Tag Archives: inspirational

My 1st book, Beach Blessings, has been published!

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Hey, everyone! Letting you know what I’m up to!

In my 1st book, Beach Blessings, I share my thoughts about God while enjoying and photographing His beautiful scenery at the beach. The beach gives me time to relax and savor the moving of His Holy Spirit, while listening to the contemporary Christian music on my phone.

I’m praying my book will bring Holy Spirit peace and calm to your heart as you drink in God’s beautiful scenery and learn of His faithful promises to you.

Please feel free to comment, ask questions, share prayer requests, or declare praise reports, when you’re directed by the QR code to my YouTube Channel at the end of my book, or simply share your thoughts while on this blog.

Please take a moment today to listen to the beautiful music and lyrics to: “Beloved” by Jordan Felice and “Testify” by needtobreathe.

Psalm 150:6, “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.”

To get an autographed copy, or copies, of Beach Blessings, simply click on the PayPal button. Each book is $15.00 (+ shipping and handling).

Here’s a great idea, purchase two, keep one and give one as a gift!

Beach Blessings has 6 chapters, contains beach photos taken by me, along with Scriptures, contemporary Christian song suggestions to listen to, and devotional questions at the end of each chapter. Great for Bible studies.

My 2nd book, Let God Build It, and my 3rd book, a Christian fiction illustrated children’s book, called The Little Star That Couldn’t Shine, will both be published soon, also.

All God’s Blessings! Pastor Renée Joyce Debrowski

Love Gives Birth In A Stable

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I just finished reading, and teaching, in our adult Sunday school, at Atwater Community Church, from a book by Assembly of God Pastor Michael H. Clarensau, author of

A Spirit – Empowered Life: 

Discover The World-Changing Journey God Has Designed For You

(with foreword by Scott Wilson), Copyright 2015, Published by Vital Resources)

He says, “The goal of worship is to give ourselves fully to God and His purposes.  It’s called wholehearted LOVE.  Loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, & strength means prizing nothing but that relationship and yielding all else to His greater wisdom.  It’s a level of sacrifice we can’t explain.  It’s “Wholehearted Love.”

Loving with our whole heart, because that’s how God loves us!

It’s stepping up every day, fearlessly risking rejection to speak up and act on behalf of the One God, Savior, and Spirit that we love.  Taking a stand in whatever situation we find ourselves.  Because God loves us so deeply.  For the Spirit-Empowered, love comes from our heart.  Whether we’re singing a song, ministering, or serving, we praise God from our life because God lives with us every day.  In worship, everything comes together for the Spirit-Empowered.  We love God by loving others.  Serving them provides a way to serve our God.  It develops, reshapes, and changes our old selfish heart into one that displays the Heart of Christ.

Love is the Heart of Christ

Obedience marks our heart.  When God’s ways don’t comfortably mesh with our ways, when He asks us difficult things, & He does, and we must surrender all.  That’s wholehearted love at work.  That same love is demonstrated in sacrificial service by giving of our time, efforts, and resources beyond the point of comfort to bring comfort to others as Jesus would.  Unconcerned with comparing ourselves with what God asks others to do; we go the extra mile without reservation.  We know God gives His love to us and will continue to provide everything we need.  He can be trusted.  Always.

That love also runs through open doors, without dwelling on our inadequacy, because we know that the God who has equipped us before will equip us again, and will keep equipping us as we say, ‘Yes!’  And as we keep going and running through the open doors, we trust God completely.  Active faith means, we, ‘Go!’ and move forward.  It’s more than our own determination, or our own discipline.  It’s the Holy Spirit of God that helps us worship the Father and Son as we must, because without His help, we can’t do it on our own.

Worship is intimate relationship with God.  Love for God motivates true disciples, because this is what we can offer God.  Our LOVE, and that love expressed more and more in a wholehearted way, opens the way for God to pour His power through us.”

 Let’s listen to some of the lyrics to “Giants Fall” by Francesca Battistelli

 “Everyone’s telling you to let go of what you’re holding to…
It’s too late, too far  You’re too small, it’s too hard
Throwing water on that spark living deep inside your heart
With oceans of reasons  The things you’re not seeing
But oh, maybe they don’t  Know what you know That you’re not alone

So, don’t you be afraid  Of giants in your way  With God you know that anything’s possible
So step into the fight  He’s right there by your side

The stones inside your hand might be small  But watch the giants fall

We could really live like this  Can’t you imagine it
So bold, so brave  With childlike faith
Miracles could happen  Mountains would start moving
So whatever you may face

Ask & believe  You’re gonna see   The Hand of God in every little thing

Miracles can happen  Anything is possible Watch the giants fall.”

 The Hand of God.  Powerful. 

It may not be Christmastime right now, but I want to talk to you today about how even in small beginnings you can give birth in a stable, because LOVE gives birth even in a stable, to a new beginning.

