The best gifts
But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way. 1 Corinthians 12:31
What are the best gifts. Of course this is talking about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but how do we know which gifts to desire. Beyond that, is it even our place to decide which gift to use? Well, this is one of those sentences with the understood subject of you, so if we put that in the phrase, it looks like it is up to us personally. But, (you) earnestly desire the best gifts. Below are three examples in scripture of choosing the best gift:
First, Acts 3:6 & 7 Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. Peter and John saw the lame man at the gate Beautiful and knew that the best gift for that time was not silver or gold, but strength in the mans feet and ankle bones.
Again, in Acts 9:40 Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Here, Peter desired the best gift of raising Tabitha from the dead. A total and complete healing.
Lastly, in Acts 16:18 it says: And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” Paul recognized that the best gift in this situation was to cast that evil spirit out of the girl and set her free.
There is no record of the Holy Spirit telling them what to do or which gift to use. They were able to identify by themselves the gift needed for the moment because of the circumstances surrounding them. Of course, they were well prepared because they were earnestly desiring the best gifts at all times. From these passages and many others, we can discern that the best gifts are the gift that is needed at the time. Peter need healing, so he desired that gift to heal the lame man at the gate. Paul needed discerning and casting out demons so he desired that gift from the Holy Spirit.
There is one instance when someone tried to buy the gifts and that did not go so well. (see Acts 8:14 – 25) These gifts of the Spirit can only come from earnestly desiring them from the Holy Spirit. Not from any person.
Let’s talk about earnestly for a minute. The definition of earnestly is pursuing with serious intensity. I have to be honest with you and say, I don’t believe that I have ever pursued the gifts of the Holy Spirit with serious intensity, although I am learning to. Of course the apostles were taught by Jesus personally, but even Jesus said: “Whoever believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. John 14:12 So now we know that the works of the Holy Spirit are not limited to the apostles that walked with Jesus in the world. He said who ever believes in Him will do these works. He even went so far to say that those who believe in Me WILL do these works also. It almost sound like a requirement.
So here is what I am encouraging you to do today: Earnestly desire the best gifts! It is not unscriptural. It is not ungodly and it is not wrong. In fact, it’s a command. You earnestly desire the best gifts and then you will see a more excellent way. Pray to your Father in heaven and ask for the gifts of the Holy Spirit to flow in your life so that you can change the world around you and bring others to Him. Begin to earnestly desire the best gifts and believe that the Holy Spirit wants to work with you to accomplish your mission here in this world. Only then will you see a more excellent way.
Today’s scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 12:27-31