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A Look into Spiritual Gifts

27 Feb

Hello again!

This is what God has given me today in His word:

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. (1 Corinthians 12:7-11)

In everything, God is sovereign. This is also true when it comes to Spiritual gifts; even if it seems we don’t have any, we do. It’s just that our gifts are all different, as Paul said above, to some are given wisdom, to some the utterance of knowledge, etc.. Paul also points out that no matter how small the gift we have is, we still have one. As compared to an unbelievers, who is unable to help build up, but only tear down: that’s another thing that separates the believer from the unbeliever. Where one is (supposed to be) building up, the other is only able to tear down. And its only by coming to Jesus, and accepting Him as savior, that we’re able to stop tearing down, and start building up.

But, even though Christians are able to build up others with words and actions through gifts, the strange thing is, it seems Paul doesn’t want us to be content! In fact, quite to the contrary:

1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. (1 Corinthians 14:1)

We’re told to “eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit,”. This is possibly the only time that it actually is alright to not be content: yes, we’re able to, and should be building up others with the gifts that God has given us. But we’re also told not to stop there! As Christians, we’re supposed to eagerly desire more… A little more specifically, we’re to eagerly desire more so that we may better “follow the way of love” (build each-other up).

In addition to all this though, its important to realize one more thing: God has given us these gifts. This may seem like a fairly basic concept, but sometimes we lose sight of what God has done for us, and start thinking that, “yeah, we’re really pretty good to have done this.” In other words: we sometimes forget that its God’s work, and not ours. Though I’ve never seen someone forget who (God) gave them the ability to heal someone (possibly because I’ve never seen someone with the gift of healing), those with more subtler gifts may find it a temptation to praise themselves for something, rather than God. For example: the gift of the utterance of knowledge. It may be a temptation with that to think of how well someone has “trained their brain,” or some such thing.

As it is, however, we’re to praise God: He’s the one whose given us any and every gift, and He’s the one we should be focusing on; not ourselves.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

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