Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 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. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the 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 gives them to each one, just as he determines.
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
The Right Tool for the Right Job
Everyone has heard the saying; “the right tool for the right job.” This is an important truth to learn. But what if we could find the one tool that does it all?
When I moved to Alaska, wise men gave me sage advice: “Get a Leatherman multi-purpose tool.” Before I went anywhere—hiking, camping, fishing—I was told, get the real deal and not an imitation. Because outdoor activities in Alaska often take place in remote places, you need to be prepared for anything. Leatherman tool, duct tape, and mechanics’ wire were always in the backpack. With this tool and these supplies you could do amazing things.
When I read today’s devotion text I thought: “Leatherman tool! The Holy Spirit is God’s ‘multi-purpose tool'” The Spirit is the real deal that does amazing things.
In Alaska I got to know a woman who said to me; “I wish I believed what the people of this church believe, but I just don’t.” It can be frustrating and disappointing to hear someone say that. But the confession of faith, that “Jesus is Lord,” happens only by the Holy Spirit.
Equipped with the Word of God we can only do what we can. We can only share the message of Jesus who is the Lord of life and Lord over all things. Then we watch and wait as the Spirit does what only the Spirit can do: bring sinners to faith in Jesus, gather them into his church and equip them for service.
As you hear today’s words you see that the Spirit has many functions, gives many gifts, and confers many blessings. Truly the Holy Spirit is God’s “multi-purpose tool” for the building of his church.
Holy Spirit of God, as we think of those who do not have the blessing of faith in Jesus, we ask you to give that gift freely and frequently. To those who wish to serve in your kingdom, grant our gifts for the common good. For all our other needs in life and eternity, we pray that you would work in us just as you determine. Amen.