Fan into Flame The Gift of God

Peter and John, they took note, these men had been with Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 769: Time With Jesus Every Day.

“FAN INTO FLAME THE GIFT OF GOD…” Timothy.

“They Took Note: These Men Had Been With Jesus.” Peter and John.

Good morning my friends, very soon I’m going to begin studying Paul’s Letters to Timothy. These are some of Paul’s warmest and yet most challenging letters in the New Testament. Timothy needed the Apostle’s tender encouragement, we do too. I’ll go through them systematically and you can follow them here at Daily Spirit & Word. However, let’s wet our appetites today with Paul’s encouragement to Timothy, and also Peter and John’s experience of having their GIFT fanned into flame.

2 Timothy 1:3-7 (NIV)
3  I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.
4  Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.
5 I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
6  For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
7  For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

That “Gift Of God” sometimes called “The Anointing”: is the passion, zeal and desire to serve the Lord Jesus Christ with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Each and every Christian needs ENCOURAGEMENT: Because this calling is a tough one, we need it to get our flickering flame glowing from a spark into a burning flame of light for Jesus.

One of the things that keeps me on fire is being with Jesus in Daily Study of the Bible. It’s something I’ve been doing since I started following the LORD. Oh yes there have been times when I’ve stopped for a short while, but I can testify from sometimes bitter experience that I’ve been my weakest when I’m not with Jesus every day in His Word.

Daily Bible Study: Is just ONE of the ways you can “Fan into Flame the Gift of God”. How? Because God’s Word FEEDS your soul and spirit. It moves you to praise, prayer and seeking the power of the Lord. You don’t have to read much of God’s Word to soon realise that you NEED His personal presence with you and in you every day.

There are many wonderful gifts the LORD has given His followers that will ignite our faith; here are the main ones, neglect just one at your peril:

How to FAN into FLAME the Gift of God:

What is the gift you’ve been given? First and most important is the GIFT OF FAITH to believe in the LORD Jesus Christ for Salvation.

Here are some of the ways my FIRE keeps going;

1) Prayer, Praise and Thanksgiving…
2) Bible Reading / Study.
3) Fellowship: Gathering in some way with God’s people every day.
4) Worship: Singing, Praising and giving thanks to the Lord.
5) Discipleship: Helping others to grow closer to Jesus with you.
6) Evangelism: This not only brings others into the Kingdom Family, but it also strengthens the faith and gifts that the LORD has given you. Philemon 1:6.
7) Generosity: When you are close to Jesus, you are going to be kind like Jesus. You’ll long to give and give…
8) LOVE: When we’re filled with God’s Holy Spirit daily, we’ll be FULL of His LOVE… This will enable us to LOVE others.
9) ……. I’m open to anything else being added here 🙂

I try and incorporate these things into my life almost every single day, and in that way, the FLAME is ignited and kept burning brightly for Jesus.

Whilst I know and acknowledge that this would be and is very difficult for most people, you have commitments; family, children, work. You have responsibilities; cleaning, caring, cooking. You have hobbies and need time to relax as well. Non-the-less, time spent with Jesus in one of these ways every day will transform your life. You will notice that suddenly you’ve actually got more free time, more energy, more self-control. You’ll notice that your desires will be changing and you’ll begin to love the opportunities that the LORD is bringing to you.

So many people testify to the fact that they get the POWER from the LORD they’ve been looking for for ages, when they follow these simple steps and put into practice some of the teachings of Jesus every day.

Here’s the verse the LORD put on my heart to share with you today. (NOTE it’s verse 13 from the passage below). Peter and John had healed a man and the commotion that followed led to them being arrested and thrown into prison.

Acts 4:5-14 (NIV)
5  The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem.
6  Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest’s family.
7  They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”
8  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!
9  If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed,
10  then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.
11  He is ” ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’
12  Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
13  When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
14  But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.

What do I get from this passage?

When you are WITH JESUS EVERY DAY: You’ll soon see miracles happening all around you too. The miracles might seem small to start with, but they’ll encourage you and “FAN INTO FLAME THE GIFT OF FAITH GOD HAS GIVEN YOU”… even more.

