Re:Verse reading–1 Corinthians 12:4-31 (day six)
But earnestly desire the higher gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:31
We rarely get to the details of the nature of the Spirit’s gifting, mostly because we find the Spirit a bit challenging to wrap our minds around; He is like the wind after all. But here Paul urges us to desire or seek the higher gifts. When is the last time you sought after a spiritual gift or gifts? Probably not recently; I certainly can’t remember the last time I asked the Spirit for a particular gift.
Some quick implications to consider when thinking about Paul’s words:
- It would seem you can have more than one gift at a time.
- Or multiple gifts at different times, in other words your gifting could change.
- We should ask God for spiritual gifts; asking God is the natural outcome of desire.
We tend to desire knowledge (more Bible study), maybe we should desire the Spirit’s gifts, or both. Perhaps, if we desired the higher gifts (those that bring more immediate benefit to the church) we would better understand how God uses them in the body; perhaps we’d experience greater common good and growth.
Gift it a try. Starting asking God for the higher gifts. He might just answer your prayer.
Easter Re:Verse reading–John 20:1-18 (day seven)
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:11
It is hard to imagine, but it is true; through His Spirit, God works on our behalf with the same power by which he raised Jesus from the dead. This is true now, as much as it is will be when God raises our own bodies from the grave. We have access to the sin-killing, fruit-bearing, life-sustaining Holy Spirit power right now!
Such sweet news!
If God is for us, who can be (or stand) against us? Romans 8:31
This doesn’t mean we try harder; it means we trust harder! We lean in on God, trusting the promises of God over the allure of sin and the pain of suffering. God is for you! Just like He was FOR Jesus in his resurrection, He is FOR you!
Re:Verse reading – 1 Samuel 13:1-14
Re: Verse reading–Acts 3:1-20 (day six)
Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. Acts 3:1
I imagine going to the Temple to pray was a matter of meaningful routine. They found themselves there often, along with many new believers. They continued in their Jewish temple traditions in a renewed and refreshing way, in the power of the Spirit. They did not go to the temple to be accosted by a man lame from birth, and yet they were.
“Look at us.” Peter said. Amazing. He did not look the other way to avoid an awkward moment or inconvenience, or hope that the lame man would move on to someone else. No, he said, “Look at us.” Peter and John entered into interruption, and a man was healed, and no less significant, others heard the good news of Jesus.
They went to the temple for meaningful prayer and ended up with a meaningful interruption. Your interruptions can be just as meaningful. Don’t miss them.
Re:Verse reading–1 Corinthians 12:4-13, 27-31 (day six)
The Holy Spirit is the activity of God personified. He hovers over the deep, He reveals, He teaches, He reminds, He heals, He brings life where there was none, He bears fruit, He gives gifts; where he moves things turn from black and white to vivid color. 1 Corinthians 12 is the Holy Spirit in theory; Acts is the Holy Spirit in action.
And here is another truth, as is true of Jesus, the Holy Spirit’s aim is to glorify God. He desires to draw attention to the beauty, majesty, goodness and joy of God in all His activity, especially in the life of God’s church. That is why He gives us gifts. His gifts are the other-worldly activity of God in us and through us to draw the world’s attention to the glory of God in the Gospel.
You can grieve the Holy Spirit; you can’t render Him dormant. Do this today: invite the Father to show you where the Holy Spirit is at work in your life; ask Him to show you the Spirit’s gifts.
Re:Verse reading–Romans 8:18-39 (day six)
Paul writes something mysterious and incredible to the Romans. He writes, “…the Spirit helps us in our weakness,…the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Have you ever given that much thought? It is a marvelous one! Now I don’t know all that this verse means, but there are a few things I do know. The Holy Spirit prays for us when we don’t know how to pray. This means, not only does the Holy Spirit know the nitty gritty of our life, but He is actively doing something about it. When we are at a loss, the Holy Spirit is not-He intercedes! That is incredible news!
You know those times when you are done? You can’t endure anymore; you’re spent, and yet you seem to make it through? Well now you know the reason why; the Holy Spirit pulls you through! Maybe you should give Him thanks! It’s okay, go ahead and praise Him for His intercession!
Re:Verse reading–Romans 8:18-39 (day four)
It is one of the greatest passages of hope in the Bible…Romans 8:38-39. “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. All things have been created by Him, therefore, there is nothing that is stronger or more powerful than Him. By faith, Christ has come to dwell in our hearts in the form of the Holy Spirit. Nothing can take us away from His indwelling. He will always be with us throughout eternity. Paul was a man of unshakable confidence in our eternal position in God. How about us? Do we live our lives with unshakable confidence that we will always be with God in eternity?
Re:Verse reading–Romans 8:1-17 (day seven)
“Therefore, brothers, we are under obligation. . .for all who are led by the Spirit are the sons of God.” v 12, 14.
It is not what we expect. The Scripture, in other places, communicates Spiritual life as an INVITATION. An offer. A king gives a party for his son and sends servants out to invite people to come. (Matthew 22)
Paul looks at it from a different perspective. As an OBLIGATION. Same word that he used of himself in Romans 1:14. “I am under obligation.” As a recipient of grace, how could he refuse to give it to others?
He says the same of us. Christ died and rose and sent the promised Holy Spirit! Those who are joined to Him by faith are, thereby, OBLIGATED to live and walk in that gift.
“How dare you benefit from Christ and owe him nothing in return!”, says Paul. Not an offer. Not an option. It is our OBLIGATION.
Re:Verse reading–Romans 8:1-17 (day five)
Have you seen the Geico commercials? They have branded the tag line, “It’s what you do”. There are several silly examples. If you’re the band Europe, you love a final Countdown; it’s what you do. If you’re a golf commentator, you whisper; it’s what you do. If you’re a fisherman, you tell tales; it’s what you do. In other words, there are certain and unchanging traits that people have.
A similar kind of logic is being made for the Holy Spirit in Romans 8. Look at verse 11, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” The Holy Spirit who dwells in Christians is exactly the same person who raised Jesus from the dead. Just as the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead, so the Holy Spirit will raise the bodies of believers from the grave.
If you’re the Holy Spirit, you raise people from the dead; it’s what you do.
Re: Verse reading–Romans 6 (day two)
What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? vs. 21
In the margin of my bible next to this underlined verse I have written one word…NOTHING!
That is the sum total of what I have gained from the things in my life that distract me from God’s grace. When I look back at those things which would continue to cloud my vision were it not for the Holy Spirit, I marvel at why or how I let it cloud my vision in the first place. Where do those things/choices lead. Paul answers that question in verse 23 pretty clearly…death. So why do we allow them to continue to wage a war against all that we know to be true. If they only promise death where is the value? Perhaps this is how we should treat any stray thought or temptation. Pray that God give you the wisdom to recognize those things for what they really are…NOTHING.
Re: Verse reading– Acts 4:32-37; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Galatians 6:9-10; Hebrews 10:24-25 (day five)
Acts 4 32 And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul.
There are many distinguishing marks of a person who has been given new life and a new heart in Christ: hunger for the scriptures, different strategy for battling sin, love for Jesus, love for others, and a love for the church (people/family of God). This love for the church results in more than appreciation and affection for other believers. Yes, something deeper and more significant happens to believers that who are called and placed by God to worship, serve, and be a light together. One of the distinguishing marks of a church (people) filled with Holy Spirit is unity. Only the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit can unify a group or body of believers in mission, purpose, priority, and activity. The presence and power of God are clearly on display when His children and church are unified and are joyfully and intentionally deepening friendships/relationships with each other.