“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means, least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of My people Israel.” 

Matthew 2:6

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland”

Isaiah 43:18-19

Young or old, new baby Christian, or long-time foot-stomping Pentecostal saint, God wants to work miracles in our lives.  Here’s a great promise from our God.

“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.” 

I Peter 5:10

So, let’s just sop a moment and let that sink in.  Let’s change “you” to “ME & I” and read it again.

“And the God of all grace, who called ME to His eternal glory in Christ, after I have suffered a little while, will Himself RESTORE ME and make ME strong, firm, and steadfast.” 

I Peter 5:10

Oh, yes, that’s powerful.  Let’s remember, that part of the glorious Christmas Story involves living in a stable.  So, how do we go from “Living in a Stable” to “Sitting in the Heavenly Throne Room with Christ?”  How do we get from the hardship of the stable to the glory of the throne?  We trust and wait.

What do we do when there’s no room in the Inn?  We give birth in a stable.  Love gives birth right there in the stable, because our wholehearted love for Christ will sacrifice what needs to be sacrificed.

Here’s my definition of what a “Stable experience” is like:  A “Stable experience” is a place we find ourselves physically, emotionally, or spiritually, where we don’t want to be.  Do you have any of those experiences in your life?  I do.  I’m not talking about “stable” as in “steadfast,” like “this table is so stable, I could stand on it.”  No, I mean you’re in a dark, smelly, chaotic place in your life, because there’s nowhere else for you to go.

Mary & Joseph wanted to be back in their home in Nazareth in Galilee, or at least in the Inn in Bethlehem, especially when Mary was ready to give birth, but, they found themselves in the smelly stable.

Many times in life, we find ourselves in a “Stable experience or situation,” especially when giving birth to something from God.  Really?  Yes, especially when giving birth to something from God.

And, often a gradual process of circumstances got us there.  I know my All-Powerful God could have delivered Jesus, Mary, amd Joseph out of the stable, kept them in Nazareth in Galilee, and not sent them to Bethlehem in Judea.  But there was a purpose and a promise that Jesus had to fulfill.  Yes, God always has a purpose and a promise.

We just read that promise in Scripture, “To Restore us and make us strong, firm, and steadfast.”  So, in our stable experiences, let’s ask ourselves, “Is there a purpose and a promise from God for us and our family that needs to be fulfilled by God, because we’re in this “Stable experience” right now?”  Let’s stop right now and ask ourselves, “Are we like Jesus, headed for the throne room?  Yes, we are when we know Christ.

How did baby Jesus get from the stable to the throne?  Through suffering and trials until He went back to the Father.  This is true for us, too.  Life includes suffering and trials, because it’s not true when people of the world say, “God never gives us more than we can handle.”

People say that all the time, but that’s not Scriptural.  They’re misquoting 1 Corinthians 10:13, which says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.  And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

God gives us plenty we can’t handle “on our own,” but, with Him, there will always be a totally different outcome.  God’s given us “Life.”  More “Life” than we can handle without Him.  We all have many examples in our lives of more “Life” than we can handle on our own.

Let’s name some:  A spouse, a family, babies, toddlers, teens, school, jobs, ministries, our health, etc.  In the 2nd book I’m in the process of writing, called, Let God Build It, there’s a chapter called “Life…And More Abundantly,” and a chapter called, “There’s Always Something.”  That’s “Life.”  That’s the Life God gave us, but He didn’t plan for us to do it alone.  It’s important that we get this.  God wants us to trust Him, lean on Him, and not on our own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5 tells us, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”  Even in our “Stable experiences.” Especially in our “Stable experiences.”

James 4:8 tells us, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.”

 Yes, we all want that promise, for God to come near to us.  We also want that promise for our friends, our families, and for those we’re ministering to. The Bible tells us to come near to God and He will come near to us.  But, it’s important to know that we can’t lean on our own understanding and still come near to God. 

We must trust in the Lord with all our heart.  With our whole-hearted love and not lean on our own understanding, thinking we can, or should, do everything on our own.  It’s important to remember, also, that He helps us handle what He gives us with His power and strength, until we return to our Father in Heaven.

If it’s health issues, let’s remember, “By His stripes we are healed…”  ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­If you have a splinter in your finger and you get it out, ­­­­­­­­you don’t need to pick at it and pick at it, like there’s still a splinter in it.  Believe it’s a done deal.  Let it heal.  Same with our healing.  Jesus closed that deal for us.  Don’t keep picking at the wound.  You are healed.  Believe, accept, receive.

So, let’s obey and bless our Father through our trials, through our sufferings, through our “Stable experiences,” and with our entire lives.

Jesus did.

Let’s take a moment to look more closely at our Savior’s actual “Stable experiences.”  How long did Jesus, Mary, and Joseph stay in the stable?  One day?  Two days?  They stayed awhile.  What were the conditions?  Stables are smelly.  Loud with animal sounds.  Uncomfortable.  Lacking the simplest comforts.  Lacking any family support, and it’s a lifestyle that is at the mercy of strangers.

