Tag Archives: Exhortation

God Speaks, And He Wants To Talk To Us

26 Oct

And He Wants To Talk To Us

I began to hear God speak to me as a young woman. At first I didn’t recognize it was God speaking.. I would kneel to pray.  At times I  would hear what I can only describe as thoughts floating up from my innermost being – not like I was thinking about something, but like someone was talking to me. I didn’t know at the time that the someone who was actually talking to me was God.  I never had heard of that before and I didn’t understand it at the time.

Of course, I had a mixture of feelings and my mind was racing about what it all meant. I began to read my Bible more and buy Christian books to learn more about God.

The fear was present because of my lack of knowledge about what was happening to me spiritually.  I did not yet know God like He wanted me to. I didn’t know at the time that He wanted me to pray about what I was “hearing”.

I always  kept  my  pen  and  paper  close  so  I could   write   down   what   God   spoke.     It  never   seemed unnatural  to  me  –   at  least  not  until   I began  to  share  it with  others.    Only   then  did  I realize  that  people  thought it strange  that  I  would   say  to them,  “God  told  me”. . .  I was  confused about why everyone wasn’t as excited about it as I was.  It didn’t take long for me to  learn   to be a little less boastful about it but I couldn’t deny it. I wanted to know more about Him.  I began to read and study all the books I could get my hands on.

For    nearly   twenty   years I  have  been  talking   with God  and  writing   down   what  He  says.  I was a secretary back when secretaries took shorthand, so that part seemed natural to me.

God spoke to me at times on  behalf  of others, always to edify and encourage them.  I   was concerned that if I gave them what I had written  down they would think I was “off my rocker.”   But as I sought  God  about  it,  He  reminded   me  that  He  spoke  and inspired all of the words that were recorded in the Bible!

As you read through this,   God may use these words to speak to you.   If He speaks to your heart,   you will know it. I describe it as a quickening in your spirit. The words you read may sort of “jump off the page at you” or seem very significant to you.  When that happens to me, I write it down. If I’m reading the Bible and I read something that causes me to connect to a situation in my life, I realize God is speaking to me. I underline that part of the Scripture and put the date next to it, verifying that it was a promise from God on that day.

If you have a problem with this sort of thing, you aren’t the first.     You need to talk to God about it.   Let Him answer   your questions.  I can’t explain Him or His ways. I love Him and I can’t deny His voice.

John 16:13-15 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not be presenting his own ideas; he will be telling you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.  14 He will bring me glory by revealing to you whatever he receives from me.  15 All that the Father has is mine; this is what I mean when I say that the Spirit will reveal to you whatever he receives from me.  NLT

Note: The Holy Spirit guides us into all truth in many different ways. He knows us personally. Therefore, He knows just how to get His message to us. He knows what will get our attention. He uses our conscience, the Bible, nature and anything else that will get our attention and convince us of His truth.

The Bible was inspired and written for our edification. It holds a wealth of truth. We can read about the men and women of God and see that we aren’t too different from them, basically. We can learn from their mistakes. We can learn about God’s character. We can even see that the men and women He used to do His work weren’t perfect; they each had their own problems.

When we “hear Him speak” in no way will we hear anything contrary to the Word of God/The Bible. It will either confirm or deny what we believe we have heard. (Some translations are easier to read and understand than others.)

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My First E-Book Now Available On Amazon

8 Oct

Book CoverGrief, pain, hardship and tragedy happen to all of us equally. God gives us all the same opportunity to come to Him through Jesus, His Son. There is a misconception that Christians should be free from pain and suffering. They should have it better than everybody else, and that if they are having problems there must be some deep dark sin in their lives.

God is often judged by the circumstances that affect the lives of His followers. If something bad happens to them, it might appear that God failed or that He is punishing them or teaching them a lesson. The misconception is that Christians are loved by God more and therefore He treats them better and gives them more.

God is frequently viewed as a mere option in our world today. Even some Christians view God’s participation in their lives to be necessary only if they are unable to handle something on their own – especially a crisis.

