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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Spiritual Gifts

I'm not sure what it is about walking along the shoreline, but it seems that there is an irresistible tendency to look at, pick up and collect sea shells. It doesn't matter that there is a jar in the bathroom at home from last year's walks on the beach! Who can keep themselves, when they're walking along, from bending down to inspect the shape, the possible life inside, or the uniqueness of a shell they spot in the sand?
Here is a little collection I gathered on our early morning walk today. It's amazing to me to see what variety there is. Big, little, flat, curved, smooth, rippled - they're beautiful and they are God's creation.

I'm not sure what this is (I'd be happy if someone reading this could identify it!). It's not a flower - it was on the beach and those petal looking things around the edge are hard; shell-like. I'm wondering if it's some sort of sea creature. At any rate, it caught my attention because of its uniqueness.

This morning as I walked and collected and thought about the variety of the shells, I thought back to my Bible study yesterday about the variety of spiritual gifts given to a child of God. At the moment of salvation, each person received at least one spiritual gift. I Corinthians 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. We don't all have the same gift, there is diversity so that the church has everything it needs to prosper.
It's easy to see some one's gift and desire to have the same one, but that's not God's design. Some gifts are seen in the public eye - preaching or teaching for instance. Other gifts are used privately, such as the gift of mercy or giving. Each gift is as necessary; each as important as the other, and each given by the Spirit of God to be used for His glory in the local church.
As I looked at the shoreline I noted that there were areas where the shells were plentiful and close together. "That's the local church, " I thought. It's full of active members, using their gifts and the church is thriving and alive! Then as I walked I saw some shells off to themselves. Some were broken. "That's a member who got hurt and wandered off. Now they're useless. They're no longer using their gift to be a blessing to others and to serve the Lord." It happens more than you can imagine, and the church suffers as a result.
Do you know your spiritual gift(s), and are you using it actively in the local church? If not, get out of your shell (sorry, couldn't resist) and let the Lord use you!
Love,

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I believe that is a sea urchin. If i am not mistaken, they have a sting when they are alive. I don't get to the shore much so I am not as learned about the flora and fauna there.

Anonymous said...

I too believe it is a sea urchin. I think they even have teeth but I honestly couldn't tell you where. There are so many different things to see on the beach walks. I have collected alot over the years as well.

Christina said...

I agree that it's a sea urchin, and you know, some people eat them. I hope you're having a great time with great weather! We've missed you at church!

Denise said...

Thanks for your help! I've heard "sea urchin" all my life, but never saw one 'til now!

Anonymous said...

The dictionary defination for urchin is "umkept child", or "ragamuffin". With all the jagged edges of the creature you found it sure looks umkept! I don't think I'd be tempted to try and eat it, would you?

Anonymous said...

The dictionary defination for urchin is "umkept child", or "ragamuffin". With all the jagged edges of the creature you found it sure looks umkept! I don't think I'd be tempted to try and eat it, would you?

Denise said...

The definition is funny because I've always heard of an unruly child called "a little urchin!" :) No, I definitely wouldn't try to eat it. There are too many other savory sea creatures like scallops and shrimp to eat!

Debby said...

I know the sea urchin as a 'sea egg'. As an MK growing up in Barbados, we were taught how to humanely kill them, scoop the edible part, cook it right there on the beach and enjoy the delicacy... kinda like salty grits.

Denise, seeing the sea egg and the different shells you collected reminds me of how God created each of us so differently.

Thanks for another good lesson~ Debby