Thanks to everyone who responded to the survey! I was absolutely delighted with the feedback and it was the best responses yet! It was actually a great source of encouragement for me…
Last week I asked, “Which is Greater?”
(List in order of importance or priority, the five items…i.e. 1. Gifts, 2. Hope, 3. Respect, 4. Debating and 5. Servant):
1) Gifts or Character
2) Faith or Hope
3) Respect or Love
4) Silence or Debating
5) Humility or Servant
When it comes to Gifts or Character the overwhelming response was for Character. First, we need both!
However, when it comes to Gifts, God gives us ALL GIFTS and most of us have more than one. For various reasons, I know (we all know) many people who don’t use their gifts, don’t know their gifts, and on and on. Earlier this year, I lead a life group discussion on Divine Design by Chip Ingram. We took a deep dive into the subject and discovered our gifts and a ton more information. If you want to do an independent study on gifts, then I recommend you follow this one. The discussions are centered around the ULTIMATE MAKEOVER which is each one of us…think of it like that show Extreme Makeover…that’s just what God wants to do in each of our lives as we use our gifts to bless others.
Did you know – You’re a Masterpiece in the Making – Ephesians 2:10 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
He Gave spiritual gifts … Ephesians 4:7-16 –
By the ascended Christ, To every believer,
For the profit of others, Through the Holy Spirit sovereignly;
At the time of salvation, On the basis of grace,
To produce the life of Christ (the “Ultimate Makeover”)
In every believer.
Ten Principles to Understand Spiritual Gifts:
- Every Christian has one or more spiritual gifts.
- Many believers have received more than one spiritual gift.
- Spiritual gifts may be given at the moment of regeneration, but they may lie undiscovered and dormant for a long period of time.
- Spiritual gifts can be abused and neglected, but if they are received at regeneration,
it would appear that they cannot be lost.
- Spiritual gifts are not the same as the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- Spiritual gifts are not the same as the fruit of the Spirit.
- Spiritual gifts are not the same as natural talents.
- Some spiritual gifts are more useful in local churches than others because they result in greater edification of the body.
- Charismata literally means “grace gifts.” These gifts are sovereignly and undeservedly given by the Holy Spirit.
- Gifts are God’s spiritual equipment for effective service and edification of the body.
The truth of the matter, however, is we must have CHARACTER in order to operate the God wants us to in the kingdom with our gifts. Look at Christ’s character for the ultimate example!
I have encountered many people with loads of gifts but they were not effectively being used because some of these people lacked character. What do I mean by that you ask? I know a person, for example, who has a beautiful voice. But she’s so mean and unpleasant I cannot listen to her sing or how about the person who has a lot of money but they belittle other people that I would not spend time talking to them if they paid me. Or how about that guy who is fine on the outside but loaded down with anger, mean spirited and bad mouths people so awful you stay away from him. I believe you see where I’m going with this one…so let’s spend time working on our character.
Character is developed through meaningful experience and intentional instruction. Daily studying the word, prayer, and an atmosphere of grace build Godly character. AND, its a continuous, life long process. It means forgiving others when they don’t deserve it because you remember its God’s grace that blesses you and YOU don’t deserve his grace. It means not talking about others when they have clearly hurt you. It means doing unto others as they HAVE NOT done unto you when they deliberately attack you, say vile things about your character, emotionally hurt you, berate you or take advantage of you and you still smile and don’t spit in their drink!
With this type of character you are just the right person God can use to get glory!
I Trust You – James Fortune
WISDOM, COURAGE, JUSTICE and SELF-CONTROL -Let us ask God to help us To have them in our lives.
O God, help me to have in my life the virtues of wisdom, courage, justice and self-control, four of the greatest virtues. Give me wisdom always to know What I ought to to do; What I ought to say; Where I ought to go; Give me courage, To do the right thing when it is difficult; If need be, to be laughed at for my faith; Never to be ashamed to show my loyalty to you.
Give me justice, Always to be fair in thought, word and action; Always to think of the rights of others As much as of my own; Never to be content when anyone is being Unjustly treated; Give me self-control,
Always to have my impulses, passions And emotions under perfect control; Never to be swept into doing things For which I would be sorry; Never to do anything which would hurt others, Grieve those who love me, Or bring shame to myself.
Hear this my prayer for your love’s sake, Amen. “Prayerbook”
Love, Joy and Peace,
Debra J. Ellis
Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters (and some brothers) in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us, for various reasons, participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the blog continues to grow!
The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord, both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.” Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (email@example.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog in Word Press: https://fastwednesdays.wordpress.com/