Tag Archives: Prophecy

Do You Ask Amiss?

14 Oct

It’s time to switch our focus a little to some of the other gifts given by the Holy Spirit. We have been talking about motivational gifts which are given to individuals so they can be used of God to meet the needs of others. I have summarized them below:

Motivational Gifts found in (Romans 12:6-9)
  • Leadership/Administration – organizes and guides God’s people to attempt great 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
  • Prophecy – Proclaimers/God’s Loudspeakers
  • Exhortation – Encouragers – “How to” Persons
  • Teacher/Pastor  – Guardians of the Flock/Explainers
  • Mercy – Reaches out with genuine love which uplifts, soothes and  heals those who are hurting

Discovering the gifts God has given us is a process. We aren’t mature, spiritually sensitive overnight. God is progressive. He will always be working with us and grooming us. We will be continually running our races until He calls us out of this world. We should be sensitive to the gifts God may have given us,  listen for confirmation from others. We should make the practice of our gift(s) a priority in our lives and be willing to work at the process of understanding ourselves.  We should be content with the person God is shaping us to be and careful not to  compare ourselves to others or covet the gifts and callings God has made evident in their lives. Keep in mind that to desire the gift or calling of another is to keep us from what God has planned for us and would keep them from the call of God upon their lives.

We should expect a constant discovery of all that God has placed within us. We need to yield to Him as He guides us to the work He is preparing for us and should not isolate ourselves from others. We must be alert, not imitating others or trying to model ourselves after anyone other than our Creator. We have to be honest with ourselves about our likes and dislikes and be willing to face the areas in our lives that God wants to help us change. He doesn’t expect perfection from us. He wants our submission and our willingness to let Him lead us. He wants our friendship and our fellowship. He isn’t in a hurry. After all, we have an eternity with Him!

We can be  hindered in finding our gifts or what God has for us. James 4:2,3 says, “You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you gt on your pleasure.” Our motives must be to honor God by edifying others, not to build up ourselves.

Christians and non-Christians alike have been gifted with abilities and talents. Natural gifts usually edify the person and draw attention to them and their particular talent. Gifts from God are not inherited or earned. They are given freely by Him as He chooses and are evidence of the Holy Spirit being present in their lives. They have experienced the gift of salvation and made Jesus their Lord.

God is the source of all gifts. He weaves them together with our personalities – our temperaments –  as we yield our lives to Him. God can use our natural abilities, and/or talents as a path for a spiritual gift.  He will make it clear as we follow Him.

There are differing gifts, but one Spirit. Following are the Ministry Gifts found in Ephesians 4:11-13 which will be discussed in  our next series.
  1. –Apostle
  2. –Prophet
  3. –Evangelist
  4. –Pastor
  5. –Teacher

There are also Manifestations of the Spirit – Operational Gifts as seen in I Corinthians 12:7 (listed below):

REVELATION GIFTS
  • Word of Wisdom
  • Word of Knowledge
  • Discerning of Spirits
POWER GIFTS
  • Faith
  • Healing
  • Miracles
UTTERANCE – INSPIRATIONAL GIFTS
  • Prophecy
  • Tongues
  • Interpretation of Tongues

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
  • KJV
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You May Have The Gift of Prophecy If . . .

12 Oct

SPIRITUAL GIFTS (23)

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
  • The word “Prophecy” can bring about many different reactions in people. The main reason is because it is misunderstood. Some of the misunderstandings include the belief that prophecy passed away after Jesus came. Others just simply believe that prophecy is not necessary today.
  • The dictionary gives us a couple of different definitions: 1) A statement of something that will happen in the future; 2) The power or ability to know what will happen in the future; 3) An inspired utterance of a prophet; 4) the function of a prophet; specifically: the inspired declaration of divine will and purpose. (Merriam-Webster)
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).
Definition – PROPHECY, PROPHESY, PROPHESYING
Propheteia ^4394^ signifies “the speaking forth of the mind and counsel of God”
  • • “Though much of OT 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>….
  • •(from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)
  • . . . 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)

More characteristics of the Motivational Gift of Prophecy:

They can sometimes “see” something going on in someone else’s life
They are  able to discern and foresee the consequences of that decision
They are interested in correcting the decision – NOT their feelings -NOT their attitude
They are NOT interested in whether they accept him/her or not. . .Just in getting that thing corrected in your life before you really blow it!
They are NOT interested in the details – they want to keep you from making a mistake
According to Strongs and Brown, Driver, Briggs “Discern” means:
  1. To know
  2. To perceive
  3. To perceive and to see
  4. To discriminate, to distinguish
  5. To know by experience
  6. To recognize
  7. To have knowledge, to be wise

The person with the gift of Prophecy has a very strong sense of discernment. God teaches them how to discern truth. He uses His Word from Scripture to teach this discernment. The better a person knows the Word of God, the sharper their discernment will become.

