Saturday, May 24, 2008

spiritual gifts #2

more follow up from sunday's message on spiritual gifts and test

Gift Definitions and Scripture References

The following three pages contain suggested definitions of the spiritual gifts. While not meant to be dogmatic or final, these definitions and supporting Scriptures do correspond to characteristics of the gifts as expressed in the Wagner-Modified Houts Questionnaire.

A. Prophecy. The gift of prophecy is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to receive and communicate an immediate message of God to His people through a divinely anointed utterance.Luke 7:26 - Acts 15:32 - Acts 21:9-11 - Romans 12:6 - I Corinthians 12:10,28 - Ephesians 4:11-14

B. Pastor. The gift of pastor is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to assume a long-term personal responsibility for the spiritual welfare of a group of believers.John 10:1-18 - Ephesians 4:11-14 - I Timothy 3:1-7 - I Peter 5:1-3

C. Teaching. The gift of teaching is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to communicate information relevant to the health and ministry of the Body and its members in such a way that others will learn.Acts 18:24-28 - Acts 20:20,21 - Romans 12:71 - Corinthians 12:28 - Ephesians 4:11-14

D. Wisdom. The gift of wisdom is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to know the mind of the Holy Spirit in such a way as to receive insight into how given knowledge may best be applied to specific needs arising in the Body of Christ.Acts 6:3,10 - I Corinthians 2:1-13 - I Corinthians 12:8 - James 1:5,6 - 2 Peter 3:15,16

E. Knowledge. The gift of knowledge is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to discover, accumulate, analyse and clarify information and ideas which are pertinent to the well-being of the Body.Acts 5:1-11 - I Corinthians 2:14 - 1 Corinthians 12:8 - 2 Corinthians 11:6 - Colossians 2:2,3

F. Exhortation. The gift of exhortation is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to minister words of comfort, consolation, encouragement and counsel to other members of the Body in such a way that they feel helped and healed.Acts 14:22 - Romans 12:8 - 1 Timothy 4:13 - Hebrews 10:25

G. Discerning of Spirits. The gift of discerning of spirits is the special ability that God gives to certainmembers of the Body of Christ to know with assurance whether certain behaviour purported to be of Godis in reality divine, human or Satanic.Matthew 16:21-23 - Acts 5:1-11 - Acts 16:16-18 - I Corinthians 12:10 - I John 4:1-6

H. Giving. The gift of giving is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to contribute their material resources to the work of the Lord with liberality and cheerfulness.Mark 12:41-44 - Romans 12:8 - 2 Corinthians 8:1-7 - 2 Corinthians 9:2-8

I. Helps. The gift of helps is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to invest the talents they have in the life and ministry of other members of the Body, thus enabling those others to increase the effectiveness of their own spiritual gifts.Mark 15:40,41 - Luke 8:2,3 - Acts 9:36 - Romans 16:1,2 - I Corinthians 12:28

J. Mercy. The gift of mercy is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to feel genuine empathy and compassion for individuals (both Christian and non-Christian) who suffer distressing physical, mental or emotional problems, and to translate that compassion into cheerfully done deeds which reflect Christ's love and alleviate the suffering.Matthew 20:29-34 - Matthew 25:34-40 - Mark 9:41 - Luke 10:33-35 - Acts 11:28-30 - Acts 16:33,34 - Romans 12:8

K. Missionary. The gift of missionary is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to minister whatever other spiritual gifts they have in a second culture.Acts 8:4 - Acts 13:2,3 - Acts 22:21 - Romans 10:15 - 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

L. Evangelist. The gift of evangelist is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to share the gospel with unbelievers in such a way that men and women become Jesus' disciples and responsible members of the Body of Christ.Acts 8:5,6 - Acts 8:26-40 - Acts 14:21 - Acts 21:8 - Ephesians 4:11-14 - 2 Timothy 4:5

M. Hospitality. The gift of hospitality is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to provide an open house and a warm welcome to those in need of food and lodging.Acts 16:14,15 - Romans 12:9-13 - Romans 16:23 - Hebrews 13:1,2 - I Peter 4:9

N. Faith. The gift of faith is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to discern with extraordinary confidence the will and purposes of God for his work.Acts 11:22-24 - Acts 27:21-25 - Romans 4:18-21 - I Corinthians 12:9 - Hebrews 11

0. Leadership. The gift of leadership is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to set goals in accordance with God's purpose for the future and to communicate these goals to others in such a way that they voluntarily and harmoniously work together to accomplish those goals for the glory of God. Luke 9:51 - Acts 7:10 - Acts 15:7-11 - Romans 12:8 - I Timothy S:17 - Hebrews 13:17

