God’s free expression of His loving kindness is shown us when the Holy Spirit imparts unique gifts to each one of us…not for our benefit, but to edify others. These spiritual gifts follow closely along the lines of our character and personality…the distinctive things that make us who we are. The Holy Spirit gives varies gifts to different people according to His divine plan and purpose in their lives. We all have different gift combinations, but they all are given us that we may serve others.
What goes around, comes around…or better yet, you look for trouble, and it’ll find you. Or elsewhere, in Psalm 7:16 to paraphrase, “The trouble you cause will return back to you…the violence you create will come down on your head.” But if we seek what is good and morally right, we will receive favor…favor before God…and favor before men. And as we seek good, not only are we changed, but what we seek changes…for we are aligning ourselves with the Holy Spirit and seeking God’s Will, not our own.
God called us for His own reasons by the wooing of the Holy Spirit, through the Gospel. The plan and purpose for your life was ingeniously created before the beginning of time. You might think God’s plan and purpose for you is only some lofty ideal…more concept than practicality. But God uses everything for our good. He uses the consequences that happen when we sin to disciple and shape us into a better person. He uses the drudgery of dull mundane tasks, the interactions with strangers, and the simple acts of kindness we do to conform us closer to His image. There is not one thing you’ll do today that hasn’t already passed through God’s hands first and will be used for your good.
God’s plan was to save the nations through the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. In this Scripture, Isaiah foretells of this plan and purpose…or what we call the New Covenant. Jesus explained this plan and purpose to Paul on that fateful road to Damascus in Acts 26:18 when He said, “I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.” And God has faithfully maintaining that covenant with all mankind…offering salvation and life… and the chance to break free of the chains of bondage that hold us prisoner.
Peter and the other Believers with him couldn’t dispute what they witnessed in the house of Cornelius. The Holy Spirit was super-naturally poured out on the Gentiles while Peter was still mid-sentence, telling them about Jesus. Now Peter could have questioned this…”But Lord, these people are very different from us! We don’t have anything in common with them. They’re a different race and culture from us! Are You sure You know what You’re doing?” Sometimes, as fellow-Believers, we can find ourselves asking the same questions of those we find different from us. Yes, we may not share a lot…but we do have a common denominator…faith in Jesus Christ. Together we are one Body…one Church…united in our trust of our Savior…joined together eternally by our faith.
Everyday we have to make the decision to either accept the world’s view or to trust God with His vision. We can either be driven by fear, gloom and doom in a world of pessimism and distrust, or we can stand on God’s Word with hope and confidence, knowing He’s still in control. It all boils down to asking yourself one question, “Whose report do you believe today?” Is your faith and trust in the world or the Creator of it?
Jesus spoke of this glory in John 17:22, when He said, “I have given them the glory that You gave Me that they may be one as we are one.” When we become Christians, we undergo a spiritual transformation…a invisible process, a metamorphosis if you will, where our very character is changed. And by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit we become a mirror, reflecting Jesus to others. But you’ll also notice that this Scripture says we are “being” transformed with “ever-increasing” glory…which means His work in us will never be completely done until that day we meet Him face to face.