January 16, 2022: Epiphany 2

Dear Savior, may we all embrace Your gift of life, both earthly and eternal.  May we glory in the outpouring of the Spirit upon us all and never take the goodness He gives for granted.  Let nothing block our praise of You with body, soul, and spirit.  Amen


TEXT: I Cor. 12: 1-11

Dearly Beloved By Christ: 

          Everyone is suffering from the winter doldrums earlier than usual.  Let’s face it, we’ve had a lot of ups and downs.  At such times it’s easy to just go through the motions of living.  Christians aren’t immune from this, either.  I know that I’ve had moments of wanting to experience the joys of heaven sooner rather than later.  Who wouldn’t knowing their future is secure in God’s grace?

          And so, all of us get lazy over this business of living.  We neglect our bodies beyond the basics and don’t exercise.  We neglect our souls by not engaging in an active prayer life for others and  not just ourselves.  We neglect our spirit by haphazardly employing the spiritual gifts we’ve been given from baptism on.  Well, today is the day we to take ourselves in hand and jump-start our Godly gift of life!


          We learn over time that people can let us down. After all we’re mortal. However, the one exception is God.  He’s always there with His love, mercy and forgiveness.    But God gave us life for a reason.  He keeps us here for a reason.  That reason being: to savor and utilize the Spirit’s gifts poured upon us thereby giving Him untold glory and ourselves untold joyous blessings.   So, let’s  all snap out of the doldrums and get that dynamo of faith implanted at our baptism running at its optimum!

          Pagans, Paul says, or non-Christians only have the here and now.  So when things get overwhelming they get angry and curse the God they don’t think exists!  In actuality they are really cursing themselves.  Thus they give up on life.  But as Paul says: “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Ghost.”  In other words, at conversion the Spirit is implanted in us and a new exciting relationship is born with God.  Faith is engendered.  An uplifting of body, soul, and spirit occurs.  We’re given the real reason for living as God originally intended it to be.


          As a result of being linked to God’s grace in Christ, an upwelling of spiritual gifts occurs.  They all come from the Spirit Himself and are poured out in varying degrees upon all of God’s children.  Yes, you and I are rich!  Rich in embracing God’s gift of life here and now.  So use these joy-bringing gifts, my friends, and be recharged!

          “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.”   These are some of the reasons Christians never give up on life but seek to embrace it—for the Spirit’s glory.   We live, not just for ourselves, but for Him, and for the common good of His Church, His body.

          Here are those gifts: wisdom, knowledge, healing,  miraculous powers, prophecy, the ability of distinguish between truth and error, the ability of speak to others from the heart and directly impact their hearts, and the ability to explain such thoughtfulness and impact sorrowing souls.

          In other words, let’s get out of our skin and look outward instead of inward.   Let’s begin to understand the great joy God spreads around when we utilize our Spiritual gifts!  You and I are still breathing.  We’re alive.   Why?  Because God’s not done with us yet, that’s why!    Jesus died to save us basically from ourselves.  He did a complete and masterful job of that on the cross.  He further confirmed it by resurrecting Himself from the grave.  And His life of fulfillment lives on in each of you through faith.  So, He has given you this life, right now, to praise Him with by using the Spirit’s gifts to the best of your ability.  And knowing that fills us with joy that begins now and culminates in heaven.  Dear Christian, don’t wish your time of grace away—just use it!  And embrace it by honoring Him through using the many tools He has given to you!  Yes, rejoice in the Lord always, I say it again: Rejoice!   Amen


Pastor Thomas H. Fox  

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