Saturday, December 01, 2012

December 1, 2012 … Hey, I’m Gifted! How about you?

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 336

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 1st Corinthians, Chapters 9-11 To study these chapters, go to this link

 Highlight Passages: 1st Corinthians, Chapters 9 -11 … Again, if you’re reading along with me, please take the time to use the link above and read these three chapters in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. : [NLT] … {Are you a Christian? If you answered “YES!” to that one, I hope you know that you’re gifted. And in Chapters 12-14, especially Chapter 12, God through Paul exposes truth about the special gift or gifts which God gives to believers who are born again in Christ. You also may want to read through Romans 12 and Ephesians 4, where the subject of spiritual gifts is also covered. This issue is important, because every Christian should determine what his/her gift or gifts is/are so that these gifts can be used for serving God maximally in this life. }
Highlight Passages: 1st Corinthians 12: 1-3 : [NLT] … {Paul, in Chapter 12 exposes many of the gifts which God has given believers to serve God. I hope you know that you are gifted by God; and knowing your gift or gifts, we Christians need to be using those gifts to serve and glorify God everyday with the time God has given every believer. }  
1 And now, dear brothers and sisters, I will write about the special abilities the Holy Spirit gives to each of us, for I must correct your misunderstandings about them. 2 You know that when you were still pagans you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols. 3 So I want you to know how to discern what is truly from God: No one speaking by the Spirit of God can curse Jesus, and no one is able to say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 
Highlight Passages: 1st Corinthians 13 : [NLT] … {This is God’s great LOVE CHAPTER in the Bible where the subject of God’s gift of love is so eloquently revealed and discussed. If a Christian ever has a question about the need to exercise God’s gift of loving us and how His love is imparted to us to love others, this is the chapter in God’s word upon which to meditate. Please go back and invest enough of God’s gift of time to read, study, and meditate on Chapter 13 of this letter from God.}
Highlight Passages: 1st Corinthians 14: 1-4 : [NLT] … {In Christian circles today, i.e., in the “Church,” the subject of the gift of “tongues” is highly misused and abused. That was the case even in Paul’s day as well; and he gives a very clear understanding of how this gift is to be used and how it should not be given importance above for which God intended.}  
1 Let love be your highest goal, but also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives, especially the gift of prophecy. 2 For if your gift is the ability to speak in tongues,£ you will be talking to God but not to people, since they won’t be able to understand you. You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit, but it will all be mysterious. 3 But one who prophesies is helping others grow in the Lord, encouraging and comforting them. 4 A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally in the Lord, but one who speaks a word of prophecy strengthens the entire church. 

My Journal for Today: In reading through the three chapters of this letter from Paul today assigned in my chronological reading segment, I may have been a bit “cutesy” with my title for my journal entry this morning. But it’s true, fellow Christian, I am gifted; and if you’re born again in Christ, so are you. And Paul wanted to make sure in this letter, as well as his discussions on spirit-imparted gifts in Romans 12 and Ephesians 4, that each and EVERY Christian has at least one spiritual gift imparted by and overseen by the Holy Spirit.

Now, you probably know that no one Christian has all the Holy Spirit given gifts; but all Christians have at least one special gifting which can be – and should be – used in God’s Church for His Kingdom. Now, I’m certainly not going to be able to cover the spectrum of this important, but very broad, area of Christianity in this short journal entry this morning. But I do charge anyone reading with me here to be able to say, “I’m gifted” by God; and knowing what our gift or gifts are from God, we should be using them for His glory today and all days in this life.

 So, if our gift is teaching, we should be teaching God’s truths to others. If we’re gifted in giving, we should give. If we have the gift of prophesy, we should be using the discernment God has given us to recognize truth and help make it clear to others. And I could go on and on with other gifts, like the gift of mercy, service, faith, and others; … yes, even the very misunderstood and misinterpreted gift of “tongues,” which is specifically covered in Chapter 14 of 1st Corinthians.

But above all today, please take the time – God’s gift of time for all persons – to meditate in Chapter 13 about one of God’s greatest gifts – HIS LOVE. In the great “love chapter,” as it is known, God uses Paul’s gifts of prophesy and teaching to reveal to the Corinthians what they needed a lot of, i.e., His love, so that they (or we, by extension) could use it to build Christian togetherness and to spread His love to others in this world (see John 13: 33-34).

And so, I’m going to close this blog entry by having you use this link, to go back and listen to an old popular song from my college days, written and sung by Jackie DeShannon, which expresses what God was trying to get across in these three chapters of His letter to the Church … What the World Needs Now is Love, Sweet Love! Yes, … God’s love!! So, today my friend, use your Spirit-given gift or gifts to share God’s much needed love in this very love-starved world.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, help me use my gifts, which You have given me, to serve You today. Amen

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