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As if an aborted foetus could speak!

That is never going to happen!

And so their voices go unheard

God is the only one who hears their cries.

Goodness! – what a title for a post!  I hate the word foetus.  It SO depersonalises the BABY in the womb.  The baby in the womb isn’t an ‘it’ or a thing.  Let’s dispense with the word foetus!

I’m thinking, what if the baby in the womb could speak!

Or what if an aborted baby could speak, what would they say?

What if they could passionately and articulately argue for their right to life.  Wouldn’t we have to listen?  Wouldn’t things be different?  I mean, if they could speak and argue their existence it would be a no brainer.  We would have to say “Well done, intelligent and articulate baby.  We can see your reasoning.  You are just like us.  We can see you have a right to live.  Welcome to this life!”

However, this is but a fanciful dream.  In reality, babies in the womb are helpless and vulnerable and cannot speak for themselves.  So…

Babies in the womb need an advocate!

Babies in the womb need our help!

Gianna Jessen was aborted at birth but, through a series of miracles, survived to become an advocate for babies in the womb.  She is a testimony of passionate survival and courage through the trials in her life.  Gianna loves Jesus and lifts Him higher at every opportunity.  This message is not just ‘pro life rhetoric’ but a heart felt, God breathed, cry for LIFE, LIFE and MORE LIFE!  Life in abundance.  Life in all it’s fullness.  It’s a call to drawing a line.  It’s time to take a stand.  Enough is enough!  Be a man of God!  Be a woman of God!

Are we standing up and fighting for the things that matter?

Gianna Jessen, abortion survivor speaks at Queen’s Hall, Parliament House, Victoria (Australia) September 8 2008 on the eve of the debate to decriminalize abortion in Victoria.  Gianna’s visit was sponsored by the Ad Hoc Interfaith Committee – Part 1

Gianna Jessen, abortion survivor speaks at Queen’s Hall, Parliament House, Victoria (Australia) September 8 2008 on the eve of the debate to decriminalize abortion in Victoria.  Gianna’s visit was sponsored by the Ad Hoc Interfaith Committee – Part 2


In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae he writes in Col 1:6:

“All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.”

The gospel is bearing fruit and growing because people are not only hearing the good news but they are understanding the good news of God’s grace in all its truth.  I believe what this verse is saying is fundamentally important in the Christian faith.  Believers must personally not only hear the good news but also come to an understanding (or revelation) in their hearts of the good news and of God’s grace and truth (through Jesus Christ).

John 1:17 says…

“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

So God’s grace and truth came through a person – Jesus Christ!

Salvation comes through an understanding (or revelation) of the truth revealed of the grace of God through Jesus Christ.

Just a few verses back, in John 1:14:

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only,  who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Jesus is full of God’s grace and God’s truth.  When we truly know this deep in our hearts; when we come to repentance in awe of the love of the Father and the sacrifice of the Son; when the Spirit brings revelation of this to our hearts; we are truly set free by the man of grace and truth, Jesus!

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” [John 8:32]

Do you “understand” the message of God’s grace and truth?  Does something deep inside you say YES! to the truth of the gospel?  Do you want to accept God’s free gift (grace) of salvation and eternal life (knowing the Father through the Son by His Spirit)?  The Bible tells us that all of us have fallen short of God’s expectations and that we need to repent (turn away) from our sins and accept Jesus as our Lord (master) and Saviour (Jesus took the punishment for our sins on the cross) and receive His Holy Spirit.

Father, thank you for opening my eyes to the good news about your grace and truth coming through Jesus.  I am truly sorry for all of my wrong doings, I turn away from all of them and I turn to you Jesus.  You are my new master.  You are my saviour.  You have saved me from the penalty of my sins.  Thank you Jesus.  I want to follow you Jesus.  Come live in me by your Spirit and take control of my life.  I want to bear much fruith for your Kingdom, Amen.

I’m just really loving this passage this morning.

Acts 17:26-28
26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28’For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

Why did God create us?

So that we would seek Him and find Him.  It’s as simple as that.  There are two things I am sure of at the moment, one is never stop seeking God, the other is never stop praying.  If you loose sight of either of these you will become stale and disallussioned with the Christian faith.  If you give up on these things your relationship with the Lord won’t mean much to you so it won’t be hard for you to give it up.

