Monday, February 28, 2022

Gifts of the Holy Spirit Part 6

 

This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on February 27th 2022  by Colin D Cruz via zoom. For the audio & video please click here.  To listen to the worship please click here.

Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Part 6

We have explored and dived into spiritual gifts. If you are a born-again spirit filled believer, you have a gift. It is your responsibility to discover it, develop it and deploy it for the benefit of the church.

We have been doing the gifts assessment tests in the GYM. So find out what your gifts are.

There are 78 organs in the body. We don’t know all the organs, but we need all of them. There are 2 muscles that hold the retina together without which we will not be able to focus on the objects that are far away and near. We don’t know them, but we really need them.

We are going to look at 4 gifts

1.     Gift of Singleness / Celibacy – 1 Cor 7:7 “

1 Corinthians 7 “Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.”

Why does Paul want people to be single? Why is it a gift? He says if you are single, your focus is on pleasing God. But if you’re married your focus is on pleasing God and your spouse. In V. 28 he says “But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.” In fact he goes on to say in v. 40 “In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.”

When we are single we have the gift of singleness. All of us have this gift for some time. But some people have this gift for all time. Even married people when your spouse dies you will need the gift of singleness again. As a single person, you have more time to serve God that married people with children might not have. This gift should not be made compulsory, it must be a choice.

2.     Gift of Hospitality - 1 Peter 4:9-10 “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Heb 13 also speaks about this gift of hospitality.

Over time the meanings of words change. Hospitality means to having your friends over, eating some good food etc. But hospitality is derived from 2 greek words – Xenos and Philos – means being friends with strangers. Rom 12:13 “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” It does not have to do with how much money you have. The poorest people are extremely hospitality. It is more a matter of the heart than the matter of the purse. Abraham and so many others in the Old Testament are hospitable.

It is a gift that needs to be cultivated in us. Some have the gift of hospitality, but all of us are called to do this. Hebrews 13:2 “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Relationships spanning continents and decades were built through this simple act of hospitality.

3.     Gift of martyrdom and gift of suffering for the gospel - 1 Corinthians 13:3 “If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast” Here Paul is referring to the practice at the time when Christians were burnt at the stake for believing in Jesus. Acts 7:59- 60 “While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.” This is not normal behavior, it is supernatural and spirit led.

Matt 5:11 -12 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” Romans 12:14 “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” You might think you do not have it, but the grace of God will come to empower you to respond in a Godly way. Paul himself talks about his life of persecution. 2 Corinthians 11:23 – 29 “Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.” Paul endured all this for the sake of the gospel.

4.     Gift of voluntary poverty: 1 Corinthians 13:3 “If I give all I possess to the poor”. These are people who are saying I have no worldly possessions. In 2 Corinthians 8: 9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” Jesus could’ve been born in the kings family and be very rich, but he chose to be in a poor family.

It is not Godly to be poor. God want us to be blessed. But some people who choose to live poor for the sake of the kingdom. Hudson Taylor, the great missionary to China. He chose to live simply so that he can give what he has to the poor. We need to make sure we’re not just increasing our standard of living, but increasing our standard of giving.

So we’ve looked at 4 unique gifts – the gift of singleness, hospitality, martyrdom and voluntary poverty.

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Gifts of the Holy Spirit Part 5

 


T
his message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on February 20th 2022  by Manesh Peter via zoom. For the audio & video please click here.  To listen to the worship please click here.

Gifts of the Holy Spirit – Part 5

We are in a series on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and this is part 5 of the series. In the first three parts the characteristics of the gifts, the purpose of the gifts, the functioning of the gifts and the different classifications of the gifts were introduced. Last week Colin shared in detail one group of gifts named Administrative gifts. Today we look at another group of gifts called the power gifts.

1 Corinthians 12:7-10 NKJV - 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

So, the power gifts are gifts of faith, working of miracles and gifts of healings. These gifts are called power gifts because they visibly demonstrate the power of God. Power gifts do something visibly powerful.

