Spiritual Gifts

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Peppermint Patty is talking to Charlie Brown and she says, “My Uncle has always wanted to play the violin. Last week he went down to a music store, and bought one. Then he went to a concert to watch the violinists play to see how they did it. Then he went home, picked up his new violin and tried it himself. He couldn’t play at all! Next time he goes to a concert, he says he’s going to try sitting closer!

Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability. The Disciples have been with Jesus for three years. During those three years, they have observed many things. The blind have been healed. The lame walk. They have watched as Jesus walked on the waters of the sea. They have observed His incredible wisdom. They followed His instructions and took coins out of the mouth of a fish. Are they ready to be alone? We know that God had promised to always be with them. … I am with you always, to the close of the age.” But now He was ascending into Heaven, how could that be? But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. This Counselor or Comforter, was the Holy Spirit. While Jesus would not be here in human form, He would still be present in the form of God. The Holy Spirit.

The Jewish calendar was filled with special occasions. About the time of Jesus’ Ascension into Heaven came the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was the beginning of the harvest. After 49 days (a week of weeks) came the Feast of Pentecost. Pentecost was when the harvest officially ended. Pentecost marked the end!

The Day of Pentecost that year, came in great power. When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. The Disciples and the Church were no longer alone!

Sometimes your medicine bottle has on it, “Shake well before using.” That is what God has to do with some of His people. He has to shake them well before they are ever useable. Paul wrote to Timothy, “Stir up the gift of God, which is in thee.”

Ever since that day of Pentecost we have asked the question, “What do we do with the Holy Spirit?” There are many, many gifts of the Holy Spirit. Our lesson in Corinthians talks about nine (9) spiritual gifts. Gifts that are not individual but gifts to the Church. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. (wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, discernment, tongues, and interpretation) In Ephesians, Paul talks about five (5) gifts of the ministry. It was he who gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors or teachers to prepare God’s people for works of service….There are some twenty-five (25) other gifts talked about in scripture. These gifts, are the living presence of God in the community of faith.

All who are Christians have access to these gifts. Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Every believer has a gift and is expected to function in the body of Christ.

To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. In this story the talents can be gifts, spiritual gifts, ministry gifts, etc. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.

So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. “The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. “Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground.
“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!

We have very little to do with how much ability we’ve got, but with what we do with what we have. The person with great talent is apt to be puffed up, and the person with little talent is too humiliated. A few years ago when we had the concert series, we had some great talent that came through our worship services. One of those, a very gifted man, was also one of the most arrogant people I have ever met. The gift is only given when we can handle the gift.

“Our part is to be faithful”, doing the level best with every bit and scrap.

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