Think About It!
It’s no surprise to any of us––words are incredibly powerful, no matter who’s saying them. But words that come from God are the most powerful of all, which is why it’s so amazing that God chooses to share the power of his own words with us in the spiritual gifts of tongues and prophecy. For some of us, tongues and prophecy are mysterious, foreign…maybe even a little weird! Whether you regularly walk in the gifts of the Spirit God’s entrusted to you, or you’re just getting started understanding how the Spirit moves in our lives, this weekend’s message is for you, as we demystify some of the most powerful truths about God’s Spirit and our words.
Talk About It!
1. Tongues are for God. Prophecy is for people.
1 Corinthians 14:1-5
- The Bible says that God’s Spirit wants to give us specific gifts. What do you think that means? God has given us the gifts of the Spirit as a way to demonstrate worship to him and love for one another, and that often involves our words.
- What do the gifts look like? There are lots of gifts, but this chapter talks about two: tongues and prophecy. Speaking in tongues means worshiping God in a language that you don’t know. Prophecy is telling God’s people something that God told you.
- Have you ever seen someone use the gifts God gave them? What was it like? If you haven’t, would you want to? Sometimes, when people are worshiping God, they will worship in a language they don’t know. When this happens, God also gives another person and “interpretation.” That means that he tells another person what the language means. Prophecy is one way that God encourages his people, the Church.
2. Understanding and interpretation must be sought.
1 Corinthians 14:6-19
- Do your parents ever give you specific tools to do specific jobs? Maybe they give you a toothbrush to help you brush your teeth or a broom to help clean up. They also give you gifts, and they help you use them. They help you build them and put in the batteries so that you can use them in the way that they were meant to be used. Just like that, God gives us different gifts for different reasons and different jobs that need to happen, but these tools are also gifts. He wants to teach us how to use them.
- What do they tell you when they give you those tools? When they give you those tools they might say something like, “Be careful,” or “Here’s how to use it.” There is a right and wrong way to use those things. Good parents teach their kids how to use gifts and tools. God is a good Father, and he does the same.
- Just like any gift, there is a wrong and right way to use the gifts from God. Can you think of a right way? Can you think of a wrong way? This chapter is in the Bible, so that we know how to use the gifts that God wants to give us. When we use the gifts God gives us in the way that he wants us to use them, powerful things happen. If we use them to get attention or to make ourselves look important, we will do a lot of damage.
3. Let the signs do the work
1 Corinthians 14:20-25
- If you didn’t know Jesus, and you saw someone be healed or a prophecy come true or someone speak in another language, what would you think? The gifts of the Spirit might seem crazy to unbelievers, but they show the world God’s power. When people see believers praising God in languages they don’t know, they can’t explain it without God. Using that gift God’s way can show people who He is!
- When you think about these things, what do they make you think and how do they make you feel? The Spirit of God gives us these gifts to show us who Jesus is and how powerful he is! The Holy Spirit always comes with power and always points back to Jesus.
4. Edification is key
1 Corinthians 14:26-39
- In this letter, Paul is teaching the church how to use these gifts. What is one of his specific instructions? Paul gives us practical steps for walking in the gifts of the Spirit. The first is that we take turns because, again, it’s not about us –– it’s about God. It’s not for our glory, it’s for his.
- If God gave you a gift, what would do? If God gives you a gift, you don’t have to be afraid. You can share it with someone else who trusts in Jesus, like your parents or Crossroads Kids teachers! That’s the second step. We need to make sure that we have been given is from God. We do this by checking in his Word and asking people who know God well.
Optional Follow-up Questions:
- What makes you say that?
- What makes you say that?
- How does that make you feel?
- How would you explain this to someone who doesn’t know Jesus?
- Why do you think God did it that way?
- Why should we do the things that God tells us?