1. Gift of faith.

Hebrews 11:1 NIV - Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 

Faith is the assurance of things we hope for even if we cannot see those things with our physical senses (Hebrews 11:1) and Hope means expectation. It is through faith that we were saved and this faith is a gift from God.

Ephesians 2:8 NIV - For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

Even after we are saved, it is by faith that we should be living this new life in Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV - For we live by faith, not by sight.

But the gift of faith is not the faith through which we were saved nor the gift by which we are to live.

The gift of faith is a supernatural God-given ability to believe God for something impossible, invisible, and incredible – a faith to move mountains. This gift is for a season and for a reason. The outcome of the gift of faith could be a breakthrough, a provision, a miracle, or healing.

In Acts 3, God miraculously heals a man lame from birth through Peter.

In Acts 3:6, Peter asks the man to walk in Jesus' name. Immediately after this in Acts 3:7, Peter takes the man by his right hand and lifts him up in  faith.

Later on, in Acts 3:16, Peter explains how this miraculous healing happened.

Act 3:16 NIV - By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.

Peter is saying that this healing happened through the faith that Jesus gave him. So, God gave Peter gift of faith to heal this man.

George Muller a Christian Evangelist who lived in England in the 1800s was known for caring for 10,000 orphans during his lifetime. He did not have abundant resources to run the orphanage. But God supernaturally provided for the needs just in time. On one occasion, there was no food in the Orphanage. But the children of the orphanage were made to sit at the dining table and asked to give thanks for the breakfast. As they finished praying, a baker knocked on the door with sufficient fresh bread to feed everyone. At the same time, the cart of a milkman broke down in front of the orphanage. As the milk would get spoiled, the milkman gave the milk to the orphanage. So, God gave a supernatural faith to George to believe for the unseen breakfast and through this gift of faith God provided food for the orphans supernaturally. Here gift of faith resulted in blessing children in the orphanage with food.

Pray that God would provide a gift of faith when we need such miraculous breakthroughs.

2. Gift of miracles.

A miracle is a supernatural intervention of God’s power in the ordinary course of nature. Jesus did many miracles throughout his ministry like turning water into wine, feeding a multitude with few loaves of bread and fish, walking on the water,

Gift of miracles is the supernatural God given ability that makes a person channel for God to perform miracles. God does miracles through people with this gift.

Jesus called driving out demons a miracle. - Mark 9:38-39 NIV - 38“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” 39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me,

God did extraordinary miracles through Paul. - Acts 19:11-12 NIV - 11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

Miracles can bring people to Christ. - In Acts 9:36-41, Peter raised a dead woman. This miracle resulted in the salvation of many people.

Acts 9:42 NIV - This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.

Smith Wigglesworth was a British Evangelist during the early 1900s. Those who have documented his life reports at least 14 people were raised from dead through him including his wife. He also healed people through the distribution of prayer handkerchiefs. The handkerchief was sent to even King George V. These are not normal healings. These are miraculous healing like Paul’s in Acts 19:11-12.

Pray that God will perform many miracles in our midst which would result in salvation of many.

3. Gifts of healings.

 Healing is restoring a person with an infirmity to health. All believers are called to pray for the healing of the sick.

Mark 16:17-18 NIV - 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

John 14:12 NIV - 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

The gift of healing is a supernatural God-given ability that enables a person to minister healing to the sick with more success. When a person with gifts of healing prays for the sick, healings happen more often.

1 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV -  to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gift of healings by the same Spirit,

Both the words ‘gifts’ and ‘healings’ used in this verse are plural in the original language of Greek. It is difficult to interpret why they are plural. Some commentators say some people are gifted to heal some particular disease and others for some other diseases. But there is no scriptural backing for this interpretation. I believe the reason for this is that there are different ways of healing people.

Some of the ways mentioned in the bible are: -

 

1. By speaking word - Acts 9:32-35 NIV - Peter spoke to the paralyzed man and he got healed. The result of this healing was all in the region turned to the Lord.