When you do things, good things, for Jesus; then it can lead to persecution. Jesus promised this would happen. It’s happening today my friends, to Christians all over the world. In England too; the other day in Bristol a man who was being abused by a large crowd when out preaching the Gospel and was arrested. He was exercising his freedom to speak publicly (something we can do legally here in the UK), but he was arrested instead of the ones abusing him. Don’t be surprised when persecution comes, but still; be gentle, be loving, be kind and compassionate, because it happened to Jesus as well.

We think today that the Methodists are very peaceful people, indeed they are, but when John Wesley visited a town or village in Cornwall, there were riots, he was often chased out of town, with all sorts of things being thrown at him. He noted in his journals, “It was a good day today, only three rotten tomatoes and a dead cat thrown at me”…

John Wesley was a Holy Spirit anointed and gifted preacher, thousands were moved to tears and repentance when he spoke, but his experience in Scotland (Accross the Tweed) needs special note.

“The applications of Wesley’s sermons were never slurred (He strove for simplicity and application). The discourses in the Scotch kirks (churches) struck him as specially defective in this respect. 1 On one occasion he speaks of the excellent truths he there listened to, but adds, “As there was no application, it is likely to do as much good as the singing of a lark.” His own experience in Scotland was not encouraging. Though he never met with people who loved preaching like his friends across the Tweed, he often felt helpless in the presence of those self-contained hearers. “Use the most cutting words, and apply them in the most pointed manner, still they hear, but feel no more than the seats they sit upon !” http://wesley.nnu.edu/?id=102

Sometimes, even the most gifted, powerful and Spirit filled preachers can’t break through the hardest hearts. It might be helpful to note that in the Scottish Borders at the time of John Wesley that Freemasonry was taking root. It was growing into a powerful organisation with influence in many spheres of society. It’s no wonder that even Wesley found it hard to break through into their hearts: ““Use the most cutting words, and apply them in the most pointed manner, still they hear, but feel no more than the seats they sit upon !”

PETER & JOHN

Peter and John, now filled with Holy Spirit POWER (Power to heal a man crippled from birth), but like the anointed Wesley, they also couldn’t break through into the hard-hearted high priestly family and the leaders in Jerusalem. Even though they’d witnessed a great and obvious miracle… Sometimes, there are people in this world who are so hard-hearted it seems almost impossible to break through into the soft-flesh of their hearts. That’s when ONLY PRAYER and sometimes FASTING will work. Why? Because every conversion of any soul is a work of the Holy Spirit upon that individual. And often before we see a breakthrough, the LORD wants us, those who love and follow Him, to draw even closer to Himself. When we do, we’ll soon discover that it’s not our anointing or gifting or strength, but His divine moving upon the hearts of men. When we do we’ll have our own FAITH IGNITED “Fan into flame the gift of God”…

I’m going to study Timothy, because I see that he needed encouragement from the Apostle Paul to fan into flame the gift of God, I need that too. We all need encouragement my friends, and as I study Paul’s letters to Timothy I hope we will all be set-ablaze with God’s GLORIOUS GIFTS too. Perhaps as we draw close to Jesus this week, we’ll see awesome miracles like Peter and John did on the way to the temple to pray.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, as I draw close to Jesus every day this coming week, I pray that the gift of faith you’ve given me will become a burning fire. I want to serve you with zeal, love, devotion and power. Help me to make use of those things that will ignite my faith; prayer, praise, worship, Bible reading and study, fellowship, witnessing and love… I’m praying that You will be glorified with my life this week. Come afresh into my life in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Through Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour I pray. Amen!

Acts 4:13  When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

2 Timothy 1:6  For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God…

They took note that Peter and John had been with Jesus, they were just ordinary men, they knew HOW to fan into flame the gift of God. By being with Jesus, so we can do the same things every day.

Haven an awesome week WITH JESUS my friends,

Don.

 

Pentecost: The Day Fire Fell and Power Came

How to get the fire of the Holy Spirit, Anointing and Power

Daily Spirit & Word: 743: Pentecost

The Day The Fire Fell & Power Came

Pentecost Prayer Week: Day 7: Holy Spirit.

