Google+ 06/24/13 Are You Gifted?

1 Corinthians 12:1-3

 

 

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.

 

Today we begin a five-part series on one of the most important and misunderstood subjects in the Bible.  Please read and digest these next five devotions.  I believe if we fully understand the subject of spiritual gifts, we will be much more effective Christians.  Paul is addressing the Corinthians and attempting to remove their confusion about the special abilities that the Holy Spirit can, and does, give all of us believers.  Later this week, we will discuss each spiritual gift in detail, but today Paul wants us to know what is definitely NOT a spiritual gift.  Particularly in Biblical times, but also now, there are events that happen in all of our lives that cannot, on the surface, be logically explained.  In the world we often call them coincidences or good fortunes.  Sorcery, witchcraft, and magic were all alive and well in Biblical days.  The Bible recounts numerous occasions when Jesus calls out demons from people that are "possessed" by them. Most of us joke about having our palms read or our fortunes told in modern-day society, but this kind of behavior was commonplace in the time of Paul.  Many of the Corinthians had been accustomed to listening to these "fortune tellers" and following their advice.  Paul points out that listening to this kind of behavior and watching these kinds of actions does nothing but lead us astray.  Paul finishes our Scripture today by telling us that no one will proclaim the name of Jesus as Lord without being filled with the Holy Spirit.  Anyone that denies Jesus, is not speaking through the Holy Spirit.  Our misunderstanding of what it means to "deny Jesus," is one of the great tragedies here.  When we turn away widows and children or don't minister to them formally in our churches, we are denying Christ.  When we do not open our hearts, minds, and churches to all people with agape love, we are denying Jesus.  When we don't have an organized evangelism and discipleship program in our Local New Testaments Churches, we are denying Jesus.  Why?  These are all the things that Jesus proclaimed and ordained.  If we don't follow His commandments and teachings, we are denying who Jesus is.  This is why God has given us spiritual gifts in the first place.  They are to be used to further the Kingdom of God and are only given to those that believe.  Ponder this question in your heart this week.  Are You Gifted?