Daily Thoughts : July 13th
1 Cor 14:12 Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church
Spiritual gifts, icons of unbelief in certain parts of the church. Oh they don't exist now we have the Bible, say some Christians, the ones who like to be in control. Spiritual gifts are given to and are used by those whose hearts are open to be used by God by His Spirit. Apart from tongues and interpretation (given largely to enable devotional expression) they are simply expressions of Jesus' ministry, his supernatural enabling.
Being eager for spiritual gifts? How dare you, say some. Yet the truth is that Paul opens this chapter by saying, “be eager for spiritual gifts.” In other words, be eager to be a vessel for the Lord through whom He may speak and work. Without these gifts we find in 1 Cor 12, how can we possibly do what we find Jesus saying: “anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.” (Jn 14:12).
Have we recognized our inadequacy and our need of the Lord's enabling, His providing these expressions of Jesus, called spiritual gifts, for us? Are we open to be used by Him to reach out to other people? Do we, as Paul says here, seek to build up the church, and do we do it with God's enabling, released through us by His Spirit? Is the church stronger today because God has been able to speak into it and act into it through us by His Spirit? That is what this is all about.
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