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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Saturday Sermonette - Gifts of the Spirit: The Gift of Tongues

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

When I first came into the charismatic experience, the man who introduced our group to it told us there were two types of the tongues thing--the gift of tongues for use in church and praying in tongues. I'm not sure I could "prove" that difference with scripture, but logic tells me it's true.

The most commonly used kind is the prayer tongue, and normally that's in the privacy of my own house. When I use the tongues nowadays, it's when I'm praying earnestly for someone,whether for healing or help of another nature. Or praise. All I can really tell about it is what it's generally about, because obviously I don't understand the words. I pray until the need or praise seems satisfied, and then I stop.

The other kind is only given in a plural setting. Most times in a church, but occasionally just between two people. THESE MUST BE INTERPRETED! I would add another "rule" to that--it should not happen in a setting where it negatively affects those listening--which is most churches, unfortunately. The whole purpose of this type is to edify Christ's church. If it does not, don't do it.

I heard it described not long ago as something that can't be understood by anyone, but it is sometimes a known language to someone present, just not to the speaker. That's not normally how it is interpreted, though. It's usually interpreted by someone who also didn't actually understand the words but has been given the interpretation by the Holy Spirit.

Now--someone might jump in here and say tongues are of the devil. A word of warning--be very very careful of attributing a gift of God to the wrong entity. Offending people is one thing, but I don't want to EVER be guilty of offending God.

The use of tongues where I have experienced it has ALWAYS been uplifting, and has always drawn the speakers and the congregation around closer to God. That's the test.

Father God, please enlighten us. Draw us closer by any and every means You have. We love You, Lord, and we cherish Your gifts. All of them. In Jesus's precious Name, Amen.

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