March 24, Friday

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

Spirit-Empowered Gifts

1 Corinthians 12:8-11

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, 10 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. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

“In the New Testament, we don’t find our gift through self-examination and introspection and then find ways to express it. Instead, we love one another, serve one another, help one another, and in so doing we see how God has equipped us to do so.” – Russell Moore

When we look at the topic of spiritual gifts, we see that they have two major purposes.  First, the gifts are given to edify the body of Christ.  God has individually given us specific and unique gifts to minister to one another.  That is why it is so important for every believer to be part of and actively involved in the local church body so that our gifts are used to their full potential.  Second, the gifts are given to confirm the Word of God.  The Apostle Paul addresses spiritual gifts in his letters (Romans 12, Ephesians 4), to instruct us how the body of Christ should function and how we are to participate in building it up.

When it comes to spiritual gifts, we must remember the Spirit’s role as Paul talks about in verse 11.  The word “empowered” is also translated as “energizes.” This means that a believer does not use his gift out of his own power but allows God to work through it by the power of the Holy Spirit.  When the Spirit of God is at work through our gifts, it energizes the church.  When the Spirit is at work through our gifts, there are some evidences that are visible:

  1. Unity – The Holy Spirit is the source and preserver of unity. We should see the church unified as we minister to one another.
  2. Loving – The church should grow in love for one another as we sacrifice for each other.
  3. Ministry – The goal of the church is not to be served but to serve one another. It is a community of believers in which each one ministers by the gifting and empowering of the Holy Spirit.

A few ways we can pray this morning:

  1. Ask the Spirit that He would empower our gifts and that it would not be out of our own strength. Pray for power as we serve one another.
  2. Pray for your church that it would grow in unity, love, and ministry.

Prayer: Lord, we pray that we would serve not out of our own strength but by the power of the Spirit.  We ask that our churches would grow in love and unity as our gifts are used.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 13


LUNCH BREAK STUDY

Read 2 Timothy 1:6-8: For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,….

Questions to Consider

  1. What is Paul telling Timothy concerning the Holy Spirit?
  2. Why do you think Paul is reminding him of this truth?
  3. How is this applicable in our daily lives?

Notes

  1. The effective Christian worker must have the power of the Holy Spirit but that power must be expressed in a loving spirit. The Spirit also gives us self-discipline to flee from temptation and to live a God-centered lifestyle.
  2. We tend to forget the power that is available to us in our everyday lives. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to change as we abide in Christ (John 15)—this power is not merely an act of our own self-will.
  3. We need to be filled with more of Jesus so that we can experience His power and love to minister to others.

EVENING REFLECTION

Pray for more of the Holy Spirit’s work in your life.  Ask Him for a Spirit-filled and empowered life that is surrendered to the Spirit.

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