“1Then a shoot will spring up from the stump of Jesse,
and a Branch from his roots will bear fruit.
2The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him--
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and strength,
the Spirit of knowledge and fear of the LORD.
3And He will delight in the fear of the LORD.” Isaiah 11:1 – 3
Last week we touched on the gifts of the Spirit and we are going to continue looking at those this week. As we build our “house” with our new vision of Bold Hospitality, it is imperative that we identify our gifts. As Christians we take on the aspects of Christ and in doing so, with the help of the Spirit we are blessed with gifts that will help us minister to a fragmented and broken world.
Looking back at last week, we talked about Paul’s message to the Corinthians:
“So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up
the church.” 1 Corinthians 14:12
We discussed “eagerly” seeking the gifts of the Spirit and using those gifts to “try to excel” in building up the church. In doing these things we can build on our vision of Bold Hospitality. The question that arises, though, is how do we find these gifts?
When we search scripture, it can seem a daunting task. But this is where the promise of Christ comes into play. When we allow the Spirit to work through us, we discover that many of the gifts are already there just waiting to be encouraged and grown. All of us have within us the capacity for wisdom, understanding, knowledge, etc. God has planted these seeds within us from birth. By taking on the likeness of Christ we can encourage these gifts to grow.
It seems that we spend a great deal of time “searching” for our gifts when really, we already have them and in many cases are already displaying them. Perhaps Paul isn’t telling us to search for the gifts at all but telling us that when we are walking in the likeness of Christ and allowing the Spirit to guide us, we will “eagerly” display these gifts to the world.
It is so hard to examine ourselves and see what good we have to offer. Perhaps it is the way our society trained us, but all of us have within us the gifts that the Spirit wishes to use to build God’s kingdom here. It may take reflection and conversation with others for us to fully grasp our gifts, but there is no doubt that we all possess the gifts required to “build” this house. As we move forward, we will be examining our gifts and finding our way to use them.
The incredible joy is that as we embrace the gifts of wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety and the fear of the Lord, we will begin to teach out of our knowledge.
We will begin to see miraculous signs and wonders.
We will begin to have understanding for our brothers and sisters in the community around us.
We will find the strength and fortitude to push on when it seems that darkness will prevail.
In our devotion (piety) to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we will find faith deeper and more enduring than reason and in our “fear of the Lord” we will seek to do God’s will in this place and at this time.
The great goodness of God is that in our gifts we also find our blessings. As we accept that we have within us the gifts of the Spirit, let us accept that each of us has a role to play in the building up of the church. As we set about our making our vision a reality, there is none too old, to broken, to untrained to achieve God’s will. Take stock today. Open your prayer with, “Lord open my eyes to my gifts….” In your quiet time with the Lord, listen to the Spirit’s voice guiding you to the gift that will best move you and us forward. We are the church, the gifted church. All of us are worthy of being used by God to “build” this house.
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