This week's Devotional: Tools, not Toys
Tools, not Toys
In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul dealt with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. One of these manifations of the Spirit is the gift of faith.
But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. (verses 7–11)
The key word that explains the distinctive nature of these gifts is “manifestation.” The Holy Spirit Himself, dwelling in a believer, is invisible. But by these gifts operating through a believer, the presence of the Holy Spirit is made manifest to human senses.
Paul established two important practical points concerning these gifts. First, they are distributed solely at the discretion of the Holy Spirit, according to His sovereign purposes for each believer’s ministry. Human will or achievement are not the basis for receiving these spiritual gifts.
Second, they are given “to each one…for the common good” (verse 7), for a useful, practical purpose. As Bob Mumford said, “The gifts of the Spirit are tools, not toys.”
Heavenly Father, thank you for the outpouring of your Holy Spirit in my heart. The gift of your Spirit is a great blessing. I also thank you for the gifts that your Spirit wants to distribute to us as believers. Help us to receive these gifts as a blessing to bless others. Amen.
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