Archive | Spiritual Gifts RSS feed for this section

The Encouragers – “How To” People

26 Sep

SPIRITUAL GIFTS (20)

The gifts we are discussing in this series are the Spiritual Gifts from Romans 12:3-8:

  • Rom 12:3-8
  • 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body , and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. NIV
There are four speaking gifts
  • •Prophecy – Proclaimers/God’s Loudspeakers
  • •Teaching – Explainers/Guardians of Truth
  • •Exhortation – Encouragers/”How to” Persons/Concerned with the way we act
  • •Pastor/Shepherd/Teacher – Guardians of the Flock

Now we are going to look at the Encourager – the gift of EXHORTATION.

Encourager – is another name for the exhorter. Encouragement to him/her  is more than “cheering you up” or assuring you everything will be “OK”, they will stand beside you and walk with you through very difficult circumstances.
All Christians should seek to be encouragers. However, there are some who are especially equipped by God with the gift of exhortation. They usually make good counselors.
Additional Traits of the motivational gift of EXHORTATION:
  • The word translated “exhortation” is a form of the word paraclete. The word literally means “one who is called alongside to help”. The exhorter has a dual role – One is the comforting role. The other is the counseling role.
  • They are good listeners
  • They show empathy and understanding
  • They never stop with “It’s OK. You’re OK”
  • They almost always encourage with a plan of action for moving forward to greater emotional and spiritual health
  • The gift exhorter knows when we need to be admonished or challenged
  • “Coach” would be a good modern word to describe the gifted exhorter
  • Good coaches have an uncanny ability to know when to get in a player’s face, when to give an understanding pat on the back when a player has messed up, when to show a player a better way to execute the plays, and when to help players develop the skills of their position
  • They often express their gift in writing as well as speaking – they may write terrific notes of letters and encouragement
  • They are big on application – they believe that Bible truth works in the lives of believers
  • They delight in showing individuals how to change, whereas the person with the gift of prophecy wants them to decide to change
  • They feel comfortable in small groups or one on one
  • They prefer dialog and discussion rather than lecturing
  • They prefer to help you “work it out for yourself” than just to tell you what to do or believe
  • They are spiritual “cheerleaders”
  • They desire to cheer on believers to walk in faith, whatever circumstances they face
  • They won’t just tell you everything is going to be OK. They will stay with you to work out a plan of action
  • They will stick with you during difficult circumstances to help you be strong and remain faithful to the Lord
  • Potential is a key word for the exhorter
    •They perceive potential in people who want to grow spiritually
    •They see potential for growth even in times of testing
    •They are more person centered than the teacher
    •They are more patient than the one with the gift of prophecy
  • They are likely to challenge persons to either get with the program or make room for somebody else!

In addition to my own material I have included quotes from the following:

  • C. Peter Wagner “Your Spiritural Gifts”
  • Gordon Lindsay “All About the Gifts of the Spirit”
  • Adult Education and Discipleship Ministries – FBC – Garland “Gifts are for Giving”
  • Biblesoft Libraries
  • Sandy Trice
  • David Francis

Are You An Explainer?

2 Sep

SPIRITUAL GIFTS (19)

The gifts we are discussing in this series are the Spiritual Gifts from Romans 12:3-8:

  • Rom 12:3-8
  • 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body , and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. NIV
There are four speaking gifts
  • •Prophecy – Proclaimers/God’s Loudspeakers
  • •Teaching – Explainers/Guardians of Truth
  • •Exhortation – Encouragers/”How to” Persons/Concerned with the way we act
  • •Pastor/Shepherd/Teacher – Guardians of the Flock
        We are focusing today on the gift of TEACHER, with Luke as our Biblical example. Let me say first that all teachers do not have the motivational gift of teaching. And all people with the gift of TEACHING do not teach. We are discussing teaching as it relates to the spiritual gifts given by the Holy Spirit as a part of unifying His body.
  • Luke’s purpose in writing was “That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.” –Luke 1:4  Teachers have a need to validate truth – to clarify statements which have been made by others. Often they give teaching credentials before speaking and request them from others before listening to them.  Luke emphasized that he was an eyewitness, a qualified minister, and “had perfect understanding of all things from the very first.” –Luke 1:1-3
Other traits of the motivational gift of a TEACHER:

They generally present truth in a systematic sequence.

  • Luke emphasized his chronological approach . . . “to set forth in order . . . From the beginning… to write unto thee in order” –Luke 1:1-3

They delight in researching and reporting as many facts on a subject as possible.

