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Tag Archives: Ephesians

  • Walk Against Culture

    Posted on December 5, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind.” Ephesians 4:17 NKJV

     

    Followers of Jesus are called to walk against the grain of a Godless culture. Indeed, Christian character is meant to be like a thermostat influencing the spiritual temperature of culture, unlike a thermometer that merely measures the degrees of decadence. Prayerful pursuits are probably not a path of least resistance or conflict free efforts. A walk of intimacy with Jesus and ethical behavior invite push back from culture.

    Our goal is not to create controversy, but to be peacemakers who win over accusers with counter-cultural kindness. However, there are those who may never change, who are quick to categorize our values as narrow, intolerant and insensitive. These skeptical souls need our grace during disagreements and our forgiveness over fractured relationships. Do you have a family situation that requires you to take the high road of restoration?

    “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

    Furthermore, your ultimate opponent is Satan and his menacing demons of deception, distraction and discouragement. You are engaged in a spiritual battle in the heavenly realms that is only overcome by the blood of Christ and His testimony on your behalf. In prayer you boldly confess the blood of Jesus as your salvation and security. A cultural canopy of darkness is lifted by the Lord’s loving light. So, walk empowered by the Spirit.

    Yes, be in the world but not of the world. Be attractively different without being repulsively weird. Your walk against the culture is a mission of mercy that requires perseverance and prayer. Some who dismiss you now will one day search you out in their season of suffering. Culture needs the calm of Christ delivered by your winsome walk with Him. Without apology, model acceptance while risking rejection. Walk wisely.

    “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to walk against the culture as a loving light for You.

    Related Readings: 2 Kings 6:16; John 16:33; Romans 8:31; Ephesians 2:2

    Post/Tweet today: Some who dismiss you now, will one day search you out in their season of suffering. #persevere

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Walk in Good Works

    Posted on December 4, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 NASB

     

    Children of God are a work of God. It is His workmanship in Christ that creates good works through His followers. Thus, the Lord has prepared for believers—even before they believe— behaviors that bring glory to Him. In God’s infinite wisdom He knew faith would unlock the desire to serve on His behalf, so He wove into the heart of Christians creative ways to give back. Those who walk in good works reflect the ready work of God.

    Yes, our walk of faith equals a walk in good works. This is why we look for ways in our workplace to give good gifts to our co-workers. Perhaps someone on the job needs help paying their insurance deductible for a medical procedure. We can be a catalyst for Christ to help raise the cash and bless them in their time of need. A good commercial for Christianity is to care about real-time concerns. Our good works bring glory to God’s work.

    “When they see among them their children, the work of my hands, they will keep my name holy; they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob, and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.” Isaiah 29:23

    A walk in good works means you look for ways to bless another human being every day. Maybe it is a casual conversation with a stranger that celebrates their being a cancer survivor. Your daily walk of works exercises your faith and keeps you from becoming spiritually overweight. Unapplied biblical knowledge affects your soul like too many carbohydrates slows your body— it's response is sluggish and insensitive to immediate needs. Yes, a healthy spiritual heart results from regular faith workouts with good works. Love does!

    Therefore, pray and ask the Lord to reveal His good works for you, ones that He has already prepared before you were born. Works produced in your own strength are draining, but works aligned with your heavenly Father’s designed activities just for you—give life, energy and enjoyment. Your walk in good works is a compelling apologetic for Christ! 

    “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NKJV

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, show me the works you have prepared for me to bless others.

    Related Readings: Isaiah 43:7, 60:21; John 10:32; Acts 9:36; Ephesians 4:24

    Post/Tweet today: Our walk of faith equals a walk in good works. #works

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • When You're Wrong, Even Though You're Right

    Posted on December 3, 2012 by Wendy Blight

    Wendy

    "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

     

    My stomach churned in a mix of grief and anger. I was shocked with disbelief. A Bible study leader I knew had blatantly disobeyed God's truths. I was frustrated, and honestly I was angry, too.

    Righteous anger. Have you ever experienced it? That justifiable anger that rises up within you when you know someone is acting in a way that dishonors God. That anger Jesus expressed when He walked into the Temple and found the moneychangers doing business in God's house, defiling Holy ground.

    Righteous anger is a good thing. However, what we do with it is another matter.

    I shared my feelings about this leader's behavior with my husband and another couple during dinner one night. Was I gossiping? In the moment, I didn't think so. In fact, I felt okay talking about this leader since they'd engaged in behavior I thought was "unchristian."

