Charisma ~The Spiritual Gifts (Part 3)

Faith Triumphs

Faith has its origin in God, not in man. With that said, there are different types of faith. There is natural human faith, faith that saves, faith as a fruit, and miraculous faith.

We all know and understand natural human faith because it occurs in our daily experiences. This faith we have come to easily rely on because it is revealed to us by our senses concerning our everyday interactions. The faith that originates from God, or supernatural faith, is above our natural senses. In our strength, our faith will never match the faith of God – not ever. We should not base our faith on the experiences or wisdom of man but instead base it on the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:5, 1 Timothy 3:4b). Now we will look at three kinds of supernatural faith.

We are all familiar with faith that saves. ♥Romans 10:17 states that _________________ comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ. When a person hears the spoken word of God and takes it into the heart, faith is received and is the required component needed (on our part) for salvation. It is not a work we do but instead is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-9). Saving faith comes to man by the proclamation of God’s word. ♥Romans 10:10, One believes with the _____________ , resulting in righteousness, and one __________________ with the ________________, resulting in salvation. ♥Romans 12:3b says…God has distributed a ______________________ of ______________________ to each one. Since you are doing this bible study, I am confident you have experienced the type of supernatural faith called saving faith. When we have faith for salvation nothing is received that appeals to our senses. We must have faith in God’s Word that (1) He indeed delivers and (2) we have indeed received that salvation.

Secondly, there is supernatural faith that comes as a fruit of the indwelling Spirit.   ♥Galatians 5:22 The fruit of the Spirit is ___________, _______________, ________________, _____________________, ____________________,_____________________, ______________, ___________________, and _________________________. We receive the Spirit when we confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (John 7:39, 20:22, Gal. 3:2, 3:14). Faith, as fruit in our lives when yielded to the Spirit, is not the same faith required for salvation. This relates more to the aggregate of traits that form your nature. When a person has faith as a fruit of the Spirit they exhibit faith and trust in God. This type of person typically has no reason for fear, for being melodramatic or for feeling agitated. As you can perceive, this comes by experience and is an endeavor.

Finally, there is supernatural faith that is miraculous. It is possible in every believer, but unlike the other gifts, becomes more active when the believer is yielded and filled with the Spirit of God. God has all faith and a small portion of His faith is given as a sudden outpouring, usually out of necessity, and generally given as a word to confidently believe without a doubt that as we act or speak in the name of Jesus it shall come to pass. I love the example given in Mark 11:22 when Jesus tells his disciples to “Have the faith of God.” One way we exhibit the faith of God is by speaking His word. The word confession is interesting. An example of the word can be found in several verses but one is 2 Corinthians 9:13a. The Greek word for confession is homologia and means to speak the same thing as the Word of God. In speaking (we speak what we believe – period) the Word, we have the faith of God.

Picture this, God is the Creator or Imaginer of all things. Jesus, knowing what God imagines or desires to create, speaks that Word (He is the Word), and the Spirit goes forth in power to accomplish what was spoken. ♥Psalm 33:6 says The heavens were made by the _________________ of the LORD, and all the stars, by the _________________ (spirit) of His mouth. Can you picture creation coming forth by God’s Word and by His Spirit? ♥John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the _____________, and the Word was _____________God, and the ____________________ was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were __________________through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. ♥John 1:14 says The _____________________ became ___________________ and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the ________________________________________ from the Father, full of grace and truth. (Holman)

And now let us sing to our Well-beloved a song.  This will guide you in praise and worship as you further seek the Lord regarding faith.  As you bless Him it will bless you!

I would like to share with you a recent experience with this type of miraculous surge of faith. Fifteen years ago my husband suffered multiple bleeds throughout his brain. The doctor misdiagnosed him which left us bewildered for several days as he suffered. With just a slight move of his head he became dizzy so he endured extreme nausea. He slept for days; probably because he had no other way to escape the situation. Every time he tried to sit up – he would throw up. Not many days later the things he said became nonsensical. Then, as if it could be any worse, he could not even finish sentences. We had been in contact with the original doctor and we consistently were told to give it time – the nausea was just a reaction to the medication he was taking. One day I realized I could no longer take care of him and I called for another opinion. The person I spoke with was stunned that he had been left in that condition for so long and that he should immediately be taken to the hospital. My first taste of fear set in.

The doctors at the hospital knew immediately there was a serious problem. Multiple tests were ordered. I remember sitting outside in the hall during one procedure. The hall was empty and the lighting was dim. There were no chairs so I had to sit on the cold floor and wait. I never felt so alone. Fear crept back in.

We finally received the news. The doctor was grim as he told us my husband had several bleeds scattered throughout his brain. I remember how the doctor looked at me with such sorrow and pity. There was no offer of hope from him. He gave the diagnosis, said he was sorry, and left the room. Fear reminded me it was still there.

We discovered the hospital he was in was not adequate to handle his condition so he would have to be moved. Because the move was my idea, I had to sign a release to not hold the hospital responsible if he did not make it during transit. No one else stood by me in that decision. The burden was indescribable. Fear stood by me.

