Daily Thoughts : March 26th
1 Cor 14:12 So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.
I can remember the early days of the Charismatic Renewal in the latter part of the 20th century and the later 'Toronto Blessing'. At such times there was often the same sort of feeling that I think must have been there in the church at Corinth. It was God's kids playing with God's gifts. Now God is incredibly gracious and He gives His gifts knowing that we won't always be mature in the way we view them and even use them. That always amazes me.
Some of us get very touchy about spiritual gifts and say we shouldn't seek them but that doesn't comply with Paul's teaching: “eagerly desire spiritual gifts.” (1 Cor 14:1). Paul knows that once we get started using the gifts that God gives, we will eventually be mature enough to follow his later teaching that comes in our verse above.
Think about it, in what Paul is saying, think about the purpose of these gifts. They are the expression of Jesus to his church and he desires to build and strengthen his church. Therefore think about how you can be open to God to let Him bring through you gifts that will build up, encourage and bless the church. Don't focus so much on the gifts as how you can bless and build the church as a servant of God.
Such teaching takes us away from the idea of one man ministry in the church to see that there are a number of ministry gifts and they are for equipping the whole church to be ministers (Eph 4:11,12). Is our church like that? Are we working for it to be like that? Are we individually open for the Lord to use us to be a regular bringer of His blessing, His encouragement, to others in the body of Christ around us; are we looking to build up and strengthen our local church as He enables?
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