Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fertilize Your Mustard Seed

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers ... Ephesians 4:11 (NKJV)

"I believe the role of the cluster of gifts mentioned in Eph. 4:11 are to build the infrastructure of the Kingdom. It is on these five spiritual gifts that continual forward movement of an organic Kingdom is hinged. Without all of them working together, the growth of the Kingdom slows down dramatically or even stops and begins to shrink. This is what we are currently experiencing in the Western world. And, it is what the Holy Spirit is changing so that his Kingdom can once again grow like tiny mustard seeds that grow large in one season; like just a pinch of yeast that can leaven a whole lump of dough." Ross Rhode

This is one of the most innovative and exciting statements about these 4 or 5 gifts that I have ever seen.  Gifts given to fertilize the mustard seed where ever it is sown throught the earth.  What an exciting concept.  One of the greatest disappointments of my sixty years has been watching the Kingdom in America, in so many place and across the nation as a whole, slow down, stop (we like the word stagnate better-why?), and dramitically shrink.  When God reintroduce the churches to the reality of his gifts during my teens and young adult years, I watch the language of church after church and denomination after demonination change.  Some changes came quickly.  Some slowly.  But even the most resistent groups to which I was expose, by the end of thrity years, were talking about the gifts. 

Oh, yes.  There was and remains a good deal of contraversy about which gifts and how, but the average person on the pew expects all believers to have gifts according to their varigated ideas of what gifts are.  Of course many feel secretly put down because they don't think they have a gift - so their spirituality must be lacking something (or in more depressed minds - "Maybe I'm not really a Christian since I haven't received a gift).  The answer to those feelings are multiple and quite individualized.  Certainly beyond the scope of this blog.

The rejection, suspicion, etc. about these 4 or 5 fertilizer gifts left many of the truly Holy Spirit gifted ones cut off from their God give task of fertizing the Kingdom, fertizing the individual congregations and believers. The confusion, absence, abuse, misuse, and legalizing of these gifts left more swatches of the Kingdom unfertilized - kept so much of the mustard seed in America from being fertilized and growing. 

How sad.  People who know and long for the fertizer left without its application. A former abundance of mustard seed left unsprouted, or stunted, or whithering, while a nation cascades head long towards hell.

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Photo Credits:
Mustard Plant - source unknown

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