It was late at night when the ambulance pulled into the hospital. We were in Dallas at the time and I remember seeing people laughing and having fun in the West End. It seemed so odd to me that some people could experience such intense suffering while others could have such joy. My husband was admitted to ICU and they informed us that he now had hydrocephalus. About a week later he was scheduled for brain surgery to try to determine the cause and to stop the bleeding. The night before surgery I remember the nurses rolling him out of ICU for us to say goodbye to him because our daughter was not old enough to go into the ICU area. I remember thinking it seemed insensitive for the staff to suggest we should say our goodbyes but in his situation no one could even offer hope of a positive outcome. Fear was now my constant companion.

Everything we had been through leading up to this moment caused this experience to be more than I could emotionally handle. At this point, I swung the door wide open to fear. Once this happens the only One who can close it is Jesus. Looking back I can say that even during what seemed to be the darkest hours, God’s sovereign hand was still involved. I did not recognize His ways at that time so I choose to trust fear.

The surgery went perfectly. Even the surgeons brought in medical students to view his case because it was miraculous, but I remained afraid. Two weeks later he needed another surgery. The surgery again went perfectly. Five months later we were to move to a small town and the only real medical facilities that could handle his condition would be an hour away. Fear was a stronghold and it was not turning loose.

My husband did not have any real health issues for about the next 8 years, then he had another brain bleed. This time the bleed was in the center of his brain and there was nothing that could be done; surgery would cause too much collateral damage. The doctor said to go home and hope the bleeding would halt. God showed his great mercy to us yet again. It indeed stopped bleeding. Before it did however, the increased pressure in his brain caused his eyes to not work with each other, as both eyes focused in different directions. While he waited six weeks for the blood in his brain to be reabsorbed in his body, he wore an eye patch so that he could at least operate with one working eye.

I have to tell you that for all those years I lived in fear. I always wondered if something would happen. Almost everything gave me cause for concern. Fifteen years ago when this ordeal first surfaced, I knew God for salvation purposes but I did not know His Son who made it all possible. God was a God of the history books for me. I never knew He was approachable or that He even cared. The lack of relationship is what made trusting fear so easy.

Three months ago I received a call from my husband and he described symptoms that were extremely similar to symptoms he had 15 years ago. At the time I was surrounded by kids doing presentations, yet all I wanted to do was fall to the floor in a ball of despair. I had to fight the same delusional thoughts as an ostrich. I wondered how this could be happening again?

As the years had past I had not only grown to know the Lord but I also had grown in faith. Fear was trying to make its appearance again so I knew I must seek someone strong in faith who could pray with me. What a blessing indeed to have believers in your midst! I thank the Lord for that every day! As soon as I turned my eyes up I saw that the Lord had arranged for her to be right before my eyes. Together we rebuked fear. By the end of the prayer I was laughing in the face of the crisis because the joy of the Lord had overwhelmed me. My faith became strong again and I could effectively pray.

My husband spent the next several weeks with extreme dizziness (from the blood putting pressure on different parts of his brain) and all the other symptoms that accompany brain bleeds. We had planned a vacation before all this happened and were discussing if we should still go. He decided we would go and he would live with as much life as he could. One night while we were away he told me to look at his eye. One eye was looking straight and the other was off to the side. It was the same thing all over again. This time, however, my reaction was different. I received a surge of faith! I felt no fear at all and no concern over the future. I looked at him (although it seemed as if I was looking at the problem instead) and said with no fear, “Yes. I see that.” I turned my face away from him then and quietly said, “And THAT…does…NOT… move me.” Finished. Nothing further said and no emotion felt. It was finished. The next morning his eyes were normal again and it was either that day or the next that every symptom of his brain bleed had disappeared. Praise God! I did not allow fear to dictate terms of the trial as it had in the past. Fear and faith do not go hand-in-hand. You choose one or the other. The Lord allowed this crisis to end with a sudden surge of miraculous faith which lead me to confidently believe without a doubt that whatever the outcome, it was under the sovereign control of the Lord our God.  Faith triumphed.

Fear did not reign that day as it had so many times in the past regarding a health crisis. I learned when we are bound by fear we become useless. If a crisis calls for prayer we do not call on fear or recount grief. If a situation calls for standing in faith we do so as a warrior in the army of the living God. Fear? Who needs it! Make no mistake – it is your enemy. As a believer you are to rebuke fear and stand in faith. While you are at it, rebuke everything that dares rival the spot reserved for faith.  Remember to stand firm in your faith or you will not stand at all.

With the crisis past, the Lord brought back to my memory my temptation to fall to my knees in fear. The thought that came to my heart was, “I was tempted to bow down to the fear and by the strength of God alone was I able to resist. Take that overwhelming emotion fear provoked and fall to your knees giving glory to God!” I also sensed that I had grieved the Spirit by being more sensitive to the power of fear than to the power of God.   Do not bow down to fear or any other thing your King says you have victory over. If you are tempted to bow down to fear, turn and bow to the King and bring Him glory instead!