 

2. By laying of hands - Acts 28:7-9 - Paul placed his hands on a sick person and healed him.

 

3. By anointing with oilJames 5:14 NIV, the elders of the church were asked to pray over the sick an anoint them with oil

Healings can be instantaneous like the leper in Matthew 8:3 or it can be gradual like the ten lepers in Luke 17:14.

How can we operate in these gifts more effectively? Why don’t we see these gifts much in our midst?


1. Be connected to the source - We should be connected to the power source to operate in the power gifts. We should be continually filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)

 

2. Walk in humility - Power gifts do something visibly powerful. So we can get easily puffed up when we start operating in these gifts. Bible says God resists the proud (James 4:6)

Remember, Gifts are manifestations of the Holy Spirit and not manifestations of you and I (1 Corinthians 12:7). Always remember that you are not the healer when healings happen.


3. Operate in love - Matthew 14:14 says Jesus moved with compassion when he saw the multitude and healed their sick. We should love the sick and the troubled and we should have compassion for them when we pray for them. We should not be concerned about ourselves. We should be more concerned about others.

 

4. Develop your gift - We should fan into flame our gifts (2 Timothy 1:6). We should study about the gifts we have. We should have a deep understanding about the truths related to our gifts.


      All successful healing ministries have one thing in common – All believe that healing is always God’s will in the new covenant. If we believe healing is God’s will in some cases and healing is not God’s will in some other cases, then we will always pray in doubt and James 1:7 says that if we doubt, we should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 


      Now, one might ask ‘What about Trophimus? - the man Paul left in Miletus as he was sick (2 Timothy 4:20)?’ Why was he not healed? I don’t know. Bible doesn’t say why he was not healed. But saying that it was God’s will to keep him sick is not an accurate interpretation. There could be other reasons why he did not receive healing. Sometimes people get healed. Sometimes people do not get healed. But saying it was God’s will that the person remains sick is an easy excuse.


     Even Jesus was not able to do any miracles in Nazareth. He attributed that to their unbelief. (Mark 6:5-6)

 Matthew 8:16-17 NIV - Jesus bore our diseases so that we need not bear it.

     Peter 2:24 NIV - who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed

Notice the word ‘were’. Jesus took the stripes for our healing 2000 years back. He does not need to get fresh stripes when we need healing. Remember these truths when we pray for the sick. One might say my experiences are different from what you are sharing. My answer to you is this ‘Never use your experiences to define Bible. Instead, use Bible to refine your experiences.’

 

5. Step out in faith - We should be sensitive to Holy Spirit and step out in faith when the need comes. Fear of failure should not stop us from helping the affected. Two things can happen when you pray for the sick?  - The person will continue to be sick or the person might get healed. If the person is healed, you have rescued a person from suffering. But if you do not step out and pray for the sick, you have denied that person the chance to be healed.

Conclusion

Let’s be people who have a genuine concern for those suffering. Remember - The gifts of the Holy Spirit are for blessing others. I would like to end this message with an amazing quote I read recently. It said, ‘if you can be more concerned about the people you minister than you are about yourselves and about what others think about you, then God can use you powerfully.’

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.  

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Gifts of the Holy Spirit Part 4


This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on February 13th 2022  by Colin D'Cruz via zoom. For the audio & video please click here.  To listen to the worship please click here.

 Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Part 4

When you come to Jesus Christ what happens is that your sins are forgiven. We are in fellowship with Jesus, in fellowship with His people. And we are seeking His will seeking His word and say, Lord. What do you want me to do today? How can I serve you? How can I please you? And that is what salvation is all about. And when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are immersed in the Holy Spirit, which adds a new dimension to our Christian lives. Previously we were powerless and weak. But with the Holy Spirit, as Jesus said, you will receive power. And this power comes in the form of many different gifts. Remember the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon disciples and they were all filled with the spirit. They spoke in tongues, they prophesied, they praised God. This morning, I'm going to do one section of them.  I'd like to just share a few things to remind us about the gifts of the Spirit.


