July 14, 2023
The Bible Edge
Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have a Bible Edge
I Corinthians 12:1
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
If Paul wrote clearly about spiritual gifts in his first letter to the Corinthians so they would not be ignorant about those gifts, why is there so much ignorance about them today? Many years ago, a man who was teaching a group of teenagers in our church asked me about a doctrine to make sure he was teaching it right. He was not. So, we talked it out and he learned. Somewhere in the conversation he made an offhanded comment about himself saying, “I’m so stupid.” I told him that he was not stupid, he was ignorant. Stupid is the inability to learn, ignorance is not having yet learned. Later he told his wife proudly “Preacher said I’m not stupid I’m just ignorant.” We still laugh about that years later.
But that is true. Most have not yet learned about spiritual gifts. They are ignorant about them: what they are, where they come from, how they are to be used, even what their spiritual gifts are. But today is not the day to teach all of that. Today the focus is on the fact that these gifts are spiritual. They are spiritual gifts, not natural gifts.
God gives to His children spiritual gifts. These are not earned for if they were earned, they would not be gifts. If someone throws you a birthday party the gifts you receive for your birthday are given. True, some give themselves that which they consider gifts, but they are not really gifts. God gives gifts of a spiritual nature to His children.
Many times, individuals want a gift that someone else has, that they do not possess. Consider the spiritual gift of giving. A person may want this and for a while may give much. But giving much does not mean that one has the spiritual gift of giving. Those with that gift are manifested by the manner, scope, longevity, sacrifice, and many other qualities associated with giving. The spiritual gift of giving in a person is in that person to the point that they will give anything; time, talent, treasure, anything at any time. Others may give and give plenty, but not like one with that spiritual gift.
Again, this is not a devotion on actual gifts given, but that they are spiritual in nature. They are extended by God spiritually, they are empowered spiritually, and they are used spiritually whether that is understood or not. Now, here is the good part. Those spiritual gifts are never lost, nor can they be. Ignored yes, but not ended, not in this life. Proof? Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. God never changes His mind about the gifts given to His children. They are theirs. Use them as they will, He never takes them back. If He did, this simple verse would be untrue.
Whatever the spiritual gift that our Heavenly Father has given you; use it, enjoy it, benefit from it, and give Him the glory for it. If you do not know what your spiritual gift is, ask your pastor, chances are pretty good he can help you figure that out. After all, your gifts give you an edge, a Bible edge.
William T. Howe, Ph.D.