    Everyone at dinner agreed with me and disapproved, which validated my feelings. I took comfort in how good it felt that I wasn't alone.

    However, the next day as I sat in church, God spoke in a powerful way through the sermon. Our pastor taught about idle gossip and character assassination, and how our words matter. Each word penetrated my heart like a double-edged sword.

    I too was a spiritual leader. And I had disobeyed God's Word as I judged another believer in the presence of others. Had I talked out of righteous anger? No. Idle gossip? Yes. Character assassination? Definitely.

    In the quietness of that moment in church, I felt conviction.

    Not guilt. Not shame. But conviction.

    The difference between these emotions is that guilt and shame are about us, and they are unproductive. They leave us stagnant, in a bad place with God and others.

    Conviction, on the other hand, is about God. It's a productive emotion from the Holy Spirit to let us know that we have not pleased Him. With conviction, God speaks truth into our hearts and empowers us to change so we live in a way that's pleasing to Him.

    That day, the Holy Spirit gave me a truth that I committed to memory.

    "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29 NIV)

    I promised the Lord that morning, I will hold my tongue. I will only speak words that will build others up and benefit those listening. Or, at least, I will try.

    Paul gives a great tip on how to accomplish this in 2 Corinthians 10:5:

    "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (NIV)

    Next time, I commit to take my words captive BEFORE they come out of my mouth. I pray that I will not speak words that tear down, but only words that build up. Will you join me in this resolve?

    Dear Lord, help me to be a woman after Your own heart, one who speaks only what is helpful for building others up. And when I am tempted to speak unwholesome or critical words, help me to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Thank You that in Your strength I will be successful because I can do all things through You Who strengthens me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God's Story by Wendy Blight.

    Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst

    Reflect and Respond:
    How can you take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ? List some practical examples from your own experiences.

    Ephesians 5:1 calls us to live a life of love. Spend some time thinking about how this call to live a life of love intersects the call to speak only words that build others up rather than tear them down.

    Power Verse:
    2 Corinthians 10:5, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (NIV)

    © 2012 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • Walk in Humility

    Posted on November 28, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love." Ephesians 4:1-2 NASB

     

    The Christian life is a step-by-step walk of faith on the path of humility. The goal is not to get ahead of God with fleshly footsteps or to lag behind in fearful procrastination. It is a balance where behavior is molded by beliefs and doing flows from being. A walk with Jesus leads to a talk with Jesus--prayer. It is beautiful to know the Lord longs to linger in lock step with the ones He loves.

    We walk in humility because this is the cadence of Christ. Our heavenly Father is not interested in us sprinting through life void of the Spirit's power. On the contrary, He smiles when He sees His servants wait on Him to accompany them to the next opportunity. In the process, a walk of humility takes the time to recognize surrounding relationships: the needs, wants and dreams of others.

    "Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.” Daniel 4:37 NASB 

    Are your steps pleasing to the Lord? Are you walking with or away from Jesus? Each of your steps are important because they build on a sequence of wisdom or foolishness. Each step of obedience reveals another footprint in God's will. You may not understand where the final step will find you, but you can be confident of the next step. Thus, in humble submission take the necessary next step in raising your teenager and entrust their ultimate outcome to the Lord. Humility walks with the One who has already won.

    Pride is dismissed by the patient tolerance of your humility. Because you love others, you trust others. Pride walks alone, but an accountable community accompanies humility. Any autonomy you may experience is required by humility to automatically and voluntarily submit to wise counsel. Thus, you walk in the light of God's love that exposes and disposes the dark deeds of pride. As you walk in humility a pace, powered by grace, sustains you!

    "Does he not see my ways and count my every step?" Job 31:4

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, humble my heart to walk in obedience with You.

    Related Readings: Proverbs 3:34; Isaiah 13:11; Micah 6:8; Matthew 23:12

    Post/Tweet this today: A walk with Jesus leads to a talk with Jesus--prayer. #humility

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Find And Replace

    Posted on November 13, 2012 by Karen Ehman

    Karen

    "... throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy." Ephesians 4:22-24 (NLT)

    There's a nifty editing tool on my computer called "find and replace." It allows me to locate an existing word and exchange it for one more suited to the meaning of my sentence.

    At times I wish I had such a feature on my brain; a "find and replace" option that would help me keep my thoughts in a healthy place and in line with God's Word. Especially when it comes to setting my own agenda and getting my own way. (Better known as selfishness.)

    Even though I can't press a button and instantly swap out my old thoughts for new ones, I can still apply this "find and replace" process to my sometimes-selfish line of thinking.

