To each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
–1 Corinthians 12:7
In the Bible, there are three categories of spiritual gifts. First, each one of us has a gift, a “charisma” in Greek. Second, we use that gift in a variety of ministries. Third, there are effects. Look at 1 Corinthians 12:6: “There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.” These effects are what God does in the lives of other people when you exercise your spiritual gift. You see, spiritual gifts are not given for self-gratification; they are given for the edification of others. Verse 7 says, “To each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” When you use your gift in the ministry God has given you, God will do miraculous things in the lives of other people. Beginning in verse 8, Paul listed some of the effects that might be produced in other peoples’ lives when you exercise your gift.
“To one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit” (v. 8). My spiritual gift is prophecy, the desire to convict people of sin so they can be in a right relationship with God. Let’s say I use my gift to speak on the subject of forgiveness. The Holy Spirit may help somebody in the audience to understand from God’s point of view why forgiveness is vital. That is a word of wisdom.
“To another the word of knowledge” (v. 8). Let’s say somebody else in the audience knows they ought to forgive, but they do not know how to do it. So God gives them that knowledge.
“To another faith” (v. 9). Another person knows how to forgive, but they never believed they could let go of that wrong that had been committed against them. So they receive faith that God really can give them the power to forgive.
“To another gifts of healing” (v. 9). Somebody else who has been so torn up by bitterness hears the message and decides to forgive. What happens? They experience not only spiritual but also physical healing from the results of their bitterness.
“To another the effecting of miracles” (v. 10). Perhaps after hearing the message on forgiveness, somebody prays, “God, there is a person I need to forgive, but I do not know how to contact them. Please put them in my path.” Now, you do not have to see somebody to forgive them. But this person asks for a sign, and the next day they receive a call from the person they need to forgive. God does not always work miracles, but sometimes He does. The point is this: when you use the gift God has given you in the ministry He opens up for you, God can produce all kinds of supernatural effects in the lives of other people.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “You and Your Spiritual Gift” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.