The short answer, of course, is the one needed at the time. Our lesson's conclusion was the gift that edified the church and brought understanding was the most important.
All of the gifts are super important and needful and some are surprised to find out there are more than the 9 gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12. Perhaps you might think you don't have a spiritual gift at all. Let's examine all the gifts and see if you possess gifting in an area you might not realize.
Message of Wisdom
Message of Knowledge
Gifts of Healings
Working of Miracles
Discerning of Spirits
Speaking in Tongues
Interpretation of Tongues
Maybe because I can see some of these giftings in myself, but the list from Romans 12 is my favorite. Maybe you haven't thought of encouraging and being merciful and generous as gifts before but they certainly are. Think how bleak the church would be without them! Do you see the one called "service"? I seem to recall Jesus saying the greatest would be the one who served the most ...
The third list is the most famous of all lists (and the one to stir up the most controversy!). To cover these in depth in one post would be to do them an injustice. As I stated before, the most important gift is the one needed at the time. If great faith was needed in a situation, a faith beyond what I could stir up in myself, then I can rely on God and the Holy Spirit to supply that faith. I just need to be a willing vessel.
Paul says earnestly seek the best gift.and ends the passage saying he will show us a more excellent way, then immediately goes into the Love chapter (1 Corinthians 13). The truth is you can be the most gifted soul on the planet but if you don't use your gifts in love, it's all for nothing.
I'd like to repeat that last statement. If you don't use your gifts in love, it's all for nothing.
Pray to be gifted, but first choose to love. Everything will fall into place.
Have you noticed spiritual gifts in your life? Is there a particular gift you pray to receive?
I find it interesting that immediately following Pentecost Sunday, when the church received presence of the Holy Spirit, our leader of The Loft community chose Spiritual Gifts as our topic! Good choice, Leah! There should be some interesting reading available today on this topic. Go here to see all the links to some great writing.