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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, February 17, 2017
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I have heard about manifestation and wanted to know what the definition was, there are a few more meanings, but I only included this one: a) One of the forms in which something, such as a person, a divine being, or an idea, is revealed; b) the materialized form of a spirit.
Today’s scripture reading:
Prophecy is not just a prediction about the future; it can also mean preaching God’s Word with power. No matter what gifts a person has, each gift is given by the Holy Spirit. We are responsible to use and sharpen our gifts, but we can take no credit for what God has freely given us.
The most helpful gifts are those that are beneficial to the body of Christ. Paul has already made it clear that one gift is not superior to another, but he urges the believers to discover how they can serve Christ’s body with the gifts God has given them. Your spiritual gifts are not for your own self-advancement. They were given to you for serving God and enhancing the spiritual growth of the body of believers. (NLT)
1 Corinthians 12:7-31 – A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church.
To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another he gives the gift of special knowledge. The Spirit gives special faith to another, and to someone else he gives the power to heal the sick. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and to another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to know whether it is really the Spirit of God or another spirit that is speaking. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, and another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Holy Spirit who distributes these gifts. He alone decides which give each person should have.
The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up only one body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into Christ’s body by one Spirit, and we have all received the same Spirit.
Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am only an ear and not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? Suppose the whole body were an eye—then how would you hear? Or if your whole body were just one big ear, how could you smell anything?
But God made our bodies with may parts, and he has put each part just where he wants it. What a strange thing a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”
In fact, some of the parts that seem weakest and least important are really the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect form the eyes of others those parts that should be seen, while other parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together in such a way that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other equally. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
Now all of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it. Here is a list of some of the members that God has placed in the body of Christ: first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who can get others to work together, those who speak in unknown languages.
Is everyone an apostle? Of course not. Is everyone a prophet? No. Are all teachers? Does everyone have the power to do miracles? Does everyone have the gift of healing? Of course not. Does God give all of us the ability to speak in unknown languages? Can everyone interpret unknown languages? No! And in any event, you should desire the most helpful gifts.
To each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. –1 Corinthians 12:7 (NIV)
Nancy R. Meyer (Nebraska) titled her story “GOD’S GIFTS;” here is a portion of Nancy’s story:
“My sister, Bev, is a retired English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, and I am a retired nurse. We have recently become involved in meeting the needs of refugees. . . . but we remember that we are following Jesus by serving others.
“We all approach life and mission work in different ways. Some may be on the go all the time, helping at every opportunity. Others may need lots of quiet, reflective time in order to accomplish their work.
“I tend to compare myself to others who serve and feel I never measure up. But this notion is not from God. Today’s quoted verse tells us that each of us has a gift we can use to help one another.
“God does not expect us to have the same skills or energy levels as anyone else. When we recognize that God gave us each a gift meant just for us (see 1 Cor. 12:11 [below]), we can put this gift to use serving one another and the Lord.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – How am I using my gifts to serve God?
Prayer: Thank you, God, for giving us gifts and talents. Help us to use them to honor you. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
1 Corinthians 12:11 – It is the one and only Holy Spirit who distributes these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.