This series of books will visit many of the hard questions asked about God and what it means to be a Christian. Step by Step guidance will help the reader understand how to become a Christian, how to live daily walking and talking with God, and how to understand His will for your life.

Walking with God is a deliberate action taken by those who want to be born again into life everlasting with Him – it requires only believing in Jesus Christ, asking for His forgiveness of our sins, and learning how to live and walk daily with Him in your heart and at your side.

God is very real. He isn’t a figment of our imagination. He isn’t spooky or strange. He is loving and kind. He is good and loves each and every one of us more than we can even understand.

God doesn’t just love Christians. He loves every single person in the world. He doesn’t favor Christians. Christians aren’t better than everyone else. Knowing and following Jesus Christ doesn’t mean a life with no sorrows or pain.
The difference is in our hearts. Walking daily with God and talking to Him at any time you want to is better than having your best earthly friend by your side all the time,and even better than any other person you believe to have everything you want and/or need.

God is the peace you need, and the protection you need, He has the provision you need, and the guidance you need. He can and will direct every step you take, if you let Him. It’s not always easy. That’s where faith and trust come in.

God is the one thing in this life that has never changed and will never change. But, it doesn’t mean He is old fashioned or out of date. There is nothing on this planet that wasn’t already arranged by Him long, long before time, as we know it, began.

The first book in this series is part of my testimony. It starts about the time I graduated from high school. I was raised in a Christian home, went to church because my mother made me, and all I knew of God was that I was supposed to love Him and be good.

As it is said, “Life Happens”. I went to church from the time I was a little girl and accepted Jesus at a Baptist Camp at the age of nine years old, I didn’t really come to know Him until life started invading my space. Those were the times I began to “consider” God – wondering if He was really there and wondering what He wanted from me.

I am now 68 years old. I can tell you it has taken a long life of mistakes, pain, hardship, suffering and grief – just like everyone else I know – Christian or not. The only thing I would change if I had a “do over” would be that I would have worked harder at getting serious about my relationship with God and I would not have worked so hard at doing things my way. I would have spent the necessary time getting to know my maker and letting Him guide me rather than having Him constantly have to bail me out of my troubles and set me back on my feet.That’s life. After this one there’s one in eternity. Where will you spend yours?

You May Be A Motivator If . . .

27 Sep

SPIRITUAL GIFTS (21)

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  looking into  the characteristics of the  Encourager – the gift of EXHORTATION.

  • They motivate people to attain their full spiritual maturity in Christ.  Paul’s goal was to “present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Colossians 1:28-29)
  • They discern where a person is in their spiritual growth and are able to communicate on that level.   Paul saw the Corinthians as spiritual infants: “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.” (I Corinthians 3:1)
  • They have the ability to see your potential and desires to motivate you to reach that potential. They give precise steps of action in urging people toward spiritual maturity.  Paul’s writings are filled with practical counsel and precise steps of action on how to grow spiritually.
  • They have a drive to explain truth with logical reasoning in order to make it accepted.  Paul’s writings on the resurrection in I Corinthians 15 are classic in logical thinking. Reasoning was his basic method when dealing with the Jews, the Greeks, King Agrippa and others (Acts 18:4, 26:28)
  • They are able to visualize spiritual goals for people and use this to motivate them to action. Paul was a master in picturing spiritual goals for his workers and his church. He reinforced goals by the example of his own life. (Philippians 3:17)
  • They desire a face-to-face discussion in order to insure a positive response. Paul’s longing to see his fellow believers was constantly reaffirmed. (I Thessalonians 2:17, 3:10; II Timothy 1:4)  He used personal conferences extensively (I Thes. 2:11-12)
  • They identify with people of different types and backgrounds in order to gain a wider hearing.  Paul explained, “. . .I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” (I Cor. 9:19-12)
  • They desire to bring harmony between diverse groups of Christians, and have an awareness that harmony is basic to spiritual maturity.  Paul worked constantly to resolve conflicts and divisions between individuals, churches, and groups. (I Corinthians 3:3,4; Philippians 2:2) The money raised united Jew and the Gentiles (II Corinthians 9:12-14)
  • They see how tribulation can produce spiritual growth.  Paul glorified in his infirmities, because he saw they they brought Christ’s power and a far greater weight of glory. (II Corinthians 1:5, 4:17, 12:9)

