Tag Archives: Talents

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
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Everyone Is Watching You!

12 Jun

Let’s get back to Lydia. Lydia was raised as a pagan, worshiping idols, but she knew something was missing. She renounced that and became a proselyte (a new convert). God had prepared her heart and upon meeting with Paul, she became a believer. Clearly, Lydia immediately embraced Jesus and her new-found place in His kingdom. Her heart was filled with joy and gratitude and a desire to share Christ. She also immediately wanted to do her part to further God’s message and to minister to His servants.

How could we possibly know all this through the brief mention of Lydia in the Bible? Scripture does not say all of that. Oh! But it does. All throughout God’s Word we learn of God and His ways. We learn through the examples in stories we read about. From that we can determine that Lydia responded just the way God wanted her to. Lydia had no Scriptures to read. She had not heard the gospel before meeting Paul on that divinely appointed day. She hadn’t heard how God wanted her to behave. What she did have now, that she didn’t have before, was the Holy Spirit of God living in her heart in leading her in the way to go!

Lydia had and not read any self-help books or watched any TV preachers, or even gone to church and sat under Sunday School teachers and Bible study leaders. She “just knew” in her heart what to do by the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit. Lydia was also humble, as evidenced by the way she spoke to Paul and Silas in invited them to her home.

Let’s bring this story into the 21st century. We don’t much like being around grumpy, whiny people who are always negative and always complaining. The spirit within us rejects this. There is just something about a joyful, smiling individual who offers encouragement and a positive attitude. Our day is brightened and our hearts changed and uplifted. That’s what God is all about. He is a good God. He has given to us promise after promise throughout His Word. We can learn from the Scripture that loving God and following Him doesn’t promise us a life without trials and tribulations. We may also suffer loss and pain. The good news God has for us is that Jesus came to overcome the world and to make us also overcomers through Him.

God wants us to learn dependence upon Him. He wants us to trust Him and let Him lead us. Our actions and our reactions tell others just how much we love and trust God. We can say it all we want. Our actions may confirm what we say or negate what we say. If you think no one is watching – be aware – everyone is watching.

This doesn’t mean we should do everything we can to make others think more of us or like us more. Actually, that would totally backfire. It may work briefly but in time, it would become obvious. The point is, every life around us is on display, today, in this time, more so than ever. Think about those we see every day and the thoughts that run through our minds as we observe them or listen to them. It doesn’t take long for us to notice things that we like or dislike, or things we agree with or object to. Know that the way we live our lives for Christ becomes clear to those around us. Just be careful not to judge. That is not our place, but God’s.

Let Lydia be an example! Live with an open heart, a humble spirit, the joy of the Lord, a willing and serving heart, and a desire to tell others about God and His love. Lydia was brave, conscientious and hospitable. She had a giving spirit. Lydia had been searching for truth and when she found it she knew in her heart her life was forever changed. She wasted no time opening her heart her life and her home to God’s people.

We can also see through Lydia’s actions that she was wise. Lydia was not presumptuous but humble. She presented herself to the men of God in good taste and in reverence. Lydia was a gracious hostess and not intimidated by these mighty men of God. She was confident, yet respectful in approaching them with an invitation to her home. We can surmise that Lydia was experienced in how to approach people and how to present herself because of her ability as a seller of purple, a much sought after item in those times. But, she did not see herself as inferior to these mighty men of God. Nor did she “get in their face”. She was humble in their presence and wanted to be used by God to do what she could to help them. She started with what she had.

Start with what you have. Don’t wait for something to come along that you perceive to be necessary before you can serve God or His people. He gave you gifts and talents and knowledge that only you have. Let Him use you – just as you are!

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