  • Luke’s Gospel is the longest Gospel. It includes material left out of the other Gospels. He emphasizes the completeness of his work. –Acts 1:1

They emphasize the importance and accuracy of reporting.

  • Luke gives precise descriptions of events, conversations, circumstances, and physical conditions, such as noting a “great fever” not just a fever. –Luke 4:38

They are alert to factual details which escape others.

  •  Luke’s account is filled with more details of names, offices, cities, dates, events, and side points than the other Gospels.

They have a tendency to validate new truth by established systems of truth.

  • Luke not only relates Christ’s words to Old Testament prophecies, but relates his writings to other Gospel accounts. –Luke 1:1-3)

They usually remain silent until information has been heard, observed and discussed. They are not impulsive.

  • Luke is conspicuous in the Gospel by his silence; none of his statements are recorded.

They exercise diligence and endurance.

  • Luke demonstrated his faithful determination by remaining with Paul in prison until the end. “Only Luke is with me” (II Timothy 4:10-11)

In addition to my own material I have included quotes from the following:

  • C. Peter Wagner “Your Spiritural Gifts”
  • Gordon Lindsay “All About the Gifts of the Spirit”
  • Adult Education and Discipleship Ministries – FBC – Garland “Gifts are for Giving”
  • Biblesoft Libraries
  • Sandy Trice
  • David Francis

The Speaking Gifts – Teacher

30 Aug

SPIRITUAL GIFTS (18)

The gifts we are discussing in this series are the Spiritual Gifts from Romans 12:3-8:

  • Rom 12:3-8
  • 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body , and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. NIV
There are four speaking gifts
  • •Prophecy – Proclaimers/God’s Loudspeakers
  • •Teaching – Explainers/Guardians of Truth
  • •Exhortation – Encouragers/”How to” Persons/Concerned with the way we act
  • •Pastor/Shepherd/Teacher – Guardians of the Flock
We have already discussed the gift of PROPHECY. We are now going to look at the gift of TEACHING. First, let’s look at some differences of the purposes of the speaking gifts:
  • •God’s people need to hear God’s Word
  • •They need teaching in the ways of God
  • •Rebuke is sometimes necessary in regard to their behavior
  • •Correction is needed  when they have wrong ideas or attitudes
  • •Training is necessary in how to relate to God and other people
  • •Everyone needs to be encouraged to continue to walk in the path of faith

Those with the gift of prophecy are proclaimers, teachers are explainers. Those with the gift of prophecy desire a change in the way you perceive and act on things. Those with the gift of teaching are more concerned with challenging the way you think.

  • Those with the gifts of prophecy and teaching don’t mind speaking to a crowd.
  • They may even get discouraged when only a few show up to hear the fruit of their intense preparation
  • A gifted teacher may have been well-educated
  • But – many gifted teachers have never earned a doctorate
A person with the gift of teaching has the desire to clarify the truth. They desire to search out and study in detail in order to validate the truth. They will dig out facts and an accumulation of knowledge because faith is built on facts. The person with the gift of teaching will carefully investigate the Word of God usually beginning with words. They are systematic and very good at making outlines and taking notes. They have a God-given interest in getting details.
They desire to get something into your head. When you’ve been under the instruction of a gifted teacher, you will find yourself saying things like
  • –“Oh, now I get it”
  • –“Wow, I never saw it like that before”
  • –“Yeah, that’s right”
  • –“Of course, that’s so obvious now”
Like no other spiritual gift, they depend on gifted teachers who have gone before them. According to 2 Timothy 2:2 it is the responsibility of teachers to reproduce themselves. That’s why gifted teachers are careful about sharing new insight without checking to see if other teachers have reached similar conclusions.
All Christians have the responsibility to teach, especially in their own homes. But, God has given some a special giftedness and a special responsibility to be called “teacher”. They can make profound things simple and vague things clear. Other traits of the gift of TEACHING:
  • They strive to organize biblical facts into an orderly, memorable system
  • They like to use tables and charts
  • They generally have an organized mind (but maybe not an organized desk)
  • They demand accuracy and are really irritated when a biblical word or name is mispronounced or a verse is used out of context
  • They tend to think that if people have enough information they can make their own application
  • They like time alone to ponder, study, read and/or write
  • They like to use good visual materials when teaching – posters, overhead projectors – printed handouts, etc.
  • They usually avoid illustrations from non-Biblical sources
  • They have a greater joy in researching the truth than in presenting it
  • They tolerate, at best, being interrupted with questions.
  • They are likely to say “We’ll save time at the end of the session for questions.”
  • They typically run out of time before any questions can be asked, unless really self-disciplined (but may feel pressured to cut out important information to have questions.)

