Brothers and sisters, I don’t want you to be ignorant about spiritual gifts. 2 You know that when you were Gentiles you were often misled by false gods that can’t even speak. 3 So I want to make it clear to you that no one says, “Jesus is cursed!” when speaking by God’s Spirit, and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are different spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; 5 and there are different ministries and the same Lord; 6 and there are different activities but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. 7 A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good. 8 A word of wisdom is given by the Spirit to one person, a word of knowledge to another according to the same Spirit, 9 faith to still another by the same Spirit, gifts of healing to another in the one Spirit, 10 performance of miracles to another, prophecy to another, the ability to tell spirits apart to another, different kinds of tongues to another, and the interpretation of the tongues to another. 11 All these things are produced by the one and same Spirit who gives what he wants to each person.
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
I believe that in God’s infinite wisdom, God gave all of us gifts. I also believe we all are called to use those gifts. As our Bishop preached during the Father’s Day worship at the close of Annual Conference, to be good stewards of what God has given us means for us to use our gifts as the giver intended. In other words, we are supposed to use what we are given for the glory of God, wherever we find ourselves. Our occupations are our mission fields. Our community events are our mission fields. Just driving around with that great magnet advertising the church on the back of your car is witnessing to others. In that realization, what witness do we give? How do our speech and our actions reflect God’s unbounded love to the world around us? We do pretty well, but we must do better. If we find animosity in our hearts toward others, we need to pray that it be removed from us. If we find ourselves idle beyond what is necessary for renewal, then we should pray that God shows us an avenue to use our gifts and the willingness to do so. You see, I believe prayer works, not because it usually results in direct action by God (though it can), but because it changes us to allow each one of us to be more in line with God’s will for us and our community. In other words, our prayers are mainly so that God changes us, enabling us to be God’s agent of change in the world.
As individuals, let us use God’s gifts to us for God’s glory. As a community of faith, let us use God’s gifts to us for God’s glory for the entire community around us. We are not only here for the parts of the community we identify most comfortably with, but we are also here for those we don’t. Let us be the best incarnation of God’s community on earth that we can be. We’re on the way. Keep it up!
Yours in Christ,