Tag Archives: Spiritual Gifts

Manifestations of the Holy Spirit

20 Oct

I have been writing about the many gifts God has given us so that we might minister to one another as needed. We are His body and we need one another. God intends for us to live in harmony and to reach out to one another as His disciples. Before I discuss what is sometimes called “the five fold ministry” (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher,  – Ephesians 4:11-13), I believe the next step should be in describing some of the manifestations of the Spirit.

God sometimes gives us a “Word of Knowledge” –

  • Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” I Cor. 2:12-13 KJV

As we seek God in prayer or in searching His Word, or as we pray with others, God’s Holy Spirit sometimes gives us what we call  “A Word of Knowledge”. This simply means that our all-knowing God promised to send His Holy Spirit to be our Helper and our Counselor among other things. As we search for God’s truth and His answers, He will sometimes supernaturally give us knowledge about something that only He knows. He tells us in a way that something inside of us leaps with excitement or joy – sometimes maybe even tears. He knows our inner most being. He knows things about us that we don’t even know about ourselves. Sometimes we can’t even put into words what we may be feeling or struggling with or searching for. God may show us in His Scripture or He may speak to us through another person or in any number of other ways. The point is, when He speaks to us – we know it has to be God speaking because no one else could possibly know.

Many times another person who may be praying for you or just talking with you about a concern will suddenly say something that touches you in a special way. You may even ask them “Have you been talking to someone about this situation?” Or you may be curious about how they knew how to say just what you needed to hear at that moment. Most of the time the person who spoke the “Word of Knowledge” may not even know exactly why they are saying to you what they are saying. This is one way God speaks to you in a personal way, through the Holy Spirit, to touch you deeply about what is on your  heart.

Another of God’s gifts, or manifestations of the Spirit, can (and usually does) work along with the “Word of Knowledge”. It is the “Word of Wisdom”.

  • This wisdom is an explanation of the mystery of God that centers in Jesus Christ – “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him.” Eph. 1:17
  • This wisdom is the result of revelation from the Holy Spirit – “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” I Cor. 2:9-10 KJV

As with the “Word of Knowledge”, God’s “Word of Wisdom” is something said or prayed over you that may give you the “wisdom” you need as an answer to the “Word of Knowledge” spoken about your situation.  As an example – A “Word of Knowledge” might be something like “God sees that you are struggling with . . . . and He wants you to know  . . . . ” In other words, the person praying with you may receive the knowledge of what you need to hear and then give you the answer as a “Word of Wisdom”.

This doesn’t mean God tells everybody your business. The person praying over you or speaking with you usually doesn’t even know why they are saying what they are saying. They just “hear” God’s Holy Spirit speak as they pray or as they talk to you and only you and God know what it means.

God is a personal God. It is not His nature to tell  your business to other people or to embarrass you, or to condemn you. His only motive is to love you and help you. Some of us have seen and heard of things that I call “Spooky Spiritual”.  This is when a person doesn’t walk in wisdom as the gifts of the Spirit begin to move in their lives. They try too hard to reach too far into things God doesn’t intend for them to know. Scripture tells us that we “see through a glass darkly”. This means that God doesn’t intend for us to know everything about every situation. As disciples of Christ, we walk by faith, not by sight. He will give us signs along the way and encourage us as we walk. But, He never intended for anyone to be spooky spiritual and tell us things that they have no business telling us.

This is where the two spiritual realms come into play. The spiritual world is real. Those who walk with God and know His Word, know how to hear his voice and can discern what God is saying. Those who are not submissive to the Holy Spirit of God and seek to know more (fortune tellers, psychics, etc.) can reach far  into places that God never intended for us to go. This doesn’t mean the “other side” has the information we need and God doesn’t want us to have it.   It means that the devil is just waiting for you or I to be vulnerable enough to believe his lies. Don’t forget, the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy you and he does not play fair! God has given us the power to be overcomers in this world. In order to do that we must know Him and know what His Word (the Bible) teaches us about Him.

God speaks to all his children. Some who try to talk to us about what God is saying don’t even know how to hear Him for themselves so they certainly can’t hear Him for you! Always be cautious. It is imperative that we know God’s Word so we can know God Himself. Then, the enemy won’t be able to deceive us.

At times, as we pray,
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There Are Two Sides of the Spiritual Realm

16 Oct

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. Paul describes how 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.