As you fill in the blanks indicate which of these verses (and those in the above paragraphs) would best describe 1) faith for salvation (S), 2) faith as a fruit of the Spirit (F), or 3) miraculous faith (M) Indicate with the letter S, F. or M in the line before each verse.  Remember not to worry if the Bible version you are using does not line up exactly with the blanks given below. You can make it work!

♥Thank you that I can offer a magnificent prayer to the Magnificent! I look to You with the eyes I have for a manifestation of this gift of faith through me. I have faith to expect great things! I look to you Lord to increase my faith. I am no longer satisfied with merely living according to what my senses reveal to me. I desire to walk by faith! I will no longer bow down to fear, stress, or any other emotion that challenges to take the place of faith. Help me Lord in my weakness. I desire to be a warrior in the army of the Living God! Increase my faith!! It is in Jesus name that I ask and believe! Amen.

♥(S, F or M?) Mark 4:40 Jesus said, “Why are you ______________? Do you still have ____ _________?” (Holman) Jesus says, “Have faith and do not doubt.” (Matthew 21:21) and it should hold top priority in your life today. “Little faith” is also used by the Lord as a gentle rebuke for anxiety in (Matthew 6:30) and for fear in (Matthew 8:26, 14:31, 16:8).
Do you find when fear and faith are in conflict that they duel or does the Spirit step back? There is a requirement on our part in order to operate in faith. One requirement is to have courage (be encouraged) as in Matthew 9:2 and 22. Another is to first believe as in Matthew 9:29. Matthew 15:28 talks about great faith. This great faith happens when we stop exercising confidence in our own faith and ability and start believing for God to work through us.

♥(_________) Mark 11:12-14 Speaks about a time when Jesus was hungry. In the distance he saw a fig tree with leaves. When he came to it He found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. He cursed the tree. Verses 20 speaks about the disciples later seeing the tree and noticing the tree had withered from the roots up. Verse 21-22 Then Peter remembered and said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that You cursed is withered.” Jesus replied to them, “Have _____________________ in God.” (Holman) (literally translated Have God’s faith) One of the things I love about this verse is Peter marveling because Jesus cursed the fig tree and the tree actually withered. But Jesus did not marvel. He had God’s faith when he spoke to the tree. His reply was to “Have the faith of God.” This implies that we are not to marvel but to have God’s faith.

♥(_______) 2 Corinthians 5:7 For we ________________ by _________________ not by _________________ (Holman) (what our senses would reveal to us to be true that is contrary to God’s word). This is the conduct that faith inspires.

♥(_______) Hebrews 11:1 Now _____________ is the ___________________ of what is _________________ for, the proof of what is ______________________________. (Holman) The bible discusses faith from beginning to end and Hebrews 11:1 gives the definition. Faith is believing before seeing. When your senses reveal what appears to be the truth regarding a situation, faith steps in and believes God’s word if the senses are out of line. True faith that comes from God is supernatural, or above the natural senses. Faith is now or it is not at all. Faith does not happen after the fact. Faith stares at the face of “impossible” and says it is “possible”!

♥(_______) Hebrews 11:6 Now without ___________________ it is impossible to _________________ God, for the one who ________________________________ to Him must believe that He ____________________ and rewards those who ____________________________ Him. (Holman) The author here does not merely say it is difficult to please God; he says it is impossible to please him. The believer must first believe God exists – without it there is no possibility of faith at all. According to James 2:19 the demons can know that sort of faith. Believers must know the nature of God in that He rewards those who earnestly seek him. This is what makes faith possible.

♥(_______ ) Hebrews 11:11 By __________________ even Sarah herself, when she was unable to have children, received power to conceive offspring, even though she was past the age, since she _____________________________ that the One who had ______________________ was ________________________. (Holman) On the human level, there was no hope, but faith introduced them to the power that brought about the reality.

♥(________) James 1:3 …knowing that the ____________________ of your ____________________ produces _____________________________. (Holman) During a trial, if a person has genuine faith, the trial is capable of producing spiritual endurance.

♥(_______) James 1:6-8 But let him ask in _______________________ without ____________________. For the doubter is like the _________________________ sea and ___________________________ by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. An _____________________ man is ________________________ in ________ his ways. (Holman) Doubt describes a person who is divided in their mind and waivers between two opinions. Prayer that moves God to respond must be rooted in unwavering faith. Don’t be a person who one minute declares “I believe!” and the next declares, “I am not sure!” A person found faithful would be in line with Romans 1:17, “But my righteous one will live by faith.”

♥(_______) James 2:22 You see that _________________ was active together with his ________________, ________________ was ________________________. (Holman) Abraham’s faith and his actions were working together. James is saying here that the exuberance of faith produces good deeds. We are justified by faith alone and justification is not linked with good works (Galatians 2:16). If faith however, brings about no good deeds, you have to consider whether your faith is genuine.

♥(_______) James 2:26 For just as the body without the spirit is __________________, so also _________________ without _____________________ is dead. (Holman) Verse 26 here and verse 22 above harmonize. Here again it is stated that faith and deeds are entwined. Just as the body is dead without the spirit, so faith is dead without works.

