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Devotion: Wednesday, June 8, 2012
1 Corinthians 12:1-11 (NRSV)
1Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. 3Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says "Let Jesus be cursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit. 4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
What is your particular gift or have you given up thinking God has given you one? Are you struggling with inner turmoil such as resentment, anger, or some other internal battle that is keeping you from not only recognizing your God-given gift(s} but from finding the energy or willingness to use them. A quick reminder of St. Augustine might be just the lesson we all need for us to reconnect with energy that is God and recapture the gift that we've ignored or was unaware that it even existed within us.
Augustine was born in 354 in Northern Africa. When he was a teenager, he took a mistress. For the next decade, Augustine immersed himself into philosophy and nearly every worldly lust.
In the summer of 386, Augustine sat weeping in the garden of a friend. He wanted desperately to begin a new life; yet, he was not willing to make a break with his past. As he sat there weeping and struggling, he heard a child in a neighboring house singing in Latin, "Take up and read! Take up and read!" Taking up the scroll that lay at his friend's side, his eyes fell on the words of Romans 13: "Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature."
He later said: "No further would I read nor had I any need; instantly, at the end of this sentence, a clear light flooded my heart and all the darkness of doubt vanished away." The Spirit of God used these verses to bring him to Christ.
As for St. Augustine the Spirit chooses what gift God wants us to use. Like Augustine, it is up to us to recognize God's gift and begin using it. It can and will make all the difference.
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