“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10
I tried my hand at gardening years ago, more so as an experiment and to see what herbs I could grow. I quickly fell in love with the hobby and particularly one aspect of the process: seeing seeds sprout. It feels kind of miraculous to watch something that was tiny, brown, and dull transform into little, vibrant, green leaves only a few days later. Eventually, with care and some natural resources, the seeds turn into beautiful flowers, fruit, or vegetables for us to enjoy.
I see a lot of similarities between spiritual gifts and seeds. They are something God created and given by Him, and these gifts need to be cultivated to be beneficial for others. Seeds also come in all kinds, producing many different flowers, just as there are a variety of spiritual gifts. All gifts are important and offer a variety of ways for God to move and show His love.
In 1 Corinthians 14:1, one translation starts with “Let love be your highest goal!” We aren’t using these gifts to impress others or make ourselves look good; we are using these gifts to share love. Scripture then calls us to “eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit.” In this new year, it seems like the perfect time to try something new and eagerly desire a gift of the Spirit. Maybe you have always wanted the gift of healing; pray for God to send people who need healing your way and pray for them. The more we step out to see God move, the more likely we’ll actually see God move. Maybe you’ve thought you might have the gift of encouragement; try encouraging one person each day and see how the Lord uses it to bless others and share His love.
In this new year, I encourage us to put to work the spiritual gifts God has entrusted to us. Just as I get excited seeing the seeds come to life and produce leaves and flowers, I know God loves seeing the gifts He’s given out being used and shared to love others!
As you reflect, ask yourself– what spiritual gift(s) do you think God has entrusted to you? (You can find lists of gifts of the Spirit in Romans 12:6-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 28). How could you use that gift to serve others around you? Is there one gift that you want to “eagerly desire” and ask God for?
Pray with me: “Father God, we come to you in this new year wanting to see you move in our lives and the lives of those around us. We know that one way you move is by using us as your children through the spiritual gifts you’ve given us. Help us to steward well the gifts you have already given, and eagerly desire other gifts of the Spirit. We want to build your Kingdom here on earth. We love you and trust you as a good gift giver. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”