a.m.: 1 Corinthians 12 p.m.: Genesis 18

As Paul replied to the letter the church in Corinth had sent him, he addressed the issue of gifts and talents.

Paul starts by pointing out we each have different gifts and talents. Even though we are all baptised in one Spirit, the Spirit gives each of us different gifts. He also points out that gifts and talents are for the edification of the people of God, the common good, and not for the individual’s benefit alone.

Each gift is from God, and is to be used for his glory. Each gift is different, and has been placed by God in an individual, in a church for a purpose. Just as a body need different parts to carry out different tasks effectively, so different gifts are required to carry out different tasks. This not to say the individuals are to work apart from the church, for the body as as one unit, and so must the church.

While individuals have different gifts,  each gift is given by God for a purpose in that church. All individuals are equally important, for just as a body cannot function effectively without a big toe, so a church needs all the gifts of its members to function effectively.

As Abraham pleaded with God to spare Sodom and Gomorrah, we see how God should be addressed in prayer, and how God answers.

Abraham was intimate with God. He drew near to God, he took time out to pray.

His prayer was bold, he asked great things of God, knowing that God would remain in character and that God is almighty. He appealed to God, with reference to his attributes, his justice and mercy. Of course, this also means our prayers must be in accordance with his will.

He was persistent, not giving up. If we really desire something, is it not worth being persistent about it? Do we really want something to happen if we only pray for it twice and then forget about it?

After all this, God answers. He grants Abraham’s prayer, but not as Abraham expected. The whole reason Abraham pleaded with God was for the benefit of his nephew, Lot, but Abraham asked that Sodom and Gomorrah be spared destruction in order to secure Lot’s safety. God saw past Abraham’s words, and knew his heart. God took Lot to safety before destroying Sodom and Gomorrah. We must be prepared for God to answer our prayers in his way and not in our own small ways.

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