Daily Devotional January 25th
“Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. 29 He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. 30 Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. 31 But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31)
I’ve noticed an increasing amount of self-care advice popping up these days. The advice ranges from food choices, exercise routines, ‘me’ time and distancing oneself from toxicity. The unending search for advice regarding self-care is one of our ways of trying to deal with sustained stress and anxiety, but too often the advice doesn’t go far enough. Much of what is suggested can be helpful, though sometimes contradictory, which is why it is important to use wise judgement when applying any of the ‘secrets’ discovered by influencers. We look for quick fix solutions to help us feel better physically and emotionally.
Today, I too want to share a secret with you…one that I promise will revolutionize your life! The secret I am about to share with you has improved my overall well-being like nothing else can. Since discovering this secret, I can honestly say I have experienced less anxiety and I have found my confidence boosted. Better still, I have discovered the secret to happiness and not just the kind that quickly evaporates under pressure, but a real joy and contentment for each day. My family and friends have noted the change in me. Even strangers comment.
My secret? Vitamin G-od! I can promise you with complete confidence that if you spend the same kind of time and energy with G-od to promote your spiritual well-being, as you do on other aspects of your self-care, you will be amazed at the results. Unlike other self-help advice, this is not a quick fix and won’t take away all your problems, but you will be able to experience a renewed purpose for living; you will know and experience real love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness and self-control. And the best part is that vitamin G-od is available to everyone. Your supply will never be cut off. But I must warn you that to experience full benefits you will need to be committed. I encourage you to get your daily dose today…and everyday!
~ Pastor Jane
HOPE CHAPEL Sunday Service Notes
Teaching Series: “Be Different” based on 1 Corinthians
Today’s Topic: “Week 9: Gifts of the Spirit” (Chapters 12+14)
For further study:
“The Gifts of the Holy Spirit” (EMCC - Adopted by the Board of Directors, November 26, 2016) -
Commentary: “New International Biblical Commentary: 1 Corinthians” (Marion L. Soards, 2004)
“The Holy Spirit” (The Bible Projects) -
“Water of Life” (The Bible Project) -
“God” (The Bible Project) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAvYmE2YYIU
[It is my belief that some of the terminology used to describe the Holy Spirit as ‘energy’ needs further explanation to assure the ‘personhood’ of the third member of the Trinity; but I believe there is still considerable value in these videos from “The Bible Project.” Remember that in all resources posted, you are encouraged to engage with an open but discerning mind; always ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in all truth whenever you study God’s Word and extra biblical resources.]
Today, we have a new topic to consider–the Gifts of the Spirit–but Paul’s continued concern for the unity of the believers remains the central focus. You may remember that during our first week of this series, “Be Different,” I explained that the motivation for Paul’s letter was to answer questions he had received in a letter from the church and out of concern about a report he had received from Chloe’s household; in the very short time he had been in Ephesus, the Corinthian church had become a fractured group, busily debating their status and jostling for position as individuals. They had become obsessed with claiming a superiority over each other based on the teachers they ‘followed,’ and how they exercised their newfound ‘freedoms’...in Christ, of course. Paul’s primary concern is that their attitudes and behaviours should be building up the Church and should promote the well-being of the whole body, not causing divisions. Today’s topic is no different and should be viewed through that lens.
If you were here last week, you will remember that we examined chapter 13, Paul’s instruction that agape love was to serve as the motivation for followers of Christ; “Paul makes it clear that love begins when someone else’s need supersedes one’s own” (Gordon Fee). We can accomplish nothing of importance without first considering how our actions, thoughts and words impact another. Rather than causing divisions, agape was to be the ‘glue’ that held them together.
Last week’s chapter, at first glance, appears to work as a stand alone lesson and feels like a bit of an intrusion on Paul’s instruction concerning spiritual gifts in chapters 12 and 14. Let me assure you...it is not. Paul is attempting to make his point crystal clear. The use of spiritual gifts is for the edification of the whole body, not individuals; they do not denote nor are they given based upon one’s merit. Without agape love guiding their use, the gifts of the Spirit cannot truly serve their intended purpose–the edification and building up of the church.
Chapter 12:1-11 - The Spirit Gives Gifts
“Now, dear brothers and sisters, regarding your question about the special abilities the Spirit gives us. I don’t want you to misunderstand this. 2 You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols. 3 So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. 9 The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.”
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!