Hearing and Doing

Maintaining the LINK between Devotion to Jesus and Kingdom Service

Daily Spirit & Word: 816: Maintaining The LINKS of LOVE.

Hearing the WORD and Doing the Word.

Maintaining the LINK: between:

  • Internal Spiritual Development (Spiritual Growth) = (POWER). Intimacy with God the Father, through the Son, in the Spirit.
  • External Practical / Ministry Development = (IMPACT). Obediently Serving the Lord in the POWER of the Holy Spirit.

(True Discipleship is always BOTH: Hearing and Doing: Power and Impact. Comes from Intimacy and Service).

God wants you to be Spiritually Fruitful.

Good morning my friends, How’s your GOOD WORKS going?

I was challenged the other day by a Bible verse about not just knowing Jesus and learning all about His commands and teachings, but putting them into practice in my daily life. You see I love nothing more than getting into deep Bible study, but actually going out and serving and being humble and gentle and loving and kind in the world, that’s difficult bit. But I’ve also come to realise that if I’m not doing what I’m learning, then I’ll lack the impact in this world for Jesus.

The Wise and Foolish Builders: Hearing & Doing God’s Word.

Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV)
24  “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
25  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
26  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
27  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

The Apostle James said something similar to His Lord Jesus Christ, James 1:19-27. Perhaps after years of being a Disciple of the LORD he’d learned the hard way to put into practice the teachings of Jesus. (See James quote at bottom of page).

GETTING IT WRONG:

And one of the most common Christian discipleship problems today is related to the splitting-up of these two areas of development: Spiritual Growth and Ministry Growth.

Many churches are very good at hear-the-word discipleship, which they quite rightly consider to be very important, but they neglect the kind of do-the-word discipleship that God intends to flow from or follow on from our hearing the Word, E.G. They might consider feeding the hungry, visiting the prisoners or sheltering the homeless to be less important than one’s fellowship group, discipleship class, church attendance, or prayer life and personal daily devotions.

What happens when we do this? When all we focus on is internal spiritual development but we fail to do external ministry? The results will be that We lack impact.  Christ wants us to impact the world for Jesus and His Kingdom, because He wants His Kingdom to grow, but when we separate (BREAK THE LINK) both the hearing and the doing of the Word, we can’t make the IMPACT Jesus wants for us.

We can’t just swing the other way, either.  If all we focus on is external ministry and forget about our spiritual development, we are going to lack the power of Heaven. To get that POWER we need to maintain intimacy with Jesus first.

I’ve seen that happen to very sincere Christian organisations; they start out with a Word from the Lord to help the poor or those in need, but very soon forget all about the spiritual aspects. Prayer, Bible reading and devotion get pushed out because of busy activity, and the focus shifts almost entirely upon serving others. They soon lack the Spiritual POWER and the desire to save souls for Jesus Kingdom. In fact they begin to look down upon those who are engaged in evangelism and the sharing the Word of God, believing that ministry and service is much more important. It gets to be like sticking a plaster over a festering wound and the rot soon sets in.

So it’s always got to be both: Hearing and Doing. Learning from Jesus and putting what we’re learning it into practice.

After every sermon, Bible class or fellowship group, we should be asking the LORD: “OK I understand Your Word Lord, Now, what do you want me to do about this great teaching Lord?”

JOINED-UP WRITING: 

My granddaughter Aminata was overjoyed when she learned to join her letters together. It’s amazing when children learn to join their letters. She said, “Look Papa, I can do joined up writing”… I said, “That’s fantastic Ami”…

Hearing and Doing the WORD of God is like Joined-Up Discipleship.

We must never separate the two or we’ll fall into these two traps: Legalism (Just being religious and learning as much as we can. With the primary focus on Knowledge and Knowing stuff) or LICENCE (Just running around doing good works, and getting judgemental like Martha, about those who don’t do as much as you. You’ll begin to think that you can earn your place in Heaven by your good works)…

 

Joined-Up Discipleship is learning to keep both: Hearning & Doing inseparably linked together. (And the two shall become ONE)…

This HEARING & DOING: It’s all summed up in Jesus’ teaching of the Pharisees when they came to test Him.  LOVE God and LOVE Neighbour. (The Greatest Commandment). Matthew 7:15-23.

  • We show that we love God by HEARING His Word (POWER).
  • We show that we love our Neighbours by DOING His Word (IMPACT).

Quote: “A lot of people mean well, but their meanness is often greater than their wellness.”

The closer Christians get to Christ, the closer they get to one another.

When we’re close to Jesus, learning His teachings, and being submitted enough to actually put those teachings into practice, we’re going to get closer to our neighbours as well, because we’ll want to be doing the good that Jesus has been teaching us.