♥(_______) James 5:15 The prayer of ______________ will _______________ the sick person, and the Lord will _________________ him to health; if he has committed sins, he will be __________________________. (Holman) This verse gives an assurance that a prayer offered in faith heals the sick person. “If” he has committed sins suggest that someone could be sick because of continual sin (1 Co 11:30). The “if” also indicates that not all sickness is due to sin. A friend recently shared with me the circumstances concerning her mother’s death. Her mother had suffered several illnesses in the past and the Lord had been merciful and healed her. The final illness required abdominal surgery and my friend implored the Lord for an encore. She asked if the Lord intended to usher her home to first heal her body so the enemy would not have the victory. If anyone has not known the Lord to be sweet hopefully this will change your mind. Before my friend’s mom passed away, the Lord indeed healed her body! The enlarged abdomen went back to normal and the intense heat from the area left her body! She passed away a few days later. Glory and Hallelujah! There would be no gloating here for the enemy! Sweet, sweet Jesus.

♥(______) 1 Peter 1:5-7 You are being protected by God’s ______________ through ______________ for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this, though now for a ________________________ you have had to __________________ in various ____________________ so that the genuineness of your _____________________ – more valuable than gold, which perishes though ____________________ by ________________ – may result in _______________, _______________, and ____________________ at the revelation of ____________________________________. (Holman) You are being continually protected by God while you continually have faith. When gold is refined, its impurities are removed by a fiery process. The gold also softens and becomes pliable for shaping. You are able to withstand fiery trials, because of the genuineness of your faith. Hold your feet to the fire of that trial, sweet thing, desiring that your impurities will be removed and the Lord will find you pliable for shaping into what you are destined for.

♥(_______) 1 Peter 1:9 because you are receiving the ______________________ of your _________________, the ______________________ of your soul. (Holman) The goal of faith is the salvation of your soul. This verse indicates that even now you are receiving salvation (deliverance, health, preservation). Do you have joy at this present time and joy at what is to be in the coming ages?

♥(_________) 1 John 5:4b This is the ______________ that has _________________ the world: our ___________________.

Remember:  (1) pray the prayer throughout the week asking the Lord to reveal insight to you regarding faith as well as to increase your faith! (2) fast as you are able on Tuesday, (3) complete the Scripture blanks for futher study, and (4) if you have not already done so, add your name in the comment section if you plan to participate – it is never too late!

In His grace,

Amanda

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Charisma ~ The Spiritual Gifts (Part 2)

Prophecy, A Superior Gift

Paul opens 1 Corinthians 14 with these words, “Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, and above all that you may prophesy.”  ♥ He said and above all that you may ________________________. Why do you think he would say that? The one that prophesies speaks to believers for edification, encouragement, and comfort. A word of prophecy strengthens the entire church! Fellow believers, we desperately need edification, encouragement, and comfort in this age! We have had more than enough contempt, more than enough unbelief, more than enough discouragement, more than enough fear, and more than enough fence-sitting! We want to see the Lord’s glory! I desire a demonstration of the work of the Spirit as opposed to a few clever words (1 Co 2:4) how about you?

In His grace, God has anointed each believer for powerful service in specific areas. If God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you (Romans 12:6). Prophecy is one of the supernatural gifts of God’s power made manifest through the Spirit filled and yielded believer. Prophecy is a gift we are instructed to eagerly pursue (1 Cor. 14:39). According to Acts 2:17-18 the prophet Joel announced that in the last days God would pour out His Spirit on all humanity. Our sons and daughters would prophesy; young men would see visions and our old men would dream dreams. God said He would pour out His Spirit on His male and female slaves and they would prophesy. We can all prophecy! (1 Corinthians 14:31) Since prophecy is given for edification, encouragement, and comfort, if a prophecy is given to a believer that falls out of line with one of these three areas then it did not originate from the Spirit of God. This is not to say, however, that prophecy is not for corrective counsel that leads to repentance. The result of the counsel is to bring about edification, encouragement, and comfort and never condemnation.

Prophecy should always be presented in the presence of a gathering (no minimum number required) of believers so that it can be unfailingly evaluated in terms of the witness to the heart by the Spirit and by the written Word of God (with which prophecy must always agree).

Unbelievers also benefit from prophecy because it brings a demonstration of the power of God. “But if all of you are prophesying, and unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your meeting, they will be convicted of sin and judged by what you say. As they listen, their secret thoughts will be exposed, and they will fall to their knees and worship God, declaring, “God is truly among you.” (1 Corinthians 14:24-25) Let’s talk about two things brought up in verse 24; the unbelievers and the uninformed. As intimate facts are revealed (during prophecy or through different gifts) regarding the condition of the unbeliever’s heart, he is convinced of God’s reality and immediately converted. The uninformed or uninstructed believer; one who does not fully understand the gifts of the Spirit, is often at this point convinced that these things are real (many these days are coming to receive because they have seen the gifts in operation, which they had been previously told were “not for today.”). Since the day of Pentecost and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, any yielded child of God may be moved by the Spirit to prophesy.

