Seeing Thru the Darkness
are scripture passage for this morning is from the letter of Paul to the Corinthians the First Corinthians chapter 12 starting with verse 1 Paul says what I want to talk about now is the various ways God Spirit gets worked into our lives. This is complex and often misunderstood, but I want you to be informed and knowledgeable. Remember how you were when you didn't know God LED from one phony God to another never knowing what you were doing. Just doing it because everyone else did it it's it's it's difference in this life. God wants to use our intelligence to seek to seek to understand as well as we can rinse them are using your head, you know perfectly. Well that the spirit of God would never prompt anyone to say Jesus feed an nor would anyone being nor would anyone be inclined to say Jesus is Master without the inside of the holy spirit gods various gifts are handed out everywhere, but they all originated in God's spirit gods various Ministries are carried out everywhere. But they all originated in God's spirit God's various expressions of Power are in action everywhere. The God himself is behind it. All each person is given something to do that shows who God is everyone gets in on it. Everyone benefits all kinds of things are handed out by the spirit and to all kinds of people the variety is wonderful or wise counsel clear understanding simple trust Healing The Sick Dracula sax Proclamation distinguishing between Spirits tongues interpretation of tongues. All these gifts are common have a common origin but are handed out one by one by the spirit of God. He decides who gets what and when the word of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God, please. Pray with me God. We are grateful to hear your words of this day and may you use the words that I speak and may you guide the thoughts and the inspiration of your Holy Spirit. May it be upon us this day in Jesus name? We pray all men there was a day that a lion tamer face face several lions in the in the middle of his ring in the in the circus on that day. And as he cracked the whip all of the Lions came to their came to their places and everybody oohed and aahed, and all of a sudden there was a park in the Lights Went Out in the hole at in the whole circus. Nobody could see anything in there was a hush that went across the crowd. People wonder what's going to happen with the lion tamer in end and the lions on on that on that day. They were terrified or the lion tamer. Wife suddenly came on a few minutes later and lion tamer that stood calmly with the lions lions around him. And they went on about about their show and doing the doing the things that they do in in a circus later on. The lion tamer was was interviewed by by reporter in in the in the lion tamer was asked. How is it that that you weren't terrified by this by the scene of being in the pitch-black facing facing these lions that can obviously as we know they can see through the dark in it and it's in it with specialized. Blind Tamar Tamar said yes, I was nervous and anxious, but I crack my Whip and I spoke to the line so they could hear my voice and I was still able to maintain maintain control did what he had trained been trained to do. He did what he did what he knew to do, even though they couldn't see even though he couldn't see them. Stayed in touch with those with those lying through his wife. Are you giving them the commands that they had become accustomed to knowing and hearing from the lion tamer? I love that story because I think that speaks to me about about the senses and the things that God has given to us in the opportunities that we have to see through the darkness in our in our world the theme through what what terrifying situations we may face or more the anxious times that that we may face. God gives us that the inspiration in the guidance by the Holy Spirit. Use the gifts that he has given to each of us see through the darkness the see-through top troubling times to see through struggles that that we may Face Paul when he was speaking to the speaking to the church in Corinth knew that they were going through difficult times that they needed extra guidance in in the 12th chapter of Corinthians as well. Look at the second half of of the letter next week. All is calling the church come together. Cuz they were divided they they were they were missing. They're missing their guidance like a like a ship needs a Rudder to guide them through the the rest sees they needed the word from Paul to unite them to bring them back together to stay on course. Keep doing the the good Kingdom building work that that they had known previously. Who called them back together and I love what he tells them that this is what the work of God is doing through. This is how you're going to do. It is what Paul tells them he tells them that they each have been given gifts and talents and and abilities to pull off. What God wants them to do they had a god-sized goal and focus. Be the body of Christ in in those in those early day and in chaotic Days Inn in anxious days.
How was letting them know they trusted in God? They stayed in touch with the Holy Spirit. They they could use the gifts and realize the gifts that they had been given to make it through. But they had the first search out and discern by the Holy Spirit to pray about it and say hey what yes has God given to me. What gift gift can I do to To the body what gift have I been given tonight to not hoard for myself?
