“Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.”
– 1 Corinthians 12:1 NIV
Welcome to the 13th devotional recap of the year. This week, we continued our teachings on spiritual gifts; looking at their purposes, how we can receive and grow in them, and what to do when miracles don’t happen.
We began the week with a teaching on the purpose of spiritual gifts. Like Myles Munroe rightly said, “When the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable.” Spiritual gifts were not given to us to hoard or misuse, rather they are given to build up the church (1 Corinthians 12:7, 14:12). Just like our perfect example, Jesus—who, throughout His earthly ministry, loved and served people with His gifts (Acts 10:38), we also are to love and serve with our gifts.
On Tuesday, we continued in this vein, looking at spiritual gifts in the context of love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-2 shows that if spiritual gifts are present without love, they are of no benefit. Then looking at the characteristics of love in verses 4-8, we can extrapolate that spiritual gifts are not self-serving. They should not make us see ourselves as better than others, and ought not to push us to boastfulness. Rather, we should be grateful for the privilege to serve, and be confident in the power of God at work in us.
We continued on Wednesday with an exhortation on how to receive spiritual gifts. Just like we would prepare our houses to receive a special guest, expectation, preparedness, honour, and receptiveness must be discerned in our desire for spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14:1). Time in prayer and study cannot be overemphasised. Prayer helps to align our motives, and studying the Bible opens our minds to the possibilities in God, kindles our faith, and further fuels our desire. Ultimately, remember that the gifts of the spirit flow in service. So, seek opportunities to serve, evangelise, and watch God work through you.
On Thursday, we learnt how to grow in spiritual gifts. The Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30 teaches us two lessons about spiritual gifts. First, God has expectations of us as regards the gifts He has given us. Secondly, He wants us to grow in these gifts. The way to properly steward your gifts is to putthem to use (1 Peter 4:10). Wherever there is a need, never let fear or doubt stop you. Step out and supply.
We rounded up the week on Friday with the teaching, “When miracles don’t happen.” The Bible strongly emphasises the ability and willingness of God to heal. God wants to and can heal your disease, but never forget that His ultimate solution to sickness, death, and evil is not healing but eternal life. Miracles are great, but they all point to the greatest miracle of all time: salvation. God wants you to experience miracles, but more importantly, He wants you to believe the Gospel.
When miracles don’t happen, never doubt God’s love for you or cease to believe in miracles. Rather, remember that Jesus is the ultimate proof of God’s love, and go again in faith.
Don’t let all we’ve learnt this month about spiritual gifts stop at just learning. Put that knowledge into action.
Bible Reading Plan: Numbers 29-31