1)These gifts are given for a purpose

1Corinthians 12:7 -Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 

All these verses on the gifts are found in 1st Corinthians, chapter 12 and Romans chapter 12 primarily. The purpose of the gifts is to advance God's kingdom to bless the body, it's not for me to show off. 

2) The source of the gifts is the holy spirit.

 1Corinthians 12:11-  All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

 We don't deserve the gifts. They are Grace gifts that are given to us. It's the Holy Spirit who gives us gifts just as he determines. We've got to recognize them. 

3) These gifts are diverse. They are very different from one another.

1 Corinthians, 12: 14-Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

Paul is showing us here that just as our human bodies are made up of many parts, So also Christ's spiritual body. The church is made up of many, diverse parts. 

We need to value one another's diversity and differences.

4)There is a divine order.

1 Corinthians 12:18 -But in fact, God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 

God has arranged every one of them just as he wanted them to. God has placed you here for a purpose.

5) Eagerly desire the greater gifts.

1 Corinthians 12:31-Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.

 

There are some gifts given to us and we can desire other gifts as well, but we can't demand them. It's up to the Holy Spirit to give them to us. So, whatever gift, God has given you, your responsibility is to discover that gift. Not just to discover it, but to value the gift and then develop it. 

 

How can I take that gift to a higher level? What can I do to grow that gift? We have to be faithful to that. Because our faithfulness will be rewarded. And when we use them, there's a supernatural Grace and blessing upon it to dispense. We are all called to operate in these gifts. If your gift is Prophecy, you are encouraged to seek God and prophesy. You may not have the gift of healing, but you are encouraged to pray for healing for people. We're all called to give and we're all called to serve.

So today we will look at the administrative gifts. Now there are many classifications of gifts, some people categorize them into two-three classifications some into two some into five. We've got five or six different classifications.

 

 So, we're looking this morning at the administrative gifts. The first administrative, gift, I picked up is the gift of service.

 

1)Gift of service

Romans chapter 12: 6,7-We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach

   

We have different gifts according to the grace given us. So this gift is a gift of Grace. You don't deserve it. I don't deserve it. God in his goodness is giving you a gift.

 1 Peter 4:10-Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 

 

The Greek word for service is DIKONIA which means deacons or one that serves at the table or it's the word ministry as well. 

 

The little gift that comes along with serving is the gift of helps.

 

1 Corinthians 12:28-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.

 Romans12:6,7-We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] 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,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Some people have a more public Ministry, for example, preaching, or worship and standing up in front of a crowd and doing all that. But for many, the ministry and the calling is not so much a public thing, but for behind the scenes, Now, which is important? Both are important. And we see this clearly in Acts chapter 6. 

 

This is God's plan that he gives different gifts to you. We don't choose which gift we get. God gives it to us and what we are responsible for is to be faithful with it.

You may think serving on tables,  serving the Biryani, washing the dishes-that sounds like a menial task. But even for this task that the world would consider menial, God has qualifications- men full of the spirit, full of wisdom, full of faith, full of the Holy Spirit. Even that waiting on the table required the Holy Spirit. And the result of this was the word of God spread and the number of disciples in Jerusalem, increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. 

 

So don't sit on your gift. But you gotta say: Lord, how can I use my gift? And the second thing to remember is that this gift that needs to be used, needs to be used in conjunction with the local church. There are no solo gifted people here that you know, your hand may be very talented. But if it's not connected to the body, it's useless. I want to exhort each one of you to find out what your gift is and use it. 

 

Revelation.2:19

I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.

What I like to say is even the service that we do, even a cup of cold water to somebody is, does not go unnoticed by God. These gifts of serving and helps -enables us to serve others, and especially serve those whose ministries and gifts are more public. People with these gifts are not seeking recognition of their position in the spotlight. They just want to help out and they are content serving in the back knowing that their contribution will bless the church. 

2)Gift of teaching.