Good morning my friends, well the DAY we’ve all been praying about has arrived; Pentecost.

It’s the day when Christians all over the world celebrate the BIRTHDAY of the Church. It marks the moments when the Holy Spirit first came upon and indwelt followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, they receive the promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit and His POWER and AUTHORITY.

Pentecost is also a time for Believers and Followers of Jesus Christ today, to remember that SAME Holy Spirit POWER and AUTHORITY is available for every single one of us.

Before I was Born of The Holy Spirit, I hated standing up and speaking in front of people, my knees would knock together, I’d get a dry mouth and a thumping in my chest as if my heart was going to explode. However, when I received Holy Spirit and stood up to speak for Jesus, WOWzer! I literally FELT the power of the Holy Spirit flood into my being. I feel His presence with me and sometimes I feel it much stronger than others. There is a quickening that happens when He wants me to say or do something.

On the first day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon Peter and the other Apostles, about 120 of them, they too were TRANSFORMED. Oh my friends, we’ve been praying all week for the AWAKENING of the Church. To see the whole Church set on FIRE with Holy Spirit to go out and EVANGELISE THE NATION.

What we really need, more than anything else, is this SAME FIRE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT to ignite each and ever truly born again follower of Jesus Christ.

Pray and ASK: How much more will the Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ASK Him?

ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE. 

Get the FIRE of The Holy Spirit Today.

Acts 1:8 (NIV)
8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

  • What will we receive? POWER.
  • How will we get that Power? When the Holy Spirit comes upon you.
  • What is the Power for? To be Jesus’ Witnesses all over the world.

Awesome!

PENTECOST: Have you been praying all week for your OIKOS (Those who know you are a Christian and a sincere follower of the Lord Jesus Christ)?

To effectively be the WITNESS God wants you to be, you are going to NEED this FIRE from HEAVEN: The POWER of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing”… You are POWERLESS without Holy Spirit. He is the manifest presence of the Lord Jesus Christ within you.

Be filled today, ask your Heavenly Father to send Holy Spirit into you afresh, anoint you with Holy Spirit power and authority. If you ask you will receive. Don’t doubt, ask in FAITH. Just receive the Holy Spirit by faith and walk in His power to witness to those you’ve been praying about. Then watch the difference!

Amen!

Don.

Pentecost Power Prayer:

Acts 1:8 (NIV)
8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

What will we receive? POWER.

How will we get that Power? When the Holy Spirit comes upon you.

What is the Power for? To be Jesus’ Witnesses all over the world.

Awesome!

When the Day of Pentecost Came:

Acts 2:1-4 (NIV)
1  When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
2  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
3  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
4  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

What Happened on The Church’s First Birthday?

They BEGAN to Witness Immediately:

Acts 2:14-21 (NIV)
14  Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.
15  These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!
16  No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17  ” ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
18  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
19  I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20  The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21  And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

My friends, with Holy Spirit POWER and AUTHORITY you too can be EFFECTIVE WITNESSES for the LORD.

Ask and you shall receive. Amen!

Desiring To Become A Prophet

The Holy Spirit On All People

Daily Spirit & Word 575:

Do you desire to become a Prophet of the LORD?

It’s amazing, you know when you are reading the Bible and come across it’s great characters that were used by the LORD in wonderful ways, do you ever get a hunger or desire to be like them for the LORD today? Think about Moses or Joshua or King David and Solomon, how the LORD used them: Think about Samuel, Elijah and Elisha and how the LORD used them: Think about Deborah, Esther, Elizabeth, Mary, Phoebe, Lydia and Chloe and how the LORD used them. These people are just a few, but think about down through history and how the LORD has powerfully used individuals to influence the times in which they lived. In each era of human history the LORD has chosen and anointed many thousands of people to become an influence for good, in such a way that countless thousands of others have been encouraged and inspired to become more holy, righteous and good themselves. Because of the way they’ve lived, people are hungering and thirsting to get to know the LORD Jesus Christ even long after their death:

Think about modern times, who’s recently been used by the LORD as an influence on a world-wide scale for good, that even non-Christians know about them? Billy Graham, C.S. Lewis, Reinhard Bonnke.

