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Wednesday, October 12, 2011


The More Excellent Way
“But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.”                (1 Corinthians 12:31)
Preceding the verse above, Paul has been speaking of the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit such as healing of the sick and foretelling things to come in the future days of Bible prophecy. The more excellent way to use our gifts  is the way of loving all men with God’s power controlling our lives.  “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
There are many gifts that the Bible mentions that are given to Christians to be useful to our generation.  In I Corinthians 12:28 Paul mentions that included in the list of gifts given to the church is the gift of teaching, gift of preaching,  gift of helps, gift of administration, and the gift of governing.  There are also many individual gifts the Lord has given us such as artistic gifts, musical gifts, gift of good health, gift of encouragement, the gift of giving financially, the gift of praying for others, the gift of faith to believe that the Lord can do all things, the gift of convincing speech to lead others to Christ, and the gift of knowledge. I do not think there is anyone who hears or reads this message that does not have one or more of these gifts.   Paul tells us to desire the best gifts.
Let us take whatever gifts God has given to us and use them in “a more excellent way”.  After we have received the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, the Holy Spirit sets before us a challenge to use our gifts to glorify God and to help others.  The gifts God has given to us are not to make us rich, famous, or proud.  “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of His creatures.”  (James 1:16-18).
If you have the gift of good health, the Lord wants you to use it in “a more excellent way”, and not waste it on things that would destroy it.  Find a way to improve your health by exercising, eating right, and avoiding things that will rob you of that gift that many people wish they had.  “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.  (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  You already have the best health care program on Earth, called “God Care’.  “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases”  (Psalms 103:2-3).  But you are accountable for the things you do with this gift.“So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.”(Romans 14:12).
If you have received the gift of financial security, remember that God who owns Heaven and Earth has entrusted unto you part of His riches to be used for the glory of God and for others.   "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; "but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.”  (Matthew 6:19-20).  You will have no reward in Heaven for what you do not lay up while you are on the Earth.  This includes money, works of love, and devotion to your Lord and Savior.  Use your money in “a more excellent way”. "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation.” (Malachi 3:8-9)
If you have the gift of knowledge and understanding, use it for the glory of God.  Some have been given the ability to read, remember, and speak about things in a way that others can understand and learn from them.  Can you sing with a voice, or play an instrument that will draw others to think about the love of God?  Will you give unto God the things that are God’s and give Him all the goods of your heart? “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You. O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.” (Psalms 51:10-14).
Every gift that has been given unto us should be used with our best effort and in “a more excellent way”.  Evaluate your gifts today and follow this life philosophy:  “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24).  Remember, our God is a God of excellence.  “O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!” (Psalms 8:9).  “How excellent is your loving kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of your wings.”  (Psalms 36:7).
Start today.  Ask for forgiveness where you have failed and choose to do better with what God has given you.  You will find that the better you use your gifts the more they will increase and many people will be blessed by your life.

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