Use wisely took to build up the body of Christ. I think that's something that we forget as a church is part of our purpose. It's a build each other up by using the gifts and talents and abilities that that that God has given to us to make us to make us all of us by the opportunity to share. Sherrod and not keep that gift for for ourselves. We live in a world that we that that is so divided and fractured and it's all about ourselves. And what what can I do? What can I get for my family? But we are as the church as as followers of Jesus. A people that that reaches read God's word know that there's a better way. Different way that we should act rather than being divided from one another you need to look for that opportunity. Even when the lights go out, even when we can't hear we can't see the way God forgiving each of us. The ability and opportunity to reach out reach across the aisle to to reach out to others and use the gifts that God has first given to us via be a blessing come together in in in faith be the people that God wants us to be to build each other up or his Gore. Build eachother up for his purpose build each other up for for the kingdom cuz we we walk by a higher purpose. Why buy a higher authority with a different Mission and what than anything else that we may see or hear on TV or or on the Internet tour or on the radio? Where God is calling us through his scripture through the inspiration of the of the spirit leave the body of Christ use our hands and our feets in our mouths in our in our eyes to bring Glory rather than than the vision. That's how we come together in faith as the as the Holy Spirit as the Holy Spirit motivates us as the holy spirit gives us strength.
Staying in touch with with with God Spirit moving in our lives. The recent author has pet summarize John Wesley who was the founder of the Methodist movement and the Methodist Church at what are the three simple rules that we should follow as as as a church. The first is to do no harm. don't tear each other down you make sure that the words and the things that you say and in the actions that you take them tear each other apart and the second is Speak out all the ways and not all the time to do what God wants us to do for good not for fun. And then the third is to stay in love with God. Keep that relationship with God alive and active come to worship to read the scripture to pray with one another to to receive the sacrament of holy communion. See that Grace cuz those are the means by which we receive God's grace in our lives when we do that. We're built up or give him.
Strength to contribute without list of gifts that all lifts out and I love that Paul first mentions that all kinds of all kinds of things are handed out by the spirit to all kinds of people. There's a huge Variety in in Paul's letters from the Corinthians letter to the to the Galatians letter list of things that we are given from the fruits of the spirit is love joy peace, patience kindness gentleness gentleness faithfulness self-control. God has given each of us those things to complement each other not to say. Well I have that gift of generosity or I can pray better than than you. It's not a competition. It's something that we have the opportunity to contribute. Say I'm bringing glory to God through what I can share. I'm bringing glory to God through the peace that I'm able to bring bringing glory to God through the wise counsel or the or the simple Truss.
The God would want us to share not keep or our cell.
There's an old story that I love of a vision of what hell is like man was guided in his dream by by God to go down a hallway and on the on the first set of door at the first door, they opened up the door and and these people look miserable. They were all gathered around a big a big pot of of wonderful smelling stew and they were all sitting there with these long spoon. Did they look at horribly? Didn't know what they were supposed to do and they they were all sitting there starving cuz they try to dip their spoons into the stew and they couldn't reach their own mouth. And it would fall off their spoon to no avail and they were sitting there and God said this is what hell looks like. It went on to the next door and all the as I opened up the door. There was laughter there was joy, and the people were up and they were enjoying life. Make it figured out the secret. Feeding one another with the spoon they had reached their spoon into the bowl and they had reached an out and fed another one across the room and they were all well and fed and and happy God said this is what the vision of Heaven is why they didn't just keep spoon in the food for themselves, but they were a blessing. To the person across the room to them. They used the gift that they had been given. And they were inspired to give in to share. Each of us has been given our own long spoon. We keep it for ourselves. We keep the Light of Christ to our cells. Are we really share your blessing above to another? Can we help another person see through the darkness? Preacher that I heard speak one-time said that Christianity and sharing. Our faith is like is like a blind beggar searching for food and and and we help another person when we have found it. Who else somebody else see through? Define the bread that they had been looking for two to make that connection to say hey think I figured out where it's at over over here. This is how we share our faith.
the other if that's what God first did for us through his son at through his son coming to this earth. living on this Earth in teaching and healing Ultimately was on trial and was crucified and on the third day. He rose from the dead show that God has overcome. That I'm saying in our in our life. This is how we are a blessing this how we give ourselves because we were first given to You were first given that help in that hope that we so badly needed. Let us pray. Thank you. God for loving us so much and providing for a they use the gifts. Give us the gift. Give us the ability to see. That we have the opportunity to share that we have the opportunity to be a blessing to others by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit. Help us Lord. Speak out way. Use our eyes and use our hands and use our feet to walk and talk and be guided by by you or you first sent your son to us guide us board to see through the darkness in Jesus name we pray.