READ: 1 Corinthians 14:1-25
THINK: Many Christians base their church attendance and participation on what they get out of the worship and ministry time. But spiritual maturity requires a shift in focus from, “What do I get from this–what’s in it for me?” to a more selfless perspective that says, “How can I serve and help ensure that others benefit and receive what they need from God?”. That should be your aim any time you attend church and any time you have the opportunity to humbly use your God-given abilities to honor Him and serve others.
RESPOND: Why should we desire the spiritual gifts described in chapters 12-14? (See 14:1 note.) In what way were the Corinthians overemphasizing and misusing the gift of tongues? (See 14:2 first note.) What does it mean that “anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God”? (See 14:2 second note.) How would you describe the gift of prophecy, it’s function and it’s purpose in the church? (See 14:3 note.) How do tongues and prophecy work together to strengthen and encourage the church? How does speaking in tongues strengthen an individual spiritually? (See 14:4 and 14:5 notes.) Why does speaking in tongues, by itself, do no good to the church as a whole? (See 14:6 note.) What makes this gift useful to the church and how? (See 14:8 note.) What does it mean to “pray with my spirit,” and how is it beneficial? (See 14:15 note.) Why is it important that the gifts and ministries we exercise in church build and benefit others as well as ourselves? In what ways could you benefit from the gift of tongues in your personal spiritual life? (See 14:18 note.) How should the use of spiritual gifts in public worship differ from their use in private times with God? How is speaking in tongues a sign for unbelievers? (See 14:22 note.) What is one of the surest signs that the Holy Spirit is at work in a church or gathering of Christians? (See 14:24 note.)
PRAY: Ask God to have His way in your church services and to use your leaders and others as He chooses to deliver messages of challenge and encouragement to all. Pray that the Holy Spirit’s work will be evident in the services, convincing people of their sin so they’ll recognize the need and opportunity to get right with God.
ACT: Read or review the article on Speaking in Tongues, p. 1514. If you’ve received this gift through the baptism in the Holy Spirit, exercise it effectively in your personal prayer and worship time with God. If you have not received the baptism in the Spirit, ask God for this powerful gift. (See article on Baptism in the Holy Spirit, p. 1508.)