Summary: May your heart be filled with joy as you remember God’s many gifts to you.

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1 Corinthians 12:1-11

Epiphany 2 Series C

Grace, mercy and peace are yours from God our Father and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

(1 Cor 12:1-11 NIV) "Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. {2} You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. {3} Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. {4} There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. {5} There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. {6} There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. {7} Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. {8} To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, {9} to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, {10} to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. {11} All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines."

Dear friends in Christ,

Do you like the gifts you received for Christmas? Are they still in good condition? If you have any cookies left they are probably stale. Have you had to wash out any stains on that new outfit? The new toy you just had to have – are you still playing with it or is it broken and ignored?

As the month of January marches on have you lost your Christmas joy in your daily life? If you have – or even if you haven’t – the Holy Spirit has something to say to you in our lesson from the Word of God for today.

We Are God’s Gifted People

1. Give Thanks For These Gifts

A. Crown of Righteousness

Paul reminds you that your faith is your greatest gift from God. He puts it right at the top of the list. He says, “No one says, ‘Jesus is Lord’, except by the power of the Holy Spirit.” If it hadn’t been for the Holy Spirit working faith in your heart you would not know that baby whose birth we celebrated just a few short weeks ago was your Savior. But you do know! In our first lesson for this morning Isaiah compares your salvation to crown jewels. What is the greatest jewel you have ever received as a gift? A diamond engagement ring? An anniversary band with multiple diamonds in it? No matter what it is God has given you something better. He has given you a crown of righteousness. Through faith in Jesus you have the crown of righteousness. Heaven is your eternal home. For this gift we give thanks to God.

B. Rescue from death

God’s gifts to you are many and great. Have you ever been driving down an icy road and prayed for God to keep you safe? Have you prayed a silent prayer as the airplane was about to take off that it would not crash and that you would arrive safely at your destination? Have you whispered the words, “God heal me”, before the doctor put you under for surgery? God has kept you safe. He protects your life. He guards you from accidents. He heals your wounds. But all these gifts of God don’t compare with the greatest gift he has given you. He has rescued you from eternal death through faith in Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus suffered and died so you won’t die eternally. The Holy Spirit gives you faith to trust in this redeeming work of Christ. For this gift we give thanks to God.

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