Let’s think back for a moment. Have we ever found ourselves in a “Stable experience?”  Somewhere in life we never meant to be.  Stop and think a moment and recall the situation.  Was there stress?  Yes, lots.  How did we handle it?  Kicking and screaming?  Blaming everyone else?  Dumping our problems on others?  Giving up on God? 

Help us be truthful, Lord.  Because this is important.  Mary glorified God, even after submitting to a pregnancy she could never explain, with months of village criticism, and all God’s requirements for bearing the Son of God.

Let’s remember that our belief and our obedience are what magnifies God.  From my Fruit Of The Spirit Bible, I read:  “It is always the heaviness of the burden that teaches us the best song.”  Amen.

I want to sing the best song for the Lord.

Mary was faithful, which I define as:  “Always doing what God tells us to do exactly how and when He tells us to do it.”  Amen.  Is this always easy?  Not a bit.  But, let’s sing the new song God gave us.

In this season I’m going through right now, of deadlines and back and forth e-mails with my editor, publisher, graphic designer, illustrator, typesetter, and printer in order to “birth” the 3 books the Holy Spirit told me to write, I complained.

Yes, I have been known to complain, or to vent, as I like to call it, because it sounds much less horrible.  As I complained, the Holy Spirit recently said something so profound to me: 

“The aggravation is NOT the mission!” 

In other words, the difficult experience of being in the “Stable Experience of hardships, frustrations, sufferings, and trials, is not the mission.  It’s not the purpose.

Let’s listen to some of the lyrics for “Move (Keep Walking)” by tobymac

 Another heartbreak day    Feels like you’re miles away
Too many passin’ dreams  It’s hard to keep believin’  When they pass you by and by

I know your heart been broke again   I know your prayers ain’t been answered yet
I know you’re feeling like you got nothing left   Well, lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet so

Move, keep walkin,’ soldier keep movin’ on, until the mornin’ comes, it ain’t over yet

You’re feelin’ like you can’t buy a break, I can hold your hand, but I can’t turn your eyes to freedom 

Hold on, the Lord ain’t finished yet   Hold on, He’ll get you through this

These are the promises I never will forget 

Let’s read the devotional for July 14th  on Pg. 205 in:

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

(Copyright 2004, Published by Thomas Nelson, Inc.)

“Keep walking with Me along the path I have chosen for you.  Your desire to live close to Me is a delight to My heart.  I could instantly grant you the spiritual riches you desire, but, that is not My way for you.  Together we will forge a pathway up the high mountain.  The journey is arduous at times, and you are weak.  Someday you will dance lightfooted on the high peaks; but for now, your walk is often plodding and heavy.  All I require of you is to take the next step, clinging to My hand for strength and direction.  Though the path is difficult and the scenery dull at the moment, there are sparkling surprises just around the bend.  Stay on the path I have selected for you.  It is truly the path of life.”

Psalm 37:23-24

The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;
though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

Psalm 16:11 NKJV

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

The path may be difficult, but keep walking.

 I’m sure there was aggravation in that smelly stable in Bethlehem for Mary & Joseph, also.

We must focus on the mission.  God’s mission.  NOT our mission.  God’s mission for us, which is His mission, or, we can take a detour and focus on the aggravation and lose sight of the mission completely.

The world thinks the aggravation is not worth it at all.  So they quit, or they never start, and they never do anything for the Lord.  Listen to the Holy Spirit and keep going.  He will give you peace in the storm.  Keep focused on God’s Plan for you and He will give you power through the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

I have had many moments like this in my life, maybe you have, too.  Also, from my Fruit Of The Spirit Bible, I read:  “Patience never argues with God, and it has a habit of praising God while it waits for miracles to take place.”

I’m waiting for miracles to take place in my life, perhaps, you are, too.  Who has time to argue with God?  Let’s pray to find out what God wants us to do and do it.  Let’s find His mission and make His mission our mission.

There’s never any reason to hurry God. This always amazes me, that Mary prayed, “May it be to me as God has said.”  Then she sang as she waited.  Praise God, can we do the same?

What was it like in that stable?  Was it a 5 Star hotel?  Were they given a seven-course banquet while there?  Why do we think that our lives are going to be any easier than Mary’s, the Mother of Jesus?  Who was there with them in the stable?  For sure, no friends or family to support them, but God knew where they were and He blessed Mary and Joseph with birth.  With the birth of their son, Jesus, The Savior of the World.

God blessed them with birth in a stable, right there in that smelly stable, and He will bless us, too.  Then, when God blessed them, worship and support came to the stable from everywhere.  Even shepherds need a Savior.