The Bible (God’s Word) reveals that before the advent of the Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, it was only certain individuals who were possessed by the Holy Spirit to prophesy and influence their world for good and for God’s glory, but long before Jesus came, one of those Prophets of the Lord tells us a time will come when everyone will become a prophet.

The Day of The LORD:

Joel 2:28-32 28 “And afterwards, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.
29  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
30  I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
31  The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.

32  And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls. 

By this prophesy Joel was forthtelling or foretelling the future. Forthtelling = the immediate future and foretelling speaks about the distant future. Joel was doing both in his prophetic utterances. Sometimes the prophet was aware of this and sometimes unaware that he was being used by the LORD.

We can see a two-fold foretelling unfolding from Joel’s prophesy: When he declared that there would be signs in the heavens and on the earth; you would think it’s all to do with the signs that accompanied the arrival and birth of our Saviour in Bethlehem: The Star followed by the wise men from the East. The miraculous pregnancy of Mary and Elizabeth. The Angels appearing to Shepherds and their vision of Heaven. However, we also see it being unfolded in the lives of the Apostles after Jesus returned to Heaven: The Day of Pentecost when Peter and the other disciples began to prophesy and thousands came to trust in the Saviour.

Peter said about that incident: (It’s quite a long reading, but please don’t rush it, take time over the words and ask the LORD to be speaking to you today as you read them again). The PROMISED HOLY SPIRIT.

Acts 2:14-41

14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.
15  These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16  No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 
17  ” ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 
18  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 
19  I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 
20  The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 
21  And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ 

22  “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23  This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24  But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

25  David said about him: ” ‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 
26  Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, 27  because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. 28  You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’ 

29  “Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day.
30  But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31  Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. 32  God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. 33  Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 34  For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, ” ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand 35  until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ‘ 

36  “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 
37  When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 
38  Peter replied, “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” 
40  With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
41  Those who accepted his message were baptised, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

The PROMISE:

My friends, this is a promise from the LORD: When you REPENT AND TRUST in the LORD Jesus Christ and get Baptised in His Name for the forgiveness of your sins, then you too will receive the promised gift of the Holy Spirit and you too will begin to prophesy (proclaim the Word of the Lord).

We always think that Prophesy is foretelling future events, but sometimes it’s just forthtelling (in a Spirit inspired and gifted way) what’s about to happen immediately or what is already happening. God gives Spiritual insight to those whom He has called, both men and women, young and old, WOWzer!

Like King David, who was probably not fully aware of the significance of his words, he was used by the LORD thousands of years beforehand to proclaim future events. You too may be used by the LORD in that way, but more importantly, you are going to be used by the Holy Spirit to be an influence for good in your own time. He’s going to give you His gift to prophesy and proclaim God’s Word in your own generation.

My friends, if you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ today, then you ARE a prophet of the LORD, just like the prophets of old. Now do you believe that? Do you accept that He’s going to use you? Are you ready and willing to be used by the Lord in such ways?

Prayer:

Have an awesome weekend, I’m praying that many more believers will recognise their high calling and be used by the Lord to be an influence for good in the home, the workplace, school, college, university, offices, streets and in the neighbourhoods. May people look upon your life and see the good that you are doing and glorify your Father in Heaven. When you open your mouth to speak, speak God’s Word in your time, Oh Holy Spirit please use us ALL today. Amen!

Be blessed today,

Don.

 

Spiritual Gifts: The Most Excellent Way

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Daily Spirit & Word: 545: The Most Excellent Way.

Spiritual Gifts: Discovering My S H A P E.

1 Corinthians 12:7  “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”

Introduction:

Good morning my friends. When you became a Christian (If you are a Christian), God gave you the great gifts of Salvation and the wonderful sure and certain HOPE of Eternity in Heaven in your heart. You became a member of God’s Family with brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. He also gave you a deeper sense of purpose for life and made you feel significant (important to Him) in your life now. He has also given each one of us the opportunity to serve (Minister to) others and make a real difference in someone else’s life and in this world for Jesus. When you serve others in Jesus’ name, that’s called MINISTRY.

