How can a correct philosophy regarding the gifts of the Holy Spirit affect one’s practice of hospitality?
In order to determine this we must draw some conclusions from the four Scriptural passages which essentially deal with spiritual gifts. Pertinent information is found in I Corinthians 12; Romans 12; Ephesians 4; and I Peter 4.
First of all, the listing of the kinds of gifts in Scripture are illustrative. Many scholars feel that the gifts listed in the letters to New Testament churches are exclusive, in other words, they are closed; no others can be added. In light of the fact, however, that the lists are different, and the lists of Romans, I Corinthians, and Ephesians are written by the same teacher, Paul, I prefer to view them as illustrative, opening up the possibility that other gifts exist besides those catalogued in these passages.
For instance: Since childhood I have recognized that my writing abilities were a gift from my Heavenly Father. However, since I have matured in faith, I see the Spirit working through this ability in surprising ways, and I now regard it as a spiritual gift. There are others with musical and dramatic gifts, none of which are mentioned in the lists, but all of which can contribute in ministry to the healthy life of Christ’-s body.
Understanding that these Scriptures are illustrating kinds of gifts of the Holy Spirit, rather than giving an exclusive list, aids greatly in the use of our personal gifts. It broadens our base of discovery and enables us to begin with obvious abilities, then allow the Spirit to develop them to surprising supernatural degrees.
Karen Mains has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
An award-winning author of several other books, Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
For decades, Karen Mains and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
In addition, pastors will find special resources to help them create effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.