Read the “1202 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” (1Corinthians 12:4-11)
“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (1Corinthians 13:13)
Good morning. Only 23 more days till Christmas! But did you know that when you received Jesus as your Saviour, God gave you a Gift? Not only the Gift of eternal life, but also the Gift of the Holy Spirit. And God the Holy Spirit has gifts for you also. He gives them to every man severally as He will (you could have more than one.) Notice though, in the list of gifts shown in the above passage, that tongues and the interpretation of tongues are the last two on the list. Paul wrote…
“Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.” (1Corinthians 14:1-5)
The reason I write this is that a few weeks ago I was in a music store, and the owner was telling another customer how he was at a church and this lady grabbed his hand. She then started speaking in a strange language. He proceeded to tell how it scarred the [SNOT] out of him. Is that the kind of affect that you want to have on a visitor to your church? While at college, I had heard a story that came out of First Baptist of Hammond, Indiana. There was a Chinese woman visiting the church, and she did not understand English. During the invitation, a man who was concerned for her eternal destiny, went through the auditorium enlisting help from someone who spoke Chinese. When he himself could not find anyone, he went back to the woman and gave her the Gospel. An interpreter was finally found who revealed that the woman had just heard the Gospel in her own language, and was saved.
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.” (Acts 2:1-11)
These men heard the Gospel in their own language. The visitor from the music store did not. What good is it? That’s why Paul tells us to covet the gifts that edify…
“Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” (1Corinthians 14:1-12)
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