God didn’t design ‘MINISTRY’ for just a few with THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE DEGREES. In St Luke’s Church and most mainline Evangelical, Charismatic, Baptist and Pentecostal Churches, we all believe that EVERY MEMBER of our church is a MINISTER, with a ministry for the LORD first, and secondly towards others.

Hold Up A Mirror:

Do you want to know what a priest looks like? A Minister of Jesus Christ, then just hold up a little mirror and take a look at the face that’s looking back at you and think: “That’s A Minister of Jesus Christ”…

This Every Member Ministry is what today’s TEACHING is all about. During this session of Spirit & Word, you will discover how God can use your; S. H. A. P. E. for His glory.

  • S: SPIRITUAL GIFTS: Special Spiritual Gifts, to build up the body of Christ.
  • H: HEART: Your Heart (passions: what areas of ministry you are passionate about),
  • A: ABILITIES: your Abilities: What unique abilities do you have that would enable you to serve Jesus and His body?
  • P: PERSONALITY: Personality: What kind of a person are you? e.b. timid, outgoing, extrovert,  exuberant, etc…
  • E: EXPERIENCES: Experiences to minister to others in need. What you’ve been through in life.

This is ALL ABOUT DISCOVERING YOUR S.H.A.P.E for the MINISTRY Christ has called and gifted you for.

Why are we looking at this SHAPE stuff?

Because as part of our VISION WEEK: Seeking the LORD for His Vision for St Luke’s Church: We discovered that He wants to enable us to continue what we’re doing here in St Luke’s, but to do what we are doing better. It’s a bit like going back to basics. We followed through with this idea and felt for everyone to be able to know how to SERVE Jesus better, we first needed to know what our GIFTS from the Holy Spirit were. But it’s not just about SPIRITUAL gifts; because each individual has a unique role to play in the family of God. We’re all made up in different ways and the LORD uses that fact to get a much more rounded ministry. We felt every member should know themselves better, in order to be able to serve the LORD.

SPIRITUAL GIFTS:

Today we’re going to focus upon the first part of S.H.A.P.E: SPIRITUAL GIFTS:

But there will be ample opportunity to discover the rest as well.

Bible FOCUS:

1 Corinthians 12:1-31 (NIV)
1 Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. 2  You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3  Therefore I tell you that no-one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no-one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4  There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6  There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7  Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8  To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9  to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10  to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11  All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13  For we were all baptised by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14  Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15  If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16  And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17  If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18  But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19  If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20  As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21  The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22  On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23  and the parts that we think are less honourable we treat with special honour. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24  while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honour to the parts that lacked it, 25  so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. 27  Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28  And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. 29  Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30  Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31  But (you) eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way.

NOTE: We must, when reading Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church, remember that it is a LETTER. Paul was writing for many different purposes, but mainly in this letter to encourage, instruct and correct the church in Corinth, because it was not living the Christian life in a way that was honouring to the LORD or a healthy witness in the world. Sometimes we take chunks of this letter and read them in isolation, however it’s important to bear in mind the whole thrust of the letter. 1 Corinthians 12 is linked to chaper 11 and 13 and 14 and 15… So we need to just glance back (if we’ve read it before) or READ it ALL (if you’ve never read it at all).

The MOST EXCELLENT WAY:

of operating in the GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS (1 Corinthians 13).

At the end of chapter 12 Paul tells the Corinthian Christians, “You are seeking the greatest gifts (prophesy, healing, miracles etc), but now I’m going to show you the most excellent way, then he proceeds to write chapter 13. We’d do well to remember that LOVE is the most excellent gift of all. But we also NEED every other gift to build up a strong church.

God’s GIFT PEOPLE & Purpose in giving them: To build up the church:

Ephesians 4:11-16 11  It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12  to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
13  until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fulness of Christ.
14  Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
15  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
16  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

 

God’s Holy Spirit GIFTS are given to build you up into Christ’s body.

