Summary: We tend to think of our spiritual gifts as unique units when they are all fruits or manifestation of the Holy Spirit within us. We have what I call "persistent" gifts but there are times when the Holy Spirit gives us other gifts for a season.
Gift of the Holy Spirit
Preached: May 24, 2018
Thursday Nite Live Service
Scripture: 1 Corinthian 12:7-11
Some people just seem to be born with talent. I had a friend growing up that had a natural pitching arm. When we’d horse around and challenge each other to see who could throw a rock or a ball the farthest, Luke would always put us to shame. I’d hardly reach the parking lot. He’d throw past the parking lot and over those houses back there … easy.
I had another friend, Spencer, who could catch a football. I mean, it seems like he had radar. He had a sixth sense about where the ball would be and it was like he had rubber arms and glue on his hands … absolutely amazing to watch him play ball.
I had a couple of friends who were tested and certified geniuses … never took a book home … never studied for a test. Maxed out tests … including the SAT and ACT and got wooed by ivy league colleges … full scholarship, free dorm room, free books … the works.
Over the years I’ve known or met many talented people. I worked with a Pulitzer-prize winning photographer and a Pulitzer-prize winning political cartoonist. I’ve known writers and artists … musicians who can hear a song once and play it or who can play just about any instrument they pick up.
As for me … well … I wasn’t born with any particular talent. I’m not stupid … but I’m not even close to being a genius. I’ve had to earn my grades the regular way … through hard work and a lot of studying. I’m not a wimp … but I’m no athlete either. I’ve run … well, jogged … shuffled … my way to the finish line of a couple of half-marathons. I love riding my bike but I’m pretty sure I won’t be invited to compete in the “Tour de France” in my lifetime.
If I have a “talent,” I guess you could say I’m a “persistent plodder.” My Dad once described me as an old “milk horse.” Rain, sleet, blistering heat, I’m gonna pull my cart, whatever it takes, and finish my route … reach my goal. He is right. I’m not the fastest or the strongest but you point me in the right direction and I’ll get there … eventually.
I’m not the greatest preacher … but I’m not the worse either. I’m not a brilliant administrator … but I’m not the worse one born either. I doubt very much that I’ll ever pastor a mega-church. But then, when it comes to God, you never know, right? Maybe I’ll be a Booker Short or a George Holston. Anyone ever hear of them? I would consider it an honor to follow in their foot steps … one of a million unknown, unsung pastors who gave their lives to serving God, to be used as an instrument of God to serve His people. I may not be one of the great pastors but when it comes to God, you’d be hard-pressed to find one who loves Him more. When it comes to loving you, His children, like the proverbial milk horse, I’ll do all that I can, with all that I have, for as long as I can to serve you, God’s people.
Maybe in the eyes of the world or history I’m a nobody. I certainly won’t be one of the handful of privileged few whose name will be immortalized … like William Shakespeare. But in the eyes of the Creator … I’m somebody! The world may not remember me but the One who made me does … and always will.
And the One who formed you, created you, who picked your eye color, your hair color, your gender, your face, your height, who knows the number of your days, how long you will live down to the second, who gave you whatever talents and abilities you have, whatever your hopes and dreams, your passions, your desires … to Him you are a somebody … and will always be.
Some of you are like my brother Scott … good at just about everything you set your mind to. Others are like me … have to earn everything through sweat and hard work. Some of you are book smart … good at math or engineering. Some of you are more artistic and abstract. Some of you are street smart or have a lot of common sense. Some of you are physically strong, agile. Others of you are persistent or mentally or emotionally or spiritually powerful. Some of you are graceful … and others, well, milk horses. Some of you are physically beautiful and others [point to my face] … well, are beautiful inside.