This verse is from a very rich chapter when Jesus installs the taking of bread and wine in His memory. The chapter opens with the multiplication of bread. Later there is manna in the wilderness, then the bread of Heaven. Finally we read of Jesus being the bread of life.
Remember that He has not asked all of us to do everything. According to this verse Grace is given as He apportioned it. That means we have Grace to do what He asks us to do. Some have grace to be pastors or preachers, some to serve tea or coffee.
So often when Jesus was ministering to a sick person or an invalid, His words of healing included Your sins are forgiven. This suggests that sin causes sickness and invalidity. Living in that place of less sin, and knowing we are forgiven can have a powerful effect on our health.
The sun reversed its path! What an amazing gift that was. Nothing has happened like that since. But God changed time, just to confirm to this king that his prayer was answered! However far ten steps was, it was certainly a noticeable distance and would considerably prolong the day.
Certainly the book of proverbs is full of good advice and encouragement, but Ecclesiastes is different. If we read it straight through, we can think that the author was having a bad day. There is much cynicism and frustration, but we can also read of a search for real meaning.
We can only give what we have received. Some of us need to change our perspective and be more Jesus-centred, accepting His gift of life, not just for ourselves, but to give away to others. We have received His gift of life, and can share that with someone else today.
Today as we remember the gift of Jesus to the earth, we think of that event which was foretold hundreds of years before it happened. In this revelation to Mary by Gabriel, we see that Gabriel gave a description of the future as well as the name of this baby.
In the verses for today, we read first just a little of what the angel said to Joseph who was angry, frustrated, hurt and upset. Can you imagine his feelings when he discovered that the woman he loved was pregnant by somebody else. Let us look closer at these verses.
The five gifts mentioned in this verse have often been described as the leadership gifts. Many churches have recognised official prophets, evangelists, intercessors etc, making those who have them officials in the church. But my reading of these verses suggests these gifts are rather abilities and not positions of authority.
Many gifts given and received today have spiritual connections which we do not realise. Some games have serious effects on the lives of those who play them, videos do the same to those who watch them. All gifts are not good, no matter how well intentioned the giver may be.