series: Gifts of the Spirit
title: A Great Sandwich
teacher: Jacob Bender
date: February 4
scriptures: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, 1 Corinthians 13 (whole chapter), 1 Corinthians 14:1-5, Acts 1:8, Exodus 25:31-40, Revelation 4:5, Isaiah 11:1-2, Romans 5:5
When I was about 21 years old, I was in San Francisco at the Fisherman’s Wharf, eating at In N Out Burger… the one near LAX and the one at the Fisherman’s Wharf are my two favorite ones to go to, and this particular day I was really feeling like a history maker, and I ordered an 8x8.
I don’t know why I did it.
In fact, they won’t even let you do this anymore… there were probably a number of heart attacks… but back then they let me do it. And I absolutely finished every last bite.
I had too, because my friends were filming the entire thing… I didn’t really have a choice. But afterwards I felt awful. In fact, literally for the next SEVEN years, and Dawn will tell you this because we lived in California and ate there a lot, I was so disgusted by what I had eaten, I didn’t even order cheese on my burger. My order went from regularly eating at least a double double, to just ordering one simple, one patty HAMBURGER.
I had ruined the greatest sandwich on the face of the planet, by totally abusing it.
Now… here is the point of all that.
The Gifts of the Spirit are, more than anything in the entire church, the thing that we ruin the most because we abuse them… And, BECAUSE they have been so abused, our natural tendency is to NEGLECT THEM… or another way to put it would be, TO IGNORE THEM. (see 1 Corinthians 12:1)
There is nothing that has been more divisive, especially in the last 100 years WITHIN the church, than this topic. Especially when we get to tongues and the gift of tongues… You will not find more Christians saying mean things toward (and ABOUT) other Christians over any topic more than this one.
The opposing sides have ruthlessly gone out of their way to humiliate the other, to discredit the other, and even make each other look crazy… and that to me is so incredibly sad. The church is a body, and when all of the pieces are working together in unity, it becomes an absolutely unstoppable force for bringing real change into the world.
And THAT is the reason why, even though this is a very difficult, touchy, and divisive issue, why we feel like we need to face it head on!!! Because if we can move forward with the proper understanding of this, and move forward in it IN CLARITY… we can be that force for change that goes to Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
But if we ignore it, we will just stay where we are.