“A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.”
“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
Always, and automatically too, the world shifts its focus onto something new. People, places, events—anything—that comes up on the news. Of course, they even call it ‘the NEWs’. By now, it is already a known fact that if you want attention, you’ll have to come up with something new and helpful—something that meets a need! So, as long as you keep solving the problems of others, people will keep coming to you.
To enable us be in that number (Solution Providers), God gave us skills (gifts). Every man has got his and every woman has got hers. Some, however, develop theirs, and then it makes them more sought than others.
Interestingly, this happening also exists in the body of Christ. According to the Bible, and in 1Cor. 12:7, “the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man” for the profit of the church. That alone informs us that as long as one is a child of God, and Spirit-filled, he/she carries one [or more] special gift from the Holy Spirit. 1Cor. 12:8-10 gives a list of some of these gifts. Everyone cannot have every gift. Your gifts are different from mine (1Cor. 7:7). However, all is given—in different measures—by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 12:6; Eph. 4:7).
As expected, some Christians, with the help of the Spirit, nurture and grow their gifts. For these believers, the impact is greater and the coverage wider.
Spiritual gifts are wow! With them, a believer can edify the saints and build the church. Spiritual fruits, however, are better! They make you more like Christ, thus preparing you for Heaven. And of course, every Christian knows that Heaven is the ultimate goal.
But in our Christian world of today, many seem to be obsessed with spiritual gifts. They work so much to build them up, that they forget about building up fruits. Listen, your walk with God is MORE important than your work for Him! Who you are—not what you do—is what qualifies you for Heaven. And you get to know more of who you are, and how to become better, when you sit by the Master’s feet to be taught by Him. Jesus Himself pointed this out when He spoke of Mary to Martha:
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Most ministers today, like Martha, are “cumbered about much serving” that they forget that thing which is “needful”. Most prophets today are more concerned about standing up to speak over someone’s life than they are about sitting down (like Mary) and have Jesus speak to their lives. Most teachers spend lots of time to prepare sermons, trying to force change into the minds of their listeners. A very tiny fraction of teachers, however, regularly study the Bible for themselves.
Everybody in our world wants to reach the others with their gifts; nobody is concerned about growing fruits from a renewed mind. Yearly in Nigeria, the number of new devotionals that hit the market increases. Yet, no fruits. Almost everyone is too busy changing others that they forget to see the BIG change they lack and really need.
Whatever the gift is—speaking, counselling, writing, singing, blogging, prophesying or teaching—more value is supposed to be placed on fruits. While both are important, fruits should appeal more to a real Christian. Hear Paul:
“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
-1 Corinthians 9:27
It is possible to prophesy, “cast out devils”, and do “many wonderful works” in the Name of Jesus, and yet miss Heaven (Mt. 7:22-23). Most healers and preachers of our time will miss Heaven; not because they ministered with charms, but because they have no fruits. Jesus, seeing the importance of fruits over gifts, advised that the way to discern the fake from the original is “by their fruits” (Mt. 7:15-16, 20).
Our churches of today place emphasis on only one gift of the Holy Spirit: tongue-speaking. People forget that the Holy Spirit also gives boldness to speak the word of God (Acts 4:31). Now, we want to ask ourselves: are there two Holy Spirits? No! Just one. And He is a Spirit “of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2Tim. 1:7). Why do people see the “power” in that text, and not the “love”? Whatever happened to “a sound mind”? Do you know that the same power that made you a tongue-speaking Christian also made you a witnessing Christian?
Heal all the sick and raise all the dead. But for as long as you remain scared, negligent or tired of preaching the undiluted GOSPEL of Christ with boldness, there’s very little you can amount to in God’s Kingdom.
Speak in tongues and prophesy. But remember that you are just an empty noise maker, if you have not love (1Cor. 13:1-2).
Go ahead and display your gift of the word of knowledge and of wisdom. Teach on. Preach on. Keep giving pieces of advice here and there, and keep writing (like myself). However, we only deceive ourselves, if we do not possess faith, patience or self-control.
A wise man once said, “What you do speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you say”. How could one be more concerned about the spiritual welfare of others that they lose interest in theirs? While we go about ministering our gifts to the others, let’s remember that “the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His” (2Tim. 2:19). Therefore,”let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1Cor. 10:12).
In this journey of ours, gifts are important, but fruits are indispensable!
I wish you all same testimony in 2Tim. 4:7-8!
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