Monthly Archives: July 2010

True Christians Know Their Sin

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
(1Jn 1:8-10 ESV)

These verses address two problems. If a Christian claims that they don’t have a sin nature, why would he or she need a savior? We are deceiving ourselves if we think we are without sin. Second, if we do something that is a sin, and say that its not a sin, we are calling God a liar. Both of these actions are rejections of God’s Spirit. The Spirit convicts us of the evil inside us and brings our sins to light.

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
(1Jn 2:1 ESV)

Note that, sinning itself, does not necessarily disqualify you from God’s kingdom. Jesus, Himself, is the advocate for those who are in Him. But, if you say that you don’t have sin, then there can’t be forgiveness for you. Let’s confess all of our sins to God, and pray that He keeps us from anymore sins.

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The Gale of the Holy Spirit

But those who have the gale of the Holy Spirit go forward even in sleep. If the vessel of our soul is tossed with winds and storms, let us awake the Lord, who reposes in it, and He will quickly calm the sea.” – Brother Lawrence

Christians are but sailboats in the vast ocean of life. We have no engine, but the gale of God’s Spirit. He leads us forward in our walks with God. He takes us where we need to go and teaches us what we need to know. Often, He leads us into storms. We must remember that our Lord has all power over the storms of life. All we need to do is ask our ever-present Father, and He will calm the seas at just the right time. The Christian life is not about struggling to become holy. God will do the work. We need to toss our engines overboard and unfurl the sails. Take us where you will and do with us what you will, Jesus.

True Christians Walk in the Light

If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
(1Jn 1:6-7 ESV)

This is second part of True Christians vs. False Christians. True Christians walk in the light, not in the darkness. If you claim to have fellowship with God, while you walk in darkness, John says you are a liar. So what does it mean to walk in the darkness?

Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
(1Jn 2:9-11 ESV)

If you hate a brother or sister in Christ, you walk in darkness. Notice, that there is no gray area given between loving and hating your fellow saints. Take a good look at your heart. Do you help other saints in need? Do you care enough for your brothers and sisters even to pray for them?

Let’s reflect on this in light of the words of Jesus:

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
(Mat 25:34-46 ESV)

If you have failed to love your fellow saints in the past, can you see how your love for them has grown since then? If, over time, you are not walking more and more in the light, you don’t have fellowship with God. Let’s ask God to pour out His love in abundance on us, so that His light will consume us.

The Refiner’s Fire

“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD.
(Mal 3:1-3 ESV)

These verses will find ultimate fulfillment upon the return of our Lord, but the refining has already started. Jesus has come and the Spirit has made us His Temple. He is like a refiner’s fire in us, so that we may be pure and blameless when Jesus returns for His Bride. Our flesh cannot withstand Him, for He burns away every iniquity inside of us. We shouldn’t fight God’s refining. Though it may seem painful at times, it will bear beautiful fruit. We ought to lay all that we hold dear before Him, as our offering to the One who deserves much more than any of us can give Him. Stop trying to purify yourself, and surrender everything to God. He is the only Refiner.

True Christians vs. False Christians

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
(Rev 3:15-16 ESV)

For a long time, my heart has felt heavy for false Christians. It is my opinion, that the majority of false Christians legitimately believe that they are saved from the wrath to come. What a sad fate it is for a person to believe that he or she is saved, when there is no true salvation for him or her. I would rather a person fully embrace the life of Christ or admit that he or she hates God, than to sit on the fence. In spite of all the claims, there are only two choices in this life: follow Jesus or follow Satan. In the coming days, I plan to take a look at what the letters written by John, say about true Christians and false Christians. The purpose of this study is not so that you can judge the salvation of others, but so that you may judge your own salvation correctly. We must be diligent in making our calling and election sure.

