Spirit of Gifts

“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.”
(1 Corinthians 12:7-11)

Reflection:
The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was a reality. This was the being ‘clothed with power,’ for which Jesus had told His disciples to wait, before embarking on the Great Commission. This empowerment was not just of the spirit, mind and body – they were empowered with specific gifts which they were to use in the course of their ministry, and to make them effective in the building of the Kingdom.

Paul’s teaching, now, is very specific.

  • The appearance of the Holy Spirit is to be real for each Christian.
  • The Spirit gives a variety of gifts – some of which are mentioned here.
  • The Spirit gives one or more of these gifts to each Christian.

No believer is excluded. The Holy Spirit, with a specific gift, comes to each one. And each includes you, just as it includes me. Whatever else we may have to offer God, the ministry in which He wishes us to be involved will be based upon the gift that the Holy Spirit gives to us. This is God knowing what has to be done, choosing His team, and equipping them with what they will need. And the gift that the Spirit gives to us is the one that He will empower and bless. It may, or may not, be an extension of a talent that we have.

If we are going to be effective in our place in the ‘Body of Christ’ – where all should be working in harmony with each other and towards the same end – then we need to identify and become experienced in the use of our particular gift/s. We will, in all probability, find it in the area for which we have, or are developing, a God-given ability or passion as opposed to a self-centred desire. It is important to ask God to help us to identify it, and also to seek the prayer and discernment of mature Christians whom we trust. Its focus will be to bring glory to God and achieve His purposes.

It is our very great privilege and honour to have been chosen, and called, into the salvation of Jesus Christ and into the ministry of the Holy Spirit, as the daughters and sons of the Eternal and Almighty God.

Response:
Determine to increasingly  live out your new life and ministry to God’s glory, under the direction and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:

Lord God, please help me to know my spiritual gifts and to use them in love for Your glory and the blessing of others. Amen.

————–

Advertisement

Spiritual Gifts

2017-02-16

“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.”
(1 Corinthians 12:7-11)

Reflection:
Paul’s teaching, now, is very specific.

  • The appearance of the Holy Spirit is to be real for each Christian.
  • The Spirit gives a variety of gifts – some of which are mentioned here.
  • The Spirit gives one or more of these gifts to each Christian.

No believer is excluded. The Holy Spirit, with a specific gift, comes to each one. And each includes you, just as it includes me. Whatever else we may have to offer God, the ministry in which He wishes us to be involved will be based upon the gift that the Holy Spirit gives to us. This is God knowing what has to be done, choosing His team, and equipping them with what they will need. And the gift that the Spirit gives to us is the one that He will empower and bless. It may, or may not, be an extension of a talent that we have.

If we are going to be effective in our place in the ‘Body of Christ’ – where all should be working in harmony with each other and towards the same end – then we need to identify and become experienced in the use of our particular gift/s. We will, in all probability, find it in the area for which we have, or are developing, a God-given ability or passion as opposed to a self-centred desire. It is important to ask God to help you to identify it, and also to seek the prayer and discernment of mature Christians whom you trust. Its focus will be to bring glory to God and achieve His purposes.

You, and I, are so privileged to have been chosen, and called, into the salvation of Jesus Christ and into the ministry of the Holy Spirit, as the daughters and sons of the Eternal and Almighty God.

Response:
Determine to live out your new life and ministry to God’s glory, under the direction and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:

Lord God, please help me to identify my spiritual gifts and to use them in love for Your glory and the blessing of others. Amen.

———————–

The Holy Spirit 5

2015.05.22

“For we are God’s workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

(Ephesians 2:10)

Reflection:
God has a purpose for each and every one of us. To enable us to fulfil that purpose and to be effective the Holy Spirit gives each one of us a gift or gifts to be used in ministry. These are the gifts in which He will guide and empower us so that God’s will might be accomplished – both in and through us. Some of the gifts are mentioned here, and others in Romans 12:6-9

“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.”
(1 Corinthians 12:7-11)

Each gift and each ministry is important in God’s eyes. They are all designed by Him to work together in the specific situations in which we find ourselves. It is not for us to envy the gifts of others but to treasure and develop our own, and to measure ourselves only against our God-given potential – not our fantasies or fears.

As the sons and daughters of our heavenly Father we are not called to a life of ease but to one of purpose. He is working to fulfil the prayer that He gave us that His ‘Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven’. We are called to be a part of that work.

Response:
Ask God to help you identify and use your gift/s.

Prayer:

Thank You Father that you wish to use me in my situation. Please help me to know, use and develop the particular gifts that You have given me. Amen.

————————-

How will you be remembered?

waterfall8

“But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.”

(1 Corinthians 14:3)

Reflection:
The prophetic gift is a gift of the Holy Spirit and, therefore, one that He inspires and uses. This is not the specific ministry of a prophet which we see in the Old Testament but one of the more general gifts of the Spirit given for ‘the common good’ – the building up of the Body of Christ. It is a gift that, says Paul, is to be ‘eagerly desired.’