In addition to my own material I have included quotes from the following:

  • C. Peter Wagner “Your Spiritural Gifts”
  • Gordon Lindsay “All About the Gifts of the Spirit”
  • Adult Education and Discipleship Ministries – FBC – Garland “Gifts are for Giving”
  • Biblesoft Libraries
  • Sandy Trice
  • David Francis

What’s Your Motive When You Give?

29 Aug

SPIRITUAL GIFTS (17)

The gifts we are discussing in this series are the Spiritual Gifts from Romans 12:3-8:

  • Rom 12:3-8
  • 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body , and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. NIV

We are focusing  today on one of the “Support Gifts” – The gift of GIVING. We’re going to look at some other traits of the GIVER:

•They want their gift to be administered well but do not designate every nickel – (They don’t have to “be in control.”)
•They usually do not enjoy serving on the finance committee

•They want assurance that those who do serve on committees that disperse gifts are themselves obedient givers.
•They enjoy giving special gifts to honor those called to vocational ministry
•They never attach any strings to the gift and do not want to be treated differently because of the kindness done

•Gifted givers sometimes (most of the time) do not want the recipient to know the source of the gift
•They do want to ensure that their gift is used for the purpose they intend
•They get extra pleasure in letting the transaction be between them and God, and the messenger
The Gift of GIVING – Matthew Was A GIVER
•They are able to discern wise investments in order to have more money available to give away – Matthew included more counsel on the wise use of money than any other Gospel writer (Matthew 6:19-20, 25:14-30)
•They usually give quietly without public notice – Matthew is the only Gospel writer who emphasizes that a person should give secretly so that God can reward him openly.    (Matthew 6:1-4)

•They give as unto the Lord at His promptings, not a man’s appeals – Matthew notes that when we give to the needs of fellow Christians which God reveals, we give to Christ  (Matthew 25:35-46)

•They are concerned that their gifts be of high quality – Matthew records in greater detail the costly gifts given to Jesus; gold, frankincense, myrrh, precious ointment, new sepulcher (Matthew 2:11, 26:6-13; 27:57-60)

•They have an ability to test faithfulness and wisdom by how people handle funds – Matthew reveals the foolishness and rebellion of those who misused what they were given (Matthew 21:33-34, 25:14-30)

•They practice personal frugality and are content with the basic necessities of life – Matthew had wealth and wealthy friends; however, he “left all” to follow Jesus

–(Luke 5:27-32)

•They are alert to see what other people do with their money – Matthew is the only Gospel writer to explain what the religious leaders did with Judas’ thirty pieces of silver and also how they paid the soldiers to lie.

–(Matthew 27:3-8; 28:11-15)

•They see financial needs which others tend to overlook – Matthew records Christ’s condemnation of the Pharisees for not supporting their aged parents (Matthew 15:3-7). He also details the fairness of paying all the laborers the same wage.   (Matthew 20:1-16)

•They use their giving to motivate others to give – Matthew was a tax collector. His job was to motivate people to give. (Luke 5:29) His is the only Gospel to record Christ’s condemnation of the man who was forgiven by another who owed him little.

–(Matthew 18:23-35)

In addition to my own material I have included quotes from the following:

  • C. Peter Wagner “Your Spiritural Gifts”
  • Gordon Lindsay “All About the Gifts of the Spirit”
  • Adult Education and Discipleship Ministries – FBC – Garland “Gifts are for Giving”
  • Biblesoft Libraries
  • Sandy Trice
  • David Francis

Are You A Giver?

25 Aug

SPIRITUAL GIFTS (16)

The gifts we are discussing in this series are the Spiritual Gifts from Romans 12:3-8:

  • Rom 12:3-8
  • 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body , and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. NIV
  • Do you have a deep desire to see God’s work advance?
  • Do you have an eye for excellence?
  • Do you daydream about what churches, missions, and Christian organizations could accomplish if they had enough money?
  • Do you feel a burden when persons involved on the front lines of God’s kingdom work share their financial needs?
  • Has God blessed you with an ability to make money or be content with a simple lifestyle?

If your answer to any of these questions is “Yes”, then God may have given you the gift of giving

God gives us spiritual gifts to increase our joy, not to make us miserable! You can be assured that if God has given you the gift of giving, He has also given you the ability either (1) To make money or (2) to enjoy a simple lifestyle (or maybe both). THE giver (Jesus) always gives the “giver” both the gift of giving and the gift to give! The tithe is a minimum Christian responsibility
God expects 10 percent of our income to be returned to Him through our church to acknowledge that He is the owner of everything.