God knows where we are, too, even if we’re in a “Stable experience,” right now, He will bless us with birth, too.  Perhaps, with the birth of a healed body, the birth of a godly relationship, the birth of a child, the birth of a needed job, the birth of a home of our own, the birth of a long-held dream, the birth of a vision, the birth of a promise, and the birth of a purpose.

What was the result of Mary and Joseph’s stable experience?  Christmas!  Jesus’ birth in a stable, brought joy, brought faith, brought hope, brought vision, and brought a promise for us.  It got the attention of angels, Kings, Magi, and shepherds

When we find ourselves in our own “Stable experience” of course, we can’t discount the enemy at work, but let’s not give him any glory, either.  We know that satan is a liar.

It’s not easy being a spouse, a parent, a worker, a care-giver, a teacher, a student, a business owner, a leader, a pastor, or whatever…(fill-in-the-blank), but, we shouldn’t be asking, “Why are we here in this stable, Lord?”  We need to ask, “What are You trying to birth in us, Lord right here in this stable?”  We must be confident that God plans to take us from the stable to the throne, from Christmas to Easter, from Birth to Resurrection. 

We must have birth before we can experience resurrection just as God did for His Son, Jesus.  But, we’ve got to let Him birth something in us, and when we get to that “Stable experience,” are we going to give birth, or are we going to bail out?

Hope came down to us when Jesus came to earth.  We’re now children of the Most High God and He constantly reminds us of His Love.  God wants to show us that His purpose is to bring us out of the stable, through trials and suffering to His throne.  Let’s always want everything He wants for us.

We need to be faithful.  God’s favor and guidance is with us always even in the “Stable experiences” of small beginnings to get us to the glorious throne in eternity worshiping our Lord forever.  Even if we’re in a “Stable experience” right now, no matter who we are, we must accept the gift of Jesus, because even in the stable, God’s right there with us and knows where we are.  His Son was born there.  Once we’re out of our “Stable experience,” let’s not look back.  Let’s shut down immediately any voice from the enemy.  Let’s not even let satan speak at all.  Let’s not argue with him.  Let’s just look up to where God’s throne is and talk to Jesus. 

 Sometimes, to be obedient to the Voice of God for our miracle to happen, we may need to go through a “Stable experience,” like Mary and Joseph.  We may need to carry our “Cross,” like Jesus did, before we get to the glory of Heaven.  When we receive a vision or a promise from God, we need to hold onto it and be patient.  Stay strong in the Lord.  Our vision from God is not meant to be a one-man show.  God is talking to other people at the same time giving them a hunger to serve Him in many different ways to fulfill His Plan. 

 He brings all our gifts and talents together in perfect harmony to complete His vision.  When it’s His vision, it’s a beautiful thing, completely orchestrated by Him.  It’s no longer just your vision from Him, it’s His vision for all of us.  A vision for His Kingdom work.

Now, it can LIVE.  Dry bones come forth and it moves as He gives it breath, and as He puts His life into it.  The dry bones will have flesh and come together and walk, as He puts into motion something that was dead, and something lifeless, becomes ALIVE.  He creates something from nothing.  So, let Jesus live in you.  He’s the focus of our lives.

He changes chaos into focus.  He changes foolish people into wise people.  Remember both foolish and wise build, they both face the same storms, but the foolish build on sand and perish.  While the wise build on Jesus the ROCK and stand.

Stop foolishly trying to do it all by yourself and start trusting in the God who knows all.

So, I challenge you to:  Dream your vision.  Obey His command.  Ask for guidance.  Listen to the Voice of the Holy Spirit.  Give it all back to Him.  Then, Praise Him, because He dwells in the Praises of His people.  Listen, Obey, Praise.

Let God’s vision for you fly where it will.  Let God take it to the heights where you couldn’t take it on your own. As it rises, trust God.  Let it soar and watch what God can do with it, with you, and with the team God has placed around you for His glory.

He’s given people to you to work with.  Help them catch God’s vision, too.  Encourage them.  Pray for them and let them soar, along with the vision of God.  By handing it all back to God, He’ll entrust it back to you.  Be His servant.  He’ll be your God.  Be His hands and feet in this world. 

Then, you are no longer a one-man show.  You’re reaching out with the power of the God of the Universe leading you and cheering you on.  Then, you can rest in His Plans.

Recently, I’ve also read these powerful words by T.D. Jakes in his book, which I highly recommend, called…

Instinct:  The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive

(Copyright 2014, by TDJ Enterprises, LLP)

 “God has moved on, and you can’t plan your future if you’re hanging around the tomb.”

Jesus is NOT in the stable any longer.  He is not in the tomb.  He’s on the throne.  We need to be focused there.  Pray about moving into different dimensions where you’ll grow.  Learn new things and be challenged again.  It’s time to move to the next level. 

“Your ceiling on this level becomes your floor on the next level.”