Then there are those who have a ministry in prophecy (which we will not be discussing at length at this time).  It is not what a man says in the natural realm that makes him a prophet; but that he is moved by the Spirit of God to speak the words God gives him. Very often, a prophet of God will naturally minister in the gift of prophecy as well as the gift of knowledge and it may be hard to distinguish between the two – declaring God’s will and God’s mind.

Let’s focus on a couple of areas of prophecy that we, as discerning members of the body of Christ, should be aware of. First, prophecy should be used in accordance with the standard of one’s faith. I recently had a dear friend report a prophetic message to me. As soon as I heard it I was edified, encouraged, and comforted! What came forth was praise to God! She spoke what she heard according to her faith. After I had time to process the magnitude of the words I wanted to know more so I asked her questions. After prayerfully considering what I had done I realized she had already told me all the information and anything else she added would be coming from her own intellect and feelings. I immediately recalled times in the past when I felt I had received a word from the Lord but it was only a word or two. I felt compelled to add more to it because it did not seem to be enough. The part I added came from my own intellect or feelings and did not proceed from divine inspiration because the words added were my own. Adding to the prophecy is moving out of the Spirit and back into the flesh. To sum up, divine prophecy given in faith may only be a word or two and we should end there. Adding more to the prophecy is no longer divine but human. If you are given a word and you desire more information, take the request to the Lord through prayer and allow Him to reveal what is lacking.

Secondly, the discerner should determine if the words given in prophecy edify, exhort, or comfort the believer. 1 Corinthians 14:31 tells us prophecy is for all believers to learn and be encouraged. Praise God! There are times when a believer might be given information that stirs up fear, for example. In this situation we should always be ready to stop the person uttering the prophecy that we believe is not from the Lord because fear never edifies, never exhorts, and never comforts. Nothing else needs to be said on the matter and you should dismiss the prophecy immediately. This prophecy was uttered under the influence of a wrong spirit. In sensitivity to a believer who has uttered a false word we must also remember we are judging the spirit not the individual. We are all individuals operating with varying levels of sanctification. The Holy Spirit is life, He does not deaden or plant seeds of fear in the righteous.

♥Thank you Lord!  I praise you for Your gift of the Spirit in my life.  Your word says to pursue prophecy.  I desire to do so and anticipate receiving and speaking as you see fit.  Teach me everything you would have me know concerning prophecy.  I cast down every imagination, mentality, and prior experience that might hinder my openess to the teachings of Your Spirit.  Increase my faith!  Break down the barrier walls of unbelief.  Help me to further discern gifts of the Spirit you desire for me to operate in – all to Your glory!  Amen.

Here is a prayer written as a song to guide you in praise and worship as you further seek the Lord regarding prophecy.  Listen to it unabridged –  it will bless you!

Remember not to worry if the Bible version you are using does not line up exactly with the blanks given below.  You can make it work!

♥Acts 2:17-18 And it will be in the last days, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on ___________________________________; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. I will even pour out _________________________ on my male and female slaves in those days, and they will ___________________________. (Holman) Those who are brought under the influence of the gospel should be remarkably equipped with ability to proclaim the will of God. I love how God says He will pour out His Spirit on “my” male and female slaves. We serve the Lord and should make ourselves available to fulfill His purposes. We are His! Expect to prophesy. Ask Jesus to edify His believers through you. As you have fellowship with the Lord and with fellow believers, you may find thoughts and words of inspiration coming into your mind that you have not heard and did not construct. If they are according to Scripture, share them with the Body.

♥Romans 12:6 In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to ____________________________, speak out with as much ____________________________ as God has given you. (NLT) The gifts are manifested through God’s ability, not ours. If He has given you some words to speak then He will give the faith that is required. I recently read this perfect comment. When God calls, He also equips. Therefore if you are struggling in discerning God’s vision for your life, concentrate on discerning your gifts. Every believer has the responsibility to discern, develop, and deploy their gifts so that they will reach their full potential and fulfill their role in the Body of Christ.  What do you think of that?

♥1 Corinthians 1:7 …so that you do not ___________________ any ____________________________________ as you eagerly wait for the ______________________ of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Holman) As a believer filled with the Spirit, you have as fully as any other person, those spiritual gifts which sustain you and enable you to wait for the revelation (second visible appearance) of Jesus.

♥1 Corinthians 12:4-6 Now there are different _______________ but the same Spirit. There are different ________________, but the same Lord. And there are different __________________ but the same God activates each gift in each person. (Holman) Here is a table to demonstrate how this verse suggest a grouping of  the gifts.

“Gifts”
Romans 12
Prophecy
Service
Teaching
Encouragement
Giving
Leadership
Mercy

“Ministries”
Ephesians 4 & 1 Corinthians 12:28
Apostles
Prophets
Evangelists
Pastor/Teacher
Teachers
Working of Miracles
Gifts of Healing
Helping
Tongues
Administration

“Activities”
1 Corinthians 12:8-11
Word of Wisdom
Word of Knowledge
Faith
Healing
Miracles
Prophecy
Discernment
Tongues
Interpretation of Tongues

♥1 Corinthians 13:2 If I have the _____________ of __________________ and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all ______________________ so that I can move mountains but do not have _________________________, I am ______________________. (Holman) We must primarily possess the love of God (agape) for fellow believers. Out of this love, we desire spiritual gifts in order to serve. Unless we have love (agape), which motivates the pure desire for spiritual gifts, all is lost.