  • –Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse , that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
  • –I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty. (Mal. 3:10-12) NIV
•The person with the gift of giving will give more and expect less
–They go beyond the Christian responsibility of giving a tithe.
•Their motives are pure
•They are ready and willing to give of their finances to see that a project is accomplished
•This person will usually make personal sacrifices in order to give a large amount of money
•It is a God-given drive on the inside to give

•They want their gift to be of high quality and used in a worthwhile manner.
•They are more likely to give to ministries or projects than to individuals.
•They are not usually a “soft touch” but wait for projects and needs that really make a difference.
  • They are alert to needs that others overlook that really make a difference –Vacations – Clothes – Vehicles – Equipment–Medicine – Gas Money – Money for Repairs–Food – and so on
“Too good,” “too expensive”, and “good enough for the church” are not in their vocabulary. They have a heart for missions. They sometimes misinterpret the desire  to give to missions as a “call” to the mission field. If a person gives to 10 missionaries, he should be sure God is calling him before he stops supporting them so he can go himself.
  • In addition to my own material I have included quotes from the following:

    • C. Peter Wagner “Your Spiritural Gifts”
    • Gordon Lindsay “All About the Gifts of the Spirit”
    • Adult Education and Discipleship Ministries – FBC – Garland “Gifts are for Giving”
    • Biblesoft Libraries
    • Sandy Trice
    • David Francis
  • Yada, Yada, Yada

    24 Aug
    SPIRITUAL GIFTS (15)

    The gifts we are discussing in this series are the Spiritual Gifts from Romans 12:3-8:

    • Rom 12:3-8
    • 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body , and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. NIV
    PROPHECY, PROPHESY, PROPHESYING
    Propheteia ^4394^ signifies “the speaking forth of the mind and counsel of God” (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)>

      We all need to ask God to bless us with discernment. We need discernment in our lives so that we can know and recognize truth, or the absence of truth. This gift is very strong in some with the gift of PROPHECY. Otherwise, many of the other characteristics would not be as prominent in their character.>

    • The meaning of discernment according to Strongs and Brown, Driver, Briggs) is:
      • •3045  yada`
      • •To know
      • •To perceive
      • •To perceive and to see
      • •To discriminate, to distinguish
      • •To know by experience
      • •To recognize
      • •To have knowledge, to be wise

      We  have been studying about the motivational gift of Prophecy.  Listed below are a few more personality traits and characteristics  of this gift and the people God have entrusted it to.

    A person with the gift of PROPHECY:
    • Can sometimes “see” something going on in someone else’s life
    • Is able to discern and foresee the consequences of that decision
    • Is interested in correcting the decision, NOT their feelings, NOT their attitude
    • Is NOT interested in whether they are accepted or not. . .Just in getting that thing corrected in someone’s life before they really blow it!
    • Is NOT interested in the details – they want to keep you from making a mistake
    In addition:
    • They have the need to verbalize their thoughts concerning right and wrong – (Illustrations from the Life of Peter) – Peter spoke more often than any other disciple in the Gospels 
    • They speak up quickly and make quick judgments on what is seen and heard – Peter spoke first more than any other disciple
    • They have the ability to discern insincerity and hypocrisy (double standards, pretense) and react harshly to them. – Peter’s condemnation of the deception of Ananias and Sapphira resulted in their death
    • They are zealous defenders of the truth, and want to see that justice is accomplished so that others will be warned, – Peter was reluctant to forgive his offender and asked how long he had to put up with him. Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? (Mt. 18:21)
    • They are very honest and open about their own faults and invite correction from God. – Peter fell at Jesus’ knees and said “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” (Luke 5:8)
    • They have a tendency to be impulsive in their actions and to be completely involved in whatever they do. – Peter was eager to walk on water. He forbad Jesus to wash his feet, then wanted Him to wash his hands and head.
    • They have a tendency to be blunt when bringing correction. – Peter rebuked Jesus for a course of action which Peter did not think was right for Him to take. (Mark 8:31-33) – They openly give assurance loyalty and total commitment. Peter assured Jesus that he would never deny Him, and he defended Jesus by cutting off the ear of the high priest’s servant (Mt. 26:33, John 18:10)
    • They are very persuasive in declaring what is right and what is wrong. – God brought conviction to thousands as Peter pointed out,   “. . . Ye have taken (Jesus), and by wicked hands have crucified and slain (Him). . .” (Acts 2:14-47)
    • They want to be used as an instrument in what God is doing in other’s lives.
    • They have the ability to discern the character and motives of people. (II Peter 2:1-3)
    • They reject dishonesty of any kind.
    • They see and understand what is going on.

