‘I will write about the special abilities the Holy Spirit gives to each of us…it is the one and only Holy Spirit who distributes these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.’ 1 Corinthians 12:1,11
My niece was just over this week.
She was planning a trip to Paris and I was giving her some tips and some of my travel guides.
We were talking about visiting the Louvre and how you could never see everything in it.
You really can only hit the highlights and know you will have to keep coming back to find all of its treasures.
But why are the works of Leonardo da Vinci and and Rembrandt so greatly valued today, long after the men themselves have passed on?
Most things slip away into the mists of history, remembered only by a few people – if any.
But everyone knows the Mona Lisa.
These men had special abilities that gave their work special value and secured them a place in the world of achievement.
But one of the most remarkable realities in human history is the survival and growth of the Christian church.
The church was founded by Jesus, who spent his life in an area smaller than California.
The church was then entrusted to a small group of men who had initially failed to further his cause.
But this church has spread all over the world, touching billions and transforming society wherever it is spread.
From a human viewpoint, this is remarkable.
There is no denying, there is something special about the church.
It is not necessarily that the church is made up of remarkable people.
On the contrary, Paul tells us that it is intentionally made up of few who are ‘wise in the world’s eyes, or powerful, or wealthy.’ (1 Cor. 1:26)
How can the church become so remarkable, so unique, so special when it is made up of such ordinary people?
It is because of the special abilities given to us by the Holy Spirit.
The church is special because it is made up of ordinary people who are willing to submit themselves to the use of the Holy Spirit and are granted abilities that are beyond their human capabilities.
The effectiveness of the church is directly related to the church’s grasp of the this special gifting by the Holy Spirit.
These special abilities are given to each of us.
Because of the vastness of the church worldwide means there is a vastness of abilities given.
These abilities vary as much as each member of the church varies.
Each person should be aware of their special abilities and be using them to further the church even more.
When a church full of people do this there is no stopping what the Holy Spirit can do.
Dear God, help me to understand the ability you have given to me to advance your good message of hope and grace to those around me.
Help me to encourage others around me to discover their ability in you.