My Garden of Living Gifts

    I love flowers. I don’t always have time to take care of them properly; to fertilize and water and deadhead, but I love them. I get joy from looking at them around my yard. When I want to just be quiet and appreciate Jesus as creator, I look at the gardens. Every year they faithfully regenerate, they grow and bloom and get fuller, more lush. Every season brings greater volume, stronger plants and more of those luscious flowers.

    And so it is with people gifts. We love our friends, we nourish them and water them with the Word of God and we speak life into their spirits. We partner with people in the Body of Christ to accomplish Kingdom things. We build one another up in our most holy faith. We bear and share one another’s burdens. These are beautiful mature plantings in my garden of gifts from the Lord. Friends are truly a gift from Jesus.

     The Lord has given me family gifts; my children, Kelly, Shawn, Erin and Kerry. I didn’t give birth to them, but God placed me in a position to be a mom to them when I married their father. He has given me their partners, Chuck, Teffany and Ozzy. Together they have given me grandchildren and great grandchildren; an inner joy and wonder at God’s generosity. I’ve watched these precious ones blossom and grow. I’ve watched them wither and go dormant for a season, then renew and blossom again in magnificence; thicker, fuller, deeper, and more abundant. Jesus has given me Shelley, my spiritual daughter, who loves fiercely and blesses my spirit. These people decorate my soul house with beauty and love. My life would be a mess without them. It is my honor and privilege to pray for them, love them and encourage their lives. They grow in my garden and of living gifts from God. I look at every one of them with awe and wonder and love. They bring beauty and peace to me with laughter and joy. God uses them to restore my soul.

    Planted in my garden are spiritual gifts from the Lord that I love and nourish as well. I can’t just look at these gifts for my viewing enjoyment then tuck them away in a safe place. They need to be used. They are designed to be used continually and they never wear out. They need to be fed and watered and practiced over and over again to bring the word of Jesus to those who don’t’ know the good news. They are like some of the herbs in my garden. If I don’t cultivate the herbs, use them for cooking or medicine, they wither, lose flavor and go to seed. They are still available, just underdeveloped. James 1:17:  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

    I would encourage you today to use your spiritual gifts for the edification and encouragement of your people gifts. Seek and speak that word of wisdom, word of knowledge, word of prophecy, and word of encouragement. Use that gift of hospitality to invite someone over for lunch. Offer your organizational gifts to help someone who needs help in that area. Every gift is to be cherished, nurtured and cultivated, both your people gifts and your spiritual gifts. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, set aside what you need at the moment, and give into what others need with prayer and intercession. God will meet all the needs, exceedingly abundantly more than you can ask of think. I love this plan of His. His ways are higher than our ways, no human brain could have come up with this plan. Truly, the Body works together with parts that are seen and parts that are unseen. A perfect being is constantly working, with Jesus as the head. It’s amazing! Blessings!

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