    You may recognize many of these characteristics in yourself or in someone else. Keep in mind that none of us has “arrived”. God is continually molding us and shaping us to become all He has planned for us from the beginning. Our lives don’t end here on this earth. One day we will rule and reign with Him. God uses everything that happens in our lives to shape our personalities and to prepare us for use in His great plan.

    In addition to my own material I have included quotes from the following:

    • C. Peter Wagner “Your Spiritural Gifts”
    • Gordon Lindsay “All About the Gifts of the Spirit”
    • Adult Education and Discipleship Ministries – FBC – Garland “Gifts are for Giving”
    • Biblesoft Libraries
    • Sandy Trice
    • David Francis

    Who’s Voice Are You Following?

    21 Aug
    Spiritual Gifts (14)

    The gifts we are discussing in this series are the Spiritual Gifts from Romans 12:3-8:

    • Rom 12:3-8
    • 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body , and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. NIV
    PROPHECY, PROPHESY, PROPHESYING
    Propheteia ^4394^ signifies “the speaking forth of the mind and counsel of God” (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)
    • “Though much of Old Testament prophecy was purely predictive, see <Micah 5:2>, prophecy is not necessarily, nor even primarily, fore-telling.
    • It is the declaration of that which cannot be known by natural means, <Matt. 26:68>
    • It is the forth-telling of the will of God, whether with reference to the past, the present, or the future, see <Gen. 20:7; Deut. 18:18; Rev. 10:11; 11:3>.
    • “With the completion of the canon of Scripture prophecy apparently passed away, (1 Cor. 13:8,9)
    • In his measure the teacher has taken the place of the prophet. . .
    • But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  (2 Pet 2:1) (KJV)
    • The difference is that, whereas the message of the prophet was a direct revelation of the mind of God for the occasion, the message of the teacher is gathered from the completed revelation contained in the Scriptures.”(from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)

    Continued below are more distinctions of the person whom God has bestowed the Gift of Prophecy – They are:

    • Deeply concerned about the reputation of the church
    • Quick to give advice; sometimes impatient with people and their problems
    • Speak with authority, especially about the Bible
    • Sometimes viewed as negative; have to work to be positive
    • Often accused of talking too much, but just can’t seem to help it!
    • They edify (build up), encourage (exhort), and console (comfort)
    • Their message is incomplete if it stops short of these goals
    • This gift is intended primarily for believers, though an unbeliever who hears their message may come under conviction
    The person God uses to serve with the gift of Prophecy is inspired by the Holy Spirit – if they are walking in the Spirit and not the flesh. Inspiration is a technical term for the Holy Spirit’s supernatural guidance of those who received special revelation from God  . . .the end result  . . . the truths which God wants His people to know. (from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
    • Inspiration . . . is a statement about God’s greatness. God is intelligent and able to communicate with man, whom He created in His image. (from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary)

    God does not only give inspiration to those with the gift of Prophecy. His Word tells us that His sheep know Him and they hear His voice, and the voice of another they will not follow. I didn’t say it – God said it. To me this means that God is speaking to us but we may not be listening, or we may not realize we are hearing God speak to us.

    It is important that we develop our hearing – we can do that. It’s like making a new friend and not yet recognizing their voice when they call you. You must get to know them better to immediately recognize their voice.

    To know God’s voice it is vital to know His Word through the Bible. God’s voice is not the only voice we hear. If we are not acquainted with His Word to know His ways, we won’t always know where the voice in our hearts or our minds is coming from.

    I believe that the person with the gift of Prophecy has a very strong desire to know God’s Word through the Bible. And, I believe that in giving this gift to a person, God causes them to yearn for truth and for understanding of His Scripture. Please understand that God wants this same thing for all of us. The person with the gift of Prophecy is not singled out for this blessing. We are talking about motivation. In order for God to reach us and minister to us, He puts stronger desires in each heart, customized if you will, to meet the needs of His people.

    We are all very different – that is a given. We didn’t have to ask for the gift that God gave us, it is part of our personality. Remember, Psalms 139 tells us that God knew us before we were ever born. He knew all about us. He knew what our personalities would be and the circumstances that would surround us, that would influence us and that would define us.

    God works all things for our good, if we belong to Him. That means that everything about us makes up our personality and affects us in some way. God takes all of life’s situations to create us into the person He wants us to be. Obviously, we don’t yield at times. But, if we truly love God and want His best for our lives, we seek Him and ask Him for guidance. When we pray for patience, how are we to learn it if we don’t experience situations where patience is needed?

