Monday, April 4, 2016

Day 95: April 4, 2016 Human Effort or Gifts

April 4, 2016  Human Effort or Gifts
Day 95

Why would the gifts of the Spirit not be in operation today? Jesus has not stopped asking us to love, has he? So,why would Jesus ask us to manufacture anything without His aid? How could we do acts of love, kindness, counsel, or rescue - without His help? We can not! We are not capable.

Why would he not equip us with the gifts of the Spirit to accomplish what He has set out for us to do? He said that we would be able to do more than He did while on the earth - but without the gifts of the Spirit? No way! Where in the gospel message does it ever make a big deal about human accomplishments? Where is there a list in the bible of seven wonders? Can you imagine the biblical rewrites if Christianity were based on human effort. Colossians would be an editor's nightmare.

Where in Jesus' ministry did He ever take full credit for the miracles? No where. Instead, He pushes us to look at them as evidence that it was the Father working through Him. This Jesus is a giver of credit if ever there was one. He pushes us to look at his acts of kindness as His way of giving glory to the Father. We see His full blown love for His Father as He is strapped to the splintered wooden cross by haters, judgers, ill reasoned men and women. They thought His message did not include enough of their well intentioned work or enough of their line of thinking.

The gifts of the Spirit confirm the gospel. We can not do anything He calls us to without His gifts. It is grace, grace, grace and more grace. The grace is Him offering us these amazing abilities without a certification or graduation process. And then freedom to use them without micromanaging.

He would have had no need to save us or give us gifts if He knew we could pull from our own resources and accomplish acts of kindness on our own merit. It just doesn't make sense. But churches all over the world operate on this faulty line of reasoning. They rely on their bulletin or bullet points lacking a bull's eye. They rely on power points devoid of power. Many in leadership fear equipping an ill trained congregation with weapons and ammunition that could cause harm. What if something goes wrong? What if they do not do it right? What if? What if? And with these tormenting "what ifs" the hunter wins again as the hunted listen to age old rationals that encourage a laying down of arms rather than taking a stand for the Savior.

Gifts for today? Yes! Thank God!