This gift is found in Romans 12, where Paul says, in verse 7.

If it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 

 1 Corinthians, 12 : 28-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.

Ephesians 4: 11-So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers

 Teachers are the people who are able to instruct others from the Bible in a logical and systematic way. They can communicate pertinent information for true understanding and growth. This gift is a very important gift and it carries a heavy responsibility. The church. In fact, in James chapter 3 verse 1. If you have a gift of teaching.-you have a deep desire for God's word. You love to read the word and you have the ability to communicate it with people. . 

We're all called to teach and admonish one another. The same gift there are different spheres that of operation. Some people are called to preach before thousands and teach before thousands. Others may be called to teach and preach in a smaller setting. 

 

 3) Gift of administration:

  We see that in First Corinthians 12:28

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.

This word Administration comes from a Greek word that refers to steering or guiding. It refers to a captain of a ship. And the idea is to guide or direct a group of people towards a goal.  With this gift, the Holy Spirit enables- a chance to organize, direct and implement plans to lead others in the various ministries of the church. This kind of person loves tasks. They have a to-do list. They can write that down, they can plan, they can prioritize and they like to do it. 

4) Gift of leadership:

 This is found in Romans 12;8.

if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

 This gift of leadership is closely connected to the gift of administration, and also the gift of the pastoring or the shepherding. This word leadership means - to assist, to protect, to care for others. The difference between the gift of administration and the gift of leadership is the gift of administration is mainly focused on doing tasks, doing things. Well, a gift of leadership, is more focused on people. So it's building people up, helping people move along. etc 

The holy spirit gives a spiritual gift of leadership to some people in the church to care for God's people and lead them into a deeper relationship with Christ and with each other. It's helping people grow in your spiritual walk with Jesus and the way they lead could be through teaching and preaching but with a deep concern for the well-being of others. Often people with the gift of leadership are more Visionary. They can see the big picture. But they are less concerned with the details. They often need the help of good administrators and people with the gift of service and help to take that vision and make it happen.

1, Timothy chapter 3 :4 ,5- He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 

So in the church, the leadership gift is there, but we start by Leading our own family.

 

5)The Gift of giving or generosity. 

Romans 12:8

if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

The holy spirit gives this gift to summon the church to meet the various needs of the church and its ministries and missionaries. These are great gifts and you want to use what he has blessed you to be a blessing in the Kingdom. Typically, we look for people who are in need and will be generous. But they'll go out of the way and lookout for ways to seek out others and help others. And sometimes what this involves is cutting down their lifestyle, adjusting their lifestyles, in order to be able to give more to spread the gospel, to care for the needy.

 So I would encourage you this morning. God does not want us to increase our standard of living but our standard of giving.  

 

6)The gift of encouraging 

Romans 12 :8

if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

 

The Greek word for encourager is a similar word to the Holy Spirit, the Parakleet. So you're coming alongside someone with words of encouragement, comfort, consolation council and to help them be strong in God and help them be all God wants to be. This is a spiritual gift of exhortation. What we're doing is helping people who may be depressed, o down or going through a difficult situation. 

 

7) Gift of Mercy. 

Romans 12:8

if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

 

What is it mean to be merciful? It means that we are sensitive towards those who are suffering, whether physically, mentally, emotionally. They feel genuine sympathy with your misery and they can speak words of compassion and they can care for them with deeds of love to alleviate the stress. Now all Christians are called to be merciful. But there are some people who have this Supernatural Gift of Mercy that just enables them to be with people who are suffering and to communicate the love of God and the grace of God. 

 Romans 12:15- Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 

Galatians 6:2 - Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfil the law of Christ.

 Another part of being merciful is they're good listeners. It is just able to sit down and listen to people as they unburden themselves. 

 

 We've looked at all these different gifts. Ephesians 2:10 says

For we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

God has called us to do good works means you can use your gifts and the name of Jesus would spread throughout this world and the needs of people would be met.

