I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. ...
I have struggled with this question, literally, for years — at least 30, I would say. It began with an experience that occurred when I was friends with a young man who was Charismatic and was, he, himself, very charismatic! He introduced me to the concept of speaking in tongues. He did it himself and encouraged me to do so as well. As I look back on it, I felt like he PRESSURED me to speak in tongues, making me feel like I was missing something if I didn’t. It made me feel inadequate as a Christian and I so wanted to be fulfilled by everything the Spirit had to offer, yet, somehow, I could just not muster a syllable. Then one evening, we had a small prayer group of mostly his friends that I had become acquainted with and they laid hands on me. I opened my mouth and out spilled this gobbledy-gook of words that I knew in my heart I was just making up so that I could prove to them that I had the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. I felt shame, not joy. I continued to fake it, questioning the depth of my faith and why the Spirit was not giving me this gift. Scripture Images
I remember one powerful message God gave me to teach at church titled “The Unholy Trinity”. There is no such statement like this you can find in the Bible. But God had me teach the church that the unholy trinity of “me, myself, and I” is one of the greatest things that hinders our walk with God. I was able to teach them that taking up our cross and following Jesus was the way to get rid of that “unholy trinity”. I could only have learned this by the Holly Spirit. I don’t claim to always hear from the Holy Spirit. I have heard from Him, disobeyed, and suffered the consequences.
And it will come about in that day, that every place where there used to be a thousand vines, valued at a thousand shekels of silver, will become briars and thorns. People will come there with bows and arrows because all the land will be briars and thorns. As for all the hills which used to be cultivated with the hoe, you will not go there for fear of briars and thorns; but they will become a place for pasturing oxen and for sheep to trample. Bible Verse Wall Art
Paul wants to make clear that we should not elevate one gift over another but esteem each and necessary for the completeness of the Body of Christ as Paul says in I Corinthians 12:12-23, “Now if the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
Yesterday, the question came up again for me. Even though I had sought answers and felt that I had found them, I asked God once more to show me the truth. I opened my Bible and went where God led me. 1 Corinthians 12 is Paul talking about all the spiritual gifts. He goes into great detail and spends a little extra time talking about the gift of tongues. He emphasizes that all are an important part of the Body of Christ but goes on to say that not all Spirit-filled Christians possess ALL the gifts but the Spirit apportions them as is the Will of God. Now, in 1 Corinthians 14 Paul goes into more detail about tongues. He is actually warning the Corinthians to NOT use the gift of tongues in a manner that would hinder the unbeliever. Bible Verse Wall Art
God has made us exactly the way that it pleased Him and we all must remember that God has chosen the weak and the base of the world (1 Cor 1:27) and what the world considers despised and lowly (1 Cor 1:28) is important to God and that’s all that matters, isn’t it?  He looks at the inward parts of the human heart, not the outward appearance, so don’t worry about what the body looks like, be concerned with the things that God sees because in the end, that’s all that’s important and that’s all that really matters.  What others think is nothing…what God knows is everything. Bible Verse Wall Art
I now realize many of the things that I did not know I should have been rightly privy to . One of the things he did early on in our marriage and I had lived with as a child was the idea that HIS life was his own private business. I did not poke around or intrude’ into his life . I would show interest and try to broach issues that I knew we should discuss in our marriage together but he was evasive and would not be transparent. I thought that would change but when some issue came up he got better at lying . Scripture Images
Unless otherwise indicated, all content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Contact me: openbibleinfo (at) gmail.com. Cite this page: Editor: Stephen Smith. Publication date: Aug 13, 2019. Publisher: OpenBible.info. Bible Scripture Images
One new one he shared was Acts 10:45, 46 in which Cornelius (a gentile) and his household received the Holy Spirit and burst out speaking in tongues. But why? This was a sign to Peter that the Holy Spirit was also for gentiles. He got the message. Now, we don’t need to continue getting that message, we get it, too. Jesus is for ALL. Every time someone is saved we are taught in God’s Word to recognize the fruits of the Spirit and we don’t need these miraculous signs to know that God is at work. And in my humble opinion, it is not a sound teaching of God’s to try and force people to speak in tongues to PROVE that they have received the Holy Spirit and make them feel less of a Christian if they don’t. Bible Verse Wall Art
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