P. Administration. The gift of administration is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to understand clearly the immediate and long-range goals of a particular unit of the Body of Christ and to devise and execute effective plans for the accomplishment of those goals.Luke 14:28-30 - Acts 6:1-7 - Acts 27:11 - 1 Corinthians 12:28 - Titus 1:5

Q. Miracles. The gift of miracles is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to serve as human intermediaries through whom it pleases God to perform powerful acts that are perceived by observers to have altered the ordinary course of nature.Acts 9:36-42 - Acts 19:11-20 - Acts 20:7-12 - Romans 15:18,19 - 1 Corinthians 12:10,28 - 2 Corinthians 12:12

R. Healing. The gift of healing is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to serve as human intermediaries through whom it pleases God to cure illness and restore health apart from the use of natural means.Acts 3:1-10 - Acts 5:12-16 - Acts 9:32-35 - Acts 28:7-10 - I Corinthians 12:9,28

S. Tongues. The gift of tongues is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ (a) to speak to God in a language they have never learned and/or (b) to receive and communicate an immediate message of God to his people through a divinely anointed utterance in a language they never learned.Mark 16:17 - Acts 2:1-13 - Acts 10:44-46 - Acts 19:1-7 - I Corinthians 12:10,28 - 1 Corinthians 14:13-19

T. Interpretation. The gift of interpretation is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to make known in the vernacular the message of one who speaks in tongues.I Corinthians 12:10,30 - I Corinthians 14:13 - 1 Corinthians 14:26-28

U. Voluntary Poverty. The gift of voluntary poverty is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to renounce material comfort and luxury and adopt a personal lifestyle equivalent to those living at the poverty level in a given society in order to serve God more effectively.Acts 2:44,45 - Acts 4:34-37 - I Corinthians 13:1-3 - 2 Corinthians 6:10 - 2 Corinthians 8:9

V. Celibacy. The gift of celibacy is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to remain single and enjoy it; to be unmarried and not suffer undue sexual temptations.Matthew 19:10-12 - I Corinthians 7:7,8

W. Intercession. The gift of intercession is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to pray for extended periods of time on a regular basis and see frequent and specific answers to their prayers, to a degree much greater than that which is expected of the average Christian.Luke 22:41-44 - Acts 12:12 - Colossians 1:9-12 - Colossians 4:12,13 - I Timothy 2:1,2 - James 5:14-16

X. Exorcism. The gift of exorcism is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to cast out demons and evil spirits.Matthew 12:22-32 - Luke 10:12-20 - Acts 8:5-8 - Acts 16:16-18

Y. Service. The gift of service is the special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to identify the unmet needs involved in a task related to God's work, and to make use of available resources to meet those needs and help accomplish the desired results.Acts 6:1-7 - Romans 12:7 - Galatians 6:2,10 - 2 Timothy 1:16-18 - Titus 3:14

A Summary of Gifts

Just as the fruit of the Spirit (listed in the fifth chapter of Galatians) should be found in every Christian's life, so we are all counselled to practice the gifts of the Sprit. "Through love serve one another" (Service -- Gal. 5:13). "Teach and help one another" (Teaching -- Col. 3:16). "But exhort one another daily" (Encouragement -- Heb 3:13). "Give and it will be given to you" (Giving -- Luke 6:38). "Be merciful in action, kindly in heart, humble in mind!" (Mercy--Col' 3:12).

Discernment
§ I'm able to assist others in determining' spiritual problems
§ If I see a problem, I tend to render 'u rather than helping others to change
§ I could effectively choose or nominate church members for positions where they would serve well
§ I can correctly distinguish a spirit of truth from a spirit of error before that difference is apparent to others

Encouragement
§ It is easy for me to genuinely comfort someone who is hurting
§ I can make effective appeals by publicly urging certain courses of action
§ I am quick to encourage others
§ I help strengthen positive behaviour rather than criticising negative behaviour

Evangelism
§ I'm at ease asking people to make a decision for Christ
§ People often ask me how to become a Christian
§ Through the Holy Spirit I lead people to a commitment to Jesus
§ I am more interested in the end results of soul winning than in how people are led to decision

Faith
§ I rely upon God for all my needs
§ I am often impatient with methodical, cautious thinking
§ I am convinced that seemingly impossible tasks can be accomplished
§ I typically see hope in apparently hopeless situations

Giving
§ My gifts to others are often answers to specific prayers
§ I have the ability to make wise investments with the ultimate aim of sharing my gains.
§ I am sensitive to the material needs of others and desire to meet those needs without publicity
§ I am able to give without expecting something in return and without insisting on determining how the gift is used

Hospitality
§ It is more natural for me to meet people's immediate needs than to aid them in planning to meet long-term needs
§ I enjoy meeting strangers and having them in my home
§ People look forward to being part of large gatherings in my home
§ If someone were in need of lodging, I would offer my home to meet the need.

