God's Glory: The One God
Lord, thank You that You love not because of what I accomplish, but because I am Yours.
1 CORINTHIANS 12:1-11
Who decides how the gifts are dispersed?
Paul has already addressed the pagan worship practiced by the Corinthians in chapters 8 to 10, but now he returns to it (2). Ancient religions embraced a variety of gods for different occasions and needs--"mute idols." Christians, however, by rejecting old ways of thinking, declare a radically different formula: Jesus of Nazareth is God himself. What is more, he is the God who goes on communicating and revealing himself. This is so unlike the silent, lifeless gods portrayed in the Old Testament (see Jeremiah 10:2-5) or in the Greek and Roman world. It is also so unlike contemporary society's search for "a spirituality that works for me," picking up aspects of other faiths and philosophies.
The one true God comes to transform their understanding as well as their worship of him. He comes by the Spirit who gives different gifts. These are not gifts given randomly (11) nor are they available on a pick-and-mix basis. They do not encourage passivity, nor give grounds for pride. They are gifts for service (5). Such a contrast to pagan expectations! They come directly from the one generous God, to be shared with everyone else.
The Spirit has given gifts to each person in a community of believers. What's your role and response?
Spirit of God, thank You for the gifts You have given me. Help me move with You and use them to Your glory.