Monday, June 19
Jesus said that the disciples would bear fruit. And we are to bear fruit. Everyone knows that to be an analogy. But did you notice that “fruit” is a generic term? We are not told to bear apples or oranges or plums. God made each of us unique. Each of us is born with different abilities. Besides these natural traits, we are given spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:4-6). Paul puts it in terms of kinds of gifts, kinds of service, and “working.” Gifts are to meet the spiritual needs of others. Service focuses on using the gifts. “Working” has to do with the power of the Holy Spirit to exercise the gifts. The Greek word is “energeia,” from which comes the word “energy.” So God has given each of us both physical and spiritual gifts that vary from one person to another. Together, we meet the needs of the church body, as is described in the rest of 1 Cor. 12. Since your gifts are different than mine, your ministry will be different. That truth surfaced when Jesus met with his disciples after his resurrection (John 21). Peter was concerned about his future as compared to that of John. Jesus said “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” Peter was not John. Our Bible includes a 1st Peter and a 2nd Peter. And it also includes a 1st John, a 2nd John, and a 3rd John. Providentially, that doesn’t mean that there are two Peters and three Johns. God wanted one of each. And each one had a different assignment. It’s a relief to know that I don’t need to be another Billy Graham. But I need to produce fruit.