They have:

  • The capacity to identify, define and hate evil – Romans 12:9, I Timonty 3:7
  • The willingness to experience brokenness to prompt brokenness.
  • The dependence on Scriptural truth to validate their authority.
  • A desire for outward evidence to demonstrate inward conviction – I Peter 4:11
  • They look at outward expressions or verbal responses. – I Corinthians 14:25
  • They have a directness, frankness and persuasiveness in speaking.
  • They are honest and want others to be honest. (Titus 2:8)
  • They have a concern for the reputation and program of God
  • They have an inward weeping and personal identification with the sins of others.
  • They care for others.
  • They have a real love for the lost.
  • They have an eagerness to have others point out their blind spot(s).
•(from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)

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 Motivational Gift of Prophecy

5 Oct

SPIRITUAL GIFTS (22)

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
  • The word “Prophecy” can bring about many different reactions in people. The main reason is because it is misunderstood. Some of the misunderstandings include the belief that prophecy passed away after Jesus came. Others just simply believe that prophecy is not necessary today.
  • The dictionary gives us a couple of different definitions: 1) A statement of something that will happen in the future; 2) The power or ability to know what will happen in the future; 3) An inspired utterance of a prophet; 4) the function of a prophet; specifically: the inspired declaration of divine will and purpose. (Merriam-Webster)
  • I am extremely interested in this particular gift because it is my Motivational Gift. As you might imagine, I don’t like being misunderstood, any more than anyone else. But, since I have lived it, I am hoping that I can enlighten those who many have questions about it.
  • We are not discussing the “Prophet” as in the ministry gift; nor or we discussing the ability of some to “prophesy”, as discussed in I Corinthians, 12:6-8. There are many gifts spoken of in God’s Word. We are discussing the motivational gifts as given to us by God so that we can help others. The gifts are all given by the Holy Spirit. They are given as God determines.
  • To clear this up a little more – a prophet was (and I believe still is, at times) called by God to speak of things to come. In the Old Testament, God used His prophets to speak to His people. The Priests were delegated the task of speaking to God for the people – and the prophet to the people from God. Today, as Christians, we can talk directly to God and His Word tells us He speaks to us. ( . . . my sheep hear my voice).  There are some gifted with the ability to prophesy (rhymes with amplify). This means that they are given a divine utterance by God to His people, usually in an unknown language (called “tongues”). If God calls on someone to prophesy, there should be someone to give an interpretation. The interpretation can come from the same person who gives the prophecy, or by another.
  • Our subject is somewhat different. We are talking about a different kind of gift when we talk about the motivational gift of prophecy. So, for now, that will be our focus. I will write more on the other gifts after we complete this series.
  • Now, for the Gift of Prophecy – it is one of the speaking gifts.  Today, it is associated more with powerful preaching and teaching. This doesn’t mean that every teacher or preacher has the gift of prophecy, nor does it mean that every person with the gift of prophecy is a preacher or a teacher.
  • 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
  • A person with this gift, if they are dedicated to obedience to God, will do everything in their own power to walk in obedience to God. They will hunger for God’s Word and they will want to make sure that whomever they are listening to (spiritually) is staying in line with God’s Word. They will spend much time in God’s Word and it will become their standard for everything. (This obviously won’t happen over night!) Along with this gift is usually a strong gift of discernment – the ability to determine truth.
  • It is important to say that many of us have seen and/or heard of some things that are just not proper when it comes to things we see or hear in church. I believe that is why many are fearful when the word “gifts” or “prophecy”, etc. are used. In other words, we are all human. We are not supernatural – it is GOD who is supernatural. But, we are His body on this earth. We yield ourselves to Him and we walk with Him and learn of His ways. We are not just “all of a sudden” zapped with the ability to operate in God’s gifts. We also need to know that we cannot use these gifts from God just anyway we want to. There are definite characteristics of using God’s gifts in the Spirit or in our own flesh. If your Spirit is in tune with God’s Spirit, then He will help you and guide you. Your inner spirit will be taught of the Lord, by the Holy Spirit and through His Word. Also, the things you do will be in line with God’s Scriptures. If they are not – you are definitely not following the Spirit of God.That being said, let’s move forward.
    1. Prophecy does not usually involve foretelling – predicting the future – as much as it does forthtelling – forcefully speaking the truth.
    2. The word “proclaim” is perhaps a better word than preach to describe what a person with the gift of prophecy does.
    The person with the Gift of Prophecy will show obvious signs in the following ways:
    • Typically their ministry is a public one (Again, not every public ministry has the gift of prophecy).
    • 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
    •  Issues-oriented; usually have an opinion about everything! Not fearful to tackle tough issues.
    •  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!)
    • 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
    • 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
    • Often accused of talking too much, but just can’t seem to help it!