But there’s more: Praise the LORD: When we put what we know into practice, we’re going to get an even greater insight into all the good things that we have in our relationship with Jesus.

Philemon 1:4-7 (NIV)
4  I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers,
5  because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints.
6  I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.
7  Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.

Can you see the LINK? In Philemon we see the link so clearly, Paul heard about Philemon’s love and faith in the Lord Jesus, and it was evident, he made an IMPACT by his love for all the saints (his brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus).

Jesus said, “It’s by your love for one another that people will know you are my disciples”… There’s the LINK: Hearing and Doing… Spiritual Development & Ministry Development.

CONCLUSION:

May you experience Jesus promises of blessings today, that no matter what STORM may come against your HOUSE, (wind and rain: Trials, Temptations, Troubles and Tribulations) you’ll be able to STAND. Because you are being obedient to what you’ve learned in Jesus presence, and you are putting it into practice in your daily life. Amen!

Maintain the LINK between: Hearing & Doing.

Don.

JAMES HEARING & DOING

James 1:19-27 (NIV)
19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
20  for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
21  Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
23  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror
24  and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
25  But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
26  If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
27  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Is James also talking about bearing fruits? “By their fruits you will recognise false converts” “False professors of faith”… Matthew 7:15-23. (True and False Converts).

What’s Jesus saying to me today? Think about Mary and Martha: (Luke 10:38-42)  They are both SERVING the LORD:

Mary = Getting close to Jesus

Martha = Practical Ministry…

Which one was doing the right thing? Answer = BOTH of them, so don’t look down on the Mary or the Martha.

Jesus is saying to me, “BE a Mary and a Martha”: Hear the WORD of The LORD and SERVE The LORD by Practical Ministry of Serving Others.

The LORD said, “Mary has chosen what is best”… i.e. Getting close to Jesus and listening to his every word. That’s getting the POWER… However, Martha showed the servant’s heart, by opening up her home to Jesus and serving Him and the Disciples. That’s making an IMPACT. It’s got to be BOTH: inseparably linked, joined-up discipleship, hearing and doing. Amen!

PRAYER: Oh Lord, I can see that the Christian Life that You have called me to has got to be balanced between being with You in worship, praise and adoration, in learning and knowing Your will, Your Commands, Your Teachings, then moving out into this world in Devoted and Committed Kingdom Service. Please Lord, give me the deep desire to learn and serve You with joy and gladness. Help me to Love You and Love others and always maintain those links. I know I need the POWER of Heaven in order to be able to SERVE You in this way, so please send the Holy Spirit afresh into my heart, mind and soul to give me the strength to serve You and build your Kingdom. Amen!

 

Being Great In God’s Kingdom

if you want to be great in God's kingdom, learn to be the servant of all

Daily Spirit & Word: 780: Being Great In God’s Kingdom.

If You Want To Be Great In God’s Kingdom,

Learn to be the Servant, Slave, Minister (Deacon) of Everyone.

Good morning my friends, I’ve been on holiday for a few weeks now, I’m learning afresh what it means to be a SERVANT of Jesus Christ.

We stayed in a Hotel that trains students to become Hotel Managers etc… The whole focus of the place was on SERVICE, giving the customer the best service… I thought about that, that’s what God’s Kingdom Service is like too, being the BEST SERVANT you can be for Jesus.

It’s not about position, power, prestige or personal glory, but learning to be and striving to be just like Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “…whoever wants to be first must be slave of all” Mark 10:44. And Jesus went onto say, “For even the Son of Man (Himself) did not come to be served, but to serve (Minister, Slave, Servant), and give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45.

Being GREAT in God’s Kingdom: Means being or having a SERVANT Mentality, SERVANT Attitude, SERVANT Character; just like Jesus. Be honest with yourself today, who is it that stands out for you in your fellowship, church, group of Christians that you know well? Who is the most like Jesus Christ in your circle of brothers and sisters in Christ? They will be self-effacing, serving others, others orientated, thinking of others more than themselves.

Far too often in Church (fellowships), we get it so wrong; we think it is all about titles, positions, power, and a great name amongst our brothers and sisters. We want to stand out and be known for our closeness to Jesus. Imagine what it must have been like to be one of the other TEN when James and John approached Jesus to ask to be His right and left-hand men?

Mark 10:35-45 (NIV)
35  Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
36  “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
37  They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
38  “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptised with the baptism I am baptised with?”
39  “We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptised with the baptism I am baptised with,
40  but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
41  When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John.
42  Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.
43  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
44  and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.
45  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

In the Passage above The Disciples Demonstrated SELFISH AMBITION:

Philippians 2:3-8 (NIV)
3  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
4  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
5  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7  but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!