How the Spiritual Gifts Work Together

In our look at the Spiritual Gifts, we’ve explored the Motivational Gifts, the Manifestations of the Spirit, and the Ministry Gifts. Let’s take a look at how the different type of gifts work together. We’ll use 2 imaginary people, named Joe and Jane, as examples.

First, Joe has the motivational gift of exhortation. Joe gives words of wisdom and prophecies to encourage others to grow spiritually. God gives Joe the ministry of teaching. Joe’s teaching focuses on helping other Christian’s grow spiritually.

Jane has the motivational gift of contribution. Jane has powerful faith to give in the face of great adversity and is able to discern between which ministries God is working in and which aren’t. God gives Jane the ministry gift of shepherding. Jane helps guide God’s sheep. She, especially, enjoys giving her time, giving her money, and opening her home to care for God’s sheep.

I hope this brief study will help us look at our brothers and sisters in a new light. They may have different focuses in their Christian walks, compared to ours. That is OK. We have to understand that our way of living Christ is not the only way. It takes all of us to form the complete and perfect image of Jesus Christ.

Let’s thank God for the great gifts which He has given to us in abundance. Also, let’s use the gifts God has given to build each other up, not to tear down.

Inexpressible

How wonderful it is to walk in God’s presence. To constantly see Him working through your day and guiding you along your way. Sometimes, the delight in my heart is so great, it seems a shameful thing to express it. I often have to hide it inside myself, because I would seem like a crazy person to everyone around me. I have tried to tell people of the realness of Jesus, but they don’t understand. It would be an unbearable thing for me to entertain the thought of Jesus not existing. He is my dear friend, as real to me as any other. Perhaps, more real than any other. He is always with me, knows everything about me, and has experienced every single thing that I have experienced. I have the privilege of getting to know Him better. Daily, He lets me sit at the table of His blessings. I wish to express the inexpressible love of Christ to those around me, but words fall short. No words that I have found can truly express my experience with God. Some of my favorite time is spent in my car where I can be who I really am with God. I can shout and I can cry. I can be free to love and adore God with all that I am. If I am parked, then all my attention can be given to Him and what a wonderful dance it is, since He always gives me His full attention.

Now is the Time

That we ought to act with God in the greatest simplicity, speaking to Him frankly and plainly, and imploring His assistance in our affairs, just as they happen. That God never failed to grant it, as he had often experienced.” – Brother Lawrence

This is a great lesson for a Christian to learn. Many Christians only address God before or after their day. Instead, we must ask His assistance in every circumstance. We shouldn’t wait until a particular situation is over, but go to Him as it is occurring. God doesn’t require complex speech, but wants us to come to Him in simplicity. He wants us to come to Him as we are, with speech that naturally flows from our love for Him. We have a wonderful God who is always present with us. He is always faithful to help His children.

Ministry Gifts

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
(Eph 4:11-12 ESV)

Previously, we looked at the Motivational Gifts and the Manifestations of the Spirit. Now we will look at the Ministry Gifts. Remember, this is a quick overview and is not meant to be an in-depth study. I don’t think that everyone has one of these ministries. Some Christians spend their entire lives doing the work of one of these ministries. Other Christians perform certain ministries at certain times. Unfortunately, we lay the burden of being the “jack of all trades” on pastors (shepherds), when that is not what Jesus meant for His Church. No one person is called to perform all of these ministries at one time.

Apostles

  • Plant churches (must be sent by a group of believers)

Prophets

  • Inspired speakers

Evangelists

  • Preach the gospel

Shepherds

  • Watch out for God’s sheep

Teachers

  • Instruct God’s people

There are two purposes listed in the text for these ministries: Equipping the saints for the work of ministry and building up the body of Christ. Those people with these gifts are suppose to use their gifts to help other Christians in their ministries. These gifts should not be elevated to special offices. They are given to form the saints into the perfect image of Jesus Christ. In light of this, they should not even be thought of as gifts for an individual, they are gifts through individuals for the Body of Christ.

