Tag Archives: Motivation

Our Reasonings Or God’s Secrets?

20 Jun

photo-1436228625646-f30c3e8447b0There are differences in imaginations, reasonings and the secret things of God. Do you know the difference?

Dan 2:22-23   22 He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him. 23 I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you. . .NIV

When adversity and/or great tribulation comes our way – suddenly and unexpected at times – our first reactions will speak loudly of what we believe about God and how much we trust Him.

2 Cor 10:3-5   For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.  NKJV

At times, circumstances arise for which we have no control and no knowledge of how to handle them or cope with them.  Our imaginations begin to run wild. We begin to let the events play over and over in our minds. We lose our composure and our emotions are completely unstable. Our peace goes out the window. Confusion sets in and we find it difficult to focus on any one thing. We find ourselves in the midst of a dreadful storm. The waves are high all around us, the water is rough and our boat is being tossed uncontrollably.  We have to do something, but what? This is where our reasoning comes in.

I found myself in similar circumstances recently.  I am a child of God. I serve Him and walk with Him daily.  I know His Word teaches me to keep my mind stayed on Him and He will keep me in perfect peace.

Isa 26:33 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. NKJV

Keeping our minds stayed on God during trying times is a deliberate action on our part. It is not always an automatic response on our part.  Walking with God doesn’t come naturally to us, as does walking in the flesh. It always comes down to choice. It is never easy, as we determine what easy means. The difficulty lies in giving all of it to God. Easy to say, hard to do. The struggle within us is almost unbearable at times.  While God is telling us to be still and trust Him,  the turmoil within us is screaming for us to do something quickly!

Our faith and trust in God is tested in these life events.  As we walk with God, on a daily basis, constantly acknowledging Him and seeking Him, we being to be more aware of His presence. At times, we feel that He isn’t nearby, that He is far away and we are alone in our situation. The way we “feel” doesn’t determine the truth. Jesus IS the truth and He is THE WAY. What that means is HE is the one we focus on during these trying times. Only He can guide us to the answers we seek. As we begin to develop our relationship with Him and turn to Him in all things, from the smallest action to the most important, the faster we can  overcome our own reasonings and imaginations.

Ps 119:105-107  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. 106 I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws. 107 I have suffered much; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your word. NIVP

119:108-109  108 Accept, O LORD, the willing praise of my mouth,
and teach me your laws. 109 Though I constantly take my life in my hands,
I will not forget your law.  NIV

Picture a lamp at your feet in the darkness. It lights up only a small portion of what is ahead of you. We can’t see what is ahead or around the corner. We can only see where the next step is. That is how to follow God daily; especially in the midst of trials and tribulations. We should grab our lamp and let God lead. Otherwise, we will stumble and fall in the darkness. Of course, we can get back up and stumble some more. Or, we can pick up God’s lamp (His Word, His guidance) and avoid the pitfalls.

God has the answers. He IS the solution. His timing is perfect. He knows the way we take.  He knows the pitfalls. Why not take His hand and “The Lamp” and let Him show us the way?

Merriam Webster’s Definition of “Reason” (ing)  

  1. a (1) :  the power of comprehending, inferring, or thinking especially in orderly rational ways :  intelligence (2) :  proper exercise of the mind (3) :  sanityb :  the sum of the intellectual powers

  2. 3archaic :  treatment that affords satisfaction

This is what faith is:

Heb 11:1  11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  NIV

As God’s children, we don’t live and walk by what we see. The circumstances can change. We can change our minds or make wrong decisions. God is the ONE who IS the Way.

When trials come (and they will)  God wants us to run to Him FIRST, not last. He alone knows what we should do. We can’t expect Him to bless our decisions if He is not in them.  He wants our love and our friendship.  Do we want it as much as He does? Or would we rather stumble around in the dark hoping we miss the pitfalls? He leaves the choice to us.

