Warmth in Giving

Read 1 Corinthians 14:6-40.

The believers in Corinth were followers of Jesus. They had received the Gospel with joy and were learning to live in community as brothers and sisters in Christ. But old habits die hard, and they continued to struggle with selfishness, envy, and pride. They began to covet certain spiritual gifts in order to feel special and important. But Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 14 teach us that whenever self dominates the church, the Gospel is diminished, and our gifts will be ineffective for Christ.

The Corinthians were abusing the gifts of the Holy Spirit because they were more concerned with themselves—their personal experience and worship—than they were with building up the church. But using any gift—spiritual or natural—in a way that takes the spotlight off of Jesus and onto yourself is wrong. And the Corinthians were reaping what they had sown: They had lost all order in their worship; their meetings had become chaotic. Paul reminded them, “God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33).

The Lord gives us spiritual gifts, not to bless ourselves, but to bless others—to build up the entire church in spiritual maturity and hope. The Corinthians had lost sight of this important Truth, letting their selfishness dominate. They gave very little thought to how their fellow believers, or even visiting nonbelievers, felt. In this chaos and disorder, lost souls could not hear the Gospel that could lead them to repent and receive Christ. Instead, they could only leave these chaotic worship services assuming that the Christians in Corinth were out of their minds (see 1 Corinthians 14:23).

We will fail in our mission to share Christ with the world if we use our gifts for self-promotion. We will stifle the transformative power of Christ in us and in our churches if we do not honor one another above ourselves (see Romans 12:10). So let’s be zealous, by all means! Let’s use our spiritual gifts—but let’s give thanks for the wise and generous way God has bestowed them on each of us and use them to love His church. Then we will be effective witnesses for Christ as we worship Him, knowing that we are not missing out on a thing—for Christ is our all in all.

Prayer: Father, forgive me for seeking praise from man for the gifts You have given me. By Your Spirit, help me to give You all the glory and to be a tool for the building up of Your Kingdom. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church” (1 Corinthians 14:12).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Healthy Living in a Sick World, Part 19: LISTEN NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

Email Sign-up

Sign up for the TWR360 Newsletter

Access updates, news, Biblical teaching and inspirational messages from powerful Christian voices.

Thank you for signing up to receive updates from TWR360.

Required information missing