Tuesday, February 23, 2010
What a spiritual gift isn't:
- It isn't the fruit of the Spirit written about in Galatians 5. Every Christian should have the fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faith – these are the fruit of the Spirit we should all exercise and utilize daily as Christians. They are developed as we mature in our faith.
- It isn't natural ability. Even though natural ability is also given by God. (Boy, am I thankful it's not natural ability!) There are days when I forget more than I remember. There are times when walking on my own two feet seems challenging.
- It's not the next big thing in designer wear. Just checking to see if you're paying attention, but it's true. A spiritual gift isn't the next big thing with a designer label on it. This gift is made by the ORIGINAL DESIGNER, and you can have an original!
- It's not something you receive through heredity. (Anyone else thankful for that? My gene pool is so shallow we had to adopt!)
- It cannot be bequeathed from your next of kin. I'm thankful for that because my luck my daddy would try to bequeath something out of his shed.
- It's a grace gift given by the Father to all those who call on Him and believe in His name and have confessed that He is Lord.
- It is to help give you identity and purpose in the Father's kingdom. Want to know your purpose in life? Learn about your spiritual gift(s) and then exercise them.
- It is about the Giver and not the recipient. He chooses what is best for you, and He chose it for you before the world began for you. That is how precious you are to Him.
- It can't be swapped for another.
- One size does not fit all. It is tailored made for the recipient based on their alottment of faith.
- It is to benefit the body of Christ, to further God's kingdom.
Do you know the purpose of preparing your story? In 1 Peter it says we are to be able to give an answer for the hope that is in you. God sends people into our lives every day, and we have an opportunity to weave God into the conversation as He is the intricle part of our lives. It's an opportunity to lead others to Christ, so they too can receive this free grace gift.I can't wait for the weeks to come. I'm so excited. It will be a few weeks before they are allowed to open their presents, and yes, there is something in there. It's going to be awesome. Hope you come along for the ride.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
For the past 4 weeks or so, I've been carrying a present into the Sunday school class that I teach. I teach an all-ladies Sunday school class. There are no age requirements; no status requirement other than you must have XX chromosomes. We have ladies in there who are in their twenties and starting careers to ladies who are close to retiring and some who want to retire. I have some ladies who have never been married, some going through divorce, some who are widows, and some who are cancer survivors. In general, there are some amazing women in this class. But even as amazing as they are many of them have been walking around for years carrying an unopened present, and what's more is they are carrying around the PERFECT gift UNOPENED.
This next Sunday they have been preparing a list of events in their lives and have been working on ways to introduce God and how He worked it all out for their good, so that when the opportunity arises they will be prepared to give an answer for the hope that is in them (1 Peter). They are going to be stretched the Sunday outside their comfort zone. As I explained to them, when you prepare your answer you don't have to give all the dirt. What you have to give is enough to let the other woman know that you can connect to what she is going through and what she is feeling. Once the connection is made then you move forward focusing on God's hand in it all. Truth is, sometimes we don't see God's hand until we look back.
Then the Sunday after that I'm going to be teaching on spiritual gifts. I'm excited about it. They are going to start carrying around small, wrapped gifts, and when they are asked about them they are to respond it is their spiritual gift. It is to start conversations and open doors. I want women especially to be excited about their spiritual gift(s). We will cover it for about 4 weeks before they take the test, and then we are going to have people who exercise their gift inside the body of Christ come in and talk about the strengths and weaknesses of each gift. I want these ladies to identify with someone else and connect with someone else with a similar giftedness. You see, I never knew anyone with my spiritual gift. It wasn't taught about it at all. It wasn't until some friends of mine had a horrific accident that I heard of another person sharing my gift. I confess I asked God to take it away from me – How vain is that? How self-centered is that? How immature was that? If I had just been educated, disciple or mentored in it maybe I would have understood and appreciated it more.
When we are serving in our giftedness, we are energized. When we are serving outside of our giftedness because of whatever reason, we become exhausted, discouraged and even depressed. Our giftedness is not of our own doing. It is a grace gift from the Lover of my soul and your soul knowing our strengths and weaknesses and how He wants to use us to better and further His kingdom, His agenda. How humbling is that? He wants to use me.
My goal is to blog as we go along this study, and I hope you are encouraged to seek out your spiritual gift, discover what God wants you to do with it, and then obey (submit).
I hope you'll come along with my class. I'd love your feedback, and I'd covet your prayers even more.