I’d know the person but often times I didn’t. I realized that what God had me doing in this portion of my ministry was important and helpful to people other than just me. And, if I continued to be selfish with what God was giving me, then the fruit that other people needed would die on the vine in my spiritual garden.
We all have spiritual fruit which grows out of our gifts. EVERYONE has at least one gift, according to I Corinthians 12:11, given to us by the Holy Spirit and, the Holy Spirit made the determination of who got which gift.
Sometimes we allow our fruit to die on the vine because we don’t value the gift we’ve been given. Don’t compare your gift(s) to someone else’s gift(s). Work in your gift and allow the Holy Spirit to work through you. Selah!
“All these are the works of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.”
I Corinthians 12:11
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