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Leading The Way - Week of September 13

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The Purpose of Being Empowered

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit laid out in 1 Corinthians 12 are not simply human talents. They may not even be what we like or what best suits our personalities. These gifts, freely given to us by God, have a divine origin and are to be used for the accomplishment of a divine goal. In 1 Corinthians 12:7, we read, “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” God empowers His children with these spiritual gifts for a purpose: that the church may be built up.

God’s purpose in giving us spiritual gifts is to edify the body of Christ. These gifts are not given to enhance our self-esteem or to be used for our own advantage, but rather that we might serve others. We are given these gifts so that we might encourage, bless, serve, love, motivate, and build one another up (see Galatians 5:13, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, and 1 Peter 1:22). God desires every Christian to be an active participant in His church by utilizing these gifts.

In 1 Corinthians 13, the apostle Paul warns us that any exercise of the spiritual gifts without love is meaningless. Without bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit, our attempt to exercise the spiritual gifts will not build up the body of Christ. But when we exercise our gifts in love, the entire body is blessed.

The only way for the church to function according to the will of God is for every believer to exercise his or her God-given gifts—in humility, love, and obedience to God. When someone in the body is hurting, another comforts him. When someone is blessed, another rejoices.

When the body is functioning according to the will of God, bearing the fruit of the Spirit and exercising the gifts of the Spirit, the church is able to accomplish its God-given mission of displaying Christ to a watching world. Therefore, there is a greater purpose to the edification of the body of Christ—the accomplishment of the Great Commission. As the Holy Spirit empowers the body of Christ with a heart of radical love and compassion, the lost are eternally welcomed into the family of God. Only through the Holy Spirit working in us can we love God rightly, love His church rightly, and love the world rightly—and so accomplish Christ’s mission.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for giving me special gifts to edify the body of Christ and to bring the light of Your love to those lost in darkness. May Your Spirit move me to love in such a way that my gifts bring You glory and lead souls to salvation in You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon series Who, Me? Gifted?: LISTEN NOW

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