So that you can:

  • Be UNITED (where brothers and sisters dwell together in unity, there the LORD commands His blessings),
  • KNOWLEDGEABLE (about Christ) and
  • BE MATURE: = A mature Christian, follows the teachings of Jesus and realises that to stand any test or storm they need to be fully relying upon the Lord.
  • FULLNESS: Heading towards the fullness of Christ (becoming more Christ like every day of our Spiritual lives).

“The Holy Spirit displays God’s power (Manifestation of the Spirit) through each of us as a means of helping the entire church.” 1 Cor. 12:7 (LB)

A Spiritual Gift: Is a special supernatural ability, which is given by the Holy Spirit to every believer at their conversion, to be used to minister to others, and therefore extend and deepen the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth. However, there are some things that are of vital importance to know about your special Holy Spirit gifts.

In Church yesterday, we gave everyone time to read the Bible and fill in the blanks. Then we talked through the answers.

PRINCIPLES TO PONDER REGARDING SPIRITUAL GIFTS:

  1. Only _____________ have spiritual gifts. 1 Cor. 2:14
  2. Every Christian has at least _______________ gift. 1 Cor. 7:7
  3. The ________________ decides what gifts I get. 1 Cor. 12:11
  4. No one receives __________________ the gifts. 1 Cor. 12:27-30
  5. No single gift is given to __________________. 1 Cor. 12:29-30
  6. You can’t _________________ a spiritual gift. Eph. 4:7
  7. The gifts I’m given are __________________. Rom. 11:29
  8. I am to __________________ the gifts God gives me. 1 Tim. 4:14

(they are given in seed form; they are like muscles)

  1. It’s a sin ___________________ the gift God gave me. 1 Cor. 4:1-2 & Matt. 25:14-30
  1. Using my gifts ___________ God. John 15:8

NOTE: What do you think about the following statement?

“It’s easier to discover your Ministry and Spiritual Gifts through ministry involvement rather than discovering your gifts through ‘gift investigation'”

For many in church today, they’ll do a course or follow a series of teachings on the ‘Spiritual Gifts’, some will go as far as discovering what their own gifts are, but few, very few, followers of Jesus today will take the opportunity to use their gifts. Some churches don’t even encourage their members to exercise their gifts, so the church doesn’t grow strong ‘Spiritually’ and therefore doesn’t progress towards the fullness of Christ.

I said yesterday, holding a piece of paper with their blanks filled in, “wave your paper like this” demonstrating how we get a fire going by fanning the flames, then I explained; “We all need to fan the gifts of the Holy Spirit into a blazing fire that will burn brightly for everyone to see and glorify God”.

Using Your Gifts:

The Manifestation of the Spirit: is given for the common good so;

In the WORKPLACE: A woman in our fellowship felt guided by the Lord to begin a prayer meeting at work and invited some of her colleges to come and pray, they did so. Then one day she turned up for work and got filled with a crippling fear, and instead of going to the prayer meeting, she just got her Bible and began to pray in a quiet room on her own. Then one of her colleagues came and found her and said, “Ah there you are, we’re waiting for you to come and to start the prayer meeting”. The LORD was moving, her Spirit was willing, but her flesh was weak. She said, “I felt a bit like Jonah, running away from the Lord’s calling, but He wouldn’t let me go”…. My friends, your flesh will want to run and hide the light that’s been given to you, to run away from the calling of the Lord. That’s natural, that’s just the flesh and the devil loves it when we get too fearful to do what we’ve been asked by the Lord. How often do we shirk the responsibility and miss God’s golden opportunities, but God’s doesn’t give you gift to sit idle or to hide them;

Matthew 5:15-16  “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16  In the same way, let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Your light, your gifts, the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, are given to you; to show, to be and to demonstrate the Spirit to the world, they will build-up His Church and will lead many to praise God.

RESPOND: 

So my commitment to the LORD and to His Church is that I’m going to use the gifts that the Lord has given to me, to fan into flame my own gifts and to exercise them, so that others in the church will be built-up and encouraged to fan their own gifts into flame too. I want to see our church full of folks on fire to serve Jesus with their lives, and in turn be used by Him, Spirit ignited, to see others brought into the Kingdom.