More Characteristics recognized in the person with the gift of  Exhortation:

  • They have a desire to visualize achievements and prescribe steps of action.  (What are you doing to grow. . . Visualize the entire picture of what you are able to become)
  • They have a tendency to avoid systems of information which lack practical application. (What is the use of telling us how we missed it if we aren’t given steps of action about how to correct the situation) {Similar to Word of Knowledge and Word of Wisdom in action}
  • They have a dependence on visible acceptance when speaking to groups or individuals. (Check for visible response . . . Watching your reactions, reading your responses)
  • They use the discovery of insights from human experience which can be validated and amplified in Scripture.
  • They have an enjoyment of those eager to follow steps of action.
  • They are grieved when teaching is not accompanied by practical steps of action.
  • They have a delight in personal conferences that result in new insights.

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 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

Recognize Your Motivation

22 Jul

Spiritual Gifts (7)

We are now ready to get more specific with the individual motivational gifts. As you meditate on them you may recognize some of your personal characteristics and those of your friends and family. It may take a while for you to identify your gift right away, so be patient and give yourself plenty of time. When you do recognize your gift, realize that it is your gift for life and that as you grow stronger in the Lord, your gift will also mature.

Train yourself to be sensitive to your reactions to your likes and dislikes and your motivation for doing what you do. For example, if you are asked to help someone move, and you agree to help – examine how it makes you feel. Are you agreeing because you feel obligated or because you really enjoy helping people? If you really want to help someone because you enjoy helping others, chances are that your gift may be “Service”. If you do it mainly because you are obligated or for any other reason, you can probably mark “Service” off your “Gift” list.  Keep in mind that we are not excused from “Service” just because we don’t have that particular motivation!

Motivational Gift of PROPHECY – Characteristics

  • Strong desire to understand the Bible and God’s Word to His people
  • Strong discernment
  • Able to forsee the consequences of decisions made
  • Strong desire to help others to correct their bad decisions – (not their feelings and not their attitude)
  • Not interested in whether or not they are accepted by others, just that others know the truth and don’t make choices that will bring them more problems

Ways the Gift of PROPHECY can be used:

  • Teaching
  • Moral Concerns
  • Church Council
  • Counseling
  • Personnel Committee
  • Church Officer
  • Group Committee Leader
  • Worship Committee
  • Prayer Groups

Motivational Gift of TEACHING – Characteristics:

  • Strong desire to clarify truth
  • Desire to search out and study God’s Word in detail so they can validate the truth
  • Carefully investigates the Word of God
  • Very interested in words and the way they are used
  • God-given interest in getting details correct

Ways  the the gift of  TEACHING can be used:

  • Bible Teaching
  • New Member Training
  • Mission Education
  • Vacation Bible School
  • Sunday School
  • Church Training
  • Church Council

Motivational Gift of ADMINISTRATION – Characteristics:

  • The ability to see the overall picture
  • Can clarify long-range goals
  • Can see and understand what needs to be done
  • Knows who can do the job the best
  • Likes to appoint the individuals to do them

Ways the Gift of ADMINISTRATION can be used:

  • Records and Statistical Data
  • Church Finance
  • Financial & Budgeting Resources
  • Office Administration
  • Insurance Committee
  • Priority Planning
  • Church Council

Motivational Gift of SERVICE – Characteristics:

  • Can become grieved when they see the person they are serving squandering their time and wasting it on minute things
  • Greatly delighted in giving of themselves to serve when they see the other person is investing their life in worthwhile projects
  • They are willing to invest service in your life in order to help you get what you want out of life, then you, in turn, are going to be motivated to do more
  • Has the gift of giving of themselves in order to help someone else to succeed in whatever their interest is

Ways the Motivational Gift of SERVICE can be used:

  • Hospital Ministry
  • Deacon Ministry
  • Benevolence Committee
  • Social Ministries
  • Missions Committee