SEEK HIM!

If I told you you had $1 millions dollars buried in your backyard and it is yours to keep if you find it how hard would you look for it?  God’s reward (of knowing Him) is so much greater than this!

In Him we live and move and have our being!

Kind of reminds me of this verse(s)…

Col 3:3-4
3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your  life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

and this verse…

Phil 3:8
8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.

and this verse…

John 17:3
3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

Christ should be nothing short of everything in our lives.  Start praying and start seeking Him with your whole heart, Amen.

An Interview with Leonard Ravenhill

Psalms 143

143:1 A psalm of David.

O LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.

2 Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you.

3 The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in darkness like those long dead.

4 So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed.

5 I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.

6 I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.  Selah

7 Answer me quickly, O LORD; my spirit fails.  Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.

8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

9 Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD, for I hide myself in you.

10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

11 For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.

12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.

Thoughts (Our soul=our mind, our will and our emotions):

Verse 1-4: A cry of the heart and an appeal for mercy.  (A humble and repentant heart)

Verse 5: Remembering the greatness and the goodness of God. (Meditating on the things of God and not on the problem – emotional hope and relief for the soul)

Verse 6: Praise and Worship. (I will praise You in the storm for You alone satisfy my soul)

Verse 7-9: Choosing to trust in God (I choose to hide myself in You – a decision of the mind).

Verse 10: Teach me and lead me (Not my will but Your will – a laying down of our will)

Verse 11-12: Final appeal.

I have ruminating over this verse below for the last few days and its implications for my life and for those in my influence…

In Luke 4:13, just after Jesus was tempted in the desert by the Devil, the scripture says,

When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him[Jesus] until an opportune time“.

Now I am thinking,

What would constitute an “opportune time”?

Would an “opportune time” be the Garden of Gethsemene?

Yes!  That would be an “opportune time” for the Devil to tempt Jesus.  At Gethsemene, Jesus is in absolute anguish over what He ‘must’ do.  The battle between the flesh and the Spirit is very intense and yet Jesus prays Not my will Father, but yours.

Would an “opportune time” be the actual crucifixion?

Yes!  That would be an “opportune time” for the Devil to tempt Jesus.  At the cross, Jesus was worn out, in extreme pain, rejected, hated, tormented and yet, Jesus prays “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”.

Now how does this relate to me?

Well, you see, the Devil is prowling around waiting for that “opportune time”, that moment of weakness, to pounce and devour me.

“Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” [1 Peter 5:8].

Do I ‘simply’ eliminate those moments of weakness so I can avoid the temptation?

Well, that depends on whether I am talking about managing my weaknesses or am I talking about transformation?

Soul management or Spiritual transformation?

Let’s apply this soul management to Jesus for a moment.  I mean, what if Jesus managed to avoid all of His weak moments?  There would  be no fast in the wilderness, no Gethsemene and no cross.  No, no, no.  Avoidance of our weaknesses is not the solution.

So, IN that moment of weakness, that “opportune time” of the Devil, what do I do?  What is the answer?

Here is the solution.  God says…

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

[2 Cor 12:9]

“I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong“. [2 Cor 12:9b-10]

In our moments of weakness (when the Devil is prowling) CHRIST’S POWER can be manifest in our lives through the honour and glory we give our Heavenly Father by the choices that we make.

As with Jesus…

Our weakest moments will be His sweetest victories

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast
“. [1 Peter 5:6-10]

Reviewing the Gifts Passages (from Part 2)

Now to each one the manifestations of the Spirit is given for the common good (1 Cor 12:7-11):
The message of wisdom, The message of knowledge, Faith, Gifts of healing, Miraculous powers, Prophecy, Distinguishing between spirits, Speaking in different kinds of tongues, Interpretation of tongues

In the church God has appointed (1 Cor 12:28):
First apostles, Second prophets, Third teachers, Then workers of miracles, Those having gifts of healing, Those able to help others, Those with gifts of administration, Those speaking in different kinds of tongues

Christ gave some to be (Eph 4:11-13):
Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers

Different Gifts (Rom 12:4-8):
Prophesying, Serving, Teaching, Encouraging, Contributing (to the needs of others), Leadership, Showing mercy

