7/18/22 Devotional from Ed
July 18, 2022
Text: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be ignorant. You know that when you were gentiles you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Let Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts but the same Spirit, and there are varieties of services but the same Lord, and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 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 powerful deeds, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
Our older son, Hal, attended a lacrosse camp at Flora last week, and while he's grown up watching our high school neighbor play lacrosse for years, Hal had never really played the sport until last week. Lacrosse, as many of you know, is a somewhat late arrival in the Southern sports scene, so due to my lack of knowledge of the sport, I spend most of my time playing basketball or throwing the baseball with our children.
After the last day of camp, Hal told me he wanted to get his own lacrosse stick and start working hard on becoming a better player, mostly because lacrosse seems to combine two things he really enjoys - running and fast ball movement. He used a gift card at a local sports store to buy a stick and some practice balls. I was grateful he took the initiative to break away from the comfort of the familiar sports he and his friends have grown up playing.
I wish I could do the same. I find myself getting "stuck" in familiar patterns or routines and fail to notice opportunities (and people) around me. I also find myself forgetting the importance of teamwork - using collective gifts and talents to come together and making a difference.
You may be like this, too, but I've generally looked at August-September as a chance for a new start. Yes, the official new year begins on January 1, but students move into new classes and opportunities in the fall, which is a model we also use at Forest Lake.
We'll be starting some new programming for our children and expanding small group and class opportunities, so consider using some of your gifts and talents in new and different ways this year.
Do you like learning more about one of the gospels? What if you have an interest in learning more about the Bible but don't really know where to start? What if you long to feel more of a social connection to people who also want to grow in their discipleship? What if you have an interest in serving others but don't know where to jump in?
If you answered "yes" to any of those questions above, please consider joining an H3 small group this year. H3 small groups provide pathways to service, fellowship, and learning more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Groups can also meet over Zoom.
Check your Friday worship email or the e-news for the H3 registration link.
All of us have been blessed with spiritual gifts, so let's use them in a new way this fall.
Prayer: Holy God, may your Spirit fall upon each of us to give us the comfort that you are always with us, even as we try new things. Amen.