♥1 Corinthians 14:1 Let __________________ be your highest goal! But you should also desire the ________________________________the ____________________ gives – especially the ______________________ to ______________________. (NLT) Pursue love. We hear this yet again so it is worth putting our minds to the pursuit of it above all other things. Have you earnestly desired it, strived to possess it, and been influenced by it continually? While we strive after love we secondly desire the miraculous gifts of the Spirit and are motivated to excel in what He imparts to us. It is proper to desire and seek spiritual gifts, especially that which edifies the church. Love has the priority and after that the gift of prophecy must particularly be sought.

♥1 Corinthians 14:3-6 But one who _________________________ strengthens others, ______________________ them, and ____________________________ them. A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally, but one who speaks a word of ____________________ strengthens the entire church. I wish you could all speak in tongues, but even more I will all could _____________________. For ______________________ is greater than speaking in tongues, unless someone interprets what you are saying so that the whole church will be strengthened. Dear brothers and sisters, if I should come to you speaking in an unknown language, how would that help you? But if I bring you a _________________________ or some special _______________________ or ___________________ or teaching, that will be helpful. (NLT) Paul is saying that tongues in an assembly without interpretation does not edify the church. Tongues will be looked at further in a following lesson. For this message we are primarily considering prophecy. Prophecy is something uttered or declared and can only be known by divine revelation. It might be a sudden impulse of a lofty discourse or divine praise. Prophecy is not inspired preaching (proclaiming the Gospel through inspired intellect). Preaching should indeed be inspired by the Holy Spirit, but prophecy means the person is bringing the words the Lord gives directly, not through the intellect, training, skill, background, or education.

♥1 Corinthians 14:22b ____________________________, however, is for the benefit of believers, not unbelievers. (NLT) A word of prophecy is used for edification, exhortation, and comfort for believers; to be built up in our most holy faith. The Holy Spirit encourages, stirs up, cheers up, helps, counsels, and quickens because that is what love (agape) does.

♥1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 Don’t despise _________________________, but _____________ all things. (Holman) Let’s look at an example of when someone gives you a word ‘in the Lord’ which can indeed be refreshing and helpful. There must, however, be a witness of the Spirit on the part of the person receiving the words. Never do something just because someone says, “The Lord told me to tell you this”. If the Lord has instructions for you, He will give you a witness in your own heart. When a word then comes from a friend, through the gifts of the Spirit, it will be confirmation to what God has already been showing you. Also remember the gifts of the Spirit are inspiration, not compulsion, and provide no excuse for erratic behavior.

As I was seeking the Lord regarding prophecy He gave me a word to share with you. “There is NO greater love than This.” A prophetic word indeed. Of all the people who love you and of all the love you think you need, there is absolutely NO greater love than that expressed through God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. When I received this revelation I froze in the place I was.  The magnitude of the truth of that statement is more magnificent than there are words to label it. Our minds and emotions are unable to fathom it. Our experiences are so minute they can not even be measured by it. We have not mastered enough vocabulary to describe it. Even still, it beckons us to draw from the endless bounty available to us. For every need you have – there IS no greater Source.

Remember:  (1) pray the prayer throughout the week asking the Lord to reveal insight to you regarding prophecy, (2) Fast as you are able on Tuesday, (3) complete the Scripture blanks for further study, and (4) add your name in the comment section if you plan to join – it is never too late!

In His grace,

Amanda

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Charisma ~ The Spiritual Gifts (Part 1)

Spiritual Gifts Unleashed!

When you accepted Jesus as Savior, you received the Holy Spirit. You may recall your soul (the psychological part – intellect, will, and emotions) and your body (physical part) at that time, was more aware or yielded to the Spirit. It does not take long, however, before the body and soul take over as priority again. When you pray in the morning, the busyness of your soul and body becomes quieted; the Spirit has an opportunity to let you know He is there and during these times you get an inkling that deep inside you, the life in the Spirit is very real. But as promptly as the clamor of existence begins again, you automatically begin trusting your soul and body more than the Spirit. Soon, we loose track of the Spirit. We need to allow the Spirit to flow out from the deep place within us and fill our soul and body. This is done by simply asking and yielding. There is a song called Holy Spirit that I think might help you beautifully. I am fond of the version sung by Francesca Battistelli

(which is included here) but you might discover another version you like just the same.  Think of it merely as a prayer that is sung. As you sing the song ~ you are praying! It goes like this, Holy Spirit you are welcome here…come flood this place (your body ~ where the Holy Spirit resides) and fill the atmosphere… Remember, don’t just sing the song. Pray the words.

