Thursday, February 16, 2023

Something from the Spirit can be seen in YOU

I was reading 1 Corinthians 12 this week and it starts off with a section talking about spiritual gifts. One line caught my attention especially: verse 7, which in the ESV says, "To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good." I looked this up in the Easy-to-Read Version and it says:

Something from the Spirit can be seen in each person.

The Spirit gives this to each one to help others.

It goes on to list all kinds of gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to people in the interest of the common good. I love this way of saying it though - something from the Holy Spirit can be seen in YOU. But it's not just for your own good, it’s meant to make you a blessing and a help to others. So what is it? What has the Spirit given to you? 

It’s like putting money in a savings account. You expect that with time, that deposit will grow. We know that interest rates fluctuate - sometimes they are higher and sometimes they are very low, but I’ve never seen a NEGATIVE interest rate, have you? No, we make a deposit in the bank and we expect a greater return on our investment. So what DEPOSIT has the Spirit made in the bank of your life so that He would see a greater return? What has He given you that you can give others? It says he has - TO EACH IS GIVEN

There are some center-stage gifts listed here like healing, prophecy, and miracles but there are also behind-the-stage gifts like wisdom, discernment, and faith. Do you know that your faith can inspire faith in others? That’s an example of return-on-investment. If you don’t know what God has placed in you for you to share with others, ask Him to show you. Ask him to teach you how to help others with whatever gift He’s given you.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

See What Kind of Love

See what kind of love the Father has given to us,
that we should be called children of God; and so we are. ~ 1 John 3:1b

I was studying 1 John and when I read this verse I thought, “You know, God could have called us anything - his Creation, his Invention, his biology experiment...but no, he chose to call us his children.” And it reminded me of something my mom said when I told her I had MS. She said she would take it for me if she could. I thought, “WHY??? Why would you want this??” But then I thought, Well, if one of my kids was diagnosed with something serious, I would say the same thing. I would wish that I could take it for them so they wouldn’t have to suffer. 

Because that's the heart of a good parent! So it makes perfect sense that not only does God call us his children, but when he saw that we’d been diagnosed with the worst condition of all - SIN - which leads to eternal death - HE WANTED TO TAKE IT SO WE WOULDN’T HAVE TO!! That’s what Jesus did when he died on the cross, he took our death sentence so we wouldn’t have to face an eternity apart from our Creator…Our Father. What a GOOD FATHER we have. Our earthly fathers - even those who have awesome ones - they can never measure up to the love of our Father in heaven. It never fails, never gives up, would go to any length and suffer anything for us. He’s so worthy of our love, our lives - our everything!