Monday, July 17, 2017

Daily Devotional July 11 - Who Are you Listening To?

"For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and everyone members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophesy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness."  Romans 12:4-8

This is a little different list of gifts than that of 1 Corinthians 12, but some are listed the same. The main point of this conversation is to reveal a truth about gifts from God. They didn't stop when Jesus ascended into heaven. This verse was written by Paul about 25-30 years after Jesus ascended into heaven. There is a particular mention of the gift of prophesy. There are entire denominations that deny the gift of prophesy as being in operation today. That is simply not true. The gift of prophecy is alive and well. Some of the prophets that prophesy are false and some just trying to operate in a gift they do not possess, but some prophesy is inspired by God. It is vogue in certain circles to be prophet so and so or apostle so and so. Many such prophets do not speak for God and we both know that, but my contention is that some do.

I am reluctant to deny a truth simply because people misuse it. There have been things done in the name of Christianity that can't even be spoken of, but there have been much more done to better mankind and to glorify God. Do we deny our faith simply because there are charlatans? Do we stop using currency because there are a few counterfeits going around? Of course not and the Word of God speaks sure about the gifts from God and these gifts should be understood and used to glorify God.

It's simple. Do what you do with integrity and honor and do it to the best of your ability. Do what you know and stay within the natural parameters of the skill set, characteristics, propensities and knowledge base that you have. Don't try to be something you are not. Reach high, but don't make stuff up to look good. It is vain and cannot be used by God to benefit others or to elevate you. God operates in truth, only. If you really want to be something that you are not, pray about it, study, get the proper training, reach out to others who have succeeded at what you dream of and move forward in truth to attain to a higher place.

Now touching on the "one body, and all members." If you are a Baptist, you are a member with the Methodist and with the Presbyterians and the Charismatics and the Full Gospel, as well as the Catholics and Pentecostals. No you are not a member of the cults or world religions that deny Christ, but Christianity is made of of many denominations, but only one body, i. e., the body of Christ. If you don't like this idea, you probably won't like heaven either, because all those who are in or will be in heaven are decided upon by God, not your denomination. As a matter of fact, your denomination won't even be mentioned. The body of Christ is made up of individuals from many denominations and non-denominations that love and honor and believe in Jesus.

It would do you well for you to reach out to others who love Jesus even if they don't love Jesus in the same style as you do. I'm not talking about trying to bridge some impossible gap, but much of the contention we have between believers is totally uncalled for, unscriptural, foolish, ungodly, irresponsible, damaging, ridiculous, unwarranted, not honored by God. Why, most of the things that one denomination says about another aren't even true. Most of it is based opinions of those who don't even know what the other group believes. They take loving believers and box them into tight, little boxes and set them out on the curb to be picked up as trash. There is nothing further from the truth. Jesus said, "every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation;" Maybe we should be listening to Jesus instead of those who are touting division.

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