Spiritual Focus // SPIRITUAL GIFTS
By Isaac Hovet
When I was a junior in high school, Mr. Orton came to one of my varsity basketball games. The next day I was working the cash register at one of the local gas stations. He stopped by to fill up with gas. While waiting at the counter for his gas to be done, Mr. Orton said, “Isaac, I saw you play an amazing game last night. You did some things I had no idea you could do.”
I was beaming. Mr. Orton was a legendary basketball coach in our neck of the woods. And, I had (pleasantly) surprised him. I was also surprised. My practice and hard work was starting to pay off. I was one of the top scorers in the whole league and had just scored 27 points in a close loss to Junction City.
In our teaching series on Sundays we are learning about our Pentecostal heritage. Donia mentions how Peter, filled with the Spirit, immediately launched into a sermon that connected the dots between the Psalms of David, the Prophecy of Joel, Jesus’ death and resurrection and the filling of the Holy Spirit.
It was an epic sermon; from a nobody fisherman who had nearly missed out on sticking with Jesus. Whoa.
Now, Peter knew the scriptures. He would’ve been taught them as a boy. But, it was now the Holy Spirit helped him communicate to the crowd what was transpiring. In a flash, Peter was a teacher. The Holy Spirit GIFTED Peter to communicate and clarify what took place.
Take a moment to read Peter’s great sermon: Acts 2:14–36.
When I read through that sermon I am struck by how bold, how clear and how effective Peter was as a teacher. From what we know of Peter in the gospels, this is a bit surprising. We know that he is willing to open his mouth and stick his foot in it, but we don’t see him doing a lot of teaching. What we see is someone who sticks with Jesus, who kept learning and then the Holy Spirit filled him and equipped him way beyond what any of us would expect. He stepped out in faith! And his teaching had an immediate impact!
Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.Acts 2:41 (NLT)
God is pouring into you all of the time. As you stick with him (ABIDE), he is filling you with knowledge, experiences and know-how. You’re probably going to surprise some people in the future. You’re going to step out in a gift that God has given you and others will be blessed.
There are teachers among us. There are pastors among us. There are missionaries among us. There are people gifted with hospitality, with faith, with mercy, with healing, with prophecy and so much more.
Let’s keep soaking up the Word of God so that we are ready for whenever the Holy Spirit is ready to thrust us into a new season of effectiveness!