In our final look at the Spiritual Gifts, I will show how the different types of gifts work together in a Christian’s life.

“Detoxing” from Traditional Church

No offense to those of you who enjoy the traditional church, but I have never really fit in there. I have always felt like church was meant to be participatory, even before I heard of organic churches. I am now “detoxing” from traditional church. I use to get to tired when church would last more than an hour. Church would often leave me with a headache. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed church (but only for like an hour at a time). I admit, this left me with some guilt. Why would spending time with brothers and sisters in Christ leave me feeling tired? I found I enjoyed staying longer in Bible studies and prayer meetings. I could talk with people about God for hours. Now that I have begun going to an organic church, I am learning to stop watching the clock. It is enjoyable experiencing Jesus through His Body for a few hours. I am no longer an audience member. Instead, I am a participant in what Jesus wants to do with His people. I trust Jesus to lead us by His Spirit.

I understand that organic church may not be for all Christians, but if you haven’t heard of it you should check it out (especially if you feel out of place in traditional church).

Check out some reading materials on organic church if you want to learn more:
Pagan Christianity
Reimagining Church

Purifying Love

Part 1:
What a beautiful day.
What a sea so blue.

There is no greater love
than that of these two.

They sail on a vast boat,
its white color is brilliant and pure.

Their voyage seems to be perfect,
but what else could they be in for?

They have fun on jet skis,
joyful laughing and playing around

There is complete peace around them,
besides their giggling, there is not a sound.

They are at the bow of the boat
having a joyous time together

Oh that this honeymoon would continue
the end, not to be seen ever

The couple appears flawless
no greater beauty can we imagine

The Groom is tall and handsome,
with greater looks than prince charming.

The Bride is gentle and gorgeous
with golden hair and a flowing dress

Never has there been such a brilliant couple
their marriage is surely blessed.

Chorus:
Your love is so great
and Your love is so true.
No one can love us as much as You.

Through the light
and through the darkness
We will follow Your lead to perfect holiness.

Part 2:
A veil blows in the wind
it waves back and forth.

It blows over the man’s face
His pure shape shows His worth.

But the wind shifts the veil
it covers the Woman’s face.

It reveals a great evil,
the Groom looks upon with distaste.

Then the veil is gone,
the Groom knows the truth.

But He still sees Her as perfect
His unconditional love does not need proved.

The couple come together,
they meet each other in loving embrace.

Their kiss is picture perfect,
in it there is no haste.

Chorus:
Your love is so great
and Your love is so true.
No one can love us as much as You.

Through the light
and through the darkness
We will follow Your lead to perfect holiness.

Part 3:
Out of nowhere men arrive
as they ride on jet skis.

They surround the great boat,
from their guns, their fury, they unleash.

The boat is filled with holes,
the kissing couple is too.

Their love is tested by fire
and found to be true

The Ones in love stand strong,
not missing a single beat.

They remain embraced and kissing,
their love surpasses this evil feat.

From the holes in the couple
spring forth fountains of red blood.

The boat is sinking,
the water pours in like a flood.

The blood and water mix,
as the kissing couple go underwater.

Though all seems lost,
there is a peace to this slaughter.

Chorus:
Your love is so great
and Your love is so true.
No one can love us as much as You.

Through the light
and through the darkness
We will follow Your lead to perfect holiness.

Part 4:
Suddenly the Groom reaches the surface,
not a mark scars His features.

Next a woman appears
Her hair is dark and Her looks tougher

She remains beautiful and feminine,
but gone is the fairytale princess.

The jet skis remain intact,
on Their way home will be great tests.

The Groom leads the way.
The Brides follows His every move.

The enemy awaits them,
His skill, the Groom will prove.

He performs great feats
and the enemy is no match.

The Bride is able to follow
His cleared and safe path.

The ending is not for us to know,
in the Groom we must put our faith.

The future will bring danger for the Church,
as long as we follow Christ’s lead we will be safe.