The Different Gifts and Serving Appointments

Now, for clarity, if we were to represent each gift by a single word, and if we do a little sorting and notice there is some overlap in the gift passages, then we can see that there are nine Spiritual manifestations given to each one for the common good(1 Cor 12:7-11) and there are fifteen God given serving appointments(Eph 4:11-13, 1 Cor 12:28, Rom 12:4-8) for the edification and equipping of the body, and for the glory of His ‘Kingdom come’ here on earth.  Highlighted in red they are…

Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, Healing, Miracles, Prophecy, Discernment, Tongues, Interpretation (1 Cor 12:7-11)

Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Evangelists, Pastors (Eph 4:11-13)
Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Miracles, Healing, Helpers, Administration, Tongues (1 Cor 12:28)
Prophecy, Teaching, Serving, Encouraging, Giving, Leadership, Mercy (Rom 12:4-8)

Just to make that clearer there are…

Nine Spiritual Manifestations (given to each one for the common good)

Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, Healing, Miracles, Prophecy, Discernment, Tongues, Interpretation (1 Cor 12:7-11)

Fifteen Spirit Given Serving Appointments

Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Evangelists, Pastors, Miracles, Healing, Helpers, Administration, Tongues, Serving, Encouraging, Giving, Leadership, Mercy (Eph 4:11-13, 1 Cor 12:28, Rom 12:4-8)

With regard to the nine Spiritual manifestations…

It is my understanding and my belief and my experience, that those who are born again of the Spirit of God (John 3:5-8) will naturally or rather supernaturally manifest the nine gifts of the Spirit from time to time, through the exercising of their faith, and as the Spirit leads and directs and enables. These gifts aren’t just for the ‘super-Christians’ or the ‘wacky-charismatics’ 🙂 they are for ALL of us to build up the body of Christ for the common good.

With regard to the fifteen Spirit given serving appointments…

Now, I want to make the distinction here between the manifestations of the Spirit (given to all (who are born of the Spirit) from time to time, as faith is exercised and as the Spirit leads and directs and enables) and the specific roles or offices given by the Spirit for the function and equiping of His body.

Dr. Dale A. Robbins puts it this way…

The ministry of Spiritual Gifts originates in the New Testament, commissioned by our Lord Jesus Christ. After He established His church on the earth and ascended to Heaven, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to equip His church with power and spiritual gifts (Greek — charismata) so that His disciples could continue to carry out His ministry objectives. While there are certain gifts of a spectacular nature that are often given greater attention, the New Testament mentions at least 21 that are provided to the church. These gifts are listed in Eph. 4:11, Rom. 12:3-7, and 1 Cor. 12:1-12,28, and are generally assigned to one of three categories, as listed below:

  • Charismatic (spiritual) gifts: Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, Healing, Miracles, Prophecy, Discernment, Tongues, Interpretation
  • Ministry (office) gifts: Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Evangelists, Pastors
  • Motivational (practical) gifts: Service, Encouraging, Giving, Leadership, Mercy, Helpers, Administration

I find Dr Robbins list quite helpful but it’s difficult (perhaps impossible) to define or categorise the Spiritual with mere words.  Note that the specific appointments of Miracles, Healing and Tongues from the 1 Cor 12:28 passage are not apparent in his list.  Note also that I don’t believe this list is suggesting that some gifts are Spiritual and some aren’t.  But, as you browse the list, can you see those in your church with the gift of ‘service’ for example?  Or perhaps the gift of ‘encouraging’ or ‘giving’ or ‘leadership’ or ‘mercy’ or ‘help’ or ‘administration’?  I can!  I  mean, we are all called to do all these things but there are those in your church and my church who have these specific gifts.  Just as a side note, I find it interesting (to say the least), that those with these gifts often tend to beat their drum from the perspective of their gift and say things like “If we are all better at leadership then the church will grow” or “If we acted more mercifully the church would grow” etc, etc. 🙂

Hold on a minute…

Let’s just stop here for a moment and make an observation.  Is there any ‘office gift’ missing in your church or my church?  I mean, I’m sure you have a Pastor(s) and maybe a Teacher(s) (you might be overrun with teachers 🙂 ) and, if you are really ‘lucky’ (sarcasm), you may have an Evangelist, but what about an Apostle or a ProphetWhat is an Apostle anyway? And prophet, “Oh, we have prophecy from time to time” it may be said.  No, no, no!  The ‘office’ of prophet (Eph 4:11-13, 1 Cor 12:28, Rom 12:4-8), not the ‘each one manifestation of the Spirit’ as mentioned in 1 Cor 12:7-11.  Do some homework on what an Apostle isHere is a linkDo some homework on what a Prophet is. Here is a link.

