There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:4
The German theologian and pastor Helmut Thielecke once observed that when he told young people how gifted they were, they invariably acted as if he were complimenting them. But, he asked, had he not said that they were gifted? Does not that in turn remind us that a gift comes from someone else and that the giver of every gift is God? There is never any room for pride in our accomplishments.
God always comes as one who gives. When the Holy Spirit comes through God's Word and the sacraments of Baptism and the Holy Supper, He gives us faith. Then He gives us special abilities through which he will reveal His presence. The requirement made of us is that we remember that our spiritual gifts are always gifts. We either use them to the credit of the giver, or we throw them away in proud and selfish living.
Since it is God who does the giving, none of us should demand that He give the same gifts to everyone. If we are wise, we do not expect that each member in the family will have the same gifts. When people forget that the same variety of gifts exists in the church, then divisions and criticism arise. When they remember that there is but one Spirit who gives to all as He wills, then the church remains one. Above all, we must never forget that God gave the greatest gifts in Jesus, our Savior.
PRAYER: Holy Spirit, help me to see and use the gifts You have given to me and to rejoice in what You have given to others. Let us all use our gifts in service to our God; through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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