    Following God is not easy. But, it’s the most rewarding thing we will ever do. We will understand what true love is all about. He ALWAYS knows what is best for us. He knows our hearts much better than we do. It may take some time to adjust to things that happen in our lives but if we acknowledge Him in all we do (which we are told to do in His Word) we will be molded and shaped into the person He wants us to be.

    About Spiritual Gifts. . . I Do Not Want You To Be Ignorant! I Cor. 12:1

    11 Aug

    SPIRITUAL GIFTS (13)

    The words “Gifts or Spiritual Gifts or Ministry Gifts” as they relate to Scripture can cause some to squirm. These terms, along with others from Scripture, can cause confusion and bring up uncomfortable feelings. Some just don’t want to hear anything about them at all. Truthfully, I can relate. I was brought up around these things and I was uncomfortable much of the time.

    I want to dispel some of those fears and misunderstandings, to the best of my knowledge and with the help of others who have written about these things.

    There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  God does not want us ignorant concerning these things. (1 Cor. 12:4) Because of all the confusion and fear surrounding the mis-use of these gifts and the fear surrounding the unknown, we allowed the enemy to steal some of God’s most valuable resources for our edification.

    If you have had any of these experiences or have heard of them please realize that God never forces Himself on us. His gifts are given freely and are to build us up and to heal us physically, emotionally, spiritually – and in every other way.

    The fears that have kept us from God’s best should be dealt with in prayer and in reading God’s Scriptures for clarification. I am going to do my best to explain these gifts, the way they differ and the way they are used today. There are many who believe that God’s gifts were only for Bible times and are not effective today. That is a big lie of the devil to prevent us from receiving God’s best for our lives.

    • There is no evidence whatever that the Gifts ceased because the Lord withdrew them. (Gordon Lindsay, All About the Gifts of the Spirit)
    • A Scripture that has been commonly used by those who hold the position that the Gifts of the Spirit have ceased is I Cor. 13:8-10.
    • Here we are told that prophecies, and tongues, and knowledge shall cease, or pass away. Just one glance at the Scripture shows however, that the period referred to is not this age at all, but the perfect age which is yet to come! (Lindsay)

    The gifts we are discussing in this series are the Spiritual Gifts from Romans 12:3-8:

    • Rom 12:3-8
    • 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body , and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. NIV

    Following are Scriptures relating to the other gifts God has given to us and we will discuss them in a future series.

    • Eph 4:9-13
    • 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets , some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. NIV
    • 1 Cor 12:1-13
    • 12:1 Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
    • 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
    • 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
    • 12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free — and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. NIV

    The next Motivational Spiritual Gift we are going to discuss is the gift of PROPHECY. That’s one that turns some off. Many believe that prophecy is no longer relevant today. However; God still gives this gift to many and it is His will that they use it properly. To use it in any way other than directed by God is a very dangerous thing to do.  There are characteristics you will recognize by those with this gift and you will be able to discern whether they are using it properly or not.

    We are not speaking of “Prophet” as in the ministry gift or  the gift of prophecy found in   I Corinthians 12, we are learning about the gift found in Romans 12:6-8.

    The Gift of PROPHECY:

    Today this gift is primarily associated with powerful preaching, however; all preachers do not have the gift of prophecy nor do all persons with the gift of prophecy preach.

    The person with this particular gift goes “out of their way” to exercise one or more of these basic points:
    • An analysis of the current situation from God’s perspective
    • The consequences of continuing in that path
    • The need for change/repentance
    • The promise of God’s grace and restoration if the change in direction is made

    I believe a person given this gift is tested to the max. They cannot be used effectively unless they are well versed in God’s Scriptures and have learned strict obedience to God.

    God knows how to train us for the gift He has given us. That is one of the duties of God’s Holy Spirit. He teaches us to “hear” His voice as He speaks to our hearts. This is for everyone, not just a select few. God’s Word tells us that if you are one of His sheep, you hear His voice and the voice of another you will not follow.

    • John 10:26-27
    • 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. NIV

    Some of the characteristics of the gift of PROPHECY are as follows:

    • Prophecy does not usually involve foretelling – predicting the future – as much as it does forthtelling – forcefully speaking the truth. Forcefully is a strong word. What it means here is that the Prophet motivated person wants to make sure God’s Word is understood and that there are consequences to disobeying it.
    • The word proclaim is perhaps a better word than preach to describe what a person with the gift of prophecy does
    • Typically their ministry is a public one
    • They are not as comfortable in smaller groups as others
    • They prefer speaking to larger groups than ministering one on one as do those with other gifts
    • They are tuned in to how God views situations, especially if evil or hypocrisy is present
    • The are Issues-oriented; usually have an opinion about everything! Not fearful to tackle tough issues
    • They proclaim God’s truth with a passion, even if they must do so alone
    • Their message is one of urgency; tend to expect an immediate decision or response (Repent NOW!)