Chorus:
Your love is so great
and Your love is so true.
No one can love us as much as You.

Through the light
and through the darkness
We will follow Your lead to perfect holiness.

Manifestations of the Spirit

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
(1Co 12:7-12 ESV)

In our last look at spiritual gifts, we saw the Motivational Gifts. These were the gifts that motivate our lives in Christ. Now we look at the Manifestations of the Spirit. First of all, I don’t completely understand all of these gifts because I have not experienced them all. I do know that God gives us these gifts at various times to fulfill His purposes. You may experience one of these manifestations all of your life, for a season, or even sporadically. Each Christian may be given any combination of the manifestations of the Spirit. A person may have one or many manifestations of the Spirit. It is important to recognize that these gifts are given for the common good of the saints, not for an individual’s own benefit. Also, don’t boast about the greatness of your gifts, because these aren’t done in your power. Instead, they are done in the power of God’s Spirit. That is why they are manifestations of His Spirit.

Words of Wisdom

  • Wise word of advice for a given situation.

Words of Knowledge

  • Special knowledge given to you by God that you don’t have naturally.

Faith

  • Amazing faith for particularly difficult circumstances.

Healing

  • Healing the sick and wounded.

Miracles

  • Special act of power from God.

Prophecy

  • Knowledge of future events.

Discernment of spirits

  • Special wisdom to discernment between good and evil spirits.

Tongues

  • A language given by God that is not ones own.

Interpretation of Tongues

  • Ability to interpret someone’s tongues.

By no means, do I believe that Paul meant for this to me an exhaustive list of manifestations of the Spirit. Considering our God is infinite, I am sure that He manifests His Spirit in so many ways that we could never keep track of them all.

Through the spiritual gifts we can see the amazing diversity in which God has made us in Christ.

For the Love of God

…That having resolved to make the love of God the end of all his actions, he had found reasons to be well satisfied with his method.” – Brother Lawrence

If only we would make the love of God, the end of all our actions. Our lives are meant to revolve around Jesus. If you wash the dishes, do it out of love for Him. If you pick up trash off of the ground, do it out of love for Him. If you sleep, do it out of love for Him. None of us can claim that we have loved God perfectly, as He loves us. Fortunately, this moment is a new moment. God is always waiting for us to direct our attention to Him, as His attention is always on us.

Today, let’s begin to devote our every action to God. We must ask Him for His help in making Him the end of all our actions. We can’t do it, but His Spirit is faithful to remind us of Him when we forget.

Crucifying Christ Again

For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned. Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things–things that belong to salvation.
(Heb 6:4-9 ESV)

I always thought that it was impossible for a Christian to lose their salvation. This is what every teacher that I heard taught. Rarely, have I come across a Christian who thought someone could lose their salvation. I still agree that you can’t lose your salvation. But, when I read Hebrews 6, I realized you can forsake your salvation. I really wanted to see this verse from a different angle. I wanted God to tell me that I was reading it wrong. I have heard teachers attempt to explain this passage away as false Christians. But, that seems like trying to conform Scripture to our own views to me. No matter what we want, Hebrews 6 seems to speak plainly. Look at the phrases that are used to describe these people:

  • those who have once been enlightened
  • have tasted the heavenly gift
  • have shared in the Holy Spirit
  • tasted the goodness of the word of God
  • tasted powers of the age to come

Now comes the part that people don’t want to hear…

  • then have fallen away

Then to make things worst…

  • It is impossible…to restore them again to repentance

Obviously, these people had already been truly repentant if they can’t be repentant again. Then, the writer of Hebrews makes a good point…

  • since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.

Who can try to crucify Christ again, but those who have shared in His crucifixion? He was already crucified for them once. Then, they turned back to embrace the world, thus holding our beloved Lord up to contempt.

