Jessica Albritton, Family Connections Minister, LHBC

1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

Last Father’s Day I overheard a conversation at a restaurant. The family had gone out to eat lunch to celebrate their dad and after the main course, just before they ordered dessert, the kids anxiously grabbed a wrapped gift from under the table and passed it over to dad. The dad acted surprised and opened the gift, echoing sentiments of, “oh you shouldn’t have!” and, “I wonder what it could be!” When the gift was open, dad held it up with pride. It was a t-shirt that read, “Dad you are smart as Iron Man, strong as Hulk, mighty as Thor, cool as Spiderman, and as honorable as Captain America. It was a sweet moment as the dad ooh-ed and aah-ed over the shirt until one of the kids piped up and exclaimed, “Dad… It’s just sentimental… We all know you’re not REALLY as strong as Hulk. And you are definitely not as smart as Iron Man. And No one is cooler than Spiderman…” I, along with most of the restaurant, got a good laugh at the child’s assessment. But it got me thinking. So often we read passages of scripture in the same way. As if they are just sentimental. 

In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul writes to the church in Corinth to let them know they have been given supernatural gifts and power from God because of their relationship with Jesus. In verse 7 Paul states each is given the manifestation of the Spirit. Paul points out that the same Spirit that hovered over the unformed earth in Genesis chapter 1, the same Spirit that came upon judges in the Old Testament to help them lead the people, the same Spirit that spoke to prophets to proclaim the wonders, and works, and will of God, that same Spirit dwells within your life if you are a believer in Jesus Christ! As believers we have also been given supernatural gifts in order to build others up, gifts like wisdom and knowledge, understanding and prophesy, healing, miracles, and tongues. But not only are we given the Spirit and gifts, we are also given supernatural God given power in order to use those gifts. 

I have to admit, It’s really easy to read passages like this as if it’s all just sentimental. “Yeah, I am filled with the spirit like David, I have gifts like Paul, I have received power like Steven.” Friend, don’t fall into the trap of reading 1 Corinthians 12 as if it’s just sentimental for you. If you are a follower of Jesus you have true supernatural power from God dwelling inside of you! The God that created the world and gives breath in our lungs, the One that is above all, the One that is King of kings and Lord of Lords, His power resides in you through the gifts He has given to you! 

Heavenly Father, forgive me for when I live timidly. Lord, help me to live in a way that reflects the power that lives inside of me because of my relationship with You! Lord, may I lean into the gifts that You have so lavishly given to me and use them to build others up and point them to You! In Jesus name, amen!

Galatians 5:13
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.