February 1, 2013

Snowflakes

It snowed at our house today.

I hate having to go out in it, but I love to sit and look at it from a nice warm place in the house!

Have you ever looked closely at a snowflake?

No two (paper) snowflakes are alike!
From a distance, they all look the same - just a bunch of little white dots - but up close, a snowflake can be an interesting thing to see. I had a snowflake land on my nose one time, and I just kinda stood there and stared at it, and it was neat to see how there seemed to be so much detail in such a tiny thing!

I would have taken my snowflake home and kept it, but - sadly - when I tried to pick it up, I crushed it, and it melted right on my nose. A single snowflake by itself is a delicate thing... but look outside when it's been snowing, and see what happens when they all stick together!

Similarly, there are a lot of Christians in this world, and from a distance, maybe we all look alike, but when you get up close, there can be some big differences from person to person! But I'm not just talking about differences in physical appearance or what denomination you belong to...

I'm talking about SPIRITUAL GIFTS!

The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit gives every baptized believer certain spiritual gifts. They're more than just talents. They're more than just having one personality type or another. Spiritual gifts are special ways that God touches our lives and adds or changes something to make us more useful for the Kingdom!

For instance, it's one thing to have a talent for music. With a talent, maybe there's a certain amount of natural ability you're born with, and you cultivate that until you get better and better, and it can be a nice thing. But if someone has a spiritual gift for music, that's something more. That person will be able to understand how to use their ability in the best way possible in order to glorify God.
Their music can touch the soul!
          It can communicate the Gospel in a way words and notes alone don't explain!
     It can lead people to a deeper understanding of the Gospel
                    and speak encouragement to the body of believers at the same time!

Our spiritual gifts are precious, and they make us into something special. They mold us and shape us so that, like a snowflake, each of us has a unique and delicate design!

And just as no two snowflakes are alike, so it is with us. No two Christians will be given exactly the same set of gifts, circumstances and tasks as another. But that doesn't mean any of us is better than the other or that any of us has a reason to feel inferior to others. Your design and mine may not be the same, but we are both snowflakes, beautiful in the eyes of our Creator!
If you ever feel superior to someone else, just remember: whatever you have came from God, not yourself, for a reason!
And if you ever begin to feel small and insignificant, just remember: whatever you have came from God, for a reason!
God loves you so much, he looked ahead and saw what kinds of things you would face, and he knew what you would need, and he has provided... and he WILL provide... and you play a role in God's Master Plan, as much as anyone else!

"For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord
plans for your welfare and not for harm, 
to give you a future with hope."
- Jeremiah 29:11

God has empowered us in so many ways, but a snowflake by itself is a fragile thing. It needs other snowflakes around to help it out. And in the same way, we need each other. The Church exists to worship Christ, but it also exists so we can encourage and spur one another on to love and good deeds... so we can be built up in our faith... so we can pray for each other... so we can help one another to be effective in ministry...

   Everyone expects the pastor to do the work of the Church...
but the pastor is not the Church...
the PEOPLE are the Church!


Each of us, with our individual gifts - we all have something valuable to contribute, and every one of us is essential, because God has equipped each of us to be a small part of his bigger body.

There’s no room for selfish pride, and there’s no call to feel inadequate. But as we work together for the common cause of Christ, we each have an important role to play!

It's important to recognize the differences in our gifts - how we're each as unique as snowflakes - but if we stick together, then we can do...

what the snowflakes do... 

...and together we can brighten the landscape,          
as we reflect the light of the Lord for all to see!

The view from my driveway at 7:30 this morning!

Today, I give thanks for spiritual gifts, 
for being a part of the body of Christ, 
and for all the beauty of God's creation!


CLICK HERE for more information about Spiritual Gifts, or to try to figure out what yours may be!


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