August 27

Today's Bible Reading
            I Samuel 19
            I Corinthians 1
            Lamentations 4
            Psalms 35
''Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." (I Corinthians 1:10)
            As Paul begins to address the church in Corinth, he was aware that he was addressing many serious problems.  It is appropriate to call this epistle “Christ's Counsel for a Confused Church.”  This group of believers had been planted in one of the most strategic locations in the ancient world.  They had an incredible opportunity. The greatest burden of the Apostle Paul was that this was an ineffective church mainly because of their serious divisions.
            They had groups following favorite preachers like Paul, Apollos, Peter, and even a group I call the “Super Saint Society” who said, “We are not following any of those folks; we are followers of Jesus.”
            It was the desire of the Holy Spirit, through Paul, to teach them and us that the Head of the body is to bring God's people and all their gifts into unity; otherwise there is confusion. The New Testament says the gifts (parts of the body) are the blessed equipment of the church (body). It is absolutely essential that we discover what gifts we have. As a coach knows where to place his players if he is to win, it is quite simple that we must know where to place people in the Body if we are to build a New Testament Church.
            It is a strong New Testament teaching that God has placed within His church every spiritual gift needed for the edifying of the body and evangelizing the lost.
            In this chapter, we are told about gifted men - apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor/teachers. It seems that these gifted leaders were to have an impact upon the gifted saints in the church. The result of this would be a beautiful interaction with gifts in the building of the Lord's church, resulting in...unity in the faith, unity in knowledge, maturity in the fullness of Christ, stability of the body, speaking the truth in love, the body in top condition.
            It is important that you as a believer discover your spiritual gifts and be consistently involved in growing a church for the use of that spiritual gift.  Here are four principles to develop your gift. 
  • You must be involved in a responsible commitment within a local body of believers.
  • You must use what you know you have or lose it. Development and discovery is continuous throughout your Christian life.
  • Your basic motivation must always be a fervent love for our wonderful Lord.  It is wrong to focus on the gifts and ignore the Giver of the gifts.
Prayer and fasting are always keys to true spiritual development.
            Now please be aware of some dangers. There are some who presume they have certain spiritual gifts that are really not theirs. This result is disappointment because they do not have the gift another one has. This can lead to misunderstanding, criticism and jealousy. We must remember that it is God who gives the gifts and they are sovereignly bestowed. This truth leaves no room for superiority or inferiority. It is God's intention that the Body of Christ work together in perfect harmony because it is He who gives the gifts. You are a gifted child.  Begin now to take the steps to function effectively in the life of His church.
            Pray today for your own heart and spirit toward missions. Do you have the assumption today that: Our God is a missionary God. Our movement is committed to world evangelism. Our willingness to obey is an absolute priority. Our paramount issue to face is reaching the unreached. Is this your heart for missions today? If not, pray that God will change your heart.