The Forest

March 12, 2013
by Lynne Phipps

1 Corinthians 12:4-7,12-13 – There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free — and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. (NIV)

As we travelled from Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, down the Island Highway to sightsee in Victoria, I was struck by the vast forest which bordered each side of the road. The trees grew so close together, yet each one was lush and full from bottom to top. There was also such a huge variation of species, I lost track of the number of different kinds. Some were shorter and bushy, while others towered above the crowd. Some flowered, others didn't. Even the bark grew in various colours and textures as did the foliage. There were shades of dark green, light green, bright green, and every shade of green in between. How like the body of Christ, I mused, and the variation of gifts His Spirit has bestowed upon us.

Christians come from every walk and way of life, from every municipality, province, state, country, and continent, city, town, village, and hamlet. We come in all sizes, shapes and colours, cultures and languages, yet in Christ, we are one body, filled by one Spirit, with gifts bestowed upon us for the common good — amazing when you think of it, totally amazing!

Therefore, let us work together to be as one in Christ, setting aside our differences, our prejudice, our envy, jealousy, pride, and warring. Let us show the world that where Christ resides, there is faith, hope, and love. And where faith, hope, and love reside, condemnation flees, and the glory of God's salvation takes root like a might forest covering and blessing the land.

Prayer: Father God, how truly amazing it is to think of Your love and Spirit which bind us together as one body in Christ. Bless and encourage our hearts this day to put aside any and all differences which may separate us from other Christians. Continue to grow Your people up in faith, hope, and love, that salvation in Christ might reign throughout the earth. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephipps@hotmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Dear Lynne: Well said.


    Wonderful reminder Lynne.


    A good one as always Lynne. Thank you.


    Wonderful message Lynne!
    Blessings.


    So simple! So True, Lynne! Thanks.
    Blessings.


    Dear Lynne;
    Amen to your prayer and such a wonderful devotional; thank you.


    Yes God’s creation amazes and blesses us. Thanks for sharing your journey through the forested coastline. Blessings.


    How uplifting to read this AM. And as usual an outstanding analogy for us to ponder.
    Keep writing.


    Lynne,
    As always, a beautifully written and uplifting illustration.
    Thanks for your ongoing contributions; always delightfully refreshing.
    Blessings.


    Thank you Lynne for sharing your thoughts with us. You brought back to me my years on Victoria Island when I taught school in logging camps that are no no more. I well recall all the different kinds of trees but ddi not associate them with mankind. God give us all your gift to see and share the lessons you learn from nature.
    Blessings.


    Dear Lynn,
    I am an Australian but lived in Canada for a few years and have revisited your beautiful country several times since.
    Your description of the Island Highway brought back many happy memories of driving down that same highway.
    What a wonderful way to compare it to all the variations of gifts that Christ has given us.
    I’ve been subscribing to Canadian Presbyterian Daily Devotions for several years now and always enjoy and get something out of your devotions.
    Keep up the good work.


    Dear Lynne,
    Thank you for your trees-in-the-forest illustration of:
    Christians come from every walk and way of life, from every municipality, province, state, country, and continent, city, town, village, and hamlet. We come in all sizes, shapes and colours, cultures and languages, yet in Christ, we are one body, filled by one Spirit, with gifts bestowed upon us for the common good – amazing when you think of it, totally amazing!
    An inspiring devotional of our diversity yet unity in Jesus Christ’s Spirit.
    Thank you.
    Keep writing.


    Hi Lynne.
    Let us show the world that where Christ resides, there is faith, hope, and love. And where faith, hope, and love reside, condemnation flees, and the glory of God’s salvation takes root like a might forest covering and blessing the land.
    Stay close to your Saviour, Jesus.
    (USA)

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