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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Saturday Sermonette - Gifts of the Spirit: Word of Wisdom

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11, NKJV

I hear questions occasionally about the gifts of the Spirit. There seems to be some confusion about the difference between the fruits and the gifts (go to the Monday Morning Devotional here on this blog to see my views on the fruits). The biggest difference to me is that all believers have all of the fruits of the Spirit. Very, very few have all of the gifts mentioned above; some practice one or two; some exhibit none.

I'm not a degreed theologian, but I have studied this part of the scripture with a sincere desire to understand it and help others understand. I've heard and read some theologians say these gifts were only for the first century, practiced only by those who associated directly with Jesus--the disciples and apostles of that time, and that the gifts were no longer needed after then. I disagree. That's a little like saying they only needed food in the first century.

Paul says in this section that the gifts are given to help each other. The result of the use of the gifts should be encouragement and correction. The Word of Wisdom will reach a hardened heart for Christ or help someone know the path God wants them to take. It's above and beyond normal wisdom or knowledge of a subject. It's a few words that can get into the middle of your darkest hour and provide the light needed to get you back into the sunlight.

You might have experienced it at some time without realizing what it was. Did someone ever say something to you that was like a light suddenly turning on? It gave you that "ah-hah!" moment? If those words also opened you up to God, that might have been a word of wisdom. It might even have been you yourself speaking something you didn't know before.

Something else I've noticed is that the gift is given for use at the moment--the person might not have it again, or at least not until it is again needed. It isn't like the person who has the gift constantly spouts amazing things. The gifts of the Spirit are given when needed to a person open to being employed by the Lord. It takes a willing heart and an earnest desire to be used by God to help wherever and however needed. If you're not there yet, work on it. It's worth it.

Father God, I want to be used by You. I want to be Your helper, Your assistant, Your willing worker. Show me where and when to use the gifts You give me. Thank You, Lord.

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