Scripture reading for September 9th: 1st Corinthians 12
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 12:1-7 “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit; and there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God Who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
The Corinthians church was full of people who were once pagans and served dumb idols. The term ‘dumb’ means the inability to speak. But in the church of Jesus Christ, we serve a God Who is alive and speaks and gives gifts and empowers! Paul wanted none of the church to be ignorant concerning the Holy Spirit and the gifts He gives. He wanted them to grow in the grace of the gifts God had put within each member of the greater body. There is only one God, one Holy Spirit, and one Lord Jesus and when someone has been born again by the Holy Spirit, they will confess “Jesus is Lord.” They will never curse their Lord! There are also varieties of gifts of the Holy Spirit and varieties of service to the Lord, but our God is the only one to empower believers. These gifts and activities are all given for the common good, never to be boasted about or used for selfish purposes.
1st Corinthians 12:8-10 “For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for the wonderful Gift of the Holy Spirit, living in me and all who believe. Help me to grow more knowledgeable about the Holy Spirit and Your gifts that I might use the gifts you give to be a blessing to Your body, the Church. I proclaim by the Holy Spirit: “Jesus is Lord!”
1st Corinthians 12:11 “All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, Who apportions to each one individually as He wills.”
Scripture reading for July 22nd: 1st Corinthians 12, Psalm 145, Proverb 21
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 12:3-7 “Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord’ and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
Paul explained the gifts of the Holy Spirit to the church at Corinth. The Holy Spirit enables believers to say “Jesus is Lord” from their heart. The Spirit will never curse Jesus. The Spirit gives varieties of gifts as Jesus our Lord and God the Father empowers and directs Him. All manifestations of the Spirit are given to bring good and blessing to Christ’s Body, the Church.
Faith Confession: Being filled with the Holy Spirit, I declare “Jesus Christ is Lord!” and accept the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit in my life and in the church. I invite His Word to be ready in my heart and on my lips.
Proverbs 21:17-19 “Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to My knowledge, for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips. That your trust may be in the Lord, I have made them known to you today, even to you.”
Scripture reading for July 20th: Psalm 34-36, 1st Corinthians 12
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 12:4-7 “Now there are varieties of gifts but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
Paul was instructing the Corinthian believers concerning the amazing body of Christ represented by the Church of Jesus Christ. As a body has many parts, so the church has many different people with varieties of gifts, service and activities. God gives each of the members the gifts needed for the body to function and accomplish His will. All work together to bless God and one another.
Psalm 34:8, 22 “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” . . . . .“The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.”
Prayer: Thank You Lord for Your great goodness and gifts to each member of Your family. We are blessed by Your goodness and generosity. May we by faith and love use Your gifts to bless the Kingdom and others. Amen.
Scripture reading for June 28th: Job 19-22, Romans 12
Key Scriptures: Romans 12:3-6 “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another, having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith, . . “
Paul urged the Roman believers to humble thinking about Christ’s body, of which they were now a part. Each one had gifts from God to be used for the good of all. The gift of prophecy was mentioned first. This gift was to be used by faith. Holy men and women of faith had spoken over the centuries by faith as moved by the Spirit.
Job 19:25-26 “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, . . .)”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the gifts you have given those in Your body. May I use the gifts today to speak and act for Your glory. Amen.
Scripture reading for January 2nd: Matthew 2
Matthew records the visit of the Magi (wise men) from the East. They probably came from the area of the Middle East that we now know as Iran or Iraq. These men had left their country and were following a star that appeared to them and was leading them. They somehow knew that the child they were seeking was “King of the Jews”. (Matthew 2:1)
When they reached Jerusalem, they went to see King Herod and inquire about where to look. This brought about a great disturbance in King Herod and in the city of Jerusalem! Calling together the elders of the Jews, Herod asked them what they knew about the Christ’s birthplace. They quoted the prophet Micah 5:2, stating that Bethlehem would be the city of Judah where the ruler would come. Herod told this to the wise men and asked them to report back when they found this King.
The star took them about five miles away to Bethlehem. When the saw the child Jesus, joy overwhelmed them! They were so moved that they bowed down and worshiped Him. They were not ashamed to show their reverence and to honor this King of the Jews! They even opened their treasures and laid gold, frankincense and myrrh at His feet. God warned them in a dream to go home another way.
Their response is a model for all seekers of King Jesus. They were willing to leave behind their old life and follow God’s leading to where He was. They sought those who knew Scripture and listened. When they found Jesus, they opened their hearts and treasures and worshiped Him! When they found Him, they went home a new way! Where your treasure is, there your heart will be as well! (Matthew 6:21)
Scripture reading for September 25th: Ephesians 4:1-16
It was God’s amazing love that birthed the church from both Jew and Gentile. Paul prayed that the church at Ephesus might be strengthened with power through the Holy Spirit and that Christ might dwell in their hearts by faith. He prayed that this amazing love would establish them and unify them in spite of any previous differences. As he prayed, he knew and confessed that Christ was able to do more than he could even ask or think about! (Ephesians 3:20-21)
God’s plan to save Jew and Gentile through the Gospel was made known to the church. God then raised up an army of those who would equip the church for the works of service that God required to advance His plan. These gift-people included apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. The purpose of these gifts to the church was to equip the body of Christ. God wanted each member of His body to come into unity of purpose and have a full understanding of the Son of God.
When a person is first born again, that person is like an infant baby. They must be fed and cared for so that they can grow properly. Good food with a balance of proper nutrition must be given the infant. They need milk in order to grow. (1st Peter 2:2) In the church at Ephesus, as in other churches, there were some false teachers who might try to persuade these new infants to eat from junk food that they were serving. These false doctrines would toss them about and prevent them from growing up as mature believers in the faith. (Ephesians 4:14) As each appointed part of Christ’s body did their part, the church would grow up to be like their head, Christ.
The church today needs God’s gift people more than ever. There are many opportunities for infants in Christ to be tossed about by winds of doctrine and deceitful counterfeits. Church leaders must use discernment and preach the Word. Evangelists must preach the Gospel of Christ and birth infants. Apostles must plant churches and take the Gospel where it has not be preached. Prophets must expound the Word of God, keeping the church in God’s grace. Pastors and teachers must make disciples and care for Christ’s sheep by feeding and shepherding them. When all work together, Godly growth into the fullness of Christ results!