ChurchWe have different gifts, according to the grace given us. (Rom 12:6 NIV)
It’s a good thing if greatly gifted people go humbly under the precious cross they are bearing, but it’s also truly beautiful to watch content Juniors using little faith as powerful wings to fly confidently towards the eternal goal set ahead.
The most gifted are often tired under the heavy load of divine gifts of grace (Charismata), whereas the less gifted move much more lightly and joyfully forward towards heaven. To have a large amount of faith and gifts is not our goal and purpose as their discriminate provision is solely discerned by God’s wisdom and providence. On our part we are to recognize the gifts provided to us. It is obvious that peace, tranquillity and joy reside wherever somebody modestly acknowledges and utilizes the gifts received fittingly, but strive and enmity arise, where siblings do not identify the grace and gifts received appropriately and do not live accordingly either.
It is generally accepted that all true Christians should have true knowledge of their sinfulness, however knowledge of grace and of divine gifts received are often neglected. Each and everyone does self-evaluation and comes to some sort of self-esteem. The Apostle admonishes us to have a correct measure and standard for this. He tells us to evaluate ourselves in terms of the divine gifts and faith received. Everybody has a more or less clear evaluation of him/herself. Therefore we are challenged by the apostle to find an even clearer and more appropriate evaluation of ourselves, so that we are modest in supervision and subordinate ourselves peacefully as is becoming in the sight of God.
If you do not want that, you are like a stone that does not fit. The stone mason will turn, hit and chip at you until you eventually fit or if you prove too hard you could break under the blows or just be discarded as useless for the building in which God fits his people as spiritual stones joined together and cooperating to the glory of our Lord.
We pray: “Give me what you have decreed, what your servants should have if they want to be useful to you: a yoke that fits my neck; patience and fearlessness similarly in doing and at rest and bending under greatest grace and your reward as robe of honour! An intimately joyful heart, a heart sprinkled with your blood; the essentials of heroism, when loving a gentle pain. An eye, pure and clear as the sun, a faithful ear turned to hurt and care, touch my lips to pray aright, communion with the band above.”  (Nikolaus Ludwig Graf von Zinzendorf, 1700-1760)

(Translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Wednesday after the 1st Sunday after Epiphany as found on Pg. 57 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu! (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and puplished in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.)

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
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