  • 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)

    • 8 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)

    Many hold back in seeking the Gifts or even the knowledge of them. Some have decided (without Scriptural confirmation) that  the manifestations of the Spirit they see couldn’t possibly be “holy”, so they mistakenly decide that it must be from the devil himself.  We all have a little fear of the unknown but without knowing the facts it is like watching a football game without knowing there is a football on the field! We would just see big men, dressed kind of strangely, running around and knocking each other down! We would see part of it but not understand what it was all about because we didn’t know what the object of the “game” was.

  • We actually need the Spiritual Gifts to give us power in the battle – in our spiritual warfare. Scriptures give us means to test the spirits and discern which is not from God. Keep in mind that satan always attempts to counterfeit what God does. There will always be people in the world who prefer to believe in the evil side of the spiritual realm than the godly side. Why is that? If we can believe the things we read in God’s Word it should be evident that God doesn’t do things like man does. There is a touch of the supernatural in so many of the Biblical testimonies. God has not ceased to do His mighty works. The Scripture above does not mean that after Jesus came all the other miracles of God ceased! Just the opposite – Jesus came to fulfill those promises and magnify those gifts. If you read the verses again you will see that “when that which is perfect is come” — that means when Jesus comes to take us all home — He will take the place of everything we have known – He IS love and love (charity) NEVER fails.

  • Regular Bible reading is so vital to our spiritual growth! If we don’t study God’s Word for ourselves we will listen to so many untruths about God and His ways, including the gifts He has so freely given us to live in a world full of hate and evil. It seems obvious that we need His gifts in order to help us overcome our obstacles, as Jesus promised. Jesus also told us (in Scripture) that we would do GREATER things than He did (provided we are born-again believers).  We really need to relax a little about God’s spiritual gifts.

  • I heard a story about a man being given a tour of heaven after having just arrived. During the tour, he was shown many beautiful things. The angel  guiding him passed up one particularly large room with a beautiful door. The new resident of heaven asked why they passed it by without looking in. He was told that if he were to look inside the room he would become very sad. But, the new resident pleaded until he was granted permission. When the door was opened he saw a room full of unopened gifts – all sizes and shapes – beautifully wrapped. He asked the angel what all the gifts were for. He was told by the angel that they were gifts from God, intended for him while we was on earth but that they were never accepted.

  • Wouldn’t you just be heart-broken if you knew you were refusing to accept amazing gifts from your Heavenly Father? He won’t force them on us. He loves us enough that He gave us His only Son. Why in the world would He then offer us something that would hurt us in any way? God loves us so much. Think of how you have felt at a time when you wanted to give something special to someone you love and it was rejected. Remember how it felt. You were probably hurt and/or disappointed. But, you can’t force someone to accept a gift. A gift is just that – a gift. A gift is something given to someone to express love or appreciation.  It is usually something special, out of the ordinary.

  • What better way for God to express His love and appreciation for us and to reveal more of Himself to us than to give us Spiritual Gifts? God IS Spiritual – His gifts should be supernatural. He does give us all kinds of gifts in the natural – some we don’t even realize are gifts. God IS love – He desires to bless us. His spiritual gifts are one of the ways He does that. It is one of the ways He shows His love.

  • This is the season for Halloween – spooky – strange things. It is one of the largest holidays celebrated – bigger than Christmas to some merchants. People are curious about the supernatural – more so the evil side. They aren’t so willing to accept the godly side. Please understand that the spiritual realm is very real – both sides. We know plenty of the world’s carnal side – we need to desire more of God’s supernatural side. Our pride is usually what keeps us from it.

  • Pray about it. Study the Scriptures and ask God to open your heart to His truth. He won’t embarrass you. He won’t force anything on you. He wants you to have everything you need to fight the spiritual battle you face every day of your life. Trust Him.

    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
  • 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

    The Encouragers – “How To” People

    26 Sep

    SPIRITUAL GIFTS (20)

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Are You An Explainer?

    2 Sep

    SPIRITUAL GIFTS (19)

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

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

    They generally present truth in a systematic sequence.

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

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

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

    They emphasize the importance and accuracy of reporting.

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

    They are alert to factual details which escape others.

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

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

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

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

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

    They exercise diligence and endurance.

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

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

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

    The Speaking Gifts – Teacher

    30 Aug

    SPIRITUAL GIFTS (18)

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What’s Your Motive When You Give?

    29 Aug

    SPIRITUAL GIFTS (17)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    –(Luke 5:27-32)

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

    –(Matthew 27:3-8; 28:11-15)

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

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

    –(Matthew 18:23-35)

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

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

    Are You A Giver?

    25 Aug

    SPIRITUAL GIFTS (16)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    24 Aug
    SPIRITUAL GIFTS (15)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Who’s Voice Are You Following?

    21 Aug
    Spiritual Gifts (14)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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