Friday, October 7, 2011

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

God's Spiritual Gifts for His people
“All of these are the work of one and the same Spirit,

and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.” 1 Corinthians 12: 11 (NIV)

Read 1 Corinthians 12

The Apostle Paul explains to us the qualities, or assets, the Holy Spirit gives to individuals in a body of believers. In this chapter he describes various strengths needed by churches in order to build God’s Kingdom.

From time to time, I have read about or heard of a group or an individual holding teaching seminar on asking for a certain Spiritual gift.This passage tells me God has a different approach.  I once sat in a worship service where the person in charge started to delve into this topic. Two of us had to remind the man that it was the Holy Spirit’s decision as to who received what gift. The man never spoke of that subject again.

While it is true that every believer receives one Spiritual gift, a believer can receive several but no one receives all of them. If a person has several gifts, those gifts are termed a ‘gift mix.’

At different times in my Christian walk, I have taken a ‘Spiritual Gifts Survey’. The one I was most familiar with was a study book that had descriptions of each gift and how they could be used in God’s Kingdom. The material cautioned us on how to recognize if we were abusing the gifts. I believe Zondervan published it. I researched this and found information on their website.

After we took the survey, our scores were compiled. Our three highest scores were our working gifts, our next three highest- our waiting gifts, the scores left were not our gifts.

In my experience of taking this survey I have learned: 1) The gifts usually hold true. The gifts we have in 2011 will be evident in 2012 and beyond. 2) Those waiting gifts are qualities that we can develop into working gifts. 3) Other people confirm our gifts.

The purpose The Holy Spirit has for giving us these gifts is to build God’s Kingdom. We should all be working toward enlarging it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


God's Inspired Word
 “The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground

and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man

became a living being.” Genesis 2:7 (NIV)

When I read this passage, I feel humble. God created mankind from dust. But man was still without that ‘something’, that extra spark. The final step in the process came when God breathed His breath into man. Man then became a vital being.

Without God, we are nothing. Having His breathe in us gives us a very special life.

 ●Elihu, one of Job’s friends realized this. “The Spirit of God made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job 33: 4

Whenever we think of the Bible, we reflect on the thought that God breathed His breath into the many persons who penned the different stories of His Book; we call it His inspired Word.

●The prophet Ezekiel wrote of having the hand of the Lord on him, being placed in a valley, and seeing a field of bones. The Lord asked him a very basic question, “Son of man, can these bones live? Ezekiel answered, “O, Sovereign Lord, You alone know.” {Ezekiel 37:3}

God then told His spokesman to ‘Prophesy to the bones.’ {Ezekiel 37:4} They responded by joining together. Tendons and skin appeared.

The Lord then had Ezekiel ‘prophesy to the breath.’ {Ezekiel 37:9a} The spokesman called on the breath to ‘come from the four winds.’ {Ezekiel 37:9b}

The bones stood up before Ezekiel, God told his prophet that the bones were the

Nation Israel. {Ezekiel 37:11} It seems that Israel had kept telling the Lord ‘our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’

God told them He would restore their nation to where they had been spiritually.

He would do it in such a way that they would know it was from Him. {Ezekiel 37:14}

Are we, individually or as a nation, a valley of dry bones?

Have we lost our hope?

Will we again have God breathe into our souls?

Dear Lord:

Only You know if we have become ‘dry bones.’ It is only through You that we can regain life. We ask You breathe into us the breath of life. Allow us to be used of You for Your purposes. In the name of Jesus, we pray. AMEN

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Spirit of Truth

Jesus teaching the Disciples
“And I will ask the Father and He will send you another

Counselor to be with you forever-The Spirit of Truth

. The world cannot accept him because it neither sees him

nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and

will be in you.” John 14: 16-17

I get excited when I read this passage.

Sometimes life gets to be so humdrum. I waken; I rise; I might get a little housework done; then Hubby and I go out for a while. When we return I may have to run to CVS or to the grocery store. Interwoven in between all these mundane chores I find time to write or do research. In the evening, I might have a meeting or church. If I’m home I watch television. I sometimes forget that God is there working in my behalf. But these words of Jesus tell me something more.

“. . . I will ask the Father . . .” The Son of God thinks so much of you and me that He goes before His Father, the Creator of the universe, and presents our needs.

“. . . and He will send you another Counselor . . .” Our God permits someone else to enter our messed up world to guide us through these days.

“. . . to be with you forever-The Spirit of Truth” This Counselor will be with us at all times, will never leave us. He has a name; Jesus calls Him The Spirit of Truth. His name tells me He comes from God.

“The world can not accept Him . . .” Even in the 1st Century A. D., God knew the world would reject Him. It had already rejected the prophets and other representatives He sent.

“. . . it neither sees Him nor knows Him.” We hear people say our world is imperfect. This is true but the description that best states its condition is that our world is fallen. As a child, I heard the adage, “Seeing is believing.” As I grow spiritually, I have come to realize that “Believing is seeing.” When we believe that Jesus is with us, we see Him working in the lives of people.

“But you know him,” Jesus reminds His disciples, then and now, that they (we) know and accept the Counselor and, whenever we need it, we have access to Him.

“. . . for he lives with you and will be in you.” Do we realize that God’s Holy Spirit dwells within us? On days that I don’t feel well or I have times of stress, I don’t always respond to circumstances as if God’s Spirit resided in me or in a way He would want me to. But God always instructs me and I am willing to learn how to rely on Him and His Holy Spirit.

Here are a few other verses about The Spirit of Truth:

“When the Counselor comes, whom I send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth goes out from the Father, He will testify about me.” John 15:26

“The Spirit of Truth will guide you (us) into all truth and will speak only of what He hears and will tell you (us) what is yet to come.” John 16:13.

“He will bring glory to Me by taking what is Mine and making it known to you.” John 16:14 (NKJV)

The work of the HS is to communicate and impart truth to those who receive Him. (Paraphrased from the writing of R. A. Torrey)

Dear God:

We thank You for your great love for us. It is because of that love that you granted Jesus’ request for a Counselor to come and be in us to guide us through our days. We give thanks for Your Word that we can learn of You and Your Son. In the name of Jesus, we pray. AMEN

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