Speaker: Jon Thompson
Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 7, Luke 9:23-25, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, Revelation 6:9-11, Acts 6:1-7;7:59-60;15:36-41
So welcome the second last week in our series on Spiritual gifts, Today we end with two last gifts, we tackle gift tension head on, we talk about the grace needed for us to keep going.
Celibacy: The gift of celibacy is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to remain single and enjoy it; to be unmarried and not suffer undue sexual temptation. Though many of us do not have the gift, we are all called to the discipline of chastity and fasting, either by situation of life (we are not married) or if we are married, by an agreed time of mutually seeking God! Others of us have this gift and we can celebrate and find joy in this. Now why would any of us even be willing to do this? To deny what we want, what we are, to not fulfilled as a culture defines it? And the answer is simple, we love Jesus more than our own lives, rights, wants and desires no mater how strong.
Martyrdom: The gift of martyrdom is a special ability to undergo suffering for the faith even to death while constantly displaying a joyous and victorious attitude that brings glory to God! One example is what happened in the story of Stephen. Christians went on the run for their lives but as they did the good news of Jesus spread all the way from Jerusalem, to Judea, to Samaria into the Roman world all by this man death. God takes hate and death and brings life and forgiveness and will reward those that suffer for his name.
Gift Tension & Grace: Our spiritual gifts make us respond almost instinctively (or better, with supernatural, spiritual sensitivity) to a situation that places us in a position to alert or encourage others to take action even though they may not perceive the need in the way we do. Most of us are grace-filled when it comes to the love gifts and word gifts as a rule.But when it comes to the power gifts, the grace drops real quick. For example, if someone speaks in tongues, but don’t do it correctly within the community, the response by others is too often a quick “See? It’s just fake; it’s not real”—rather than asking, “How could we do this better?’” We assume there’s room to grow and learn in the use of the love and word gifts but often don’t extend that assumption to the power gifts. Those are assumed to be delivered “fully functioning,” when in fact, just like the other gifts, people with power gifts have to grow into their gifting.