Knowledge
§ I'm able to mentally grasp how separate pieces of biblical information fit into the great themes of the scripture
§ I have a tendency to measure spiritual maturity on the basis of biblical knowledge
§ I can probe to deep levels in Bible topics
§ I enjoy answering and discussing Bible questions

Leadership
§ People look to me when opinions are being sought
§ I tend to assume responsibility if no structured leadership exists
§ I can lead out in discussions, harmonise various points of view, draw conclusions, and delegate authority
§ When I am in charge, there is a good spirit of unity and enthusiasm

Mercy
§ People share their inward struggles with me because they see me as sympathetic and understanding
§ I often lack firmness and decisiveness because I am sensitive about offending others
§ I am moved with compassion toward society's outcasts (such as drunks, unwed mothers, mentally retarded)
§ I condemn others only if they are insensitive to personal needs

Teaching
§ I care a great deal about the accuracy of information
§ I'm able to communicate well on the level of my listeners
§ Bible teachings come quickly to mind whenever I deal with a problem
§ I'm able to foster much participation and interest in presenting a spiritual subject

Wisdom
§ I know when to take an uncompromising stand and when to change a position
§ I can predict with excellent accuracy the long term results of decisions
§ I can apply what I learn to practical life situations
§ I view all of life from a scriptural perspective.

Now Find Your Niche

Here are some ideas about where you can help out in your local church program. There are many other possibilities, of course, but these might help you to visualise how your gift can be used in a specific church office or function.
Keep in mind that one position may require more than one gift. For example, an effective administrator requires the gifts of leadership and organisation, a pastor should possess the gifts of shepherding and preaching. The possible gifts combinations are nearly beyond computing.

Discernment
§ Elder
§ Nominating Committee
§ Pastors' lay advisory committee
§ School board
§ Membership Committee

Encouragement
§ Hospital Visitation
§ Church nurture Visitation
§ Prison ministry
§ Telephone counselling
§ Investment leader
§ Specific area counselling (marriage, teens, etc.)
§ Ingathering leader
§ Youth Ministries

Evangelism
§ Personal Ministries Leader
§ Give Bible studies
§ Lead out in Bible-oriented seminars
§ Church planting in new areas
§ Prison ministry
§ Visitor visiting
§ Follow up media interests

Faith
§ Building committee
§ Project development
§ Nominating Committee
§ School board
§ Evangelism

Giving
§ Deacon / Deaconess
§ Missional revolutionaries

Hospitality
§ Hospitality dinner co-ordinator/team leader
§ Deacon / Deaconess
§ Set up team / Hospitality / Decorating
§ Singles’ ministry

Knowledge
§ Give Bible studies
§ Help with seminars
§ Write on Bible topics

Leadership
§ Deacon/Deaconess
§ Small group leader
§ Elder
§ Head deacon/deaconess
§ Treasurer
§ Youth ministries leader

Mercy
§ Community services (Dorcas) Missional revolutionaries
§ Luminus network
§ Pumphouse
§ Counselling
§ Meals On Wheels

Missionary
§ Refugee aid
§ Inner-city work
§ Cross-culture evangelism

Organisation
§ Church clerk
§ Treasurer
deacon/deaconess
§ Publications/public relations

Prayer
§ Hospital visitation
§ Church nurture visitation
§ New project development
§ Elder

Preaching
§ Elder
§ Prison ministry
§ Lead out in seminars

Service
§ Deacon/deaconess
§ Audio visual committee
§ Custodian/janitor
§ Publications/public relations
§ Meals On Wheels
§ Community service
§ Ingatherer

Pastoring/Shepherding
§ Singles ministry
§ Study-group leader
§ Hospital visitation
§ Counselling
§ Social committee

Teaching
§ leader/teacher (in any division/level)
§ Youth activities leader
§ Vacation Bible School leader/teacher
§ Bible study leader

Wisdom
§ Church board chairman
§ Elder
§ Counselling
§ School board member

spiritual gifts follow up #1

this goes with the gift inventory handed out in church on sunday

What Is a Spiritual Gift?

