Scripture reading for July 24th: Psalm 41-43, 1st Corinthians 14
Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 14:26-28, 33 “What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and God.” . . .”For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.”
Paul wrote to the church to instruct them in the use of spiritual gifts. They were to earnestly desire spiritual gifts, especially prophesy. As the church comes together, each person can use the gift or gifts they have received in an orderly manner. The gifts of tongues and prophesy were limited to two or three. Tongues plus interpretation is like prophesy. A tongue must be interpreted or not given. God is a God of peace, not confusion. The Spirit moving in the Church is like a living stream flowing within its banks, bringing cleansing, blessing and refreshing.
Psalm 41:13 “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.”
Psalm 42:1-2 “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before the Lord?”
Prayer: Oh Lord, I bless You today for Your peace and order in Your world and in Your Church. May the living stream of the Holy Spirit flow with grace in my life and Your Church. Amen!
Scripture reading for May 23rd: 1st Chronicles 24-27, Acts 14
Key Scriptures: Acts 14:1-3 “Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So they remained for a long time speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of His grace granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.”
As Paul and his missionary team went from city to city, they went to Jews first at the local synagogue. The Gospel message of Jesus Christ brought great controversy and division. They were prepared for this and continued to speak boldly and allow the Lord to work with them confirming their message with signs and wonders. God’s army moves under His direction.
1st Chronicles 24:19 “These had as their appointed duty in their service to come into the house of the Lord according to the procedure established for them by Aaron their father, as the Lord God of Israel had commanded him.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for order and direction of Your people enabling them to follow Your example of boldness in the face of opposition. Grant me courage to speak today. Amen.
Scripture reading for February 7th: Numbers 2-5
Key Scriptures: Numbers 2:1-2, 34 “The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: “The Israelites are to camp around the Tent of Meeting some distance from it, each man under his standard with the banners of his family.” “So the Israelites did everything the Lord commanded Moses; that is the way they encamped under their standards, and that is the way they set out, each with his clan and family.””
God is a God of order. He had specific instruction for His leaders to set each person in a proper job and place. Each was assigned a location in relation to the Tent of Meeting, the place where God’s Presence lived in their midst. Each was to be with their family or clan and move in a particular order when God moved out ahead of them.
Thankful for order: God’s order brings peace and unity to His people. “For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. The spirits of the prophets are subject to the control of prophets. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” (1st Corinthians 14:31-33)
Scripture reading for July 25th: 1st Corinthians 14
Key scriptures for over-comers: 1st Corinthians 14:26-29, 33 “What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. If anyone speaks in a tongue, two–or at the most three–should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God. Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said”. . . . “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.”
God made provision to strengthen His Church that He is building. He places each person in the Church as it pleases Him and then gives gifts to each member to be used to strengthen it. There are those that teach, prophesy, and are used in messages in tongues with interpretation. Respect for each other and taking time to allow each one to use the gifts they have make for an orderly and peaceful service that honors and invites the God of Peace to be enthroned on the praises of His people.
Observations for over-comers: The gathering of God’s people brings strength, encouragement, and a community of unity and peace when the Holy Spirit is in charge! “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like the precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows His blessing, even life forevermore.” (Psalm 133:1-3)
Scripture reading for August 22nd: 1st Corinthians 14:18-40
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are for building up the church. There are some rules for their proper use and it is better when all in the church are on the same page. In the church at Corinth, there was confusion that Paul sought to straighten out.
Paul had a great concern that people in the church have understanding. Paul himself spoke in tongues more than the rest of the church and he was not advocating that they would be silenced. But when all were speaking in tongues, there was confusion among the unlearned. He wanted the church to grow up in their understanding.
The purpose of tongues was to be a sign to unbelievers that God was in the church. Tongues for public use are inspired by the Holy Spirit to touch the hearts of those who are not saved and get their attention. But if everyone spoke in tongues then no one could understand what was being said. But prophesy was the speaking of God’s word in a known tongue under the influence of the Holy Spirit. This gift brought conviction on the sinner and drew him to Christ. (1st Corinthians 14:22-25)
“What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the Church. If anyone speaks in a tongue, two–or at the most three–should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in church and speak to himself and God.” (1st Corinthians 14:25-28) Paul encouraged the church to use their gifts in an orderly fashion. Tongues should be limited to two or three speakers and they must be interpreted! If there is no one to interpret, the speaker should withhold their public gift of tongues. He may still speak in tongues quietly for his own edification and to God.
Prophets had the same limit of two or three speaking. Others should weigh or evaluate what was said. Each should speak in turn to maintain order and show love and respect to each other and the body. (1st Corinthians 14:29-33) God was a God of peace and order. These instructions were given to help the church grow!