My friends, we are not in competition with one another, we are to seek to make others even better disciples than ourselves. If someone you are leading to Jesus goes onto be even greater in God’s Kingdom than you’ve ever been, don’t get jealous, feel honoured that Jesus has allowed you to be just like Himself. Remember what Jesus said of His own disciples, “You will do even greater things than I have been doing”… What an awesome SERVANT attitude to have, to strive to make others even better than you are. Have I got the same attitude as Jesus?

So if you want to be GREAT in God’s Kingdom; and you should want that my friends, then we must strive to be the servant, slave, minister, deacon of ALL.

Now being a SLAVE or SERVANT is WONDERFUL.

When you get it, you’ll be SET FREE from striving, competition, seeking to be better than others…

This really touched me the other day; From a little book called “Ministry Is”

“Notice that Jesus said real greatness comes from being a “servant” (διακονος) and a “slave” (δουλος). Jesus wanted His young followers to understand that unlike the world system, when it comes to Christian leadership, the measure of real success is service. It is being willing to get dirty in order to benefit others.

Real Christian ministry is not about being over people and bossing them around. It is about getting under people and lifting them up. It is not about getting but about giving. It is not about being served; it is about serving and sacrifice.

If Jesus’ words were not enough, He wanted them to consider His example. After all, if Jesus Himself left His high position to serve and sacrifice for us, shouldn’t we, as His disciples, do the same?

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)

Jesus is God. Prior to coming to Bethlehem, He had existed in heaven throughout all eternity. As God, He was the richest, most powerful being in the universe. Angels served His every need. Yet, when He came to earth, He did not come to be served but to serve.

Jesus did more than come to serve. He also came to give, and not just a convenient, comfortable amount. He gave it all. He gave His life in order to provide a ransom for our sins. ”

Ministry Is…: How to Serve Jesus with Passion and Confidence.

—Quotes on Kingdom Service—

If you don’t want to serve, you don’t want to be in the ministry.

—David and Warren Wiersbe

You say you’re a servant of Jesus Christ, show me your scars.

—John Macarthur

God is not necessarily looking for leaders, at least not in the sense we generally think of leaders. He is looking for servants (Isa 59:16; Ezek 22:30). When God finds men and women willing to be molded into his servants, the possibilities are limitless.

—Henry and Richard Blackaby

Ministers are servants who lead and leaders who serve.

—David and Warren Wiersbe

Being Great in God’s Kingdom: Is about getting down and dirty in order to lift others up higher, so they will be cleaner and more pure and …

My friends, Jesus was God, but he took the form of a servant and came to earth to give His life.

Have you noticed in Rugby when there’s a line-out for a throw in, some in the line will lift one of their fellows up higher to catch the ball. That’s what Kingdom Service is like, enabling others and lifting them up in order to win the prize.

Prayer: O Lord, help me today to be more like You. I want to be great in Your Kingdom, but I don’t want to be in competition with others Lord. Help me to live in such a way that I’ll be able to lift others higher and even closer to You. I want to be making dust by being busy in Your Kingdom Service. Amen.

Have an awesome day my friends, Ministering for Jesus and God’s Kingdom.

Stay close to Jesus, be full of the Holy Spirit and let’s make some DUST by our Kingdom Service today, Amen.

Don.

Dave said, “I once spoke at a church that was exploding in growth by reaching public university students with the gospel. I was somewhat surprised to see several obviously postcollege age adults diligently serving the students as they arrived. The pastor of the church pulled me aside and commented that the cheerful man carrying the chairs was the city manager, the smiling gentlemen at the door welcoming every guest was a downtown lawyer, the grinning man taking the offering was a distinguished professor, and the happy lady running the nursery was a nurse. Each was also a member of the leadership team.

Unlike some churches that nominate and vote on deacons in a sort of popularity contest, they had a different approach. They chose those who were the greatest servants. The pastor said that they looked for “a cloud of dust” and selected the ones who were so actively serving that they left “the cloud” in their wake. ”

Ministry Is…: How to Serve Jesus with Passion and Confidence.

 

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:

 

437 Lord Jesus, If You Are Willing

Jesus Filled With Compassion

 

Lord Jesus, If you are willing
Lord Jesus, If you are willing

 

Daily Spirit & Word. 437:

“Lord Jesus, if You are willing, You can make me clean”

“I AM willing, Be clean” said Jesus.