I believe that nothing can take our salvation. I believe nothing can separate us from the love of God. But, we can willingly turn away from God. The verse here says that they can’t be restored to repentance. So if you are truly repentant of your sin, then God will welcome you back as the father welcomed back the prodigal son. But, there seems to be a point where you can go too far.

Let’s not get to the point where we need to worry about such things. Instead, let’s walk closely with God and pray that He draws us ever closer to His heart.

Christianity: Individual or Corporate?

I have had a thought process going for about a week on this subject. It seems like people have drawn a line. On one side stands the Christians who believe Christianity is just about individuals. On the other side stands people who believe Christianity is only corporate. It is quite possible that this is just in my head. In my opinion, Christianity is both individualistic and corporate. I don’t know how many of us are in the middle, but I don’t hear much from us (perhaps because we already agree with both sides).

It seems obvious to me that each one of us is saved individually. Also, each one of us will be judged individually. Each one of us really does have a personal relationship with God (although that phrase seems worn out). I have developed great love for, and fellowship with some Christians during my walk with Christ. I have experienced Jesus in a corporate way through them, but God has still given me great spiritual blessings individually.

On the other hand, some people think Christianity is only individualistic. Sure, you can live as a Christian on your own. Unfortunately, the gifts that God has given you will go unused. Others’ gifts will not be used for your benefit, as they were meant to be. In Revelations, Jesus gives messages not to individuals, but to whole churches. You will never be able to experience Jesus, in all His fullness, outside of His Body. This is because each one of us is just a piece of the puzzle.

I would like to see Christians meet at the middle with us and embrace our individual walks and corporate walks with Jesus (not that one takes priority over another). I didn’t feel like looking for Scripture references, as these are simply my thoughts. I would enjoy comments though. All sides are welcome to comment.

Motivational Gifts

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
(Rom 12:6-8 ESV)

This study is not meant to be comprehensive. 7 gifts are presented in Romans 12. These are the motivational gifts, meaning that these gifts are what motivates us in our life with Christ. It is my opinion, that each Christian only has one of these gifts. My understanding of the gifts are limited, in that, I only have one. You may feel you relate to some of the other gifts, but only one will be the gift that drives your heart. In Romans 12:9-15, Paul gives advice to the people who have each gift. You don’t get to pick your gift. God has already given it to you when you were created anew in Christ. In order to discover your gift you may have to pray and do some self-evaluation. Your gift may even be shrouded in darkness, if you are not walking with God.

Prophecy

  • Driven to reveal sin.
  • Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. (Rom 12:9 ESV)
  • These Christians are often not well-received because they bring the evil deeds to light. It is easy for them to forget to love the people, whose evil deeds they bring to light.

Service

  • Driven to serve others.
  • Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (Rom 12:10 ESV)
  • These Christians don’t want to be the leader. They want to help others with whatever needs to be done. They are encouraged to serve with brotherly affection and outdo each other in showing people honor.

Teaching

  • Driven to deep study for the purpose of teaching.
  • Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. (Rom 12:11 ESV)
  • These Christians study a lot, so that they can teach others what they learn. They must be passionate in their studies and teaching. Also, they must remember their teaching is for the Lord, not themselves.

Exhortation

  • Driven to encourage others to grow spiritually.
  • Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Rom 12:12 ESV)
  • These Christians want to see others grow spiritually. Since, not all the other gifts are so driven to grow spiritually, these Christians must have hope, patience, and pray constantly for the spiritual growth of others.

Contribution

  • Driven to give.
  • Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. (Rom 12:13 ESV)
  • These Christians want to give as much as they can to others. They find great satisfaction in giving. They should direct their giving primarily to the saints and try to show hospitality.

Leading

  • Driven to organize and administrate.
  • Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. (Rom 12:14 ESV)
  • These Christians are driven to organize the Body of Christ, so that it can act together. They may organize the people necessary to assist a Christian in the hospital. These Christians can have a hard time, because other people want to do things their own way. These Christians should remember to bless those who are mean to them.