    The Gifts That Get Things Done!

    6 Aug

    SPIRITUAL GIFTS (12)

    There are seven Spiritual Gifts mentioned in Romans:

    Rom 12:3-8

    4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body , and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. NIV

    The Support Gifts – The Gift of Service/Helps – The Gift of Leadership/Administration

    • Leadership – guides God’s people to attempt great goals
    • Administration – organizes God’s people to accomplish goals
    • Service/Helps – enables pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc., to have more time to study and leaders and administrators time for giving the church body purpose and direction
    Have you ever stood at the foot of a tall skyscraper and marveled about how the architect every envisioned it? Or pondered how much coordination it took to get it off the ground or keep it from tumbling down? Somebody “saw” that building a long time before construction ever began. Somebody understood the vision and translated it into plumbing, electricity, concrete, steel, glass,…Somewhere far away from the construction site, someone ordered the materials, filed the forms, made the decisions . . . And, of course – the building would have never been completed had it not been for the workers who actually delivered the materials and did the physical labor. To get the job done everybody had to do his or her assigned part.That’s how the church is supposed to work, too.
    The support gifts help the church get things done!People with gifts of serving, helps or giving are often called to leadership or administrative roles. Why? Because when people see their dedication to the task, desire to serve and love, and commitment to their church, servant models are asked to take on leadership or administrator roles. Sometimes they fit – sometimes they don’t.
    • Of the great variety of men’s characters in the Church our method of serving God must depend on our capacities, endowments, position, and opportunities.  – (from The Biblical Illustrator Copyright © 2002, 2003 Ages Software, Inc. and Biblesoft, Inc.)

    The Gift of SERVICE/HELPS

    • This if the gift of giving of ones self
    • People who are always giving of themselves cause you to be motivated to get your job done
    • Their motive is to help others to succeed in whatever their interest is
    • They are greatly delighted in giving of themselves to serve when they see that the other person is investing their life in worthwhile projects
    • They can become very grieved when they see the person whom they are serving squandering their time and wasting it on minute things
    • They are willing to invest service into your life in order to help you get what you want out of life, and then you in turn, are going to be motivated to do more
    The word translated service is diakonos, the word from which we get deacon.
    The first deacons were selected to wait on tables and serve the widows in the church. By assuming these duties, they ensured the apostles had ample time to study and pray in preparation for preaching and teaching.
    When servants and helpers do not use their gifts, those with speaking and leading gifts usually pitch in to help. However, the body suffers from lack of nourishment when preachers, prophets, teachers, and exhorters do not have time to prepare. The body also suffers when leaders and administrators do not have the energy to provide leadership and guidance because they spend most of their time completing tasks no one else will do.
    Characteristics  of the gift of SERVICE/HELP
    • They have a joy in serving when it will free others to do more important things
    • They disregard their own personal health and comfort in serving others
    • They find it difficult to say “no” which results in a variety of involvements and a tendency to get sidetracked
    • They have a special enjoyment in providing for physical needs and comforts, and have a remarkable ability to remember likes and dislikes of others
    • They  need sincere appreciation to confirm that their service is necessary and satisfactory and desire clear instructions (without time limits).
    • They have a strong desire to be with others, thus providing more serving opportunities.
    • They enjoy short-range projects but have a tendency to become frustrated with long-range responsibilities.
    • Often they feel inadequate and unqualified for spiritual leadership.
    • They have an alertness (discernment) to detect and meet practical needs. They especially enjoy manual projects.
    • They desire to meet needs as quickly as possible
    • They possess the physical stamina to fulfill needs with a disregard for personal weariness
    • They are willing to use personal funds in order to avoid delays.
    • They are able to recognize sincere appreciation and to detect insincerity
    • They accept responsibility for jobs with evidence of unexpected extra service
    • They are frustrated when time limitations are attached to jobs

    In addition to my own material I have included quotes from the following:

    • C. Peter Wagner “Your Spiritural Gifts”
    • Gordon Lindsay “All About the Gifts of the Spirit”
    • Adult Education and Discipleship Ministries – FBC – Garland “Gifts are for Giving”
    • Biblesoft Libraries
    • Sandy Trice
    • David Francis

    Spirit or Flesh?

