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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
January 17, 2004

     There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but they all come from the same Spirit. There are different ways to serve the same Lord, and we can each do different things. Yet the same God works in all of us and helps us in everything we do.
     The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others. Some of us can speak with wisdom, while others can speak with knowledge, but these gifts come from the same Spirit. To others the Spirit has given great faith or the power to heal the sick or the power to work mighty miracles. Some of us are prophets, and some of us recognize when God's Spirit is present. Others can speak different kinds of languages, and still others can tell what these languages mean. But it is the Spirit who does all this and decides which gifts to give to each of us.

1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (CEV*)

This is core teaching on the subject of spiritual gifts. If we understand the basics Paul gives us here, we can move on to the right exercise of the gifts God has given us.

While our spiritual gifts differ, they all come from the same Spirit and they all provide ways to serve the same Lord. We are not better or worse than any other believer because of the particular gifts God has given us. They are all needed, and they are complementary rather than competitive. We should neither envy the gift of another nor look down upon our own gift. All of God's gifts are good gifts.

We are not given spiritual gifts for our own glory or pleasure. Each gift is "a special way of serving others." The giving of spiritual gifts is part of God's plan for each believer to be a servant which Jesus dramatically demonstrated in the washing of his disciples' feet. The gifts provide ways for us to show our love for God and our fellow humans.

Are you a good steward of the gifts God has give you? Do you exercise your gifts in the service of others? Are you content with and grateful for your spiritual gifts? Do you acknowledge the value of the gifts of others and encourage them in the exercise of those gifts?

Bill Samuel

* Contemporary English Version ©1995 American Bible Society.

©2004 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 24-Jan-2004 21:58:17 EST