Making A Difference in the Lives of Others

 

Each of us were meant to make a difference in the lives of others. This includes the people with whom we interact with on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. You see God meant for each of us to live a life of divine purpose. Our greatest purpose in life is to share in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. His ministry (lived through us) is not just for those who have a church position, a seminary degree or a license to preach. Ministry is for all of us. It is about fulfilling the specific mission God decreed over our lives even before we drew our first breath.

 

Psalm 139:13-16 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

 

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I believe that David’s declaration about “the days written about us” specifically includes us making a difference in the lives of others. What will the Lord be interested in when we stand before Him? Will He be concerned with how many degrees we obtained? Or, how much money we made? Or, how many businesses we ran? I think not!

 

When our works are thrust into the fire of His Presence, all that will endure is what we accomplished for Him! To accomplish His will for our lives, we must grasp the importance of His manifested Presence ministering from and through our lives! It is the overflow from His glory that ministers best to those around us. His Presence flowing from us enables others to be touched, healed and changed!

 

It is important that each of us learn and embrace these five statements concerning our purpose in life.

1. We all have been given a purpose and destiny that includes making a difference in the lives of others.

2. We are most fulfilled when we are fulfilling our purpose and moving toward our destiny.

3. Not everyone uncovers or realizes their God-given purpose. We must be diligent (this is the reward of those who diligently seek the Lord) in our process and progress.

4. Our purpose will be revealed as we embrace and enjoy God’s personal design for our lives. Our purpose is not found in the opinions of others (no matter how well intentioned).

5. We will be held accountable concerning our obedience to the purpose to which God has called us.

 

Remember: The gifts and callings of God are irrevocable (Romans 11:29).

 

His Hand-extended

 

 

In the Bible we see at least four different ways God revealed a person’s purpose in life.  This purpose is usually realized as:

 

1. A DIVINE LIGHTNING BOLT OUT OF NOWHERE.  Example: the Apostle Paul. God revealed his purpose and destiny in a moment of time on the Damascus Road. It came by a supernatural event and was instantly clear. Paul remembered this moment the rest of his life.

 

2. WE WALK THROUGH THE DOORS THAT ARE OPEN BEFORE US. (Example: Queen Esther). God revealed her purpose and destiny by ordering her steps. the Lord began by opening the door for Esther to become Queen. He then took something bad (Haman’s plan to destroy the Jews) and turned it into something wonderful. Esther learned her purpose by moving ahead step by step. Greater understanding was given to her as she embraced each new opportunity.

 

3. THE DIVINE CALL TO MINISTRY FROM BIRTH: (Example: Jeremiah). God revealed early in Jeremiah’s life his purpose, call, ministry and destiny. Jeremiah 1:4-7 says, “The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” “Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.” Jeremiah was moved toward his destiny even from before his birth (as was John the Baptist) and his ministry was set in motion in a divine manner.

 

4. GROWING AWARENESS: (Example: Joseph). God reveals purpose and destiny for many people in a general sense. As we move toward our purpose in life, He provides the details. The idea of such comes from the Greek word: kaleo. The word is used chiefly in the writings of the Apostle Paul (though the idea and term are found also elsewhere). George Henry writes that Paul realized “the invitation given to men by God to accept salvation in His kingdom through Jesus Christ. This invitation is given generally and outwardly by the preaching of the gospel, inwardly by the work of the Holy Spirit. With reference to Israel, it is on the part of God irrevocable, not repented of. Having in His eternal counsel called this people, He entrusted them with great gifts, and because He did thus enrich them, He also, in the course of time, summoned them to fulfill the task of initiating the world into the way of salvation, and of preparing salvation for the world.”

 

Paul also wrote that this “high calling” in Christ is made in and from heaven by God on account of Christ (Philippians 3:14). Similarly it is a heavenly calling (Hebrews 3:1) as well as a holy calling, holy in aim, means, and end (2 Timothy 1:9). Paul told the Ephesians that every Christian is to walk worthy of this calling (Ephesians 4:1) and to be encouraging others to live in such a way that God will count them worthy of their calling (2 Thessalonians 1:11).

 

I ask you to consider this…

 

ARE YOU MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF OTHERS?

IF NOT, WHEN WILL YOU BEGIN?

IF YOU ARE, ARE YOU ENCOURAGING OTHERS TO DO THE SAME?

 

I encourage you to do your best to make a difference in the lives of others–today and everyday!

