April 16
Spiritual Gifts
I Corinthians 12:4-20, 26

Key Verse: There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. I Corinthians 12:4, 6

Any pastor worth his salt must constantly seek to recognize the gifts of every church member and encourage all to use their gifts for the glory of God. The wise pastor will understand that God has gifted every disciple and that each one has a role to play in the ministry of the body.

What often happens is that pastors pay too much attention to those with five or ten gifts and offer little recognition to those with only one gift. This results in strife and tension within the fellowship. Some may even begin to think of themselves as second-class Christians because they do not have the gifts that are publicly applauded.

Paul would have us see that God's plan is for there to be loving unity within the Body of Christ, not jealousy or bickering or self-despising. This unity emerges from the awareness that all the gifts come from God, that each is necessary, and that all are to be used for the common good.

The apostle uses the human body to illustrate how the gifts are to work together as one. He points out how foolish it would be for one part of the body to think itself more important than another. The whole body is neither an eye nor an ear. The eye functions differently from the ear, but each plays an important role.

So must we as Christians work together, never magnifying our importance over others but humbly using for the good of others whatever gifts the Spirit has given us. Instead of desiring praise for ourselves, we should look for ways to acknowledge and celebrate the gifts of others and encourage them with our praise.

Thus will the unity of the Body of Christ become a witness to others who may be attracted to our God when they see how we love one another and work harmoniously together.