Monday, July 19
Read 1 Corinthians 12:1-13
This week we have the opportunity to learn more about spiritual gifts and to identify the spiritual gifts that God has given each one of us. Pastor Paul has taught a concept called the “Inspirational Intersection.” This is a process of discovery where we identify and re-identify the intersection between what God wants us to do and what we want to do. Part of this discovery is identifying our own gifts.
This passage from Corinthians identifies a partial list of spiritual gifts that people are given by God: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discernment of spirits, various kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues. Each gift is a manifestation of the Spirit.
Of these nine gifts, which do you identify in yourself? When we identify and claim our spiritual gifts we are not acting with pride. We aren’t claiming that we are better than others because we have been given these gifts. On the contrary we are recognizing what God has done in us. These gifts are from God.
Each of us has at least one of these nine spiritual gifts. Which one(s) are yours? Please share.
Tuesday, July 20
Read Romans 12:1-8
Like the passage we read yesterday, this passage shares a listing of spiritual gifts. And it shares the idea of a body or community. A healthy faith community is made up of different gifts that are being used for the common good. One way to think of a faith community or a congregation is to look at is as a collection of gifts. The gifts that are listed here are prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhorting, giver, leader, compassionate.
One important step for each of us is being able to identify the gifts in other people and then share with that person the gifts we see. When we share with another person that we see a particular spiritual gift in that person we are affirming that gift in the person’s mind. The person might never have thought that he or she has that gift. Sharing with another person the gifts you see in that person can be a terrific benefit to the person.
Take a moment to reflect on a friend of yours. Which of the above seven gifts do you see in that person? The person doesn’t have all seven gifts, but the person has at least one. Take some time to pray over the person and reflect on the person’s gifts. Share the gifts you see in that person.
To take the next step, consider writing or emailing a note to the person. In the note share what gifts you see in the person. Your note or email could be the highlight of the person’s day!
Wednesday, July 21
Read Ephesians 4:1-16
Like the passage in 1 Corinthians 12, this passage shares foundational teachings about gifts and the ultimate result of sharing gifts in a faith community. The gifts that are listed in this passage are more like positions. The positions listed are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.
Look at the purpose of the positions.
- “to equip the saints for the work of ministry,
- for building up the body of Christ
- until all of us come to the unity of the faith
- and of the knowledge of the Son of God
- to maturity
- to the measure of the full stature of God”
When we live out our spiritual gifts we are not sharing them for ourselves or for our own benefit. These gifts—given to us by God—are shared so others can benefit.
Imagine that local congregations would look like if everyone was using their gifts in way that lived out the six purposes shared in the above bullet points!
Today pray that all faith communities—including Chain of Lakes Church—can be places where people’s gifts are used to accomplish these six purposes.
Thursday, July 22
Read 1 Peter 4:8-11
“Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.” I Peter 4:10
When a person serves in a powerful way, we often acknowledge the service that the person is doing. But underneath that service is something just as significant. The person is using a gift. When using that gift the person was probably happy, driven, inspired—operating at his or her highest potential.
Getting in the practice of recognizing not only a person’s service, but the gift behind the service is very helpful.
Think of a time in our life when we were using our gifts in a powerful way. Think of the joy we experienced during this time. Most likely we were working hard and perhaps even experiencing stress about the outcome. But during this time we were most likely operating at our highest potential of our humanity.
Share a time when you were sharing a gift so that you were living at your highest potential.
If you are in a season in your life where you are struggling, ask God to help you share your own gifts in a meaningful way.
Friday, July 23
Read Jonah 1:1-3
Most of us have had times in our life when we weren’t doing what God wants us to do. The prophet Jonah is one such person. God asked Jonah to go to Ninevah. Instead, Jonah went the opposite direction. Can you imagine doing the exact opposite of what God asks?
If you have some extra time, read the book of Jonah today. It’s only four chapters. As you do this, you might identify how unhappy Jonah was in the story.
This is what happens if we don’t use our gifts in a way that God wants us to use them. We become unhappy and dissatisfied. Life doesn’t work out in ways that we want it to work out.
Resisting God is a decision that can lead to great unhappiness.
It’s a tribute to God that God does not give up on us when we resist God’s desires. God didn’t give up on Jonah. God is persistent with us—always asking us to choose God’s ways. As you pray today, pray that you can always choose God’s ways.
Can you think of a time when you were resisting God?
Saturday, July 24
Read Genesis 2:4-7
“then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7
We literally become a living being when we use our spiritual gifts.
In these short verses from Genesis we read about God creating humanity. God took dust, blew the Spirit into the dust; the result was a human. Every part of the human is from God.
Each person is different than the other—but the source of our creation is the same.
As you pray today, give thanks for the spiritual gifts that you have. God gave these gifts to you to use for building up the world. Spend some time praising and thanking God for these gifts. Also ask God how you can use the gifts to help create God’s Kingdom.