 A new beginning can be a little sprout of something God is birthing in your heart, a thought, a prayer, a vision, a passion, or a compassion for others that God has placed in you.  It’s a hope that grows inside you.  Pray.  Water that little bud.  If it has been planted in good soil, it will grow and spread into a full-grown ministry for God.  Listen to the direction from the Holy Spirit.  He will help you sow that seed properly.  Protect it and nurture that little sprout until it advances and grows into a beautiful flower to show others God’s love.

Turn that seed you’ve sown into something edible, delicious, and nourishing to feed someone what they need to hear from your testimony about the Word of God.  Ask the Holy Spirit questions, listen for His answers, and keep listening.  I challenge you today.

Let’s pray.  “Gracious Heavenly Father, please don’t allow us to get stuck in hard seasons, in trials, or in difficult ‘Stable experiences.’  Help us to focus on the Heart of Christ and on all our promises from You.  Help us to obey the voice of Your Holy Spirit in everything we do.  We know that whatever we need today is found in Jesus.  Thank you.  Amen.”

Not Only “A Good Life” But, “A God Life”

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When our son, Casey was young…

We left a blizzard in NJ…

To fly to Florida…

While on the beach enjoying the sun, sand, and waves…

Casey said, “Ahhhh, this is the life!”

We laughed so hard!!

And, it got me thinking…

Christians are called to be more…

So much more…

To be different…

To be set apart for so much more from God…

To be more in this world…

To live with a purpose…

We’re called to believe all the promises of God…

And live them with God’s help…

Not just a “Good Life”

A “God Life”

A life full of God…

A godly life…

Standing on the promises of God!

He wants to give us His best!!

He created us not to simply live the good life…

But, so we can live life with Him…

He loves us…

He sent His son, Jesus and offered Him up to die for us…

To save us…

And sent us His Holy Spirit to teach us and guide us into all Truth..

Then, we can know the nature of God…

Then, we can become more like Jesus each day…

In this “God Life,” He gives us love, faith, hope, favor…

When we offer up our entire life to Him…

When we trade our good life for the God Life He divinely planned for us!

Take advantage of all of God’s promises…

They’re all for you!!

You are His!

You’re Beautiful!

In His Eyes!

 Amen!

2 Peter 1:3

“His divine power has given us everything we need

for a godly life

through our knowledge of Him

who called us by His own glory and goodness.”

Church, Desire The Best Spiritual Gifts!!

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(Here’s the sermon I preached at church Sunday night, praying it blesses you…)

1 Corinthians 16:14  “Do everything in love.”  

Serve everyone in love!  Build up the Body of Christ in love!

And…as we’re putting our attention toward loving each other, we’re told in God’s Word to pursue the best spiritual gifts, those which edify others, without putting so much focus on “edifying” ourselves at everyone else’s expense!  We’re instructed to be covetous to excel in the best gifts, those which will make us most useful and profitable to The Church, through a more excellent way.  Through LOVE!  Remembering that the gifts themselves are not the best things, because the habits of saving grace are much more valuable than gifts!  Love to God and love to our neighbor are always preferred before gifts.

 However, Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 12:31

“But earnestly desire the greater gifts and I will show you a still more excellent way.”  

LOVE! 

The spiritual gifts are found in three passages: 

Romans 12:6-8 NIV  “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

1 Corinthians 12:8-10 NIV  “To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 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.”

1 Corinthians 12:28-30 NIV  “And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.  Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?”

Through reading those 3 verses, we can make a list of the Gifts of the Spirit:

Administration     Apostle-ship     Discernment     Evangelism     Exhortation

Faith     Giving     Healing     Interpretation of Tongues     Knowledge

Leadership     Mercy     Miracles     Pastor/Shepherd     Prophecy

 Serving/Ministering     Teaching     Tongues     Wisdom

I want to concentrate on what we’re instructed and encouraged to do on our part as far as the spiritual gifts are concerned: 

We’re to desire! 

The Holy Spirit does the rest!  He gives the gift to whoever He wishes and because He likes order, He corrects where needed. 

We’re to love! 

We’re not to strive for any one gift just because it is more highly esteemed, or because it is more useful to us personally, or because it is more easily attained.  What keeps us humble, is LOVE, remembering that the gifts of God’s grace:  Faith, Hope, and Love, are the most useful and valuable, and better than all external extraordinary gifts!!

In our house my husband and I talk about:  BC & AC. 

Before our son, Casey…After our son, Casey.  That’s the simple way we define our life!  All that we did before Casey, changed after Casey!  We were married 14 years before our prayers for our child were answered, and while those years were important and prepared us for having Casey, Casey changed us completely the day he was born.  For the better!  From that day on, he was our priority!  Before and After, Then and Now, there’s a HUGE difference!

Church, that’s how we must define our spiritual life, too! 

Before Christ and After Christ! 

Before we knew Him and After we came to know Him

Before and After, Then and Now, there’s a HUGE difference!  If you don’t know the Lord Jesus as your Savior yet, it takes a split second for you to want Him, and for Him to accept your repentant heart, since He always wants you!!!  And, He always wants to fill you with His Spirit!