Why does the Modern Church have mainly Pastors and Teachers?

Would it fair to say that the church (at large) has a handle on Pastors and Teachers because these can be performed naturally instead of supernaturally? – these can be performed without faith and without the Spirits empowerment? (and then we wonder why people and churches ‘crash and burn’).

To be continued…

Does it amaze you (it does me) that God gives us His most precious gift, the gift of His Son Jesus, and yet continues to lavish upon us further gifts for His plans and purposes and His Kingdom come here on Earth?

What are the Gifts?

So, what are the gifts?  There are four main passages in the Bible that speak about gifts.  They are Romans 12:4-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-13, 1 Corinthians 12:27-31 and Ephesians 4:7-13.  However, I think it is important to consider the whole of the chapters of Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4.  I think it also important to include 1 Corinthians 13 and 14 as well as parts of Paul’s letters to Timothy and some things that Jesus said but I may not get time to include these in this blog.

Romans Chapter 12

Submission and Transformation; Gifts and Love

Rom 12:1-3 (Submission and Transformation)
12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual  act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

Rom 12:4-8 (Different gifts but one body – we belong to each other)
4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his  faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Rom 12:9-21 (Love)
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.  14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited.  17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”  says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”  21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Different Gifts (Rom 12:4-8):
Prophesying
Serving
Teaching
Encouraging
Contributing (to the needs of others)
Leadership
Showing mercy

1 Corinthians Chapter 12

1 Corinthians 12:1-31
12:1 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 baptized 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 honorable we treat with special honor. 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 honor 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 honored, 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 eagerly desire  the greater gifts.

To each one the manifestations of the Spirit is given for the common good (1 Cor 12:7-11):
The message of wisdom
The message of knowledge
Faith
Gifts of healing
Miraculous powers
Prophecy
Distinguishing between spirits
Speaking in different kinds of tongues
Interpretation of tongues

In the church God has appointed (1 Cor 12:28):
First apostles
Second prophets
Third teachers
Then workers of miracles
Those having gifts of healing
Those able to help others
Those with gifts of administration
Those speaking in different kinds of tongues

Ephesians Chapter 4

Eph 4:1-32

4:1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit— just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it  says: “When he ascended on high,he led captives in his trainand gave gifts to men.”  9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions ? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)

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 fullness 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.

17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
20 You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21 Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 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; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.  29 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. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Christ gave some to be (Eph 4:11-13):
Apostles
Prophets
Evangelists
Pastors
Teachers

So putting them all together…

Different Gifts (Rom 12:4-8):
Prophesying, Serving, Teaching, Encouraging, Contributing (to the needs of others), Leadership, Showing mercy

Now to each one the manifestations of the Spirit is given for the common good (1 Cor 12:7-11):
The message of wisdom, The message of knowledge, Faith, Gifts of healing, Miraculous powers, Prophecy, Distinguishing between spirits, Speaking in different kinds of tongues, Interpretation of tongues

In the church God has appointed (1 Cor 12:28):
First apostles, Second prophets, Third teachers, Then workers of miracles, Those having gifts of healing, Those able to help others, Those with gifts of administration, Those speaking in different kinds of tongues

Christ gave some to be (Eph 4:11-13):
Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers

To be continued…

The Lord has had me focusing in on just one verse today.

1 Cor 12:7
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

Thoughts:
Now to EACH ONE (ie: not just SOME people) the manifestation of the Spirit (the materialisation and evidence and demonstration and expression of God’s power and grace and purposes and pleasure and freedom, the tangable and perceptible embreaking of the Kingdom of God here on this earth by His Spirit through His people) is given (ie: the gifts are divinely given by our Heavenly Father) for the common good (for the the common and shared and collective good of His church (not for the gain or profit of an individual) but for His power and His glory to be displayed through His body, the Church). You see…

The Lord wants His bride, the church, to shine His glory and power and grace and freedom and love to this world

Isa 60:1-3
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.  2 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you.  3 Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

Are we too self centred/individualistic to receive the gifts mentioned in the following verses?