    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

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

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!)

Were The Gifts to Cease?

23 Jul
SPIRITUAL GIFTS (8)
Are the Gifts of the Spirit for the Church Today?
Paul says in the 12th Chapter of I Cor. That the church, as the body of Christ, are believers, exercising various gifts, even as the human body have different functions and purposes and that all these members working harmoniously together, become the mystical Body of Christ on earth. Without the Gifts of the Spirit, the Church becomes something quite different from that which God intended. Instead of being a supernatural organism, the Church is then only another human organization.
Spiritual Gifts are the products of the Holy Spirit’s residence in the life of a person. Only persons who have experienced the gift of salvation have Spiritual Gifts. When used with the proper motive, Spiritual Gifts edify others and bring honor to God and his church.
God is the ultimate source of both natural  gifts and Spiritual Gifts. He weaves them together with our temperament and personality when we yield all these components of our lives to him. (Rom. 12:1) God may use a natural gift as a vehicle for a Spiritual Gift.
Were the Gifts to Cease?
  • 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)
I Corinthians 13:8-10
  • Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
  • 9  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
  • 10  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. (KJV)
There can be some hindrances to finding your Motivational Gift:
  • I don’t have time for this
  • I have too many other things to do
  • Maybe I can do this later
  • I probably don’t have any gifts anyway

Or feelings of unworthiness: 

  • God can’t use me
  • I don’t know enough Scripture
  • I wouldn’t know what to do or say
  • I need to get some things straight first
  • What would people say?
The purpose in seeking to know our Spiritual Gift is not just so we can take pride in ourselves or for any other reason other than to glorify God and to edify His church.
Some hold back some in seeking the Gifts because they are afraid of the “unknown”. However; we actually need the Spiritual Gifts to give us power in the battle – in our spiritual warfare.
Scripture gives us means to test the spirits and discern which is not from God:
  • –“If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or, if he ask a fish, will  he for a fish give him a serpent?. . . If ye the, being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:11-13)
Added to what God has shown me personally, some of my material came 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

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

Natural Ability or Gift From God?

20 Jul

Spiritual Gifts (6)

Everyone of us is gifted and/or talented in some way. I want to write a little bit about the differences between natural abilities and God-given gifts.

One of the easiest ways to recognize a natural gift or ability is that it usually edifies the individual and brings honor and attention to them personally. A Spirit given gift edifies others and gives God glory.

Natural gifts and talents can be inherited skills or skills that can be learned. For example, music, sports, art – even speaking abilities.

Spiritual Gifts are given by the Holy Spirit of God and are only available to people who have accepted Jesus Christ. These gifts, if administered properly, will edify the Body of Christ, benefit others and give glory to God. As believers, we can possess both Spiritual Gifts and natural abilities/talents. We can also use them selfishly if we are not careful.

This is a good place to introduce some of the other Spiritual Gifts mentioned in the Bible. We have been learning about Motivational Gifts and now we are going to begin to learn how to recognize the differences between the individual Motivational gifts and the Ministry gifts that God has given us.

Motivational Gifts
(Romans 12:6-9)
Prophecy
Serving
Teaching
Exhortation
Giving
Administration
Mercy

Ministry Gifts
(Ephesians 4:11-13)
Apostle
Prophet
Evangelist
Pastor
Teacher

The following terms are also used when speaking about God’s Gifts. These are the manifestations of the Ministry Gifts.

REVELATION GIFTS
Word of Wisdom
Word of Knowledge
Discerning of Spirits

POWER GIFTS
Faith
Healing
Miracles

SPEAKING GIFTS –
Prophecy
Tongues
Interpretation of Tongues

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