    When tempted to throw a pity party with only ourselves on the guest list—because let's face it, no one fancies the company of a whiner—let's replace our negative notions with insight from God's Word.

    Here are some "find and replace" examples to help pull a selfishness switch-a-roo. When we find ourselves thinking one of the thoughts listed in bold, let's replace it with what God says in the verse that directly follows it.

    "If I don't look out for myself, who will?"
    "What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows." (Luke 12:6-7 NLT)

    "What about my rights?"
    "You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being." (Philippians 2:5-7a NLT)

    "I'm entitled to my opinion."
    "Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it. For the Scriptures say, 'If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.'" (1 Peter 3:9-11 NLT)

    "I gotta look out for number one."
    "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 2:3-5 ESV)

    "Who cares about them? It's all about me."
    "I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ's return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God." (Philippians 1:9-11 NLT)

    "But what about what I want?"
    "Carefully determine what pleases the Lord." (Ephesians 5:10 NLT)

    How about it? Could your thought patterns benefit from some "find and replace" therapy? It is sure to center our minds on God and, as a result, make our relationship with Him—as well as with others—healthier, happier and whole. Let's pursue an unselfish and God-pleasing attitude. Find and replace.

    Dear Lord, at those times I'm tempted by selfishness, may I align my thinking with Your will and Your Word. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    We're celebrating the release of Karen Ehman's new book LET. IT. GO. How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith. It will empower and equip you to control what you should and trust God with what you can't.

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    Why is it so easy to let our thoughts and resulting actions be selfish in nature?

    Was there a time when you intentionally chose to not be selfish even though you wanted to be? What happened?

    Power Verse:
    James 3:16: "For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil. (HCSB)

    © 2012 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • The Rip Current of People-Pleasing

    Posted on November 8, 2012 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa

    "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10 (NIV)

    Bring up the phrase "people-pleasing" in a group of women and the responses are interesting. Most will quickly say they struggle with this to some degree. Those that say they don't struggle with people-pleasing eventually admit before the conversation is over that it's present in at least one of their relationships.

    People-pleasing is something we seem kind of resigned to having to deal with rather than determined to overcome.

    Why is that?

    We all want to be liked. There's nothing wrong with that. But as we travel the path toward love and acceptance let's take a look at two of the possible motivations behind people-pleasing.

    One motivation is to give love out of the kindness of our heart. In giving love we feel love. That's good.

    Another motivation is to give to others out of what we hope to get in return-love. In getting love from what we do, we feel desperate to do more to get more. That's dangerous.

    It's the second way that gets us into trouble with people-pleasing. It's not wrong to want to make others feel loved, happy, and pleased. But if we are doing it with the motivation of getting things in return, we will set ourselves up for trouble. Being in a constant state of trying to get love by doing more and more will lead to exhaustion.

    Exhaustion for the giver. Exhaustion for the taker. Exhaustion in the relationship all together.

    Ephesians 5:8-10 says, "... for at one time you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord." (ESV)

    I like the explanation of what the fruit or evidence is of us walking as children of light — doing what is good, right, and true — as we discern what is pleasing to the Lord.

    I am challenged to make this a filter for the decisions I'm making today. You see, I know I'm in the rip current of people-pleasing when I dread saying yes but feel powerless to say no.

    If I'm seeking to please the Lord, I will ask some questions before agreeing to do something for another person: Am I doing this with good motives, right intentions, and true expectations?

    Or am I doing this with:

    Fearful motives ... They might not like me if I say no.

    Skewed intentions ... If I do this for them will they be more likely to do that for me?

    Unrealistic expectations ... I just know if I give a little more, they'll affirm me and I'm desperate for their affirmation.

    Wherever we focus our attention the most will become the driving force in our lives.

    The more I focus on trying to figure out how to please people, the more of a magnified force people-pleasing will become in my life. The more I focus on trying to figure out how to please God, the more of a magnified force He will become in my life.

    My focus. My choice.

    Dear Lord, help me break away from my people-pleasing tendencies. Guide me in my daily decisions as I battle fearful motives, skewed intentions, and unrealistic expectations. I want to make You the focus, Father, so that You continue to become the magnified force in my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Do you have some relatives that make holidays challenging? Lysa TerKeurst's New York Times Bestseller, Unglued, is a wonderful book to guide you in interacting with them

    Make time to focus on the Lord through study. A great resource to help you is the Unglued DVD and Participant's Guide. Click here to pick up your copy today.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Have you experienced the cycle of doing more to get more?