 

 

 

 

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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

God’s Gift To You For Him

17 Jul

Discovering Our Spiritual Gifts (5)

It’s time to discover the characteristics of the individual motivational gifts. God’s Holy Spirit gives good gifts to His children, born-again believers in Jesus Christ. He gives these gifts to us so that we will use them for His glory, to build up the Body of Christ. We need to pray that God will reveal our gift to us and listen for confirmation (or lack of it) from others. As we discover the characteristics of each gift in the future Blogs, we will recognize some of the traits in ourselves and in others.

Begin the process by being more sensitive to your own self. Get to know yourself by looking back and discovering the things that you really enjoy and the reason for it. Also, consider the things that don’t interest you very much – the things that don’t really get you motivated.

There are some things that can hinder the progress. If there are sins in our lives that we won’t let go of – sin that God has convicted us of again and again – we will need to resolve those issues in order to be in a position where God can use us as He wants. This doesn’t mean we are perfect, nor can we be. However, there are things in our lives that hinder us from moving forward with our Lord. God is long-suffering – He will give us plenty of time but He does expect us to walk in the light He gives us and He will help us to work out the unacceptable issues in our lives.

The recognition of the gift God has given us won’t manifest if we are isolated from others in the church. His gifts are for others, not for our own benefit.

We admire and respect others we observe in our midst. We can’t discover our God-given gift if we decide for ourselves we want to do what we see someone else doing. It is important that we understand our personal likes and dislikes and is helpful to know why, if possible.

There may be a hindrance because we don’t understand the difference between motivational gifts and ministry gifts. Or, we may be confused about the differences between spiritual gifts and natural abilities. (Stay with me as we learn about all these subjects and as we learn to clearly identify them in our lives.)

Our own feeling of not being good enough, a lack of interest, or improper motives will also hinder this process. Our proper motive is to bring honor to God by building up others.

We can identify some of our traits as we continue through this teaching and we can identify others in the process. But, just because we can identify them does not mean we can be used of God without His Holy Spirit and our obedience to Him.

This is a good stopping place for now. This subject is deep and wide. You will gain insight in each Blog Post, so stay with me as we go deeper into it so that God can use us as He has planned from the beginning.

I will leave you with the following Scripture for meditation as we continue our study.

ph 4:11-16
1 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
NKJV

We Do What We Do Because . . .

6 Jul

Discovering Our Spiritual Gifts (3) Continued

The importance of discovering our spiritual gift in the Body of Christ brings us into one accord as a church and helps us to become more accommodating. We begin to understand and fulfill the calling God has in our lives, as well as giving meaning to our participation in our congregation.

The more we understand about ourselves and the gift God has created us with, the more we can understand what motivates us and those we love. We then will also be less critical of others when they don’t react the way we think they should. We are also less likely to be jealous or angry when we realize each individual has a unique gift – given by God – for a particular task.

Sometimes we “feel better” if we jump into every activity that is presented to us. We are good at several things and believe that we can certainly be beneficial to the new project. Besides, it makes us feel better about ourselves.

We all have a variety of things we do well. Whether we are in charge of a project or baking cookies for the event. (Trust me – some would say that baking cookies is the most important thing we can do for a function!)

Maturity in Christ brings balance in all areas. We learn to embrace the work we are designed for with enthusiasm and joy instead of dread and frustration. This being said – we will be better at prioritizing our time and less likely to get involved in so many things that we can’t possibly do any of them very well. When we learn to refuse the guilt that the enemy, satan, tries to inflict upon us, we can begin to do the things we love to do rather than the things we feel that we should do (triggered by guilt or other motive).

God has given the church gifts as tools to do His work. They are not toys to use for fun, nor are they rewards that we earn. Each born-again believer was created by God. He knew us while we were still in our Mothers’ womb. (Ps 139) He knew every day of our lives before we came into the world. He decided what gift He wanted us to have – how our personality and character would come into play. It is very important that we discover the gift God instilled within us and that we don’t try to do someone else’s job.

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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