One Practical Way:

I shared about a prayer triplet that I’m in with two other men in the church. How we meet-up with one another to pray, read the bible, praise the Lord, hold each other accountable, share about our lives, and contact one another almost every day.

I encouraged others: “Do you know two others, brothers or sisters, that you could get together with during the week? This is on-top of or as well as your weekly fellowship group.” I explained, “This is getting smaller to grow bigger. Much smaller, and soon we’ll all be much bigger or better and stronger in the Lord”. Let’s form hundreds of prayer triplets to ensure every Christian is a growing Christian.

When you’re on your own, Satan can easily stop you, when you are two it’s a bit more difficult, but as the Bible tells us, “A Cord of Three is not easily broken”. Are you going to get into smaller groups to grow stronger for Jesus?

Have and awesome week, stick close to Jesus and be filled afresh with God’s Holy Spirit today.

Don.

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P.S. We’re on a journey of Discovery: Practical Ministry is a wonderful way of discovering your own Spiritual Gifts. The Holy Spirit has gifted you and I encourage you to get involved, you’ll discover your gifts along the way. I.E. When you pray and lay hands on people for healing, you’ll very quickly discover if the Holy Spirit has given you the gifts of Healing.

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Holy Spirit:

Have you made the wonderful discovery of: The Spirit Filled Life?

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Prayer Triplets:

Discover HOW and WHY of Prayer Triplets:

 

Jesus Gives A New Power And Authority

Daily Spirit & Word 503:

Jesus gives a new power and authority.

40 Days With Jesus:

Day 19: New Power And Authority. John 20:22-23.

Good morning my friends, well we had a fantastic day out with our grandchildren at Leeds Castle in Kent yesterday. This time we ventured inside the castle and the living quarters of the ancient previous owners. It’s amazing! I’ll share some pictures on a linked page soon. But I sat there amazed and thinking back what it must have been like to live in the days when you felt so threatened and fearful of loosing your position in life that you had to build a huge castle and dig a mote around about it to keep your enemies out. In some places here in London, people are resorting to this fortress mentality, secure gates with security guards on their properties. Electrified perimeter fences, security cameras, guard dogs etc… We are living in a time when some people feel just as insecure. However, today we’re going to see that no Christian ever needs to feel like that, because we’ve got Jesus own POWER and AUTHORITY in life today.

But we’re back again on track with 40Days with Jesus. Day 19 is all about the POWER and AUTHORITY that Jesus give to those who’re following and submitting to Him as Lord and Saviour.

John 20:22-23 22  And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
23  If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Fuel For The Journey.

Have you ever been driving and realised that you’re running out of fuel with many miles to go? I can’t tell you how many times we’ve arrived somewhere on mere petrol fumes 🙂 God is so amazing in the way He answers our prayers. However, the Christian life is a bit like that too, we need fuel for our Christian journey through life: However, most Christians forget to get fueled up in the mornings before they head out into the world and face God’s new day. They didn’t get their Daily Bread inside them, the are Spiritually malnourished. However, God wants you to know today my friends, that when He calls you to do things for Him and for His Kingdom, He’s also going to give you the POWER to be able to do it and the AUTHORITY to complete the task.

Yesterday we saw that Jesus commissioned the Disciples with their Mission Purpose in Life: today we’re going to discover that Jesus, having commissioned them, now gives them the POWER and the Authority to complete His Mission.

How did Jesus give this POWER?

He breathed on the Disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”. We’re immediately filled with questions as believers today. Was this the filling of the Spirit or an Anointing of the Spirit. Well my friends, we know that it wasn’t until 40 days after this meeting with Jesus that we know the Disciples were finally equipped with POWER from on High. (Acts 2). So what was happening here. It’s akin to Jesus sending the disciples out as He did earlier with His Authority to Heal, Deliver and set people free. He was anointing them with the Holy Spirit. We see this same kind of anointing throughout the Old Testament as well, when people are anointed by the LORD for His purposes. They’re given a special ability, knowledge etc to complete the tasks they are called to. Jesus is only doing here, what He’s done thousands of times before. Remember Jesus is the LORD on earth, the resurrected LORD.