    Search your heart and ask, What are my motives? Am I seeking to please people or God in this situation? You may need to place healthy boundaries in your relationships with others so that you can learn when to say "yes" and when to say "no."

    Power Verse:
    1 Thessalonians 2:4, "On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts." (NIV)

    © 2012 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • Responsible Christian Citizens

    Posted on November 5, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “Then the commander said, ‘I had to pay a big price for my citizenship.’ ‘But I was born a citizen,’ Paul replied. Those who were about to question him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains” (Acts 22:28–29).

     

    Citizenship in a free country means something, especially for Christian citizens. Citizens who are followers of Christ have a platform to live out the teachings of Jesus. A responsible Christian citizen models his Biblical values and principles modestly. Beliefs lived out are truly beliefs, while those unapplied are not real beliefs. 

    “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22–24).

    This applies to our political beliefs as Christian citizens. We can endorse an independent political party, but we are not autonomous from the Almighty’s influence. Paul was persecuted for his faith, but he still spoke the truth with humble boldness. If we say we believe in the sanctity of life, then we elect congressmen or women who do the same.

    If we say we believe in a government that spends less and balances a budget, then we elect leaders who will make hard choices and implement fiscally conservative changes. If we say we believe in free enterprise, then we elect statesmen and women who support the system, even if it requires businesses to fail. Responsible Christian citizens care more.

    Because our citizenship is in heaven, we always keep an eye on eternity’s expectations while we deal with earthly issues. It is not creating an entitlement-motivated government that becomes the savior of the masses. On the contrary, it is a political system that ensures the freedoms and liberties of its citizens are not threatened and removed. A diverse people can only be truly unified around common values and principles espoused by God.

    “For through him [Jesus] we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:18–20).

    Prayer: Am I a responsible Christian citizen who expresses my convictions at the voting booth?

    Related Readings: Ecclesiastes 9:14–16; Acts 23:1–11; Ephesians 2:11–13; Titus 3:1

    Post/Tweet this today: A diverse people can only be truly unified around common values and principles espoused by God. #diversity

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources
    A registered 501 c3 ministry
  • Made to Make

    Posted on October 22, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

     

    God makes things beautiful, so in turn they can make beautiful things. For instance, an artist who has tasted the grace of God is able to take a blank canvas and create a complex and attractive expression of Christ’s love. A writer can take a blank sheet of paper and describe, in desirable detail, what it looks like to worship the Lord, despise sin and serve people. Architects make plans, builders make houses, homeowners make warm homes and chefs make meals. Senators make laws, technicians make systems, leaders make decisions and gardeners make gardens.

    What are you making for your Maker? Perhaps you have made loved ones who love the Lord and people, a legacy of wise living, eternal financial investments and relationships built on respect and unselfish service. You are God’s wonderful workmanship created in Christ for good works. Yes, He molds you with messy circumstances, painful processes and daily discipline. Your spiritual formation in Christ is not always easy, but it is fulfilling. Indeed, Jesus doesn’t make any junk.

    “When they see among them their children, the work of my hands, they will keep my name holy; they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob, and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.” Isaiah 29:23

    The Lord has prepared beforehand what needs to constitute the work of our hands. The world tempts us to spend abnormal amounts of time in time bound busyness. However, our heavenly Host frees us to focus on faith and timeless significance. Christ’s desire is that we integrate our being with our doing. He wants us to assimilate what we learn at church with what we do at work and home. We are joint-heirs with Christ to advance His Kingdom on earth, as it is in heaven.

    Furthermore, the last words of Christ to us, His disciples, were to make disciples. This is the end game for our Lord. Are you in the disciple-making business? Do you pour into others—so out of their overflow—they pour into others? Yes, disciples are made not born. You learn Scripture, so that you can share Scripture with other students of the Word. Disciple making invites the power and presence of Christ. Thus, ask God who you can invest your time in to help make them a mature disciple of Jesus. Model for them how their Maker wants to make them a disciple maker!

    “Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 The Message 

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for those who invested in me, so I can invest in others.

    Related Readings: Isaiah 49:6; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 4:24; 2 Timothy 2:2; Titus 2:14

    Post/Tweet: Disciple making invites the power and presence of Christ. #Discipleship

    Download the free Wisdom Hunters app… http://bit.ly/OVrYb9

  • Gift of Evangelism

    Posted on October 19, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Ephesians 4:11-12

     

    Every follower of Jesus can and should be a witness of His amazing grace. But, there are some specifically gifted to share the gospel. The good news of salvation from sin in Christ somehow makes its way into the conversations of an evangelist. These bold believers are compelled by the love of God to share the love of God. This gift of evangelism cannot be silent about the need for a Savior. Because their conversion to Christ was transformational, they pray for all to come to know Him.