According to the measure in which you are yielded to the Spirit, will be the measure in which you will experience His presence, manifestation,and influence. Recently, I described being yielded to the Spirit in the following way. Take both of your hands and place one in front of the other. The hand in front will represent you and the one behind will represent the Spirit. If you are in front, the Spirit will hardly get noticed. Now switch the hands. The Holy Spirit is now in front and you are behind. Now, who will get the notice? This is how a person would look yielded to the Spirit. Now switch the hands again. Spread the fingers of the hand in front and allow the fingers of the hand in back to come through. This is what it will look like for someone partially yielded to the Spirit. Keep in mind, the measure you are yielded to the Spirit, will be the measure of how you and others will notice the Spirit’s influence.

When yielded to the Spirit we receive refreshing. Our minds come alive in a new way to God’s reality. Our emotions respond, and we begin to be happy in Him. Our will responds, and we begin to want to do what He wants. Our bodies respond, not only by feelings of well-being, but by actual renewed strength, health, and youth. Then, it begins to flow out to others and they witness the power and love of Jesus in His people. He is now able to use His believers as refreshment to those in need and to point others towards the Lord.

You will know if you have a distinct gift (see list below) because it will be something regularly manifested through you. Even though you may already have one of the supernatural gifts, it does not limit the Holy Spirit from manifesting any of the other gifts through you at any time He desires. If you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you potentially could have any of the gifts brought forth at any time, if He so desired.  The nine gifts are things that are manifested, meaning we see it or hear it. Our personal faith should be based on a personal experience of God’s manifest power. As Paul was proclaiming God’s word he said, “My speech and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom but with a powerful demonstration by the Spirit, so that your faith might not be based on men’s wisdom but on God’s power.” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5) Amen!

If you join me for Wednesday bible study, you recall we have recently taken a peek at the gifts of the Spirit. For the next few weeks on this site, we will be looking deeper into the supernatural gifts of the Spirit and praying to be open to receive whatever revelation the Lord shall impart to us concerning these magnificent things. Each Tuesday we will take a different gift and spend time together looking it over. I anticipate you will take individual time to study and pray regarding the supernatural gift being discussed that week. The emphasis will be on praying for revelation, for increased understanding, and for an openness to the Spirit of God. I also suggest that you spend some time on Tuesday fasting (in whatever way works best for you). This study will consist of me sharing some information, offering a prayer, and then time for you to get out your bible and answer some questions.  The prayer you can pray continually (or pray your own) and the scripture work will be identified with a ♥.   If the information presented is not new to you, please take the time to prayerfully consider the information in a fresh way by asking the Spirit of Truth to electrify your heart with a new excitement for His Word. The goal is to not merely gain more information that sits in your mind, but to mediate on the workings of the Spirit of God Himself so that we recognize Him at work. If you will be participating in this time of learning, praying, and fasting please register your intention in the comment section. Prayerfully consider asking someone to join you! Maybe you can prayer together, learn together, encourage together! It is time for us to actively spread the Word of God to others and for His church to be awakened to things pertaining to Him!! Let’s be awaked and refreshed Lord! The hand-work itself will be light. My hope is that you will participate and then spend the rest of the week reviewing, praying, and inquiring of the Lord to make these things known to you as never before! Shall we get started?

“Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:4-7,11) There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God activates each gift in each person. A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial. But one and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as He wills. (His will or intention is a result of reflection and counsel) Verse 8-10 gives a list of the supernatural gifts. These are the gifts and the categories (they are categorized this way only for use in understanding).

Revelation Gifts
a word of wisdom
a word of knowledge
discerning of spirits

Power Gifts
faith
gifts of healing
workings of miracles

Vocal Gifts
different kinds of tongues
interpretation of tongues
prophecy

♥Heavenly Father, I praise Your name. I thank you for Your goodness and faithfulness. Your Word says that the one who believes in You will do the works You do and even greater works (John 14:12) because of the power of the Holy Spirit in us. Thank you for giving us Your Spirit. Father, I desire to do these works and fulfill the purposes you have for my life! Help me to walk in your provision. Open my eyes and speak to my heart regarding Your truths and the things of the Spirit. Father, demolish the barriers of unbelief I have held! I ask you for an increase of the presence of the Spirit in my life. You said to ask Father, and you would give the Spirit. With a humble heart and outstretched hands, I ask to be filled with Your Spirit! I give you glory and honor and praise because everything I have I owe to You. I declare You are the Alpha and Omega in my life this day and forevermore! Hallelujah and Amen!

Here are some verses relating to the supernatural gifts of the Spirit. Please read the following and complete the blanks. You may want to print this page or have a notebook or journal for completing the verses. Don’t worry if the version you are reading does not line up exactly with the blanks given below. You can make it work!

♥1 Corinthians 7:7b says each has his own ______________ from God. The word ‘gift’ here is charisma and relates to a spiritual endowment denoting extraordinary powers which enables us to serve the church of Christ. Any gift we have is due to the power of divine grace operating in us by the Holy Spirit alone.