Is there a difference between a spiritual gift and a talent? Is it important to recognize the difference? Will it help me discover my own spiritual gifts if I can distinguish between the two?
The answer to all three questions is yes. And recognizing the differences between talents and spiritual gifts can be one of the keys to finding those spiritual gifts God has given to you.
Let's look first at talents, or natural abilities. A natural ability may be something you're born with, like physical co-ordination. Or it may be a talent you've developed through the years, such as playing a musical instrument.
These natural abilities or talents may be useful or entertaining but they deal primarily with the surfaces of life. The root concern of one's relationship to God is left untouched. Abilities and talents affect people on a temporary basis, not an eternal basis. And spiritual growth isn't necessary for their development.
A woman who frequently opens her home for dinner guests and social gatherings may not have the gift of hospitality. Why not? Because spiritual gifts differ from natural abilities in two important respects.
First, the motivation for the gift is based on love for God and love for humanity. Self-glory or gain can never be the incentive. Paul tells us that one's communication, knowledge, and faith might all be perfect, but they are worthless unless love is the motive (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
Second, the goal of spiritual gifts differs from that of natural abilities. Spiritual gifts are granted "for the common good...... to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up the body of Christ" (1 Corinthians 12:7; Ephesians 4:12).
Keep in mind this motivation and goal as you seek to discover your gifts. Ask yourself, "What is my motivation and goal in this area?" Remind yourself that these gifts form the basis for our individual and collective service for God.
Remember, too, that hardly anyone discovers all his gifts at the beginning of his Christian experience. A period of time, or a special set of circumstances may be required to bring your gifts to light. Be willing to try your hand in new areas. Your spiritual gifts can be confirmed only in the actual setting where they are put to use.
What you find in the next few pages should not be used merely as an assessment.
Rather, use this guide to provide a focus for future service to God and to your fellow man.
Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts


This guide in discovering your spiritual gifts should not be viewed as a test. The only right answers here are honest answers. The answers you provide will help you find your areas of strength within the realm of Christian service.


Before You Start
Follow These Four Steps:


§ Step 1 - Print out the answer sheet from the next page. Go through the list of 125 statements on the questionnaire in part four. For each one, mark on the answer sheet to what extent the statement is true of your life: MUCH = 3, SOME = 2, LITTLE = 1, or NOT AT ALL = 0.
Warning! Do not score according to what you think should be true or hope might be true in the future. Be honest and score on the basis of past experience. If you are a young Christian or new in the faith, the results will need extra care in interpretation.

§ Step 2 - When you are finished, score the questionnaire according to the instructions on the scoring sheet.

§ Step 3 - Study the gift definitions and Scripture references.

§ Step 4 - Complete the exercises to gain a tentative evaluation of where your gifts may lie and to explore the implications for your ministry in the Body of Christ.

Monday, May 19, 2008

aluminum foiled


Just in case this email falls into the wrong hands…

I have it on good authority that there is a group of people who will attempt to wrap and wallpaper aaron wardle’s office in aluminum foil this week. This sort of childish prank, done in his absence, makes me sick…and angry. As one of aaron’s friends, I want to support him as he is out of town and cannot defend himself.

Therefore I am gathering a group of people to “defend” his office this week on Wednesday afternoon from about noon till 3pm.

Anyone interested in coming to ‘help’ or bring defensive supplies…[I was thinking of covering myself in aluminum foil while defending the threshold] is certainly welcome.

Defend the defenseless.

DS

PS: I want it known that I did NOT hear about this from Nate Bebout. In fact NATE BEBOUT has nothing at all to do with this, and I desire whole-heartedly to defend his good name. So if this gets out…under no circumstances is the name NATE BEBOUT to be used as an accomplice or initiator of this nefarious deed.

Last time this sort of thing happened he got an atomic weggie and I’m sure his sphinxter twitches just thinking about this.

Friday, May 16, 2008

and a new name

so if you have been getting these posts, please understand that the blog title has changed.

it is now

"a stoners journal."

a few tweaks more are coming, but this is pretty close.

what do you think?

new blog layout

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I have been trying to figure out what i wanted to do with the blog since about January. So here is the new logo; new 3 column design; etc.

I will be putting up polls and other things weekly again. But I also want people to send me questions that i can try to answer through the blog.

questions about:

  1. God
  2. the bible
  3. church
  4. culture
  5. books
  6. movies
  7. music
  8. really...anything

 

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