Day 33: For the Common Good

I believe in the Holy Spirit.

READ

1 Corinthians 12:7–14

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

MEDITATE

Imagine a group of people brought together to a building site. Everything needed to build a house is there by way of supplies and materials. The only thing missing are the skills and the tools. No one in the group has any tools and none are trained home builders. (Additionally, no one has any money to purchase any tools.) They need someone to come along and provide the tools and the training on how to work together to build the house.

It is perhaps oversimplified, but this metaphor aptly describes how the Spirit of God works within human communities to build up the body of Christ. Everyone who receives the gift of the Holy Spirit receives gifts from the Holy Spirit. These gifts may not reflect our natural inclinations and proclivities or some particular “talent” of ours. The gifts of the Spirit are supernatural, grace-empowered abilities and skills. The body of Christ will not be built up without them.

Are you aware of the gift(s) of the Spirit that you’ve been given? Have you had any training to work with this gift?

REFLECT

There is no need for us to wait, as the one hundred and twenty had to wait [Acts 1], for the Spirit to come. For the Holy Spirit did come on the day of Pentecost, and has never left his church. Our responsibility is to humble ourselves before his sovereign authority, to determine not to quench him, but to allow him his freedom. For then our churches will again manifest those marks of the Spirit’s presence which many young people are especially looking for, namely biblical teaching, loving fellowship, living worship, and an ongoing, outgoing evangelism.

—From Authentic Christianity
John R. W. Stott

ASK

Express your questions, doubts, curiosities, and conundrums.

AFFIRM

Write any fresh affirmation stirring in your heart and mind from today.

Now affirm the Apostles’ Creed aloud:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord . . .