Saturday, June 28, 2014

Rejoice With Me!




Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)







Praise the Lord on this day!

David made a proclamation unto God when he said:

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. (Psalms 5:3)

The command has gone out that we rejoice! We are to rejoice for all that God has done, for all that He is doing and all that He is going to do!  Recognizing that God is the center of our joy should spur us to do as Paul tells the church in Thessalonia:

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  I Thessalonians 5:18

When we rejoice, the atmosphere around us should be shifting and changing. Rejoicing doesn't necessarily mean a visible shout or dance, but our hearts should be merry. We shouldn't be walking around with downcast countenances, discouraged in our spirit – our hearts should be merry and jubilant. People should notice the happiness and joy emanating from us! They should feel the sense of expectancy; the excitement.

I’m reminded of the lame man that Peter and John healed in Acts 3:

And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked , and entered with them into the temple, walking , and leaping, and praising God. (Acts 3:2-8)

It started by the man asking them for money. By the time Peter explained that they had something far better to offer and helped him to his feet, the man was rejoicing in his healing. The account says he was leaping and praising God. That healing and resultant praise was a powerful testimony. The account goes on to say the religious leaders wanted to punish Peter and John but they couldn't because the man that was lame remained with them; visible for all to see his miraculous healing and it is recorded that the religious leaders could find nothing in how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done:

So when they had further threatened them , they let them go , finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done . (Acts 4:2)

They became a united force in their praise for God! And that is what we are to do now.

And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. (Acts 4:32)

This is not the time to grow weak and weary. This is not the time to faint. This is not the time to become oppressed and depressed. It’s not the time to be discouraged and dejected. It’s time to rejoice in God and proclaim His goodness as the lame man did!

 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  Galatians 6:9

The bible has so much to say about rejoicing and today, in our prayers, we want to proclaim and declare what God says about rejoicing.


Prayer:

Dear heavenly Father, we thank You this day; we come before You with thanksgiving in our heart for allowing us one more day. We thank You Lord for one more opportunity to come before You. We thank You for Your sovereignty. Lord we thank You for Your mercy. You tell us in Your word:

It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed , because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:23)

We thank You for that. We thank You Lord for the refreshing that You have sent to lift us. You said in Your word:

I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities; (Psalms 31:7)

Lord we thank You for the peace we have in You! We thank You for strength to endure. You tell us in Your word that the race isn't give to the swift or to the strong, but to those that endure until the end! We endure by staying in Your word, by meditating on it, by our prayers to You, through our faith in You and through obedience to You. Because of You Lord, we have hope! Because we have hope, we rejoice in You! We praise Your name.

I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High. (Psalms 9:2)

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)

Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:18)

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalms 118:24)

Lord You made this day and we will rejoice in it.

And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. (Isaiah 25:9)

We have so much to rejoice in and be glad about. We thank You Lord because there is none like You; we owe You our all! You said in Your word:

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth. (1 Chronicles 16:31)

Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. (Psalms 2:11)

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy , because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. (Psalms 5:11)

Lord we thank You for joy. It is Your joy that is our strength! We thank You Lord because You are our strong tower, You are our fortress.

Help us Lord to obey Your will, to be united in You and follow the course that You have set before us. Give us staying power to persevere in the down times. Help us to understand that You are in complete control. And that You are able.

Lord, we thank You for every single tear that we shed because of our struggles and our desire to serve You. When the enemy came up against us and the fight to remain faithful to You, those tears were not shed in vain and we know you saw them and you heard us, but we praise you Lord because you tell us in your word:

For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. (Psalms 30:5)

We thank you Lord that You are faithful to Your word. It’s recorded that:

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. (I Peter 1:10)

Lord You are our protector, our guide, our keeper, our way maker. Everything we need is already in You. There is no one like You and we thank You Lord.


And now Lord, we pray Lord that Your healing virtue flow to the sick and afflicted; that You touch the hearts of those that are lost and those that have gone astray and that You touch the mind of the unbelievers. Give comfort, peace and strength to those that are bereaved; in Your name Jesus. Strengthen our leaders to remain strong and steadfast in you.  Remember our frail and our elderly.

We thank You Lord for the ‘due’ season that You have put us in and we exalt Your name. Lord we worship You in the beauty of Holiness.

And Now unto Him that is able to keep us from falling, and to present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.  (Jude 1:24-25)

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Final Scriptures:

But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice. (Psalms 68:3)

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)

Blessings in the name of Jesus!

Elder C. L. Henry

09/28/15


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Occupying Your Time



Jesus answered and said unto him (referring to the Judas that did not betray Jesus), If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
John 14:23




Today, I want to talk about putting God first in our lives.  Even as we occupy until He returns for His people with our jobs, our children, our spouses, even our activities of daily living – we still put God first in our actions and in our thoughts.

As God teaches us how to connect the dots where the scriptures are concerned, you can see the seriousness of His will.  It begins in the old testament, which is a shadow and type of the things to come and it’s carried over into the new testament beginning with Jesus' time on the earth and continuing through the church age.  God has not changed; His will has not changed.  God wants us to make Him our first priority:

For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:  Exodus 34:14

For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.  Deuteronomy 4:24

The children of Israel were trying hard to convince Joshua with their words that they wanted to serve God but Joshua strongly admonishes them and lets them know that in the present state they were in, they couldn't because of their worship of other Gods and resultant sins:
 
And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive Your transgressions nor Your sins. Joshua 24:19

He advises them to make a choice and make it quickly.

When Jesus comes on the scene, He tells us that we are to:

[And thou shal]t love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.   Mark 12:30

Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusted to envy? James 4:5   The message bible states it like this:  And do You suppose God doesn't care? The proverb has it that "he's a fiercely jealous lover."

I’m saying this because all of us have our wants and desires and we pray about it and then we wonder when we don’t get it why didn't we get it; we want to question God and pout about it, we want to guilt God saying, ‘He must not love me’ or sometimes we even want to blame our lack of faith without once ever considering our lackadaisical and nonchalant attitude toward God.   We take the scripture in Luke 19:13,  “. . . occupy till I come”, out of context until we've nearly occupied God out of our lives and reserved Him only for church services; while seemingly forgetting that it is because of Him that we live, move and have our very being!

So I just want to encourage you on this day to make God your first priority; your first choice every time the opportunity presents itself. 

Prayer:

Dear heavenly Father, we want to thank You for one more opportunity to gather in Your name in prayer; to come unto You with gladness of heart that You are our Lord and King.

We thank You Lord for breathing life into us this morning, for our health and for our strength.  We always thank You Lord for having a sound mind and a right mind which is to serve You.  Lord we don’t take that for granted.  Lord we love You and we magnify Your name.  We lift You up, even as You are the lifter of our heads.  We give thanks unto You for all that You've done and all that You’re going to do, we thank You in advance. 

Lord we ask, even now in light of the words of admonishment and encouragement spoken, that You help those Lord who have given up hope, Lord, who are struggling, those who are discouraged.  Lord we know that You are a sustainer, a keeper, a mind regulator, a comforter, a bringer of peace and somebody needs You for just that purpose.  We know that You are a supplier of our every need.  Lord You said to ask and we’ll receive, seek and we will find, knock and the door would be opened.  We come before You Lord in supplication and prayer, seeking Your will for us that we may obey You in all things; that we do all things according to Your purpose.

We need You Lord.  Now is not the time to faint in our spirit.  Lord we need our spiritual armour, we need the fruit of the spirit:  love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, within us so that we’re able to stand against the wiles of the enemy, against the temptations that come up against us, against the struggles that we face every day, against our nonchalant attitude towards you.  Lord even against the perverseness of this sin-sick, sin-filled world, we need You.  Lord we pray Your forgiveness and that Your mercy prevail for every contrary word, deed and thought against You.  
 
Lord, through the spiritual leaders You've given us, continue to give us clarity so that we’re not so easily deceived by false doctrine and the deception of the enemy. 

We thank You heavenly father because You are our keeper, the lover of our souls, the comforter, the King of kings and Lord of lords, You are the great ‘I AM’.   You are the one true living God and there is none like You; You said in Your word that “before Moses, I am”.   We know and acknowledge that You are the author and finisher of our faith, You are the beginning and the end, alpha and omega.   There is none other like You; You are incomparable; You are the creator and it is through You that we live, move and have our very being.  Without You, we were nothing, but through You, we are now heirs to Your holy throne. 

Lord, give us a heart and mind to want to be everything that You have called us to be; everything that You designed for us, we desire to do but we can’t do it without You.  Lord, even as King David said, cleanse our hearts, purify our hearts and minds.  Help us to keep our minds stayed on You.  You said to pray without ceasing.  Give us a mind to serve You as good servants; wholly accepting of the call on our lives to do Your will.  Help us to say yes when You call our name.  We know Lord that sometimes we make mistakes and we mess up, but Your word tells us that You are faithful to forgive when we repent before You.  Convict us when we’re wrong and help us to come before You in godly sorrow and repentance.  Help us to stay in a right relationship with You. 

We thank You Lord, when others give up on us, You won’t.  Lord help us to keep a yes in our spirit, a yes in our soul.  Help us Lord not to lose our focus on You.  Help us to remember that You won’t give up on us; You said that You would never leave us nor forsake us.  Help us Lord when we think we can’t go on, when we've given up the will, let us lean on You, our fortress, our strong tower, help us to put our faith and trust in You Lord and only You.  Lord You said for us not to be weary in our well doing and not faint and we will reap in due season.  Help us to keep going, to hold to Your hand and not let go.

Thank You Jesus, our mighty savior, our counselor, our prince of peace, wonderful, awesome and magnificent one.  There is none like You; not above or beside You.  Everyone must bow at the name of Jesus. Thank You Lord for the opportunity to bow before You now, to worship and serve You.  It is an honor and a privilege to come before You; it is no goodness of our own, nothing that we did or nothing that we said, but for Your grace and mercy.  Thank You for Your love.  It was Your love for mankind that caused You to send Your only son to be our redeemer and for that we say Thank You Lord, thank You God for Jesus. 

Now unto God, our heavenly Father be glory for ever and ever.   In Jesus name, amen.  

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all Your heart.  Jeremiah 29:13

God Bless You.

Because of God, I am

Elder Candy



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Spiritual Gifts Are Still Relevant Today!




Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.   (I Corinthians 12:4-7)










The Bible indicates there are many gifts which come from one source. The source of spiritual gifts is the Holy Spirit. He gives and operates these gifts in the lives of believers:


Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering; or he that teacheth on teaching; Or he that exhorteth on exhortation: he that giveth let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:6-8)

There is one source of spiritual gifts but there are many different gifts. No gift is more important than another. Your position in the Body of Christ is compared to parts of a human body. Just as in the human body, the smaller parts such as the eye have important functions, the seemingly "small" gift is just as important in the functioning of the church. Some gifts involve greater responsibilities, but no gift is more important than another.

Some parts of the human body have greater responsibilities than others. For example, the eye lets you see what is around you. It guides you when walking. It permits you to read and see and enjoy God's creations. The eye has greater responsibility, but it is no more important than the big toe which provides balance for walking. The guidance of the eye for walking is useless if you have no feet with which to walk. The eye's function to permit reading is useless if you have no brain to understand what you read.

Each believer should use his spiritual gifts to work together with other believers who have different gifts. When this happens, the Church functions effectively as the Body of Christ.

You are only a steward of spiritual gifts. A steward is someone who does not own that with which he works. He uses something given to him by another person. He uses it in behalf of the person who gave it to him. You are a steward for Jesus Christ:

Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. (I Corinthians 4:1)

Part of the "mysteries" of which you are a steward are spiritual gifts. They are given to you by the Holy Spirit to minister effectively for Jesus:

As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (I Peter 4:10)

As a steward, you will be judged on the basis of your faithfulness to use the gifts you have been given:

Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (I Corinthians 4:2)

The main passages identifying spiritual gifts are listed below. These verses introduce the various gifts:

-          Romans 12:1-8                      -   I Corinthians 12:1-31
-          Ephesians 4:1-16                   -   I Peter 4:7-11

These gifts are special abilities from God to minister in different ways. While there may be some evidences of these in all our lives it does not necessarily mean we have a certain gift. For example, all believers have a measure of faith according to the Word of God. But the gift of faith is a special ability to believe beyond that of the ordinary Christian.

Some people claim that all of the spiritual gifts listed in the Bible are not for the Church today. They believe some gifts, like prophecy, tongues, miracles, etc., were only for the early Church. These people say that after the Church was established and the New Testament written, some spiritual gifts were no longer needed. They often use I Corinthians 13:10 to explain their belief:

But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.   (I Corinthians 13:10)

They say that when the perfect revelation of God's Word was written, there was no longer a need for tongues, interpretation, and prophecy. They say that once the Church was established there was no longer a need for confirming signs and miracles.

What they fail to note is that knowledge is also mentioned in the same passage as being "vanished" or done away with:

...whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.   (I Corinthians 13:8)

If we use this verse to say tongues, interpretation, and prophecy are no longer needed, then we must also say knowledge is no longer needed.

This passage actually refers to a future time when the "perfect" Kingdom of God is established on earth. Since what is perfect has come, we will have no need of any of the spiritual gifts then, because...

...He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. (Revelation 21:3)

We will have no need of messages through prophecy, tongues, or interpretation, for we will be dwelling with the God who inspires such messages. We will have no need of the word of wisdom or knowledge, for we will be living with the source of knowledge. We will not need discerning of spirits, for...

...there shall no wise enter into it any thing that defileth...but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. (Revelation 21:27)

There will be no need for gifts of healing for...

...In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life...for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:2)

Also remember the purposes and objectives of spiritual gifts given in Ephesians 4:12-15. The purposes are for:

-          Perfecting of the saints.
-          Promoting the work of the ministry.
-          Edifying Christ and the Church.

The purposes for which the gifts were given still remain. The saints still need to be perfected, the ministry still needs to be promoted to the ends of the earth, and Church needs to be edified.

The objectives are that we will:

-Be united in the faith.                                                      -Develop our knowledge of Christ.
-Develop in perfection, with Christ as our model.      -Mature spiritually in Christ.
-Become stable, not deceived by false doctrines.

And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:28)
God would not give spiritual gifts for these purposes and objectives and then remove them without these things being accomplished.

            -Are all believers united in the faith?
            -Has everyone developed fully in the knowledge of Christ?
            -Are we all perfected (mature in God)?
            -Are our church members stable and not being deceived by false doctrines?
            -Are all our church members spiritually mature?

The answer to all these questions is "no". These objectives have not been accomplished. For this reason we know all of the spiritual gifts are still for today. God gave spiritual gifts to accomplish certain purposes in the Church. He will not withdraw any of these gifts without these purposes being accomplished. The Bible also says that the "gifts and callings of God are without repentance" (Romans 11:29). This means God will not change His mind and take back a spiritual gift or calling He has given.

In I Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul gives the key for using gifts of the Holy Spirit. He introduced the subject in I Corinthians 12:31. He listed some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and then said...

...and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. (I Corinthians 12:31)

I Corinthians chapter 13 explains that "more excellent way."  This chapter gives the key to using spiritual gifts. That key is love. You can prophesy, have the gifts of healing, faith, etc., but without love in using these gifts, they will not be effective.

Gifts are unprofitable when used without love. Speaking in tongues becomes like a noisy clanging. Every gift is worthless, "it profits nothing", unless it is used in love. Love is the "more excellent way" in which the gifts are used. The gifts become a channel through which God's love can flow to those around us. Love is the key to using spiritual gifts effectively.
  
Satan counterfeits the gifts of the Holy Spirit. A counterfeit is something that imitates something real, but it is not genuine. Satan is a deceiver. The Bible says he sometimes even appears as an angel (II Corinthians 11:14). In the final days of time, there will even be a Satanic counterfeit of Christ called the antichrist (I John 2:18, 22).

Much counterfeiting of the gifts is accomplished through the occult. For example, the word of knowledge is counterfeited by witches pretending to foretell the future and the unknown. A witch is a person who seeks to know things and perform acts through supernatural sources other than God. Their source is Satan. Counterfeiting of the gift of discerning of spirits is done by mind reading.

Even miracles are counterfeited by Satan (Exodus 7) and will be performed by the antichrist (Revelation 13:14). The Bible also speaks of false prophets (Acts 13:6-12). The question is, how do you distinguish the counterfeit from the real?  The counterfeit does not fulfill the Scriptural purposes of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Read again Ephesians 4:12-15. Any true gift of the Holy Spirit will accomplish these spiritual purposes and objectives.

Counterfeit gifts do not agree with what the Bible teaches about Jesus. When anyone ministers a gift, what do they say about Jesus? Does it agree with the written Word of God?

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.  For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.  (II Corinthians 11:4-5)

You can also recognize counterfeiters by their personal characteristics. These are listed in II Peter 2 and the book of Jude. Know what the bible says to help you distinguish the real in God from the counterfeit from Satan.




 (Biblical Studies)

06/24/15

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Spiritual Gifts Glorify God





But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)












Jesus left His followers with the responsibility to extend the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. The power of the Holy Spirit would help them fulfill this task:
  
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.  (Mark 16:15-20)

Jesus did not leave His followers with such a great responsibility without giving us the ability to fulfill the challenge. Spiritual gifts are supernatural abilities given by the Holy Spirit to empower believers to be effective witnesses of the Gospel.

The subject of spiritual gifts was one on which Paul taught in the early church. He said:

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. (I Corinthians 12:1)

The word "spiritual" means "characterized or controlled by the Holy Spirit". A "gift" is something freely given from one person to another. A spiritual gift is a supernatural ability given by the Holy Spirit to a believer to minister as part of the Body of Christ.

There is a difference between the "gift" of the Holy Spirit and "gifts" of the Holy Spirit. The "gift" of the Holy Spirit occurred at Pentecost (Acts 2) when the Holy Spirit came in answer to the promise of Jesus:

And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter...Even the Spirit of truth...  (John 14:16-17a)

The "gift" of the Holy Spirit has already been given in answer to this promise.

"Gifts" of the Holy Spirit are supernatural abilities the Holy Spirit gives believers to enable effective ministry:

And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. (Luke 16:20)

Because every believer has at least one spiritual gift, we each have a responsibility to discover and use our gift.

You will not be judged by how many spiritual gifts you have. You will be judged by your faithfulness to use the spiritual gift or gifts you have been given. The parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 confirms this truth.

There are many spiritual gifts, but no believer has all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit:

Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? (I Corinthians 12:29-30)

A person may have more than one gift, but no one has all the gifts of the Spirit. If he did, then he would have no need of others in the Body of Christ.

A spiritual gift from God can be abused. To "abuse" a gift means to not use it properly. You can abuse spiritual gifts by:

   Ø  Not using gifts given to you:

The Apostle Paul told Timothy:

Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. (I Timothy 4:14)

Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. (II Timothy 1:6)

   Ø  Attempting to use gifts not given to you:

While ministering in Samaria, Peter and John met a man named Simon who wanted to have the powerful gifts he saw demonstrated. Simon offered money to obtain these abilities. Peter said:

Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter... (Acts 8:20-21)

Spiritual gifts come from the Holy Spirit. They cannot be obtained by any other method. You cannot just decide you want to have or use a certain spiritual gift. The Holy Spirit must give it to you.

On another occasion, seven sons of the chief of the priests saw the miracles of the Apostle Paul and tried to use this gift to cast out evil spirits:

And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them and overcame them, and prevailed against them so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. (Acts 19:15-16)

It can be dangerous to try to operate a gift without the Holy Spirit's anointing.

   Ø  Not using the gifts properly:

In I Corinthians 12-14 Paul deals with proper use of spiritual gifts. To summarize, he states:

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace...Let all things be done decently and in order.  (I Corinthians 14:33,40)

God is not the author of confusion. Where there is confusion the gifts are not being used correctly. Spiritual gifts can also be improperly used when you manipulate people, gain wealth, or use them for your own selfish satisfaction rather than in ministry to others.

The guidelines for use of gifts which Paul gives in I Corinthians 12-14 prevent confusion.

   Ø  Glorifying your gift:

When you "glorify" your gift, you consider it more special than other gifts. You begin to see the gift as greater than the Giver.

Regardless of which gift we may have, one is not to be esteemed above the other.  




 (Biblical Studies)

06/22/15