 

I love you,

 

Robert

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The Gift of Serving Others

 

serving

A person with the motivational Gift of Serving Others has been given by the Holy Spirit the God given desire, ability and power to give practical assistance to the members of Christ’s body specifically and to all people generally. This type of practical assistance can be seen in the story found in Exodus 17:10-13 which says, “So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up– one on one side, one on the other– so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.”

 

 

 

Aaron and Hur both demonstrated the gift of service when they held up the hands of Moses. The story of their service calls us to take a deeper dive into their motivation. When we look at the word Paul used to describe this gift he used the Greek word diakonos.

 

 

 

The word diakonos directly speaks to someone who executes the commands of another. There are times, like in the Exodus 17 story, when the act of service is neither required, asked for or suggested. This motivational gift moves people to serve. Without thinking about it these wonderfully gifted people see themselves as being a servant, attendant, deacon or minister.

 

 

 

A person motivated by grace to serve others is determined to demonstrate the love and grace of God by meeting practical needs. Sadly, many of these people feel that they are lacking spiritually because of where their attention is drawn to. But the opposite is true. Jesus said that the best thing testimony we can share is revealed in serving others.

 

 

 

Many people who have the motivational gift of serving enjoy doing for others and seeing projects (that benefit others) all the way to the end. To such a person, serving others means serving God. These folks are the example of the statement of Dr. Billy Graham who said, “The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service.”

 

 

 

The Christian life is not limited to the vertical dimension of praise, prayer and interaction with the Holy Spirit. It’s not only about lifting your hands up toward heaven. The Christian life (and the Gift of Serving Others) must never stop stretching hands out for the purpose of lifting others up. Being a Christian is not about knowing the words of the Bible but never following what it says. Those with the gift of service want all of us to be doers of the Word. In his book, The Purpose Driven Life, Pastor Rick Warren said this about the gift of serving. He said, “the last thing many believers need today is to go to another Bible study. They already know far more than they are putting into practice. What they need are serving experiences in which they can exercise their spiritual muscles.”

 

 

 

History tells us that in every age there comes a time when God’s people step forward to meet the needs of the hour. In such a moment, it is imperative that those with the Gift of Serving Others step forward from the crowd. Serving others gives everyone an opportunity to better mankind. The opportunity may be larger than your talents or abilities. It may stretch you beyond anything you have walked through before. Because even though the solution may appear as large as the world, the answer begins with one person serving and that person is you!

 

 

 

If you have the Gift of Serving Others I encourage you to try and make these wise words from The Leader of the Future by C. William Pollard yours. Pollard said, “A servant leader’s results will be measured beyond the workplace, and the story will be told in the changed lives of others. There is no scarcity of feet to wash. The towels and water are available. The limitation is our ability to get on our hands and knees and be prepared to do what we ask others to do.”

 

The Gifts of the Spirit: Prophecy

 

Gift of Prophecy

Over the coming weeks I am going to present to you (my readers) a study on the Gifts of the Spirit. We will begin the motivational gifts in Romans Chapter Twelve, followed by the Spirit Gifts in First Corinthians 12-14 and then complete the study with the Ministry Gifts listed by Paul in Ephesians Four.

Dr. Larry Gilbert teaches that the motivational gifts described in the twelfth chapter of Romans impact our relationship with the Lord, with other people, the local church, and the body of Christ as a whole. Because of this, it is important for us to identify, understand and develop the God- given motivational gifts that have been placed within our lives. Let’s examine the motivational gifts, how the Scripture defines them and what we can do to develop more understanding concerning these spiritual gifts.

 

Motivational Gifts usually surface as we begin to grow and mature in the Lord. Just as it takes time for a child to discover their natural talents, it takes time to identify and develop the motivational gifts that God has given to each of us. It is also important to note that there is a distinct difference between having natural talent and possessing a motivational gift. Let me give you a description of the two:

 

Natural Talents:

 

       ·        Their Source: From God through Parents

 

·        Come to Be in Our Possession: In Our DNA Transmitted in Conception

 

·        Their God Given Purpose: To Benefit Others and Ourselves

 

·        Their Development Process: Generally Externally Recognized First then Studied, Practiced, Exercised and Perfected.

 

·        Their Function in a Christ-follower’s Life: Dedicated to God for His Glory

 

 Motivational Gifts (listed in Romans 12):

 

       ·        Their Source: From the Holy Spirit Independent of our Parents

 

·        Come to Be in Our Possession: By the Will of God and According to the Grace Given Us

 

·        Their God Given Purpose: To Bring Glory to God and to Add Value to the Body of Christ

 

·        Their Development Process: Internally Recognized, Developed and Exercised Externally

 

·        Their Function in a Christ-follower’s Life: To Be a Blessing to the Lord and Others

 

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Romans 12:4-8

 

The motivational gifts that are mentioned here are from the Greek word charisma. The “gifts of charisma” is best translated as “grace or gifts of grace.” These gifts possess, denote and demonstrate extraordinary powers when correctly developed and manifested. These graces distinguish certain Christians from others and enable them to serve the body of Christ in a better or dynamic way; the reception of which is due to the power of divine grace.1

 

These motivational gifts serve to reveal the desire that our Heavenly Father has to see people blessed and for all people to become a blessing to others. These gifts are generally practical in nature and for the purpose of encouraging, comforting, and serving the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

The gifts listed in Romans 12 describe the “by grace” motivations placed in the Christian believer by the grace of God. These gifts grow and develop as we continue “to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is a beliver’s reasonable service. They are best exercised when we are not conformed to this world: but when we are being transformed by the renewing of our mind” (Romans 12:1-2). These gifts are a practical expression of the grace of God under which the church stands, making the whole life of the church, not just the ministry of the church, “by grace.”

 

Most of us have a “gift-mix.” What does that mean? It means that each of us have been given a primary gift, generally speaking. This gift has a tendency to flow in our lives so naturally that we feel energized as the gift operates. The secondary gifts are generally more demanding or draining when they are in use. The people who excel in a certain gifting can rarely tell others how they use the gift or “how it works.” The things we desire to accomplish for the Lord as well as the things that reveal our deepest passion gives us a clue to our gift-mix. Let’s examine these marvelous grace gifts by beginning with the Gift of Prophecy.

 

The Gift of Prophecy or Preaching

A person with the motivational gift of prophecy has the ability to utter forth the mind and the will of God. These utterances are seldom direct messages from the voice of the Holy Spirit. These gifts tend to encourage application of the Word of God. Such prophecy is inspired. It gives information, instruction and illumination. When exercised and released by faith the motivational gift of prophecy empowers faith in people so they can accomplish the plans and the purposes of God.

 

When the gift of prophecy is in action, the person manifesting the gift will retain reason and consciousness, making the person responsible for rendering the revelation, illumination or instruction to others. In a general sense; most Christian leaders identify this gift as preaching.

 

Therefore, the believers who manifest prophecy generally have a strong sense of right and wrong. They feel compelled to “speak up.” This is especially true when he or she is speaking out against compromise and evil.

The Apostle Peter appears to have manifested this gift of prophecy. We see it manifesting several times in the book of Acts. The gift empowered Peter to play a significant role in the early church as its spokesman. Peter is the one who stepped up to address the crowd on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. In that address Peter instructed and encouraged men and women to believe in Christ, repent, and live according to the truth of God’s Word. Then Peter said unto them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation” (Acts 2:38-40).

 

Like Peter, believers who have the motivational gift of prophecy must accept the responsibility of the message they preach and declare. It is unacceptable to “place blame” on God or anyone else when or if the audience to which the gift is being exercised refuse to receive it.

The motivational Gift of Prophecy is quite different than the Spiritual Gift listed in First Corinthians or that of the Prophet, which is listed in Ephesians 4. The motivational gift is a gift that enables the arrangement of information as well as the transmission of it. The information of which I speak can be taken from: the Scriptures, commentaries, Bible dictionaries, etc. It also may come directly as inspiration from the Holy Spirit. People who have this gift generally love to study and share what they learn. The messages that they present tend to overlap the message of the Encourager (Gift of Exhortation) and the Teacher (Gift of Teaching).

Most people would call the execution of this gift a “sermon or message.” People who function in this gift do not see themselves speaking “for God.” They see themselves speaking “from God” or “from God’s Word.” Their message can provide information, instruction, inspiration and correction. 

Next week we will be discussing the Gift of Service.

God bless you.

Robert.

 

 

Activating God’s Resources

“The Dead Sea is the dead sea because it continually receives and never gives.” — Anonymous

Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:19-21 NIV Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

In contrast to what many teach and believe, Jesus never discouraged His followers from believing for financial prosperity or being blessed in other ways. He simply taught the importance of establishing correct priorities. For us to keep our perspective straight, the heavenly must come before and above the earthly.  Such living links our hearts to the true treasures of life and assists us in keeping our hearts in the right place.

How can we tell if our hearts are in the wrong place? Here are six clues.

  • We love things so much that our chief resolve is to get rich.
  • We envy our neighbors and covet what they have.
  • We are discontented when we consider our own lot.
  • We cling selfishly to what we call our own.
  • We put our trust in, and base our security on, our material possessions.
  • We betray conscience, destroy integrity, and compromise morals to gain more.

Jesus taught His disciples the secret of activating heaven’s resources and the steps they needed to take to become a blessing to those in need.

What is the secret to the activation of God’s resources? Simple, God loves a cheerful giver.

What is His promise to cheerful givers? God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” (Psalm 112:9) Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. (see 2 Corinthians 9:7-12)

I encourage you to start with this prayer.

“Thank You Lord for giving me the resources to give to You and to others. I am a CHEERFUL giver who loves to give because You have given to me more than I can imagine. You have given me light, life and love. Please receive my thanksgiving, praise, worship, tithe and offering this week. Bless it and multiply it so that the needs will be met and Your glorious gospel will be sent from here throughout all the earth, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

If you would like to give to our missionary ministries in the Caribbean or East Africa, you can give by texting the word “Give” to (512) 456-3421.

We have chosen to use a new Smart Giving Application called Kindrid. Kindrid Smart Giving is a new approach to giving and is a new system which makes giving more personal and easier than ever before.

Kindrid is a new entity created through the partnership of Life.Church and OneHope. Both of these  organizations care deeply about equipping the local church and para-church ministries, like ours.

Have a blessed weekend.

Robert

 

What Happens When the Holy Spirit Comes Upon You?

Last week I shared the truth about Holy Spirit living within every believer and desiring to REST UPON EVERY BELIEVER.  When the Spirit comes upon us, He Empowers Us for Ministry. Ministry means to give service either from, to or within the faith community through:

  • Speech (ministry of the Word)
  • Discipleship (mentoring of the people)
  • Giftedness (maximizing gift, talents and abilities)
  • Charity and Serving (such as feeding the poor)
  • The Demonstration of and Display of God

This week I want to talk about how the Holy Spirit Enables and Ordains Ministry

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 1 Corinthians 2:6-7

However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”–but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10

Therefore, let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, Hebrews 6:1

After reading this verses, it is also important to note that “The Anointing Ordains and Dedicates People to The Ministry”

The high priest, the one among his brothers who has had the anointing oil poured on his head and who has been ordained to wear the priestly garments, must not uncover his head or tear his clothes. He must not enter a place where there is a dead body. He must not make himself unclean, even for his father or mother, nor leave the sanctuary of his God or desecrate it, because he has been dedicated by the anointing oil of his God. I am the LORD. Leviticus 21:10-12

The definition of the words ordain or ordination is: The act of arranging in regular order, especially the act of investing with ministerial or spiritual rank, the setting-apart for an office in the Christian ministry. Ordain is from the Latin word ordinare, which means “to set in order” or “to arrange”; in post-Augustan Latin “to appoint to office.”

Dedication is defined from the Hebrew word, cherem. Cherem is often used in Hebrew of the consecration of persons and speaks of, “a person or thing devoted to God.”

The concept of the anointing being transferred or imparted for the purpose of enabling ministry comes from stories about Samuel, Elijah, Peter, John and the Apostle Paul’s relationship with Timothy and others. God sometimes uses a ministry father or fathers to bring His anointing for ministry to our lives.

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. Acts 13:2-3

For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 2 Timothy 1:6

Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money. Acts 8:17-18

The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power.  1 Samuel 16:1; 13 

Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 1 Kings 19:16 

In these examples and many more from the Scriptures:

  • The person who was anointed for ministry experienced a “quickening, moving, or form of excitement or brokenness.”
  • The level of ministry or maturity of the “greater” shared a “depth” or “strength” when there was a transference of anointing to the “lesser.”
  • The transference was accomplished in several different ways, including, prophetic words, the laying on of hands, the anointing with oil, the casting of cloth, fasting and prayer, and usually with specific supernatural prophetic direction given to describe future ministry.

When the Anointing (the Holy Spirit) comes UPON us for ministry, there is an experiential component to the experience. This is different than the Holy Spirit coming to live in our heart or spirit. In His coming UPON us, both the soul and flesh are moved, excited, thrilled, broken, etc.

Would you email me today and share what you have experienced, when the Anointing (Holy Spirit) comes UPON YOU? You can email me at: info@altarofhispresence.com

Thanks,

Robert