Wednesday, February 18, 2009

40 Days of cHesed—Day 32

Day 32 Using What God Gave You

If you looked up yesterday’s three scripture references for grace gifts, you would have found these descriptions (listed here in alphabetical order): apostleship, discernment of spirits, evangelism, exhorting, faith, giving, government (leading), healing, interpretation (of tongues), miracles, pastoring, prophecy, serving (helps), showing mercy, teaching, tongues, word of knowledge and word of wisdom.

Most grace gifts fall generally into one of these categories. Sometimes gifts appear to be given permanently. Other times, the Spirit gives us a gift to help in a unique circumstance for a limited time. It is up to the Spirit which gifts are given, to whom, and for how long. They are tools for doing God’s work. They are privilege for purpose. They are not ways to judge superior spirituality. They are not to be sources of personal pride, idolizing or envy. Remember Day 7: all the gifts come from God; all the glory goes to God!

But the presence or absence of any particular grace gift does not change our obligation to keep covenant. Grace gifts give an ability beyond one’s talent to serve the Covenant Community in those areas. But no matter what our grace gift(s) may be, we all are to have faith, to show mercy, to give generously, to share the Gospel, to exhort one another, to speak God’s truth, to shepherd God’s sheep, to lead and influence…you get the idea? The point here is not either/or; it is both/and!

OK, flip back to Day 29 and take a look at the chart of major tasks needed for our carrier to function. Spend a minute or two thinking about the answers to these three questions:

  1. Which tasks do you think you could feel comfortable doing right now—no training?

  2. Which tasks provide some kind of service for everyone on the carrier?

  3. What purpose is listed as primary in the majority of tasks?

For most of you, the answer to all these questions will have something to do with ministry. That’s because there are so many simple forms of ministry—which anyone can do with little or no training. And everyone benefits directly from at least some of these forms of ministry. That’s why ministry is shown as the primary purpose in so many of the tasks necessary for carrier life!

Everyone may undergo the various tests for aptitude and interest before intensive training and eventual assignment. But there’s no excuse for not finding a way to pitch in and help out right now.

Today’s Look at 1 John

Read 1 John 4:7-21. While you’re reading, look at the number of descriptions John gives for love.

Keep Breathing!

You’ve been working hard—don’t forget to stop and stretch. Take every joy or concern to God first, so that he can share the moment, begin to heal the suffering, or encourage steadfastness. Thank him for his grace gifts. Ask him to show you how to love by using those gifts in ministry.

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