1 Cor 12:8-11
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.

Just to recap ‘Sin (Part 2)’…

Sin is anything that goes against God’s written Word and God’s spoken Word.  If we are a truly, born again, Spirit filled believers we have a new Master – Jesus.  Sin is no longer our master.  The power of sin is broken in our lives and we are called to a life of obedience in Jesus.  Jesus has given us His Holy Spirit to enable us to live this life of power and victory over sin.

Sin (Part 3) – Displaying God’s Power and Glory!

Now I am thinking to myself, how could I have such a title?  I mean, am I suggesting that we should sin more so that God’s grace can be displayed more?  No! – this is a nonsense (Paul deals with this type of thinking in Romans 6).  What I am suggesting is, whether we like it or not, our lives are on display to God and to others.  Each one of us is a light on a hill [Matt 5:14-15].  Now if we are truly born of the Holy Spirit and Jesus is our Master then we will have the power and the victory to display God’s glory through our lives by the choices that we make.

To sin or not to sin? – this is the question

In Genesis chapter 4 for have the story of Cain and Abel.  If you remember, Abel’s offering was acceptable to the Lord but Cain’s offering was not.  Instead of Cain examining himself he became angry and bitter towards Abel (and killed him).  This is what the Lord said to Cain as he sat in his temptation…

Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.[Gen 4:6-7]

Let me make this clear,

Sin is crouching at OUR door but we must master it

Listen to what James says about sin…

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. [James 1:13-15]

Are we tempted by God?  No way!  Are we tempted by Satan?  Ah – what an interesting point!  Yes, we can be tempted by Satan but Satan is a single being and is not omnipresent so normally we would be tempted by the Satanic influences of this world.  But consider the verses above in James but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed”. These influences tap into our own evil desires.  We cannot say if we sin that “the Devil made me do it” or, if we remember the story of Adam and Eve’s sin, blame shift.

The woman you put here with me — she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”  13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”  The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” [Gen 3:12-13]

Each of us are responsible for the attitudes of our hearts and the ‘birth of sin’ in our lives

Just before Adam and Eve made their excuses to God I want to bring up something interesting in the story.  Let’s read Genesis 3:6-7…

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Sin appeals to our senses and our self centred sinful nature

For Eve the fruit looked good for food and was pleasing to the eye and also desirable for gaining wisdom.  Eve was also justifying her actions.

Looks good, feels good, tastes good

Many people try to justify their sin by their senses.  Take adultery for example, looks good, feels good, tastes good.  Take homosexuality, looks good, feels good, tastes good.  Take drugs and alcohol, looks good, feel good, tastes good.  Take the sin of revenge, looks good, feels good, tastes good.  Take the sin of gossipping, looks good, feels good, tastes good.  And on and on.

There is a certain amount of evil, sensual pleasure otherwise the battle against sin would be a no brainer.  Sin appears enjoyable and the sinner justifies the sin.

Let me state something…

God is not going to change the taste of sin!

Rom 7:5-6 says:

5 For when we were controlled by the sinful nature,  the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

If you are waiting for God to change the taste of sin you will be waiting a hell of a long time.  But, if on the other hand, you submit your heart and life to Him, throwing yourself at the mercy of God in repentance, there is hope for you.

Say to yourself…

Today, am I going to display God’s power and glory in my life?

or am I going to

‘Glorify’ the power of sin and the fruit of death in my life today


THIS CHOICE IS UP TO US!


If you are a born again believer,

You have the power to choose the fruit of death or the fruit of life!

Now if you don’t believe you have the power to choose you have believed a lie of the enemy and you make a mockery of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I believe your Word.  I submit my life to your power and authority achieved for me through the cross.  I no longer want to sow into the fruit of death and sin in my life.  Forgive me Lord that I have allowed the power of the enemy into my life.  I renounce my evil ways and I am truly sorry for my sin.  Come live in me Lord and transform me from the inside out.  I want to display your power and your glory in my life.  Holy Spirit, I receive you.  Come live in me and give me a new heart.  Lord I want to live for your glory and your Kingdom, transform me, I never want to serve sin and death again, in Jesus name, Amen