May 18, 2016

His Gifts were Varied

The last few weeks I have been replacing plants that did not make it through the winter.  I have enjoyed going to the local nurseries and looking at the variety of flowers and plants and trees they offer.

Can you imagine walking into a nursery and all the plants being the same??? For instance:

All red geraniums.
All yellow mums.
All hydrangeas.
All daffodils.
All lilacs.
All tulips.

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

assorted

diverse

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.

Just like I could not imagine going to a nursery and seeing identical plants, could you imagining opening the doors of the church and seeing all one variety?

All pastors.
All prophets.
All evangelists.
All apostles.
All teachers.
All elders.
All deacons.

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.
Amen.


14 comments

Bev Duncan said...

I am a lover of plants and flowers. Only an awesome God could come up with the thousands of different species of plants and flowers and every color of the rainbow. I stand in awe when I see all the intricate details He poured into each flower - no two the same. So thankful, that like the flowers, we are no two exactly alike. I enjoyed popping by your blog today...felt right at home :)
Blessings,
Bev

Unknown said...

I love that you wrote about plants and that you focused on the word varied. There is so much beauty is the diversity of gifts in the Body of Christ. Thanks or sharing!
Yvette

Lora said...

Good morning Bev! I'm so glad you came by today and that you felt right at home!

Lora said...

Hello Yvette! Thank you for your kind words!

Michele Morin said...

So beautiful to consider the diversity within the body of Christ! I tend to befriend (and be be-friended by) people who are completely different in gifting and temperament, and am so thankful for all the I learn about the evil of comparison and the grace of community!

Leah Adams said...

Oh yes! I do love that there are varied gifts. It would be so boring if every gift was the same....like only being able to choose vanilla, when what you really want is butter pecan!! Love this post, Lora. Love your heart even more. So glad you are part of The Loft community.

Lora said...

Michele,

I tend to befriend those who are different in giftings and temperament too!

Lora said...

Exactly Leah! Love you, sister!

Carol Van Der Woude said...

We have a wonderful Creator! He has given us beauty in nature. I loved seeing the flowers from Uganda. I enjoyed how you tied this to the variety of gifts he gives to individuals.

Gena Hood said...

What a beautiful analogy, Lora! God's Garden! I love the way you pictured the Body of Christ. Thanks for sharing with us at The Loft today!
Gena

Jerralea said...

I love your thoughts on the varied giftings God gives. Your analogy of the different flowers is spot on. If the world had nothing but red flowers, we'd be aching for pink! If the church had nothing put pastors, who would they preach to?

This is the power of community, each sharing their insight. Thank you for sharing at The Loft today.

Lora said...

Carol,
Thank you for stopping by! I'm glad you enjoyed the Ugandan flowers!

Lora said...

Gena,

Your words always bless me. Thank you!

Lora said...

Yes Jerralea, yes!!!