That Was Then, This Is Now!

The old you vs the new you!  Then, when you were empty vs Now, when you’re filled with the power of His Holy Spirit!  You are now SAVED to SERVE with the Holy Spirit’s POWER, to serve God and The Body of Christ.  Pray for an open heart, open mind, open eyes to see, and open ears to hear.  Don’t wander around in the “THEN!”  Live in the NOW!”  Church, now that we know Him, how will we live our life for Christ?  Jesus is now our priority!  The Father’s Plan for us and hearing the Holy Spirit’s whispers!  It’s not just about programs, though I love church programs; we need His Presence in our lives and in our churches!  The Church needs us, every one of us!  We’re The Body.  The Church needs all of us to be all we can be in Christ to strengthen and build up The Church!

As much as we’re commanded to NOT covet the things of others, we are told to boldly, earnestly, fervently, zealously, strongly, prayerfully, watchfully esteem, desire, want, pursue, seek to attain, and cultivate the best/greatest spiritual gifts to be used to help others to stir up, develop, and use our gifts to edify The Church!  The Body of Christ!  And if it’s a GIFT from the Holy Spirit, we can just receive it!  Since they have not been obtained by human capabilities we have absolutely no right to brag on these gifts!  If we exalt in our gifts, we’re taking credit for something that we haven’t earned ourselves.  It’s like taking credit for a gift you received on your birthday.  It’s just that; a gift that was not yours, but given to you freely, given apart from any inherent capabilities that you have within you.  Remember, the old song, “How Great Thou Art?”  It’s NOT, “How Great I Am!”

It’s an unearned gift from the Holy Spirit, take it!  Think of someone offering you a gift, and you say, “No!  No!  I can’t take it!  Please take it back!  It’s too much!  Give it to someone else!  I don’t need it!  I want to be giftless forever!”  That would be ridiculous!  So desire the best spiritual gifts, take them, and thank God for it!  He’ll use them to love on people. 

1 Peter 4:10, says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” 

In The Church, preaching is to edify and equip the saints!  Pastors can’t do that very well, if the saints don’t want, desire, covet all God has for each of them!  We need to want all God has for us.  His gifts are good!  I encourage you to step out confidently with whatever gifts and talents, plus the spiritual gifts God has already put in you, and with the spiritual gifts He WANTS to develop in you!  Your passions will usually indicate those areas!  Use them to help others and to equip others to be used of God!  I encourage you to express your desire to God for more of all He has for you!  God wants to give you His Best Gifts!  It’s His will to give each believer the best gift that each desires and is capable of receiving.

How quick will you be to desire and receive the spiritual gift He wants to give you?  That determines what gift the Holy Spirit will give!  The nature of The Church calls for all members to recognize their capabilities and to begin confidently functioning in those ministries.  Just as the physical body is one organism having many parts:  Arms, legs, hands, feet, etc., with different functions, all operating differently, but at the same time in harmony and in unity!  So it is with the Body of Christ, The Church.  Unity in the midst of diversity.  If the Body of Christ is going to function as an organism then it’s necessary for the members to minister, or serve one another with all the capabilities that the Holy Spirit has given to each one.  Each local church requires spiritual maturity, biblical understanding and the recognition, and full use of, the spiritual gifts of each member!  The power of the Spirit flows in The Church through the expression of the God-given gifts.

The gift is not in itself the purpose, or goal for the believer, rather, it’s simply the means through which the Spirit can minister to others.  If you sense a need in your church, which is not being satisfied, perhaps you should try to meet that need.  If we occupy ourselves in serving the Lord by meeting the needs we perceive, our gifts will quickly become obvious!  There are times when the Lord delays in making evident our gifts, in order that we grow sufficiently mature, and committed to using them faithfully in His service and through His power.  The important thing is that we learn to minister and serve one another.  Our experience can be a determining factor in the manifestation of our gifts:

  1. Our church will be more and more conscience of our gifts as we work in its programs.
  2. We’ll be conscious of the fruit that results from the exercise of our gift in the lives of others.
  3. We’ll feel a conscious satisfaction in what we’re doing.
  4. We’ll recognize that those with gifts, especially the gift of leadership, are going to attract others with similar gifts. 

There is a distinction between the Spiritual Gifts and the Fruit of the Spirit:

The ideal for the Christian is to combine the exercise of the gifts of the Spirit, with the expression of the 9 Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 (Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) in our life at the same time.

