Living “In the Spirit” or “for Christ” is more than just believing in God and accepting Christ as your savior. You need to be faithful in reading the Bible, praying, and petitioning God. We must always be exposing ourselves to growth and renewal. Paul used an analogy of a Roman soldier’s armor set to explain putting on the Armor of God.
I was recently asked if I had ever taken the spiritual gifts test. Spiritual gifts are given to Christians after they accept Jesus Christ. Everyone has at least one gift, and some have more than one.
I hadn’t really heard much about them growing up. The only things I ever heard was “Everyone has gifts!” and “Charismatic people are wrong!” I found that both are a little bit true, and a little bit off.
Romans 12:1-2, “1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (NKJV)
This tells me that I need to be living in a way that is honoring to God, and keeping my mind fresh and renewed from the things of this world that might drag me down. In doing so, I then open to doing the will of God, rather than doing my own will and wrong doings.
Paul continues teaching us that we need to stay in tune to God and that the body of Christ has many parts.
Romans 12:3-5, “3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” (NKJV)
The analogy to a “body” is one that we can relate to as humans. Our body is more than just one arm, or two legs, or just a brain. Everything is attached, working together, to accomplish the tasks that we need it to do. If we break an arm or a leg, we’re hindered.
The same is true of the body of Christ. If one part isn’t operating properly, the rest will struggle. We all have different talents, roles, and gifts. In the sense of gifts, we should be using those unique gifts to operate our piece of the body.
Romans 12:6-8, “6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” (NKJV)
Paul then takes us through the first few spiritual gifts. He’s intentional in his writing to us that we need to be intentional with our gifts. If we have the gift of teaching, we need to teach. If our gift is ministry, then we need to minster. If our gift is serving, we need to serve.
Stephen Covey’s 7 habits of highly effective people starts with being proactive. Dave Ramsey teaches that to get your finances under control you need to be intentional. So here does Paul teach through words that we should be intentional and go out and put our gifts to work, rather than waiting for them to come and get us. They’re already in you and part of your life. Why not make something happen with them?
As you start to explore your spiritual gifts, you first need to discover what they are. There are several tests and books out there to help you. My favorite author on the topic is C Peter Wagner and his book called “Your Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church Grow“. You need to get in word, and pray about them.
Once you start to discover what your gifts are, think about the things you’re drawn too. Do they relate? I found mine did, and it explained a lot about another “strengths” test I had taken for work. From there you can start to do your part in the body of Christ, and accomplish good things.
Discovering your spiritual gifts can be enlightening, but you have to make sure you’re not confusing gifts with your personal goals and desires. You aren’t going to have certain gifts just because you want them. Pray heavily asking the holy spirit to reveal your gifts. Read scripture. Talk to your Pastor, friends, relatives, etc. Take a spiritual gift test. In the end, you may even need to fast on it. Ask God to help you recognize your gifts, and where he wants you to use them.
Spiritual Gifts are just that. Gifts. Take then without question and put them to work.
For more on the Spiritual Gifts, see 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, and Ephesians 4.
If you’ve ever watched a sporting event, you’ve most likely seen the John 3:16 signs being held up by spectators during timeouts and half times. But just what does it mean?
John 3:16, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (NKJV)
This is one of the most important verses of the Bible. You could even say it is the most important verse. Let’s break it down.
God loves us enough that he sent His only son to die for all sin before and forever after.
God gave us this gift freely. Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world, but to save it. He bled as a lamb, and all we have to do accept the gift.
If we believe, we will spend eternity with Him. We’re all going to spend eternity somewhere. The question you should ask yourself is “where?”
Accepting Christ and living as a Christian is more than just straightening up and praying a prayer. It is accepting Christ’s gift and believing.
Are you ready to accept Christ? Pray thanking him for dying in your place. Let him know that you believe in Him and want to spend eternity in His kingdom. Then go out and tell others what you’ve discovered.
My wife and I are half way through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. It’s a great class for anyone interested in a better way to manage money. This week the class took a break for parents to spend time with their kids during their mid-winter break from school. Our Pastor preached a sermon on tithing and it filled the week with an important lesson. God will protect us from credit vultures if we give diligently.
There is always anxiety when a new President of the United States takes office. Unknowns, excitement and fear seem to dominate the minds of most Americans. Today is one of those days. Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45 President. There seems to be all kinds of opinions ranging across the gamut. One thing we all need to remember is that God is in control.
In the first part of Proverbs 1, we learned about the beginning of knowledge and how important the fear of the Lord is. It is always important to keep your focus on God and stay away from bad advice. That fear will help prevent you from being lured by the wrong influences. Your parents are a key set of people to listen to on this earth, while studying and letting the Father (God) guide you through His word. Always avoid evil counsel and bad influences.
Lately, I’ve been feeling like a slave. Its gotten me down, made me cranky, and changed my outlook on my job. This change wasn’t positive and it started to cause rifts in aspects of my life. I found myself snippy, more irritable, and borderline ungrateful. I had no hope in sight, and accepted my dark path.
Today I was reminded of something Paul wrote in Colossians. He tells us to work hard, work for the Lord, and don’t consider yourself a slave to human masters.
Colossians 3:23-24 says ” 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” (NKJV)
It doesn’t matter what situation you’re in with work. Low pay, long hours, or stress. Just turn your eyes to God and the things of this world won’t matter. At the end of the day you’re doing the work for yourself, your family, and for God.
- Beginning PHP
- Canis Hosting
- Career Advice
- Character Development
- Christian Growth
- Development Practices
- Dialogue Development
- Familiaris Games
- Flash Game Programming 101
- Game Development
- Game Review
- Mail Bag
- Project Management
- Social Media
- Special Announcements
- State of the Blog
- Story Development
- Thursday Small Group Notes
- Time Management
- Video Games
- Web Browsers
- Web Development
- World Development
- Year In Review
- January 2019
- July 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- August 2017
- June 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- June 2016
- February 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- November 2013
- April 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- September 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011