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Thursday, June 26, 2008

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2 Kings 24:8-17
Psalm 79
Matthew 7:21-29

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"Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name? Have we not exorcised demons by its power? Did we not do many miracles in Your name as well?" —Matthew 7:22

Jesus clearly states that we won't get to heaven by using our spiritual gifts, but by doing the will of our heavenly Father (Mt 7:21). Some who have prophesied, driven out demons, and worked miracles may hear the dreadful words from Jesus: "I never knew you. Out of My sight, you evildoers!" (Mt 7:23) Some people wrongly conclude from this that the gifts of the Spirit are not important. However, unless we obey God's command to set our hearts on the spiritual gifts (1 Cor 14:1), we will not be doing His will.

In addition to commanding us to seek His gifts, the Lord specifically commands us to exercise certain gifts. For instance, He commands us to use at least three spiritual gifts (i.e. healing, miracles, deliverance) in the statement: "Cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the leprous, expel demons" (Mt 10:8). Furthermore, the Lord commands us to use the gifts of hospitality (Heb 13:2), redemptive suffering (2 Tm 1:8), ministry (1 Pt 4:10), intercession (1 Tm 2:1), mercy (Mt 18:33), encouragement (Heb 10:24-25), etc. Consequently, if we are not using the gifts of the Spirit, we are disobeying several of the Lord's commandments and so are not doing the will of our heavenly Father. Therefore, to enter God's kingdom, we must both use our spiritual gifts and obey the Lord in what He commands us. Using our spiritual gifts is an essential part, but only a part, of entering God's kingdom.

Prayer:  Father, may I live "a life of obedience" (1 Pt 1:2).

Promise:  "Help us, O God our Savior, because of the glory of Your name; deliver us and pardon our sins for Your name's sake." —Ps 79:9

Praise:  Helen ventured out from her comfort zone and spoke words that the Lord placed upon her heart which were prophetic for her fellow Christians.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 4, 2008

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