    30 Jul

    SPIRITUAL GIFTS (11)

    Characteristics of the gift of MERCY (Part 3)

    There are seven Spiritual Gifts mentioned in Romans:

    Rom 12:3-8

    4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body , and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. NIV

    We are all misunderstood at times. Many times it is our motive that people don’t understand. Each Motivational Gift carries with it some characteristics that can be misunderstood. As we continue through this series you may recognize a particular Spiritual Gift just by the characteristics of an individual. And, hopefully, you will gain a better understanding of why people act and react the way they do about some things.  The person with the Gift of Mercy will more than likely show some of the following signs in their personality:
    • The avoidance of firmness may appear to be weakness and indecisiveness
    • The sensitivity to the spirit and feelings of others may cause some to feel they are guided by emotions rather than logic
    • The attraction and understanding of those in distress may be misinterpreted by those of the opposite sex
    • The sensitivity to words and actions which cause hurts may appear to be taking up another’s offense
    • The ability to detect insincere motives may cause some to feel they are hard to get to know

    There is so much harshness in the world today. People are getting bolder in their actions, their attitudes and in their basic manners. We see more impolite and discourteous people who are offensive, vulgar, and just plain disrespectful.

    The person that God has gifted with the Gift of Mercy is used to show God’s love to everyone – yes, everyone! Keep in mind that we are all still in training so God will teach us what He wants us to know as we walk with Him and yield in obedience to His ways. Even though God implants a gift in us doesn’t mean that we are fueled and ready to go! We may be a little rough around the edges but these characteristics will begin to shine as we mature in the ways of God.

    We are told not to judge our Christian brothers and sisters. So, we need to be very careful when we “size up” anyone. We should learn how to prevent ourselves from assuming why someone does what they do. We tend to judge others on our own personal strengths instead of seeing their strengths. Thank goodness everyone is not the same. If we don’t get along with others it is many times because they won’t do things our way.

    We should be thankful for those around us who will show us kindness when no one else will, or for someone who will go out of their way to make us feel comfortable. Obviously, those traits will be recognizable in many. But, the Mercy oriented person will go far beyond what others do. They may even appear weak or undecided. They are masters at showing acceptance and love to others and if our own personality is one where mercy isn’t a strong point then we are probably not going to agree with the way a Mercy motivated person handles a situation. For instance, if our own gift is Prophecy, then we will be more concerned that a person “learn a lesson” from a mistake rather than to reach out and comfort them as would the gift of Mercy.

    Sometimes, when we see a Merciful person being kind to someone we don’t like we may not like it at all. We may feel jealous or threatened or even angry. Just realize that if this happens – we are looking at it from our own Motivational Gift. We must realize that they are doing what  God wants them to do. He wants them to show His mercy where others won’t, or can’t.

    Following are some of the differences that will be seen when a person with the Gift of Mercy isn’t walking in the Spirit but in the weakness of their flesh. These will be areas that they are still learning about.

    When they are walking in the Spirit vs. walking in the Flesh:

    SPIRIT – They are attentive – courteous, devoted (Know what is happening in their environment)
    FLESH– They are unconcerned – apathetic (They could care less if anyone is hurting or not)
    SPIRIT – They are sensitive – having or showing keen sensibility; tender.(Hurt with those who are hurting and laugh with those who are laughing)
    FLESH – They are callous – hardened – hardened in mind; unfeeling
    SPIRIT– They are fair – just and honest.  They treat others with honor and show fairness…no partiality.
    FLESH – The are partial – favoring one person more than another, biased
    SPIRIT– They are compassionate – Show pity and deep sympathy for others.
    FLESH – They are indifferent – uninterested, without concern, differ in opinion
    SPIRIT – They are gentle – refined, polite, generous, kind, patient. (Move in slowly, meeting the need that is revealed by the Holy Spirit).
    FLESH – They are harsh – rough, unfeeling, severe
    SPIRIT – They show deference – A yielding in opinion; willing to submit or yield to someone else; respecting others.
    FLESH – They are rude – uncivil, primitive
    SPIRIT – They are meek – a spirit of humility. (A willingness to suffer or bear other people’s criticism, if necessary, to bring other people through).
    FLESH – They are filled with anger – enraged, hostile Explode in a volcanic anger and you will think “What is happening to you?”

    In addition to my own material I have included quotes from the following:

    • C. Peter Wagner “Your Spiritural Gifts”
    • Gordon Lindsay “All About the Gifts of the Spirit”
    • Adult Education and Discipleship Ministries – FBC – Garland “Gifts are for Giving”
    • Biblesoft Libraries
    • Sandy Trice
    • David Francis
    %d bloggers like this: