Tag Archives: discernment

Partial and incomplete?


‘Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.’
1 Corinthians 13v12.

When I came across this photo a few weeks ago, it stopped me in my tracks. My first thought was ‘What is it? Next, ‘How did they get that effect?’ Studying the photo, I realised it was a building reflected in water and my mind rested allowing me to look at other things.

In the verse above, the Apostle Paul details how the things of God may at times seem ‘partial and incomplete.’ So much so that he likens them to  ‘puzzling reflections in a mirror.’ Not because they are unknowable but rather we may not yet have a full perspective on what we are seeing.

Jesus’ answer to questions about the things of this world is to engage with the Holy Spirit – God’s counsellor, comforter and advocate – who is given to each believer to ‘teach us all things and .. remind us of everything that Jesus has said.’   Today, if you are struggling with an issue or something you don’t understand in the Bible, why not invite God’s Holy Spirit to partner with you to bring peace and perspective on whatever situation you are facing.


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Two minutes that will revolutionise your spiritual life!

 

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.’  Ephesians 4v11-13

Although all of the spiritual gifts are at our disposal, God has designated one particular  gift to each of us that will be hugely effective in growing the Church. Conversely, while we don’t know the primary spiritual gift God has given us,we risk our full spiritual potential being left unrealised in our lives. All of which means we need to be proactive. To find out more get the app, eBook or print copy (UK Only). Then complete the spiritual gift test – discover your primary spiritual gift and get going on building God’s Kingdom!


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Which spiritual gift should I use – formational or primary?

‘For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters. Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or “I follow only Christ.”‘ 1 Corithians 1v11-12

The question of which type of spiritual gift we operate in is not too different to the dilemma faced by early Christians (see passage above) as to which leader they should follow. Now, just as they resolved the issue by pointing to God, we too can treat this question in the same way because Christ is both instigator and arbitor of both types of spiritual gift and the different outcomes they produce.

For example, a primary spiritual gift helps people discover their role in the church as server, preacher, teacher, apostle, encourager, evangelist, etc. Formational gifts – on the other hand also benefit the church but using them is much harder and requires a degree of sacrifice on our part to sustain the ministry – something that Christ uses to form us more into His Image as we serve in a deeper way doing something perhaps that may not be enjoyable or come easy to us.

So, what’s the answer? Well – and this will sound like a cop-out – the best answer I can give is that both types of spiritual gift are equally important because:

God uses primary spiritual gifts to build the church

but He also uses

formational gifts to help people become more like Christ in their life, love and actions.

So, the answer is we use both formational and primary gifts because it’s a ‘both/and’  – moreover, it’s a ‘WIN-WIN!’

 


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What spiritual ministry would God have you do?

‘For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.’ Ephesians 2v10.

Like many christians, I didn’t have a clue about spiritual gifts when I first started in church. From what I saw around me, no-one had a particular ministry – other than the minister – and the idea was to serve wherever the need was the greatest.

Now, while there’s a good case to be made for churches being full of servers who ‘help out’ when needed, that’s not what is being said in Ephesians where Paul writes: ‘God…created us anew…so we can do the good things he planned for  us long ago.’ You see, God’s Kingdom is more proactive than that! More intentional! It’s not just throwing our weight behind a good endeavour. It’s being part of God’s plan – knowing how we have been spiritually equipping and the passion He has given us – then taking the lead!

If you don’t know the primary spiritual gift God has given you, please do take the spiritual gift test using either the app or e-book. Get proactive! Discover your God-given passion and don’t just help out or stand on the sidelines – God waited a long time to equip you so respond and realise your spiritual potential  so  the body of Christ will be stronger by the end of today because of it!


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Three principles for understanding your spiritual gifts.

Today we examine three guiding principles for understanding our spiritual gifts and what to keep in mind:

1st principle:

‘What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift? 1 Corinathians 4v7.

Scripture is abundantly clear that it is God who equips us and not  any natural ability or aptitude on our part.

2nd principle:

‘So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.  If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well.  If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Romans 12v6-7

Each one of us has a particular spiritual gift that God expects us to develop and use.

3rd principle:

John testified about (Jesus) when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ John 1v15

Like John the Baptist who heralded Jesus, we need to take care that any acclamation that comes our way through using our primary spiritual gift is directed towards God and not us.

Dont forget to check out the website for more on spiritual gifts.


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