Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Same God

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
1 Corinthians 12: 4-6(NIV)

I have always enjoyed reading the twelfth chapter of 1 Corinthians about spiritual gifts. We have all been gifted by God in different ways. It is up to us to discover these gifts and then to use them for the Glory of God. We are all unique to the Lord and He has a special purpose for each of us. As I did this design, I felt the Spirit with me, directing me to design something that captured the idea of many different parts making up the whole. The pinwheel in the middle represents our Lord. Surrounding the pinwheel are various shapes representing all of us! As it is written in 1 Corinthians 12:27, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is part of it.”

Before he shaped us in our mother’s womb, God had a plan for us. As it it written in Isaiah 64:8, “O Lord, You are our Father, we are the clay, and You our potter, and all of us are the work of Your hand.” What do you believe are your gifts? How are you using them to glorify God? Or maybe you are not using them and they are setting “on the shelf gathering dust.” Or maybe your gifts are not being used because you fear opinions of others. Give some thought to Galatians 1:10, “Am I now seeking the favor of me, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” Convicted yet?

In Luke 12, part of verse 48, Jesus says, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” That presents us with a question again. How has God gifted you and what are you doing with those gifts? As a disciple of Christ you have been entrusted to use your gifts to glorify the Father and to build His kingdom. With the blood of Jesus you have been given much and told to share the good news with others. If you were to come face-to-face with Jesus, what would you hear him say to you? “I gave you so much, and you have done so little.” Or would He say to you, “well done, my good and faithful servant!” Convicted yet?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tongues of Fire

They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2: 3-4 (NIV Bible)

Coming from the top center of this design are tongues of fire. The design itself has many different components, all totally different than each other. This represents all the people at Pentecost, from many different nations, and walks of life, with different languages. Scripture tells us how the disciples were able to be heard and understood by all, each in his/her own language! The power of the Holy Spirit!

I have to tell you that I have never spoken in tongues. This gift I have not. There are some who discredit this, and even go so far as to ridicule anyone who has this gift. Candidly, I do not understand it all that well, but I do accept it as coming from the Holy Spirit. And far be it for me to criticize someone with this gift. Praise God!

It was at this time, on the day of Pentecost that the disciples spoke and all heard and understood in their own language. For me the most exciting part is Peter’s, if you will, sermon to the crowd. (Hint: open your Bible and read Acts Chapter 2.) In Acts 2:38-39, it is written, Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off - for all whom the Lord our God will call.” He is talking about you and me! The Scriptures tell us that 3,o00 were added to their number that day. Can you imagine that? How many have we added to our numbers this week? This month? This year? Or say, in the past 3 years?

The good news is you do not have to be able to speak in tongues to tell people about Jesus and invite them to get to know Him. You just have to be willing to open your mouth and tell people about Him. You don’t have to “convert” them, just make the introduction and let Jesus do the work. How easy is that?