Tuesday, November 12, 2013

One Spirit, many gifts

Scripture - 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 NASB
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.  But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

Observation -  Paul here is speaking to the church at Corinth that he planted.  This was probably one of the more his toughest places to plant a church, given the many pagan God's the city had.   I find it interesting that it is with this church that Paul decides to introduce the spiritual gifts.   Perhaps it was because the people of that church faced constant pressure around them in their culture to bow down to the many defined gods in the city whom had temples, priests,  followers and rituals associated with them.  Each one of these gods had a definitive purpose and character, the goddess of love, the god of war,  etc.    So maybe it is not surprising after all that Paul describes for this young church that they have the one true God who has all power to do all things (all things those false gods could do and more).   Since God has but one Spirit, God is able to impart for the common good many gifts amongst His people.   These spiritual gifts are distributed to each believer as God wills for serving his purpose. How powerfully comforting this must of been for those members of the church at Corinth, and how much more so now for us today.

Application -  The application for me is found in my family,  in ministry and at work.   I must recognize that first, in my family,  God has given my wife and I each a set of spiritual gifts for the purpose of raising our children in a way that they will know who Jesus is,  how to love God, and how to love others.    I sense he has gifted Abby with the gift of faith and discernment, which is such a blessing to the girls and I.  The way she utilizes these gifts to shepherd the girls and support me is something I am constantly grateful to God for.    For me, he has made me the spiritual leader and teacher in the house, gifting me with words of wisdom and prophecy.   I still feel new at operating in these gifts but each day through God's grace, His spirit is showing me how to utilize these gifts to lead my family.    In ministry these similar gifts He uses in me to help fellow servant leaders in the church to steward well the ministries and people that God has given them to lead.  At work,  the same gifts are working to help me be a light to others in the workplace and help them to know God,  to love one another, and to lead the people of  Pearl Harbor Shipyard in a God honoring way, that serves our country and our God.

Prayer -  Dear heavenly Father, thank you for pouring out of your truth into my life , through your inspired word.  I pray Lord you would help me steward the spiritual gifts you have given me well, and continue to teach and mentor me on the utilization of these gifts for your glory.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

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