I want to spend the next few weeks talking in Sonny’s Sayings about the gifts of the Spirit. Before I start, I want to make a couple of disclaimers.
First, while the Bible has a few lists of the Spiritual gifts, in my opinion these lists are not intended to be all-inclusive. They are good lists, but they do not include all of the ways that the Spirit “gifts” God’s people.
Second, because they are gifts of the Spirit, and we are not always operating under the Spirit, these are gifts that are exhibited at different times by different people. They are exhibited under the power of the Spirit and according to the time of the Spirit.
So in Galatians 5, Paul spends some time talking about the “works of the flesh,” those things that over power our lives and work against the good things that God is trying to do in and through us.
Then in verse 22, Paul says, “By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.” The point that he is making is that while there are some things that work against God’s dream and plan for humankind, there are also things that help toward making that dream a reality (on earth as it is in heaven).
Over the next few weeks, I will spend some time talking about the gifts that Paul lists, and how they might be expressed when under the power of the Spirt, but until next week, a helpful thought might be, what are the things that I participate in that hinder God’s work in my life, and hinder God’s work through me to help the world?
Conversely, and more positively, it is helpful to spend some time thinking about the times that God gave you just what you needed to help others in a meaningful way. Those are the times when the gifts of the Spirit have been at work in you.
Blessings, and I hope that worship touches you in a meaningful way this morning.