We have many spiritual gifts given to us by God. Most of us have heard about Spiritual gifts in some way or another. Some of those gifts include things such as the gifts of: Fellowship, Finance, Caring Ministries, Christian Education, Management, Hospitality and many others. The gifts that God gives to us, is not limited to just those things that can be done through our congregations, but also what we do here while not attending or serving our congregation directly. Please allow me to go deeper into this.
On the day of Pentecost, which is fast approaching, when the Apostles are speaking to fellow Israelites, about the Lord Jesus, those that hear, are cut to the heart. They ask what should we do? 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Ac 2:38 NRSV
If you recall, Jesus has already told the Apostles, that the Father will send another, the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Spirit descends upon Him like a Dove. The baptism calls for the Holy Spirit to respond and remain within the baptized. The consequence of this is vast. Further in Acts, we see that the Holy Spirit is even given to the Gentiles, which is you and I, all non-Jews. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles… (Ac 10:45 NRSV)
The Spirit is a gift itself but the consequence, not in the negative sense, is that the Holy Spirit also brings gifts to those who receive the Holy Spirit. 14The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Co 2:14-16 TNIV)
As I pondered what is said in 1 Corinthians 2:14-16 and what I just wrote, I find it strange that God, gives us a gift of the Sprit and the person who has the gift of the Spirit, in turn also receives more gifts. Hummm, the gift that, actually keeps on giving. For the preceding scripture, I invite you to open your Bible and read this and take the time to follow the annotations in verses. I believe you will find this enlightening.
From 1 Corinthians 12, 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but they are all from the same Spirit. 5 There are different ways to serve but the same Lord to serve. 6 And there are different ways that God works through people but the same God. God works in all of us in everything we do. 7 Something from the Spirit can be seen in each person, for the common good. 8 The Spirit gives one person the ability to speak with wisdom, and the same Spirit gives another the ability to speak with knowledge. 9 The same Spirit gives faith to one person. And, to another, that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. 10 The Spirit gives to another person the power to do miracles, to another the ability to prophesy. And he gives to another the ability to know the difference between good and evil spirits. The Spirit gives one person the ability to speak in different kinds of languages and to another the ability to interpret those languages. 11 One Spirit, the same Spirit, does all these things, and the Spirit decides what to give each person. (1 Co 12:4-11 NCV)
In the letter to the church in Corinth, Paul does not cover all gifts available by the Holy Spirit but does cover some. There are many gifts yet one Spirit. Each of the gifts can even be broken down into subcategories to help us discern what God is calling us to do. It is in finding out our spiritual gifts and then discerning how God is calling us to us them, that we embrace, 5 There are different ways to serve but the same Lord to serve. 6 And there are different ways that God works through people but the same God. God works in all of us in everything we do. (1 Co 12:5-7 NCV)
Do you want to learn what God is calling you to do, both inside and outside of the congregation? Do you want to know what your spiritual gifts are? One of the first steps is to ask the people who know you best, what gifts do you see that God has given me? Be prayerful and meditate upon what you hear. Speak (pray) to God, then listen and watch to see how the Holy Spirit guides you in your life. Having a prayer partner and a spiritual director is a good way to focus.
The Nebraska Synod is offering a fantastic opportunity to get spiritual direction. The synod is offering spiritual direction sessions called, Drinking from the Well. Both Kris and I are signed up for this too. You can check out their website for details at: http://nebraskasynod.org/discernment/spiritualdirection/drinking-from-the-well.html
Peace and blessings through the gift of the Holy Spirit.