I Corinthians 12:1-11
For the past couple of years the Hoffman’s have seen a migration in our television viewing habits. We watch less and less live television programming and more and more on Netflix and Amazon Prime. If we do watch a regular television program we usually try to DVR the episode so we can fast forward through the commercials. One of the types of programs that we seldom watch are the talent contests. We do not follow American Idol, America’s Got Talent, The Voice, or the X-Factor. I will confess though that I have seen bits and pieces of each of them, mainly has short videos on Facebook. And I will have to say that there are some very talented people out there.
If you watch the world around us, even casually, you come across talented people every single day and often multiples of them. We humans have a variety of talent(s) that allows us to excel at arts, sports, math, science, theater, writing, and on and on and on. And some of us excel at such a level that we get paid a lot of money for our exceptional talent(s). But notice with me that often our talents are shared with the world and for some of us, we benefit richly by sharing them. One example would be professional athletes – think about how much they get paid for their talent. Some people get rewarded monetarily for sharing their talent and then there are the rest of us who have talent but it isn’t monetized in the same fashion.
One of the things that we should all remember is that anyone who follows Jesus Christ has been empowered by the Holy Spirit with a spiritual gift. Between these three passages, 17 spiritual gifts have been named; these are the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But these gifts are not to be monetized for our own personal benefit and they are not ranked in an order of highest to lowest importance to promote a faux social order. The gifts that God gives us are solely for the greater good – they are meant to be used to benefit others. As you read this week’s devotion, take note of your spiritual gift(s) and assess how they are being used for the benefit and welfare of others.
I encourage you to take time and read each of the scriptures above and then reflect on the questions below. I hope that they will encourage you to recall the spiritual gifts given to you by the Holy Spirit and how these gifts have been and are being used for the benefit of others. I also pray that God bless the reading of God’s Word and the meditations of your heart.
- Have you ever taken a spiritual gifts inventory before? If not, you are invited to do so at http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/spiritual-gifts-online-assessment.
- When do you find
satisfaction in living into your spiritual gifts? When do you feel like you are not living into
- How will you respond to the invitation to let God use your spiritual gifts for the benefit of others?
- What are your spiritual gifts? What are you doing with them that serves God’s purpose of serving others?
Gracious God, I know that through the Holy Spirit, you give many gifts, all of them useful in building your church. You have called me to the ministry of reconciliation and to share in servant-hood of all. Help me to accept my assignment that your task might become my tasks, your covenant might become my covenant, and your purpose become my purpose. With joy I accept this charge and count myself as an ambassador for Jesus Christ, bearing the message of reconciliation, forgiveness, and recreation to all the world. Send me forth and use me for your holy purpose. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.