Gifts of the Spirit

  1. Different for each individual
  2. Related to the ministry
  3. Classified according to importance and necessary emphasis in the church
  4. Can be abused, cause offenses and divisions.
  5. No Christian has all of the gifts
  6. No single gift is obligated for all the believers

Fruit of the Spirit

  1. For all the church, without exception
  2. Related to our character
  3. All the aspects of the fruit are essential and equally important
  4. Never can be used badly if they are authentic
  5. All believers should manifest the fruit
  6. All the aspects of the fruit are commanded to be manifested  

The Fruit of the Spirit indicates spiritual maturity…

The Spiritual Gifts indicate the motivation for serving others…

Christ’s Church is always interested in people!  Lay people are very necessary in the growth and ministry of The Church!  Identifying the need and benefit of the spiritual gifts should always be encouraged!  The understanding and use of the spiritual gifts prospers under the encouragement and teaching of the leaders of The Church!  No believer can say that they have no gift of the Spirit from God.  God has given all believers gifts, some have several, but everyone has these gifts!  These gifts of the Spirit are given not for the believer, but for the Body of Christ.  It’s to make The Body complete.  These gifts are intended for The Church-to edify it, to strengthen it, to feed it, to encourage it, and to have the Body of Christ empowered to do the work of Christ.  These gifts are always to exalt Christ, to witness of God’s power, to build up The Body, and to work to enlarge the Body of Christ by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost!  God gives these gifts as He sees best.  We can not receive gifts we aren’t intended to receive, but, we can desire certain gifts, indicating that we can receive gifts of the Spirit, that may fulfill the desires of our hearts, while still fulfilling God‘s purpose for them!

Psalm 37:4 says  “Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  Let our desires be Your desires for us, Lord!  Amen!  Let’s briefly examine what these gifts are and their intended use for the church today.

Romans 12 has a similar listing of the gifts of the Spirit, but, I Corinthians 12 is more comprehensive in nature, where Paul is telling the Corinthian church, and for the most part, all believers in the church today that he wants to make these gifts crystal clear to us, so we will depend upon the inspired Word of God to reveal them to us!

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 12:4 “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.”  No two gifts are the same and generally no two believers have exactly the same gifts, but always these gifts are given for the common good of the church.  Many Gifts, Many Members, One Body!  We’re to pray to God that we may receive from Him the best, which means, the most useful gifts.

Bible scholars classify these gifts into three categories: ministry gifts, manifestation gifts, and motivational gifts:

Ministry Gifts

The ministry gifts serve to reveal the plan of God. They are characteristic of a full-time office or calling, rather than a gift that can function in and through any believer.

Manifestation Gifts

The manifestation gifts serve to reveal the power of God. These gifts are supernatural or spiritual in nature. They can be further subdivided into three groups: utterance, power, and revelation.

Motivational Gifts

The motivational gifts serve to reveal the personality of God. These gifts are practical in nature. They describe the inner motivations of the Christian servant.  

All spiritual gifts in The Church are produced by the Holy Spirit and He confers them as He pleases, so no one should be proud, yet it is proper to desire the most useful gifts, such as preaching or prophesying.  If…you wish to be brought under the influence of the Spirit and qualified for usefulness in the church!  The graces of the Spirit:  Faith, Hope, and Love, which are gifts of God’s grace; are useful and valuable and better than all external extraordinary gifts.  It’s the work of the Holy Spirit.  These three: Faith, Hope, and Love, are to be more desired than gifts.  We must pursue LOVE, but, at the same time, not omit zealous seeking after the Gifts of the Spirit, especially to prophecy, which includes both foretelling and forth-telling.  We pass all these “gifts” of blessing to others for their edification when we exercise our spiritual gifts in love!  So, we should earnestly desire spiritual gifts so we may selflessly give to others, then we must always give all the glory to God!  Amen!

The warning is:  The greater our gifts are, the more we are exposed to temptations and the larger the measure of grace needed to keep us humble and spiritual!  We may meet with more painful, or humbling experiences!  It’s not always glamorous to be obedient to God!  We have little cause to glory in any gifts bestowed on us, or to despise those who don’t have the same ones we’ve been given!

1 Corinthians 12:7 says, “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”  

Ephesians 4:11-15 NLT tells us, “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church:  The apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.  Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up The Church, The Body of Christ.  This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.  Then we will no longer be immature like children.  We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching.  We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.  Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the Head of His Body, The Church.” 

Amen!

So, when Jesus decides to move in our lives, in our church, and in our world, we can no longer wait, we need to run after what He’s running after.  We can’t drag Jesus behind us! Jesus is upright and in front leading us.  He goes BEFORE us!  Where He goes, we follow.  Be in sync with Him.  He waits, we wait.  He walks, we walk.  He moves, we move.  When He runs, we run.  When He’s on a mission, that’s our mission.  Our mission is to follow Him, and to be equipped by the power of the Holy Spirit to follow Him!!  We need everything He wants to give us spiritually.  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are together.  We need ALL of them.  Seek the whole Godhead.  The Full Gospel!  Every moment.  WE’RE NOTHING ALONE, APART FROM GOD!  With Him, we have everything!  Teach everyone to want all God offers for their lives, too, to be used in His Kingdom for His purposes!

