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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Saturday Sermonette - Gifts of the Spirit: The Word of Knowledge

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 thought last week about combining the talk about the word of wisdom and this one, the word of knowledge. Often, they occur together. But since they also occur separately, I decided to separate them so that you won't mix them up in your mind.

The gift of knowledge is different from knowledge you can gain by reading or hearing. This gift is the gift of knowing something that you couldn't possible have learned. Maybe my most memorable and dramatic experience with this came when my youngest son was one year old. He had suffered from severe asthma nearly all of his young life, although he wasn't that evening.

We used to go to an active and vibrant interdenominational Bible study in Soda Springs, Idaho, that occasionally invited a speaker in. I don't remember this particular speaker's name, but he had two active gifts in action that time--healings and knowledge. In the middle of speaking about something else, he stopped, like he was listening. And then he said, "There is someone here who has a child with a severe and chronic illness. If you will bring that child to me, God will heal him.

I looked from our sleeping baby to the speaker and then to Jack. He was standing in the aisle signaling, "Let's go." We took Ross to the front of the room, and the man prayed for him. Now, the change in Ross wasn't immediately visible, but I have to tell you, the baby's personality changed overnight from fussy and demanding to the happiest baby you can imagine, more asthma!

The speaker used the gift of knowledge to point out a problem he couldn't have known naturally. There weren't many children there--maybe a dozen or so--and all of them older than Ross. I knew all of them, and none of them had anything chronic that I was aware of. No one had informed this man about Ross's all-too-frequent visits to the doctor and/or stays in the hospital. Up to that point, we'd made trips over the mountain to his pediatrician on the average of every two weeks, and he'd been in the hospital with severe breathing problems three times.

God gave that word of knowledge to the speaker.

All the gifts of the spirit are given to encourage, heal, and exhort the followers of Jesus. If that isn't the outcome, it wasn't God. Every gift God gives can be mimicked by the enemy, but the result is definitely not the same. Congregations or marriages torn apart? A believer hurt, not healed? Not God's doing. Let the believer beware.

Father, Thank You for all your provisions to us. Thank You for your natural and supernatural gifts. Please give us eyes to see when it's of You and when it's not. In Jesus Name and for His sake, Amen.
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