Posted by: pastortomvabeach | October 28, 2015

Thought For The Week November 1, 2015

Have you ever noticed that there is a difference that occurs when the body of Christ comes together and the Holy Spirit expresses one of the spiritual gifts through someone there? What I mean is when there is a word of prophecy or tongues with interpretation or someone gets a Scripture to share and, after we take a minute to think about it, we find that it fits perfectly with the flow of the meeting, it speaks profoundly to one or more of us, and it looks almost like we scripted it for that moment.

When I read I Corinthians 14, I get the sense that God wants these sorts of things to be the norm for us when we gather as a church. Paul writes in verse 26, What then brothers? When you come together each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. He follows that statement with some common sense guidelines that help to keep order and focus what we bring to actually be encouraging and uplifting.

In the opening verses of the chapter, he says that the purpose of speaking in public services is for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation (14:3) and even directs that tongues be withheld unless someone can interpret so that the church may be built up (14:5). How often do we come together on Sunday or other times and need a little building up, encouragement, or consolation? How wonderful of our Lord that He made these gifts available to the body of Christ so that we can benefit; to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good (I Corinthians 12:7).

This past Sunday, we had an example of what this can be like. It’s not always someone speaking a word loudly so all can hear and can be as simple as God showing someone a Scripture that speaks powerfully to the moment. One of our ladies noticed some majestic birds in flight through the big window behind the stage while we were worshiping. This caused her to recall Isaiah 40:27-31, Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

What a powerful word of encouragement for someone who might have been thinking that things are just going too tough, God must have forgotten about me. “No,” the Lord said, “I’m here, I give strength to the weary, you will rise up!”

Friends, this is what we should expect when we come together. The Hebrews writer said Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as the habit of some, but encouraging one another (Hebrews 10:24-25). God gave us the Holy Spirit, not only to fill ourselves with His presence, but also to enable us to be a blessing to everyone else around us. His power enables us to witness to non-Christians (Acts 1:8) and to build up other Christians when we meet together (I Corinthians 14:26).

We should be seeking the Lord during the week, in our private times of devotion and study, and asking Him how we might be a blessing to someone we meet during the week and when we gather. Private worship, prayer, Bible reading and study, ministers to our spirits and fills us up so we can spill out into someone else’s life and point of need. Again, Paul said, When you come together each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. This doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone will say or do something publicly every time we gather. But it may mean God gives you a Scripture that will bless someone you see, a song that lifts you so that others are blessed by your countenance, or a smile that will make someone feel like they belong when they see you.

We believe that the Lord is in charge of our church and we want Him to lead and minister to us as we minister worship to Him. Have you ever thought that you might have a responsibility to the body of Christ based on I Corinthians 14:26? Now that I’ve mentioned it, maybe it’s something to think about!

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