Mercy

  • Driven to show empathy.
  • Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. (Rom 12:15 ESV)
  • These Christians want to cry with you, when you cry. They want to laugh with you, when you laugh. They can experience the emotions of people around them and therefore, relate to that person in a special way.

Then, Paul gives direction to all the Christians:

Live in harmony with one another.
(Rom 12:16 ESV)

Each of these spiritual gifts reveal to us a piece of Jesus Christ. We must understand that each Christian has been uniquely created in Christ. We are each driven in a unique way to perform the good works that God has prepared for us. Your way of living the life of Christ may not be the only way.

Spiritual Dryness

That there needed fidelity in those dryness, or insensibilities and irksomenesses in prayer, by which God tries our love to Him; that then was the time for us to make good and effectual acts of resignation, whereof one alone would oftentimes very much promote our spiritual advancement.” – Brother Lawrence

Some days we wake up and we feel down. We search for God, but it seems like He has hidden Himself from us. We attempt to pray and worship Him, but we don’t feel like it. John of the Cross described this as the dark night of the soul. It may last for a few minutes, some have experienced it for years. If you are experiencing this you can rest assured that it is absolutely necessary, according to the wisdom of God. This is a time of spiritual testing, as well as great spiritual blessing. You have a great opportunity to spend time with God for no other reason than the love of Him, because you can no longer perceive the present benefits. Once the time of testing has passed, your walk with God will be much closer.

We must show our fidelity to our beloved Lord, even when we feel spiritually desolate. God’s Spirit is always with us, even when we can’t sense Him.

Your Name

Jesus, Your Name fills
my heart with joyfulness.
A joyfulness that
is truly matchless.

Jesus, Your Name shows
my mind wonder.
A wonder that tears
my pride asunder.

Jesus, Your Name envelops
my spirit in love.
A love my own love,
falls short of.

Jesus, Your Name tastes
so sweet to my lips.
Lips that will forever
shout Your Lordship.

Spiritual Gifts

Over the coming days, I will present a short study on the spiritual gifts. In my humble opinion, understanding our spiritual gifts are important for a few reasons:

  1. We can give God thanks for them.
  2. To understand why we are the way we are.
  3. To understand why other Christians are the way they are.

I don’t want to tell you what your gifts are. Your spiritual gifts will come naturally if you are walking with God. They don’t need to be forced. Instead, as God shapes us in His image, we will continue to grow in the gifts, which He has given us.

There are different spiritual gifts listed in the Bible.
These gifts can be broken down into 3 categories of gifts:

  1. Romans 12:6-8 are the Motivational Gifts.
  2. 1 Corinthians 12:7-9 are the Manifestations of the Spirit.
  3. Ephesian 4:11 are the Ministry Gifts.

Not everyone agrees on spiritual gifts and that is alright. I especially anticipate questions about the motivational gifts. If you want a better explanation of them, please order the free materials about them by Russell Kelfer at Discipleship Tape Ministries. If you don’t feel like ordering the materials I will attempt to address anyone’s concerns myself.

We must remember that not a single one of us can fully show the image of Jesus Christ alone, but all of us together are His complete and perfect Body.

Are You Ready to Resign?

That we ought to give ourselves up to God, with regard both to things temporal and spiritual, and seek our satisfaction only in the fulfilling of His will, whether He leads us by suffering or by consolation, for all would lie equal to a soul truly resigned.” – Brother Lawrence

Indeed, it is a rare Christian who gives himself or herself up to God for suffering or consolation. We quickly and happily accept God’s blessing when it is clothed in things we enjoy. Although, when God’s blessing is clothed in difficulties and trials, we cry out to Him, “Why God?” If we are in Christ, we will walk as He walked. Jesus suffered greatly. If you do everything for the love of God, then everything you suffer will be in His Name.

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
(1Pe 4:12-14 ESV)

Today, resign yourself to God’s will, whatever it may be.

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