March 23, Thursday

The AMI QT Devotionals from March 20-26 are provided by Pastor David Kwon of Journey Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina.  

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR TODAY

Spiritual Gifts – Meaning and Purpose

1 Corinthians 12:1-7

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.

If you ever played organized team sports, you know the importance of finding your specific role on the team according to your abilities.  Growing up, I played Little League baseball competitively, and I got to be on some winning teams.  What made some of these teams successful was a common understanding that the pitcher, catcher, first basemen, and all the other positions understood what they were good at and also knew the role they played for the betterment of the team.

Paul dedicates Chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians to spiritual gifts – the source, purpose, and importance of them, and so for the next few days, that’s what we’ll be focusing on.  In this chapter, he tells us that we all have roles in the body of Christ and teaches how each one of us plays a crucial role in building up one another.

The word “gift” (v.4) is the Greek Word “charisma” which means “gift of grace.”  Spiritual gifts are not natural talents or skills, but rather they are supernaturally given by the Holy Spirit only and always to believers in Jesus Christ.  These gifts are given to believers to equip others in the Body of Christ.  He also points out that there are varieties of gifts, which means that God distributes His gifts in many forms, in many varieties to His children for use in the kingdom of God.

Do you know the gifts God has given you?  More importantly, are you putting them into use to build up the body of Christ?  One practical way you can apply this passage is to take a spiritual gifts test, and ask others who know you to identify certain spiritual gifts they see in you.  My prayer is that we would maximize our gifts for His glory.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for the spiritual gifts You give to Your children.  Help us today to know and use the gifts You ask us to steward.  Amen.        

Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 12


LUNCH BREAK STUDY

Matthew 25:14-30: “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Questions to Consider

  1. What is common among the men Jesus gives talents to?
  2. What is the reason Jesus commends the two men and rebukes the third?
  3. How does our view of God determine how we use our talents?

Notes

  1. Jesus gives talents to all the servants in this parable. It is unclear if talents were actually money or abilities, but it is clear that Jesus gives all of his believers talents that He entrusts them with.
  2. Jesus’ response was determined by how the servants put the talents to use. It should be a challenge for us to see if we are also putting our talents to use.  As His children, we should desire to hear those words, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
  3. The third servant saw Jesus as a “hard man” (v. 25) and did not take his responsibility seriously. When we see Jesus as our Father who desires the best for His children, it should give us motivation to put our individual talents to use as well.

EVENING REFLECTION

Take some time reflecting on the passages you read today.  What challenged you?  Ask Him to speak to you as you spend time in prayer and worship.

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