♥1 Corinthians 12:4. Now there are _____________________________but the same_________________. This is telling us that there are many different gifts, but it is the Holy Spirit who dispenses them all. Here again we see the word ‘gifts’ and is the same Greek word as above and has the same meaning ~ charisma. The Holy Spirit is the direct source of the spiritual gifts. The Son is the one in whose service these gifts are to be used as ministers. The Father is the supreme originator of all the powers. What unity of the Trinity!

♥1 Corinthians 12:7. _________________________of the________________________is given to_______________________________ to produce what is beneficial. The word ‘demonstration’ here also means manifestation. A manifestation is something we see or hear. If the supernatural gift was strictly for the benefit of the bearer, what benefit would it be to have a manifestation? The benefit of the manifestation is to bring glory to the Lord and edification to His believers. Praise God! Isn’t it intriguing that the Apostle clearly states that every believer possesses, in some form, a supernatural gifting? Since it is the basis of the Apostle’s exhortation, it is inconceivable that any believer should not possess and be conscious of possessing, a gift. Therefore, since no one is without a supernatural gift, no one is without a duty.

♥1 Corinthians 14:1 tell us to pursue _________________ and _____________________________________ gifts, and above all that you may ____________________. When we pursue love (God’s love ~ agape) we will then desire the spiritual gifts in order to glorify God and bring edification and comfort to His people.

♥Romans 12:6 According to the __________________ given to ____________ we have different ________________. The word ‘gift’ here is also the same as above ~ charisma.

♥Hebrews 2:4 God testified by _________________ and ______________________, various ____________________, and distributions of _________________ from the __________________________ and according to ______________________________. This particular verse is also intriguing. The word ‘signs’ means any miraculous event that shows what had been previously predicted (by prophecy) would certainly take place. Some time ago the Lord placed faith in my heart that He would indeed do a miraculous work in my bible study group (I must add they are with sisters I just ADORE!). A few weeks ago I asked Him if He would allow us to witness a manifestation of the Spirit as a testimony in our group. He said “Yes” and it would be “one speaking in a tongue and another giving the interpretation”. I was thrilled! The only thing I shared with my group was that there was to be a manifestation but I did not say what it would be. Two weeks later, as we were praying, someone stood up with a word that “someone would speak in tongues and another would give the interpretation.” Even though it was a faith builder and without a doubt a sign (from the above verse) you still could have knocked me over with a breath! Well, the sign did come and it came just as He said it would! “God testified by a sign” which came via a “distributed gift straight from His Spirit”. Hallelujah!

♥Ephesians 4:8 For it says: When He ascended on high, He took prisoners into captivity; He __________________________________________________________________. He not only triumphed over His foes, but as Conqueror, He also bestows the gifts of the Spirit to His believers.

Pray the prayer, complete the scripture work, and allow the information revealed move from your mind to your heart.  Revelation the Spirit then imparts to you will be a witness to your spirit.  Ask the Lord during this study to dislose to you which gift you are primarily operating in, if you do not already know.  If you have questions or comments register them in the ‘comment’ section!  We will look into a different Spiritual gift each Tuesday.

In His grace,

Amanda

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A Call to Worship

Psalm 134
Now praise the LORD,
all you servants of the LORD
who stand in the LORD’s house at night!
Lift up your hands in the holy place
and praise the LORD!
May the LORD,
Maker of heaven and earth,
bless Zion.

Praise the Lord! Has the Lord gifted you with a mighty salvation? Then praise the Lord! Has He delivered you from the weight of suffering? Then praise the Lord! Has He given you hope? Praise the Lord! Has He delivered you from a trial unscathed and soon after you discover you have come away with treasure instead?  PRAISE GOD!! As children of God, He is the One who carries our burdens, fights our battles, and bears our trials for us (this distinguishes us from non-believers). Praise the Lord! As servants of the Lord we offer our praise and worship to Him continually without making a distinction between day or night!

Lift up your hands in praise! 2 Chronicles 20:9 says, “If disaster comes on us – sword or judgment, pestilence or famine – we will stand before this temple and before You, for Your name is in this temple. We will cry out to You because of our distress, and You will hear and deliver.” On this side of the cross, we don’t need to stand before the sanctuary (as a building) to cry out in our affliction. We ARE the sanctuary of the living God (1 Cor 6:19)! We have His seal (a signet or private mark; to attest to something) on us (2 Cor 1:22, Eph. 1:13, 4:30) Therefore we stand, representing the sanctuary of the living God, lifting up our hands from this holy place, and PRAISE! You are awe-inspiring in Your sanctuary Lord! (Psalm 68:35)

As we praise and bless the Lord we do this by acknowledging who He is. But what about the last portion of this Psalm? “May the Lord, maker of heaven and earth, bless…”. The notion of God blessing man is that He makes us what we are not and gives us what we have not. At this point, are you not compelled to stand from the sanctuary with hands lifted in praise? We shall praise you Maker of heaven and earth – day…and…night! Amen.

As we complete the pilgrimage ascent of the 15 Psalms, let’s keep our eyes looking upward and fixed on Jesus. Remember, there is no need to look down or back at the troubles you may have left behind.  Thank you Jesus for YOUR freedom and YOUR peace.

In His grace,
Amanda

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