Almost a life time ago I was at summer camp for a week and on the last day, the leaders gathered all the youth campers into a room and the leadership team presented each of us with a verse from a book in the Bible written on a card along with a carefully worded prayer as a special encouragement to us. Sadly, I lost my card in the move three weeks later from Tasmania to Melbourne, but the verse of scripture was Psalm 32:8 and the verse has remained a special one in my life as a disciple of Jesus. It was God’s word to us, individually and personally distributed just as the team had prayerfully determined. In the reading today the apostle Paul writes that the Holy Spirit has distributed spiritual gifts to each disciple of Jesus, ‘just as God determines’(vs 11) and these gifts are given to us ‘for the common good’(vs 7).
The passage identifies specific gifts that are given but the ones listed in this passage are only some of the many different gifts (or manifestations) that the Spirit provides us. One interesting thing that we note in this passage (for there are many interesting, life changing learnings we could glean from this passage) is the opening verse – “Now about gifts of the Spirit, I do not want you to be ‘uniformed’. The people in the church he wrote to were followers of Jesus and Paul had been instrumental in them coming to faith and had spent a long time with them, teaching them and encouraging them however it is very apparent that they had not fully understood the place and importance of Spiritual Gifts and the significant value they are to life and ministry in the church. Think about this point with respect to your life – are you informed or uninformed? Or have you forgotten what you once knew or maybe have stopped using the gifts that God has given you? Are you still a bit hazy or confused, or simply uniformed? Why not consider joining the next Heartbeat course and step into appropriating the gifts he has given you in a ministry to the people around you in the marketplace you live and work within.