Can you imagine walking into a nursery and all the plants being the same??? For instance:
All red geraniums.
All yellow mums.
As much as I like these plants, I can't imagine every plant on all fours sides of our home being the same.
I want different plants for the sunny spot near my front door, than the mostly shaded courtyard doors. And various plants do better in different locations. I am thankful for variety.
This magnolia tree blossoms in May at our home:
The following pictures are some of the variety of flowers and plants we saw in Uganda last summer:
These are some of my favorite flowers, gardenias. They did not survive the winter though, and were one of the reasons I was out looking for flowers and plants and trees.
When I read Ephesians 4:11 in the Amplified version, the word VARIED stood out to me:
"And [His gifts to the church were varied and] He Himself appointed some as apostles [special messengers, representatives], some as prophets [who speak a new message from God to the people], some as evangelists [who spread the good news of salvation], and some as pastors and teachers [to shepherd and guide and instruct],"
So, of course, I had to look up the definition of varied:
consisting of many things
I know there are many wonderful teaching on spiritual gifts and I even thought about sharing some notes with you that I'd taken back in 2012 from a wonderful class at our church. Today though, I am thankful for the varied gifts that GOD gives. I am thankful that we are not all cookie cutter Christians. I am thankful that we look and operate differently than others. I appreciate the variety. I am thankful that we don't all look or sound alike. I am thankful for the encouragement and enjoyment and function the diversity brings.
I am thankful for the diversity of the gifts and the unity of the Spirt.
Sometimes I think that what the LORD asks me to do or say may look different that what I see someone else doing or saying. I am thankful that we have different giftings. I can certainly appreciate the giftings of other believers and thank Our Father for HIS goodness to us in the variety HE gives!
Thank YOU LORD for variety,
For how YOU'VE gifted Christian friends and me.
YOUR gifts LORD make a beautiful bouquet,
Thank YOU for YOUR diverse ways!
LORD, help us as we minister in our gifts,
Of sin and self and pride, please sift,
So that what comes out or through
Is a reflection of YOU.