So, I want to encourage you this morning. Will you spend time with the Lord and ask the Lord, what is my gift? If you need some help, come and speak to one of your leaders.  And we will be happy to guide you and help you with that. 


Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.  

Monday, February 7, 2022

The Joy Of Giving


T
his message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on February 6th 2022  by Colin D'Cruz via zoom. For the audio & video please click here.  To listen to the worship please click here.

The Joy Of Giving

God has been speaking this morning about breakthroughs in life. Today we will look at an OT account of a lady who was looking for a breakthrough. 1 Cor 10:11 tells us how we are to relate with the Old Testament - “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come” So we are supposed to learn from these OT stories

1 Kings 17

Elijah came to a town called Zarephath. In 1 Kings 17: 1- 6 we see that there is a famine in the land and Elijah is instructed to hide in the Kerith Ravine where he was supernaturally fed by Ravens. God can provide for us even in impossible situations.

Sometime later, the brook dried up and God told Elijah to go to Zarephath. God said, “ have directed a widow there to supply you with food.”. But as he arrived at Zarephath he saw the widow gathering sticks. It goes on to say “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.” This is what the widow responds ““As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”

This woman needed a breakthrough. God provided her with an opportunity to get hold of her breakthrough. Elijah was the doorway to her breakthrough. Elijah says in verse 13 onwards “Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’” God was saying to the widow that he was supernaturally going to provide for her until the famine came to an end. But she had to do something.

She was to first make a loaf of bread for Elijah. And she obeyed and the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah. This was the first miracle that she experienced. That was not the end of it.

Verse 17 onwards “Sometime later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. 18 She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”

Sometimes we could be doing everything right and things still go bad.

Verse 19-24 ““Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. 20 Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” 21 Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”

22 The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. 23 Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”

24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”

After this breakthrough the woman finally realises that Elijah was a man of God. If the woman had turned Elijah away, she and her son would have died. They received 2 massive miracles as a result of obedience.

We want to operate in faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God. We want to be biblical in everything we do.

The story of Cornelius:

Acts 10: 1- 4: “At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. 3 One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!” Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.”

The deeds and prayers of Cornelius came up to God as a memorial offering to God.

Because of the offering that all of you give, we are able to help widows, support 6 churches that are in need, be involved in the RB Training and support that work, supporting the widows of pastors who died. We have been used greatly to start this effort and inspired other churches to give over 12-13 lakhs of rupees. We’ve given medical assistance to those in need and used it for investing in our own development. We are also involved in working with the singles and trying to see godly marriages.

Think about what kind of a wedding would you like? There is the cake and wine wedding, then something that all of us are used to and then there is the Parsi wedding! Prepare yourself to give, like a Parsi wedding. 5 ways in which we should give:

1.      Give passionately – we can just give or we can give with love. John 3:16 God gave out of passionate love for us. Our giving should be accompanied by love. When we have love in our hearts, our giving is not measured.

2.      Give proportionately – the amount is not as important as the proportion. When we give, Jesus is watching and evaluating. Mark 12:41 – 44 “Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. 43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”” Jesus was not impressed with the rich people throwing in bundles of money. The poor widow who gave out of her poverty caught His attention.

3.      Give Generously – When God touches our hearts, we can’t help but overflow with generosity. Mary poured out a perfume worth one year's wages on Jesus. When Zacchaeus was saved he gave away half his possessions to the poor.

4.      Give Sacrificially – there was a plague and people were being killed. Araunah told David to take his things and sacrifice them to God, but David says, he will not sacrifice something that costs him nothing.

5.      Give in Faith – God is going to give back much more. We acknowledge that everything we have comes from God. The Father wants to build us up in the grace of giving. God honours giving because of the principle that operates – Give and you shall be given, we sow and we reap.

1 Timothy 6:18-19Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. ” Jesus is not against storing up treasure but to store up our treasure in heaven.

God has blessed us abundantly and we are called to honour him with our wealth. Jesus said in Matthew 6:24No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” We cannot serve both God and money. We give as an act of faith.

 

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.