I share with you that I am a sinner, yet ‘proud’ to have my sins forgiven by Jesus’ dedication to His Father’s will (His death on the cross). I attend church partly because most who attend also recognise they are sinners. The other reason I attend is because it empowers me to respond differently to the world that seeks to avoid consequences of sin ‘at all cost’!
A few weeks ago we shared some thoughts on fruits of the Spirit. That was helpful, probably more so if we like fruit!
But before we see fruit there is a lot of preparation happening in, and on the plant. This is the gifting stage, as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. These are tools and essential ingredients that enable us to get the best we expect from a crop.
1 Corinthians 12:1-11 “Brothers and sisters, I want you to know about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. 2 You know that at one time you were unbelievers. You were somehow drawn away to worship statues of gods that couldn’t even speak. 3 So I want you to know that no one who is speaking with the help of God’s Spirit says, ‘May Jesus be cursed.’ And without the help of the Holy Spirit no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord.’
4 There are different kinds of gifts. But they are all given to believers by the same Spirit. 5 There are different ways to serve. But they all come from the same Lord. 6 There are different ways the Spirit works. But the same God is working in all these ways and in all people.
7 The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all. 8 To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge. 9 To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. 10 To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages. 11 All the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives gifts to each person, just as he decides.”
Note the difference between gifts and fruits (Galatians 5:22-23).
Some Christians want to identify how many gifts there are. I choose to see just two types of gifts. I see gifts (presents or service) that we mortals share and use as we choose. And there are others that God determines and defines, whether we like them or not!
If you sense God has given you gifts – Test them!
Do you recognise any fruit as a result of using your God-given gifts? If the answer is yes, increase your prayer and pray for an ability to see what is happening, where God is leading you.
If you don’t recognise any fruit as a result of what you do, then move on. Ask yourself whether you are correctly hearing what God is saying to you. Do you really have that gift?
My first ever prayer group talk was on JOY.
I checked a huge concordance and looked up every situation where the word JOY was. At this stage in my walk with God I didn’t know then whether it was a gift or a fruit.
The most recent talk I have given was when I was invited to talk about JOY, because others recognised that I reflected it (as fruit)! Now I know what JOY really is, that teaching flowed freely.
Discussion Question: Do you recognise any fruit as a result of using your God-given gifts?