To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7, ESV)
The last two devotionals have focused on spiritual fruit and gifts. Let me conclude this mini-devotional series by discussing a fascinating truth about the relationship between spiritual fruit and gifts.
Spiritual fruit has to do with our character, and love is the crowing virtue. Spiritual gifts, however, have to do with special abilities that God gives us to serve other people. In other words spiritual fruit is about your personal life, while spiritual gifts are for others. How are these two related?
I already mentioned in this mini-series that spiritual fruit is of more value to God than spiritual gifts. However, spiritual gifts have their place. As noted in our scripture above, spiritual gifts are for the common good. They will make you serve other people and help them more effectively. You can have a wonderful personal walk with the Lord, but your life might not be very helpful in solving the crises that others are going through. This is very important for us to understand. Let me use an example.
Imagine a brother is a hospital bed sick and two other brothers who are both walking in love( spiritual fruit) respond to the brother’s sickness. The first brother visits the sick one, buys what he needs, and even helps him financially. This is wonderful. It is love, the fruit of the Spirit. The second brother comes in and also visits the sick one and does everything the first brother did, waking in love. Both walked in love, and the Lord is well pleased with it. However, the second brother does something else. He lays his hands on the sick one and through the gifts of healing ministers healing to the sick brother, and he gets healed and gets out of the hospital. You will immediately agree that healing in his body far surpasses all the compassion, affection, financial contributions you can make “in love”! The gift of the Spirit in healing, therefore, made love more effective!
I pray you to understand the analogy above. It is simple but explains to you the critical relationship between the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts fo the Spirit. The gifts of the Spirit make us more useful to people here and now. God wants you to touch people’s lives. Do not be a believer full of the fruit of the Spirit with an excellent personal walk with God but almost of no value to people around you. People have problems, and the gifts of the Spirit will empower you to be effective in helping people in the Church, your neighborhood, and the world at large.
Are you helpful to people around you?
APPLY THE WORD
Walk in love, but desire the gifts of the Spirit to meet the needs of people around you!
Ask the Lord to make you a balanced and whole believer, walking in love, and also impacting your world and changing lives!