    Many of us became believers because of the message we heeded from an evangelistic messenger. Maybe we heard on the radio, “You must be born again.” Perhaps a visiting preacher at church proclaimed Christ’s death on the cross as the payment for our sin, and His resurrection as the power to live the Christian life. A friend may have asked us about our assurance of going to heaven when we die. Or, in reading the Bible the fiery faith of the Apostles may have ignited our faith.

    “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, 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.” Acts 2:38

    Do you actively share the good news of Jesus Christ? Is your gift of evangelism vigorous and alive? Any gift that is unused becomes ineffective. Like a piece of idle, rusty machinery your gift can lock up for lack of use. If this is the case, ask the Holy Spirit to fall fresh on your faith. Let the Lord lubricate your life with courage—to loosen your lips as Christ’s witness. Yes, you share the gospel with humble passion, not in proud judgment. But don’t stay silent—be bold for Jesus!

    You talk about what you love. If you love cars, you read about, discuss and drive cars. If you love your family, you spend time with them and you tell others how they are doing. If you love Jesus, you are loved by Jesus, so that you can love others to Jesus. Love compels you to grow closer to Christ and out of your intimacy with Him, engage your lost world with soul saving truth. You can’t be quiet, because you have the cure for the curse of sin—faith in Jesus. Love speaks up.

    Furthermore, use your gift of evangelism to equip the saints of God to do the work of God. Your experience, passion and theological understanding are a bridge to help other believers share Jesus. You teach others who in turn teach others to turn to God. Don’t be shy in multiplying your influence by training up faithful evangelists for Kingdom advancement. Yes, stay in the reality of reasoning with others about Christ—but also, be wise to mobilize an army of witnesses for Jesus!

    “They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:4-5

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for those who shared the gospel with me Now use me to love others to Jesus with my words and deeds.

    Related Readings: John 3:14-15; Acts 13:46; Romans 1:2,16; Galatians 3:8; 2 Timothy 1:8

    Post/Tweet: Bold believers are compelled by the love of God to share the love of God. #bold

    Know your gift? Get a free “Spiritual Gifts Assessment” http://bit.ly/P4FYlw

  • Gift of Service

    Posted on October 9, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve.” Romans 12:6-7

     

    The gift of service sees a need and seeks to meet that need. It is the Spirit inspired ability to see beyond the surface to what really requires attention. Service motivated servants of Jesus get joy from rallying resources to raw realities. They are not shy about challenging the abundantly resourced to resource the woefully under resourced. The gift of service convenes other gifted people to collaborate for a cause. They are called by Christ to facilitate action and results.

    We all can serve the Lord and people, but for those gifted to do so it comes more naturally and easily. Indeed, self and Satan compete for our service to God and others. The flesh longs to be served rather than serve, and Satan seeks to divide our loyalties with the Lord. So purity in service flows from a heart harnessed by the Holy Spirit. When we first see ourselves as bondservants to our Savior Jesus we are compelled to serve for Him. Servants of Christ serve.

    “Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ” Matthew 4:10
    Moreover, steward well your service gift, so you are not overwhelmed with the avalanche of needs that surround you. If you try to meet everyone’s needs you may meet no one’s needs. Even Jesus chose to give attention to some but not others. Your gift requires prayerful stewardship so it is not prostituted by pride. Approval may or may not come from those you serve unselfishly, so make sure you serve as unto the Lord. Serve Christ alone and you will not be alone in Him.

    Furthermore, lavish love on those whose service is exemplary and enthusiastic for Jesus. When you recognize and reward servants of the Lord, you place value on what God values. Those who consistently serve well need double doses of encouragement. If servants are not served they grow weary and weak in the Lord’s work. Yes, stay true to serve during trying times but also receive the service of others. Sometimes those who serve the most are served the least—so allow yourself to be served!

    “Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.” Ephesians 6:6-8 

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, use my service for Your glory and for Your people!

    Related Readings: 1 Samuel 12:24; Psalm 22:30; Mark 10:45; Philippians 2:22

    Post/Tweet: If you try to meet everyone’s needs you may meet no one’s needs. #serve

    Know your gift? Get a free “Spiritual Gifts Assessment” http://bit.ly/P4FYlw

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