By Chuck Griffin
1 Corinthians 12:1-3 (NLT)
Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don’t want you to misunderstand this. You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols. So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.
During last Sunday’s Holston View UMC worship service, I talked about spiritual gifts. Part of my sermon was an invitation to explore what gifts we have among us, using what some may think of as Covid-19 “down time” to study, train and prepare.
I’ve long been perplexed by Christians who remain disinterested after learning that spiritual gifts await them. I have a working theory about the problem.
Some Christians are like kids who fear they may get push mowers for Christmas. Open that present and there’s nothing ahead but work, work, work.
If I’m right, we need to get past that unfounded fear. If I’m wrong, one of Satan’s most influential demons must go by the name Apathy.
I’ll not spend much time on specific spiritual gifts today; there are about 30 described in the Bible. Sunday, I mentioned the ones Paul listed in Romans 12:1-8. First, let’s understand the great gift we are given, an ongoing encounter with the Holy Spirit.
The gift of salvation through Jesus Christ is received in a moment, but it’s also the gift that keeps on giving. Through our belief in Christ, we open ourselves fully to the influence of God’s Spirit. We are offered ongoing transformation.
This first great gift includes a kind of freedom we cannot experience otherwise. We live securely as people who know they will live forever. Even if we find ourselves with challenging God-given work to do in this life, we can trust our tasks will ultimately be joyful because of this promise.
Opening spiritual gifts, which God may bestow at different times in life, also brings a sense of renewal. Even if you’re already a highly skilled person, you may find the gifts of the Spirit flowing through those skills in new ways. Spiritual gifts often become a holy enhancement of the person you already are, reinvigorating you.
I’m praying some of you feel a new sense of excitement about your unopened spiritual gifts. I am willing to devote some serious time to those of you wanting to explore this subject. I’ve made this offer to the Holston View UMC family, but as so much of it will have to happen online, I’m also making it to other LifeTalk readers who might want to join us.
Just let me know, and we’ll open those gifts together, knowing all of our churches will be stronger in the process.
Lord, bless us with a renewed sense of excitement about the gifts you give every follower. May we long to open these gifts and use them! Amen.