January 17

1 Corinthians 12:1-6

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.” vss. 4-6

Paul had been touched by the Spirit in a big way in his encounter with the Risen Christ on the road to Damascus. From that point on his life was Spirit-driven and Spirit-led, and he desperately wants the congregation in Corinth to recognize the presence of the Spirit within their community. They had begun to experience division and faced the prospect of splintering into multiple groups. It’s a typical human behavior. We love to set ourselves up in positions of power while relegating others to inferior status. Jesus had faced the same tendencies in his disciples in Galilee. Paul tells the Corinthians that they are all Spirit-filled…that’s why they had acknowledged Jesus as Lord. No one of them was any better than any other…and all of their gifts, services, and activities had come from the same God. That truth has been so difficult for the Church to take to heart. And through the years more and more attention began to be paid to position and status. Women were marginalized, men took over, and belief became more important than fruits. But the Spirit was never stifled! The Church has survived and even today we see examples of Spirit-filled communities engaged in the compassionate work of Jesus. In them we see the Light of Christ shining bright!

Thought for the Day: What gifts has the Spirit activated in me?

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