11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; Ephesians 4:11,12 NAS
God has given us His Word and it has something to say about every essential thing concerning our relationship with God. It focuses on the theme of the salvation of mankind with an underlying theme of the redemption of the earth. The Word of God is God revealing Himself to mankind. The Word is a seed. Luke 8:11 tells us “Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God.” When the Word, which is a seed, begins to grow, it begins to increase in size and carry with it the capacity for fruit, or a harvest.
Let’s for a moment equate the Word of God to an acorn, an acorn being the seed and fruit of an oak tree. An acorn carries inside of it the potential of a mighty oak tree. Not just a tree, but an oak tree that produces many thousands of leaves, thousands of additional acorns, a canopy that will be shelter for birds, squirrels, bugs and other creatures, etc. That tree will produce upwards of 260 pounds of oxygen for the atmosphere each year (Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.; thoughtco.com). The oak tree produces a root system that is greater than its canopy that also serves not only to nourish itself, but is also an ecosystem for underground creatures as well. All that and so much more all contained within the potential of an acorn. How about the potential in the seed called the Word of God? The Word carries in the seed, potential for “Kingdom-Oaks” and its fruit is whatever the Word declares.
When Jesus gave His Church Apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors, and teachers, He gave them to be equippers. These 5-fold ministry gifts have the duty to steward the authentic Word of God and to equip His people with the Word. This is so that His people can do ministry work, which in turn builds up the church. Ministry gifts will take acorns and with those acorns they grow Oaks. It is estimated that around 8,000 – 9,000 Christian books are written yearly (behindthebooks.ivpress.com) Those books which are authentic works that are born from the true genuine Word of God are part of the “forest” of God’s oaks that are expressions of the potential of the acorns they came from. A single “word” will multiply into many “words.” Dr. Rod Parsley has made this statement, “Revelation breeds revelation.” We have been given ministry gifts that take the word of God and expand and expound what God is saying (within the boundaries of scripture). Some preachers will preach an entire message from one scripture. That is an acorn that becomes an oak and then produces its own fruit (many more acorns)!
When we do our supplemental reading (beyond reading your bible) and read books written by good godly men and women, who have a revelation of who God is, His activity, His character, His nature or His Kingdom, we are receiving the fruit of the harvest of those “trees” that came from the seed that was planted in the heart of the writer. These are God’s gift of teaching and revelation from Him through His ministers to you! In several cases, many of the books from reliable teachers are messages they have preached or taught that they converted into a book. So, we are reading (or listening to) the message of the Lord to us that was birthed out of prayer, studied out, scripturally based, and full of spiritual life!
Family, you cannot replace acorns for trees. Bible reading is collecting the seed, or in otherward, gathering the acorns for yourself. We need to get the seed of the Word in us! Although, we are greatly enriched by also reaping the fruit of the harvest of the labors of God’s ministers who have sought Him for His Word and written books for our instruction, enrichment, and blessing. Today, challenge yourself to read or listen to the Word ministered in book format (or on audio). If you have a need, find a good book on that topic and allow God to minister to you through the blessing of that oak that is given to you by God! Supplemental reading (or listening to books on audio) is critical to spiritual growth; work towards making this a part of your devotional life every week, it will be a blessing to you!
Lord Jesus, Today I thank you for the ministry gifts who write books and pen revelation and truth for the enrichment of the body of Christ! We are so grateful for those who hear from you, and write the things that will build the body of Christ, to help us be healthy and wise Christians who are equipped to do the work of the ministry in order to build the Kingdom. I receive these gifts and I commit to reading (or listening) as often I possibly can to build my faith and strengthen my walk with God!IN JESUS NAME! AMEN!
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- Bible Reading (Devos) (5 times / week)
- Private Prayer (5 times / week)
- Private Worship (5 times / week)
- Journaling (2-3 times / week)
- Supplemental Reading (2-3 times / week)