Good morning my friends. What a wonderful day Tuesday was; busy but good. I preached on Sunday about helping those in any kind of need and said that sometimes when we do it, we try our best, but then it gets thrown back in our faces. That statement came true yesterday in the church, as the Foodbank Volunteers had just set up all the cups, tea, coffee and sugar, etc, all for the clients who come to the Foodbank in times of crisis. A woman came in early and because they were not ready yet, she threw a wobbly-fit, in anger and frustration she scattered the cups and everything that had been so loving set up on the floor. Then she stormed out in a huff leaving a trail of wreckage behind her. The Volunteers, at first in shock, immediately began to clear up the mess. Do you know my friends, that woman came back in to church after a few minutes, didn’t apologise, but was welcomed as if she hadn’t done anything and was counselled with love and respect by the volunteers.

Loving others is NOT easy, but there’s POWER in the Name of Jesus.
The Man With Leprosy Cleansed.

Mark 1:40-45
40 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
41 Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”
42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.
43 Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning:
44 “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”
45 Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.

Today in the Bible the focus is upon the Leper, but if we just take a look for a moment at the text in the context of the passage it comes from, we’ll see that Jesus had been praying and healing and driving out demons. He’d already had to move from village to village to preach because of the crowds. He said to his disciples something most modern Ministers would find quite strange I think. The disciples found Jesus at prayer and said; Mark 1:35-37 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”

Isn’t that awesome? “Jesus, Everyone is looking for you”. Most ministers today would be overjoyed if one day they woke up and found out that early in the morning, everybody was looking for them to be ministered to. But Jesus said something quite astounding, amazing and unusual, Mark 1:38-39 38 Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so that I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” 39 So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.”

Everyone is looking for you Jesus.
Les us go somewhere else to preach,
because that is why I have come.

NOW we know why Jesus told the man He’d just cleansed of Leprosy not to tell anyone about it (Mark 1:44). He knew that if the message got out, thousands more would come, they’d come from miles away, because in those days proper medical treatment was rare and many of the diseases were incurable, so in desperation the people would come, but why were they coming? They were coming to get healed, to have their needs met, but Jesus hadn’t come to be a HEALER he’d come to deliver a MESSAGE from His Father in Heaven to everyone; “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is a hand”… Yes Jesus could heal, but that was not His primary purpose in coming. Yes Jesus will heal today, but even today that’s NOT Jesus primary purpose for human beings. His primary purpose is the same today as it was back then, He came into the world to SAVE sinners.

After this account of the Leper’s cleansing, you’ll note in Mark’s Gospel that because of the man’s disobedience Jesus was thronged with people. He’d become a hindrance to Jesus primary task of Preaching the Kingdom, but notice what it was that moved Jesus to reach out and touch a Leper; “Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”

“Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”

1) Jesus was filled with COMPASSION: Jesus can feel your needs my friends. He’s the same today.
2) Jesus reached out and TOUCHED the un-touchable: It was unlawful to touch a Leper, but Jesus did it full of compassion. Can you imagine what that touch from the Saviour meant to the man, who’d probably never been touched by another human being for years? Here was the most pure person who’d ever lived, touching the unclean. My friends, no matter how un-clean you may feel in His presence today, Jesus wants to touch you too.
3) Jesus said, “I AM Willing”: He also is willing that your greatest needs be met too. Jesus is the SAME, He’s God and God does not change. He’s the SAME; “Yesterday, Today and Forever”. So He wants to meet your need.

Even though the Healing was not His primary purpose, He was so full of love, kindness and compassion that He just couldn’t walk past and not meet that man’s need. When you come to Jesus Christ and seek Him with all your heart and cry out to Him, He’s the SAME today.

Today, Jesus is in the world, through the Believers that are filled with His Holy Spirit, to SAVE sinners, that’s the PRIMARY purpose of the Church. That’s why Jesus called you and me to be SAVED and to be in His family, that’s why He’s left you here on earth, to bring as many people into the Kingdom as you can whilst there is still time. BUT, although that is Jesus Primary Purpose and Ours too, we are also filled with the LOVE of God when the Holy Spirit comes into our lives and we too will be filled with Jesus other attributes; Compassion, Kindness, LOVE etc… We’ll not walk past someone in need without doing something about it, just like Jesus.

That woman who came into the Foodbank was a hindrance to the work, but she was still met with real COMPASSION and I’m certain the POWER of God was present to meed her needs. We will find things difficult because of our compassion, just like Jesus ministry was hindered and He couldn’t Preach as He wanted to because the people were coming for different reasons other than an awareness of their need of Holiness and God’s grace and mercy, but we too will find His grace is sufficient for all our needs as we seek to serve Him in this world today.

Let’s get filled with Jesus Compassion: To help others.
Let’s get filled with Jesus: To touch other people’s lives for Him.
Let’s get filled with Jesus: So we can say as He did, “I AM WILLING”.

Have a wonderful Ash Wednesday my friends,
Come and join us tonight if you can.
Don.

Can also be found at St Luke’s Church Facebook Page
Jesus Filled With Compassion.