Jesus breathed on His disciples and said “Receive the Holy Spirit”

This breathing NEW LIFE into the Disciples reminds us how the LORD has done it before; In Genesis when He gave LIFE to Adam by breathing life into Him. This breath is the ruach the breath of God, the Holy Spirit.

One of God’s Names in Ancient Hebrew is: Ruach Elohim (The Breath of God is the Spirit of God).

Job 33:4 4  The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Also there are many places in the Bible where it refers to the RUACH (Breath of God’s Spirit).

Jesus was giving them the anointing of the Holy Spirit, but soon they would be indwelt with the Holy Spirit, which is significantly different than mere anointing.

Anointing (Knowing Holy Spirit: before Spirit Birth).

We can know this Anointing today:

Many times people will come into a time of worship and say, “I could feel the presence of God”, often times these people are NOT Christians, but they can feel God’s presence. Many people assume they are Christian because they’ve felt God’s presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. But here in the Bible we see that even before the Lord’s own disciples are born from above, indwelt with His Holy Spirit, that they too can feel and know His anointing and empowering. It’s amazing and it’s confused thousands into wrongly thinking they are born again, just because the’ve felt the Spirit.

To clarify my friends, we are ‘Born Again’ after;

  • We’ve Been Enlightened about our NEED of Salvation from Sin by God’s Holy Spirit. Through the proclamation of the Gospel and the Holiness of God. (God primarily uses His Word and Commandments to bring about this knowledge of our need of Jesus).
  • We’ve Believed in Jesus Death on the Cross for our sins. (But belief alone will not save us).
  • We’ve Repented of those Sins and put our TRUST (Faith) in Jesus Death for Us. (We are saved by God’s GRACE through FAITH).
  • We’ve Received Jesus Christ as LORD and Saviour. (We receive Jesus by an act of faith John 1:12-13).

When we’ve done and experienced all these things, then the LORD Himself will send the Holy Spirit into our lives and give us the required NEW BIRTH (We’ll be Born Again by God’s Holy Spirit)

It’s important to know the difference between Anointing and New Birth. It’s also important to realise that many people all over the earth today can feel and know God’s Spirit and not be born of His Spirit.

Luke’s Account:

Luke 24:36-53 36  While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
37  They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.
38  He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?
39  Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
40  When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.
41  And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”
42  They gave him a piece of broiled fish,
43  and he took it and ate it in their presence.
44  He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
45  Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
46  He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,
47  and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48  You are witnesses of these things.
49  I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
50  When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.
51  While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.
52  Then they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.
53  And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

Luke’s Gospel tells us much more about what Jesus said and did in this Resurrection encounter in the Locked Room with the Disciples. Here Luke explains the indwelling of God’s Spirit at Pentecose, they were to remain in Jerusalem until they were equipped with POWER from on High. It’s very different from the breath of God, the Holy Spirit of God that Jesus just breathed on them. This reception of the Holy Spirit was a foretaste of what was to come at Pentecost (Acts 2) when they’d know the full indwelling power anointing and new birth.

“I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49.

Points To Ponder:

  • Have you felt the powerful presence of God’s Holy Spirit?
  • Have you been ‘born again’ by God’s Holy Spirit?
  • Are there still areas of your life that you need the Spirit’s POWER to come in and take over?
  • Why not invite the Holy Spirit to fill you with His life giving presence and His power and anointing to be able to be the person the Lord Created you to be?
  • Which fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) would you like more of in your life today?

Prayers

Dear Lord Jesus Christ. I realise that it’s possible to feel the Holy Spirit before I’ve been born of the Spirit. Please enable me to know by Your Spirit today if I’ve really trusted in You as Lord of my life. Amen.

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I’ve trusted You for Salvation and that I’ve been born of Your Holy Spirit, please come into every area of my life and help me to submit it entirely to Your Lordship today. Amen.

Which of the two prayers above can you own and pray today?

Have an awesome Sunday with Jesus my friends,

Don.

P.S. More Later on this subject.