From this we can understand that God wishes to strengthen, encourage and comfort us more than He wishes to criticise and chastise us. If this is God’s approach to us then we should be adopting the same approach to others. The world around us is full of criticism of people and many of us will have suffered under it from time to time. Jesus warned us against such arrogant attitudes towards others by telling us to get rid of the plank in our own eyes before having the temerity to identity the speck in someone else’s eye. Often our response to what we see as a person’s shortcomings is inflamed by the inadequacies and hurts that we carry within us.

Where it may become necessary to challenge someone it can be done without biting and destructive comments either to them or to others. One man, after listening to a critical conversation for a while, said quietly, ‘Don’t be so angry with them, they just sin differently to you!’

As ministers of God’s gospel of love and grace we can decide to join with God in His ministry of ‘strengthening, encouragement and comfort’ – and to take this with us when we move amongst people – consciously looking for something positive to say or indicate to them wherever possible.

Response:
Decide to be a blessing this year.

Prayer:

Lord, please help me to bless and encourage all those with whom I have contact this year. Amen

———————

Life’s Purpose

2013.04.09

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”

 (Ephesians 2:10)

 Reflection:

 I came across a comment by a man who said, “I spent all my life climbing to the top of the ladder, only to find that it was leaning against the wrong wall!” What a devastating realisation and terribly sad waste. This is not what God has in mind for us. And yet so many people seem to either speed off in the pursuit of some material goal, or wander aimlessly on the ‘misty flats.’

 God has a plan and a purpose for each one of His people. He has equipped and will empower us for that purpose. It is in that purpose that we will begin to find our satisfaction – not because of any material rewards that it might bring, but because it is so worthwhile doing.

Chesterton famously wrote, “If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” That was not an excuse for sloppy work – its truth is in the fact that if we are only able to do a worthwhile thing badly it is still worth doing! If we are only able to love Christ poorly, it is far better than not loving Him at all. And of course, in all of this, who is the one who will decide?

 When Jesus called Peter and Andrew He said to them, “I will make you fishers of men.” In other words, in the new identity that He would give to them this would be their purpose. Paul, in the passage above, affirms that in our ‘new creation’ as God’s sons and daughters, we are the workmanship (again) of Christ. A focus of that workmanship is that we will have been (re-) formed to do the ‘good works that God prepared in advance for us to do.’ He has a plan and a purpose for us. Through the Holy Spirit, living within us, He equips, empowers and calls us into that purpose. Our peace will lie in recognising our calling, accepting it, and living it out. Some may be called to high and public office, others to quieter and less visible ministry. Each one is important in the plans and purposes of God. What we are called to is where we will be most effective.

 Every Christian is called to be a person who receives and passes on the love of God in the situation in which He has placed them, and in others to which He might call them. Every person, including you, has a God given purpose in this life. Don’t envy other people or their ministry, recognise your own. Start by being a person of quiet trust and love just where you are. You will be allowing God to work in you and through you.

 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;

I will counsel you and watch over you.”

(Psalm 32:8)

Response:

God knows where I am. He can use me here. He will lead me on to wherever He wants me to be.

Prayer:

Father God, please help me to trust you with my life. Help me to be more open to You, so that I will not waste the opportunities available to me now. Amen.

—————-

 

 

Something Beautiful for Jesus

“While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.”

(Matthew 26:6-7)

Reflection:

When the disciples saw this they we scandalised at the waste of money. They knew that the perfume could have been sold for a ‘high price’ and the money then given to the poor. Jesus rebuked them and said that, on the contrary,

“She has done a beautiful thing to me.” (Matthew 26:10)

 We can be very taken up with the needs of the poor, the church and, of course, ourselves – and often rightly so. Here however was someone who just wanted to bless Jesus – not unlike the account in Luke’s gospel of the woman who had lived a sinful life and came and wet His feet with her tears, wiped them with her hair and poured perfume on them. And Jesus was deeply touched.

He valued it so highly that He promised,

“I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”  (Matthew 26:13)

 It is very easy to treat God in very formal ways and to miss out on the very particular and intimate relationship that He desires to have with us. He is the One who knows us, loves us and provides for us in a very personal way. We are not a number to Him or just part of the crowd. On the contrary He knows the hairs on our heads and every thought before we think it.

 On Valentine’s Day every year the girls in the senior class of the School where I was chaplain each received a long-stemmed red carnation from the boys at their brother school. These were eagerly awaited and treasured and carried about with pride. One year when I went into the chapel the following morning I found that one of the girls had placed her flower on the altar in front of the cross. It was her Valentine’s Day gift to the Lord. I believe that He was even more deeply moved than I was. Somebody had thought and cared enough about Him as a person to want to bless Him in this way. The cost wasn’t important, but the value was.

 People can be very creative sometimes in their choice or creation of gifts for someone they love. It is worth spending time thinking of a way in which we could bless the Lord with a gift that is only to Him and for Him – and of ways to present it to Him. Done in the right spirit it could be something beautiful in His sight. And, He is so worth it!

Response:

Look to becoming more aware of the Lord as a Person very present in your life. Treat Him this way.

Prayer:

Lord You know me and You bless me. Please help me to know You and to bless you more and more. Amen.

————–