Thursday, September 29, 2011

September 29, 2011 … Spiritual Gifts

Passage of the Day: 1st Corinthians 12: 7 … Now to each one [i.e., Christian] the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

My Journal for Today: As this verse and passage from 1st Corinthians 12 clearly indicated, each Christian is given, at conversion, at least one special manifestation of God by the Holy Spirit (i.e., a spiritual gift) to minister within and to the Body of Christ (see also 1st Cor. 12: 11). But as John MacArthur correctly teaches in Strength for Today, having spiritual gifts does not make one “spiritual.” It is only the surrendered Christian, submitting to God and using his Spirit-given gift(s) for God’s glory in the Church who would actually be considered a “Spiritual” Christian.

And one must not mistake the use of natural abilities or characteristics such as singing abilities, good looks, intelligence, or an outgoing personality as “spiritual gifts.” Yes, these natural qualities are from God; but they are manifest in non-believers as well as believers; … and these natural characteristics can be used to glorify God. However, they are not the special God-imparted gifts imbued by God’s Spirit when one is born-again which are to be used in special ways in His Body for His Kingdom [for teaching about these gifts see 1st Cor. 12, Rom. 12, or Eph. 4]. As I said, our natural giftedness as Christians should be used to advance God and His Kingdom; and our natural or physical talents/traits should only be used in conjunction with our Christian’s spiritual gifts to enhance our Holy Spirit imparted giftedness.

It would be a tendency of anyone, even Christians, to call attention to self rather than Savior with our natural talents or characteristics, even in the context of the church; and our enemy, Satan, would certainly pour his gas on those flames of pride and arrogance. It’s also “natural” for Christians to ignore or misuse their spiritual gifts for selfish glory as well … such as a teacher calling attention to himself by using his gift of teaching for self attention, rather than for God’s glory.

So, we must, as Peter prayed for the Church in 1st Peter 4: 10 – 11, be good stewards of our spiritual gifts, knowing what our Spirit-imparted gifts are, developing them fully, and using them TO THE MAX within His Body, for His kingdom, and ultimately for God’s glory.

Do you know your spiritual gifts? If you do, have you exercised them and practiced their use in the context of God’s Church? And are you using them fully for God’s glory? YES answers to those questions would certainly bring a smile to God’s face; but NO answers simply mean that we Christians have some work to do, with God’s grace, to learn, develop, and use His gifts for His glory!

My Prayer Today: Use the gifts You gave me, Lord, … in Your Body … for Your glory!

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