Motivational Gift of GIVING – Characteristics:

  • Gives more and expects less
  • Ready and willing to give of their finances to see that a project is accomplished
  • Will make personal financial sacrifices in order to give a large amount of money

Ways the Motivational Gift of GIVING can be used:

  • Stewardship Committee
  • Moral Concerns (Poverty, Politics, Family)
  • Outreach Ministry
  • Church Finances
  • New Ministries

Motivational Gift of EXHORTATION – Characteristics:

  • Has the ability to see your potential and desires to motivate you to reach that potential
  • They have discernment and may sometimes seem nosey
  • They usually make good counselors
  • They want you to learn something and move on to the next step of action

Ways the Motivational Gift of EXHORTATION can be used:

  • Vocational Guidance
  • Youth Ministry
  • Counseling
  • Ministry to Families
  • New Member Training
  • Church Leader Training
  • Nominating Committee

Motivational Gift of MERCY – Characteristics:

  • Reaches out with genuine love which uplifts, soothes and heals those who are hurting
  • This gift keeps others on their toes because even if words are not spoken, they can pick up on the feelings and attitudes of others
  • Has a greater vulnerability to deeper and more frequent hurts because of lack of love

Ways the Motivational Gift of MERCY can be used:

  • Prayer Groups
  • Hospital Ministry
  • Couseling
  • Benevolence
  • Homebound Ministry
  • Social Ministries
  • Mental Health
Some of this material was quoted 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

What Do You Love To Do?

3 Jul

Discovering Our Spiritual Gifts (1)

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

I want to do a series on Spiritual Gifts. I believe that every Christian should know their Spiritual Gift. Knowing your gift will assist you in understanding why you do what you do. You will also better understand those close to you and what motivates them.

A Spiritual Gift is sort of like an assignment from God. It is an ability He give us. Some may describe it as a natural ability we possess. This gift from God motivates us to use our talents in a specific area.

As born-again Christians we have been commissioned by God to go into all the world with the Good News. Hold on – this isn’t just for Pastors, Music Leaders, Sunday School Teachers and other Church Leaders. We all have a part to play. Remember that Jesus said we are all one body of which He is the head. God empowers us with the desire and the energy to accomplish His work with excitement, not dread. There is a difference between “good work” and “God work”.

The Spiritual (Motivational) gift God has given you makes you happy. You are the happiest when you are using this gift. You seem to have more energy in this particular area. You get excited at the thought of being involved in projects where your gift can be used. God has something for each of us to do for Him. He never intended for us to just sit and watch everybody else get things done.

As an example, let’s take a look at how many workers are needed for any event. A successful event cannot be accomplished by only one person. There are a number of gifted and talented people involved. Look at the list below to get an idea of some of the helpers needed in any event. This list covers only a few of the areas where those with differing gifts will be asked to help.

• The Origination of the event – A Banquet
• Establish a Committee to make decisions
• A Treasurer
• A Secretary
• A Venue
• A Caterer
• Decorations
• Tables & Chairs
• Table Linens
• Musicians
• Media Person
• Concessions
• T-Shirts
• Transportation
• Printer
• Speaker
• Entertainment

This will give you an idea of the teamwork required to create a successful event. Everyone has a particular area of interest they are responsible for. No one is more important than the other. It takes everyone doing their part to make it all happen successfully.

We can’t all be the leader. Each one of God’s children is gifted and their gift is as important as any other on the team. Consider a football team without a football; a concert without musicians; A play without actors.

God has distributed His gifts throughout the church to prepare us to do His work – so that we can help one another – so that we can build up one another.

Throughout this series we are going to examine this subject closely. God gave His children, you and me, ministry gifts, speaking gifts, gifts of faith, the desire and ability to serve, a hunger to speak to the world about Jesus (Evangelism), the ability to understand and explain God’s Word to others, the ability to lead, the heart of mercy to comfort those in pain, and exhortation to help people in setting goals.

These are only a few of God’s gifts to us. Stay with me and we will explore this subject in greater detail. I invite your comments and questions.

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