Church, know, live, and share the whole Truth of Christ, what He’s done for us, and what He can do through us!!  We’re FOLLOWERS of CHRIST!  Move into position!  Where others can see Christ before they see us!!  It’s never about us!  Church, it’s always about JESUS!  Walk through life pointing everyone to Him!  Everything we do and are involved in, is a ministry.  Assume the correct position.  FOLLOWING CLOSE BEHIND OUR LORD!  So close that we can hear His Voice!  He wants to give us more love, more power, and more spiritual gifts to serve Him!  So close, that we can see Him moving in our life, in our church, in the world.  He’s moving right now.  He’s walking.  Catch up with Him.  He’s running.  Stay with Him!  He wants to give us more of Himself.  He goes before us.  We’re triumphant!  Now is the time, Church, to desire all the spiritual gifts that are meant to edify The Church!  Our church!

Let’s Run!  Let’s keep up with God’s Plan!  He wants to grow us, to grow our church, to grow The Body of Christ.  He wants us to grow in love.  He wants us to point everyone we meet to Jesus.  To teach God’s Word.  To be filled to overflowing with His Holy Spirit.  To desire what He desires. He wants us to eat up His Word and drink in His Spirit.  Filling us with a fresh supply each day for our spiritual growth! 

Church, will you desire the best spiritual gifts to be used in your church, with your pastor, with your congregation, and with the vision from God, for such a time as this?

“Yes, Lord we’re ready!”

Proverbs 8:5-12 from the Passion Translation:  “I Hear His Whisper”

“In the silence I will speak to you. Each morning come and sit at My feet and learn from the wisdom of eternity. I will speak. I will whisper to your soul. It is time for you to hear Me clearly each day. The assignments I give to you will be pleasant and rewarding. The task I set before you each day will bring sweetness to your soul. Others will begin to take note, that you have been with Me.

 In the evening hours come to Me and I will whisper My living words into your spirit. I will make your night season a time of encounter as My Spirit comes to bring you Heaven’s grace and the dew of My presence. Listen carefully, as a lover listens to every word of the Beloved—listen to Me and you will hear My voice. I will touch your ears and open them as one who is being taught. You will learn My ways as you listen to My voice.

 I love to speak with you, to talk to you and share My heart with you. I have many who say they follow Me but never still their souls to listen to My voice. I am a Shepherd who goes before My sheep calling them by name, caring for them in love, and leading them into My ways. You will find that I have ears for your voice, I listen to you as you speak with Me, now come and listen to My whisper each day and know that I am your God.”

 

References: 

http://biblehub.com/1_corinthians/12-31.htm

http://biblehub.com/1_corinthians/14-1.htm

2015 Ring In The New Year!!

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11-13-14 Gift Wrapping with RLC 107

Ring in the New Year!

A Word to me from the Lord for 2015…

#1 in my Sermon Series, called:  “Make Me More Like You, Jesus!”

This is what the Lord told me:

“Don’t say “ALL” when speaking of God’s children…Don’t lump them all together like herding cattle…I don’t do that!  I love each and every one of them with a great Love!  I made them all different, with unique talents and gifts!  I’ve even numbered every hair on their heads (Luke 12:7)…I know everything about them…I know their past and their future!  My Father sent Me to give My life for everyone in the world…so NONE would perish!!  NONE!  Everlasting Life!  I’m seeking, and I will find, each individual soul who believes in Me (John 3:16)!  With an Everlasting LOVE!!  (Jeremiah 31:3)

Don’t put your labels on them, any longer!!!  No longer say, “ALL Men, ALL Women, ALL Kids, ALL Teens, ALL Young People, etc.’  No longer say, ‘ALL Married People, ALL Single People, ALL Elderly People, etc.’  No longer say, ‘ALL Working People, ALL Retired People, etc.’  No longer say, ‘ALL Whites, ALL Blacks, ALL Hispanics, ALL Gays, ALL Straight, etc.’  No longer say, “ALL Americans, ALL Asians, ALL Europeans, ALL Indians, etc.’  No longer say, ‘ALL Christians, ALL Jews, ALL Muslims, ALL Atheists, ALL Religions, ALL Congregations, ALL Churches, ALL Synagogues, ALL Mosques, etc.’  No longer say, ALL Working People, ALL Homeless People, etc.’  No longer say, ‘ALL Police Officers, ALL Teachers, ALL Doctors, ALL Lawyers, ALL Clergy, ALL Politicians, etc.’

ALL!  ALL! ALL!  No longer!!

I see each person in this world created by The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as an individual soul…you MUST see them that way, too!!  They’re people…My children…children of the Almighty God…the Creator of ALL!!  My LOVE embraces them ALL!

Media!  No longer can the world think and lump everyone together just to make a news story sell!  Treat people as individuals!

As children of God, be responsible for yourself to do right and expect individuals to do the same…this is a call for children of God to be more like Christ!

Act accordingly!!”  Amen!