Wednesday March 29th: Using Your Gifts to Edify (Build Up) Christ

Today I read Judges 6-7, 1 Corinthians 14 and Psalm 52. It’s so hard to choose one verse to focus on, but today God really showed me exactly what He wanted me to learn today. 

Build Up
S: 1 Corinthians 14 (v 12) 1-25 NIV

 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. 2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. 4 Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.
6 Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction? 7 Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the pipe or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? 8 Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? 9 So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. 10 Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. 11 If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker is a foreigner to me. 12 So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.

(NLT words it “and the same is true for you. Since you are so eager to have the special abilities the Spirit gives, seek those that will strengthen the whole church. 

NKJV words it Even so you, since you are zealous {eager} for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification {building up} of the church that you seek to excel.)
13 For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. 16 Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer, say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are saying? 17 You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified.
18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.
20 Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. 21 In the Law it is written:
“With other tongues

    and through the lips of foreigners

I will speak to this people,

    but even then they will not listen to me,

says the Lord.”

22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and inquirers or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, 25 as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”

*NIV, NLT, and NKJV are abbreviations for translation of the Bible. Read more about the differences here

O:Observation 

 Paul is speaking to the new Christian church in Corinth and addressing the Spieitual Gifts. He specifically is addressing how to use individual spiritual gifts. 

A: Application 

Paul reminds me 2 important things. 1) Spiritual gifts are for building up the church of Christ 2) all spiritual gifts are individual and critical to the body of the church. 

P: Prayer 

Dear Heavenly Father, 

Thank you for spiritual gifts. Help us to discern where you have gifted us. Show us the opportunities to take action to use our gifts. Let us not compare spiritual gifts or become proud in our gifts we have been given by you. Let our gifts be used to build up others and glorify you. Let us praise you in everything we do. Let our spiritual gifts be a light to the unbelieving world to see that we have a hope and faith that is worth chasing. 

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen 

Pets Can Teach Us Too

This story from Luke reminds me of my stubborn dog Frankie who just stands by me until he gets what he wants….. just stands and stares or puts his face in my lap. What he wants can be a total mystery sometimes, but he will not stop until he gets whatever he wants. Usually he wants to go outside far too late and sleep on the deck, I certainly don’t want to let him outside, but because he’s pestering me I let him go sleep on the porch at 10pm for a while. 

So. Are we that persistent in presenting our needs? It might be a bit of a stretch, but it definitely reminds me of a story from the book of Luke. 
The Story of the Persistent Widow

Luke 18 1-3 (the message)

Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit. He said, “There was once a judge in some city who never gave God a thought and cared nothing for people. A widow in that city kept after him: ‘My rights are being violated. Protect me!’
4-5 “He never gave her the time of day. But after this went on and on he said to himself, ‘I care nothing what God thinks, even less what people think. But because this widow won’t quit badgering me, I’d better do something and see that she gets justice—otherwise I’m going to end up beaten black-and-blue by her pounding.’”
6-8 Then the Master said, “Do you hear what that judge, corrupt as he is, is saying? So what makes you think God won’t step in and work justice for his chosen people, who continue to cry out for help? Won’t he stick up for them? I assure you, he will. He will not drag his feet. But how much of that kind of persistent faith will the Son of Man find on the earth when he returns?”

March 24, 2017 • Acts 18:9-10

Do you ever feel like you’re constantly waiting for the Chaos to fade away? I think that’s just how life feels sometimes. The end of chaos or busy-ness is an illusion. Is the illusion of future organization or peace and calm from the enemy? I can’t way one way or the other, but if it makes us feel like procrastination is on our side because of it, then it very may well be. 

This morning my alarm went off early, I grabbed my coffee and started reading. I jumped into Joshua about 6 days after missing readings and tried to figure out the context. I’ll be re reading the chapters I missed, but I know the value is I’m actually craving to read those chapters! God is doing things in my heart. 

Today my other passage was from Acts (as I focus on reading the NT during Lent).

Acts 18:9-10

9 Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.”
Here, Paul is on yet another mission in a foreign land to spread the word of the gospel. God speaks to Paul in a vision. Wow! Do not be afraid. God seems to know exactly what Paul’s biggest opposition to progress may be: FEAR. So he visits him and speaks to him… specifically about this fear and to share that He has already gone ahead to plan for protection. 

How many times have we let fear prevent progress? How many times have we prevented God’s favor or blessing because we were too afraid to go where God had already provided for us? 

Lord, 

We know you have us in mind when planning everything. Help us to put our faith in action by trusting you. 

In Jesus’ name we pray, 

Amen 

Waiting Is hard!

What a beautiful story of loss, love and learning to wait on God! Trusting in Him can be difficult but boy is it blessed!

 

 

Wait on the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait on the Lord! Ps. 27:14 Who likes to wait? We wait in traffic, in line at the store and for guests to arrive for a dinner party. We wait for the coffee to get done brewing so we can have that perfect […]

via Patiently Waiting for my Husband — Joy in Jesus Journey

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers…. these are the books of the Bible!

How’s your reading coming along? Our focus is reading through the Bible and I’m entering the book of Joshua! Wow! Now, reading through the Bible hasn’t been perfect progress. It’s been day by day, a few missed here and there, reading and re reading and SOAP journaling my way through. 
Genesis

Exodus 

Leviticus 

Numbers 

Deuteronomy 

Joshua 
Plus a few NT chapters including Matthew, Mark, Luke, John & Acts.
I’ve found I am much better off when I get up very early and read rather than let the day slip away. Right now? I’m a little “behind”, however, I’m also focusing on reading the NT during the season of lent which is much biggest chunks. And a lot to absorb!
What matters is not perfection, it is our heart and desire to meet with God. Pray for God to help you and He will! 

This Overview of Joshua is pretty cool! 

It’s been a couple weeks of less posting and I look back and see the blessing of making sure I make some sacrifices to get a SOAP blog post every day, so pray that I will stay committed to that. 

I’m praying for you too! 
Lord, 

Thank you for your word. Thank you for constantly forgiving us and inviting us to sit at your feet. I praise you for you are a HOLY and mighty God. Let us live as we truly, whole heartedly believe that we are sons and daughters of the Almighty God, King of Heaven and Earth. I pray you draw our purpose out and lead us. Show us the way. Let us bring you glory. Let your words sink into our heart and flow through our actions. 

In Jesus’s mighty name I pray. 

Amen.

Being: Joyful

The world HATES joy! What do we have when we have Jesus: Joy! 

Philippians 4:4-9

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
Scriptures on JOY!

Being: The Light

The world has enough darkness. Be the light of Christ in a world begging for a light of peace, joy, love. 

Matthew 5:14-16

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Scripture on being the light

Bitterness Is Not Holy 🍋

Are you bitter? I would like to suggest that you have the ability be bitter and also be blind. Blinded to that unforgiveness, resentment, and contempt towards whoever you’re holding it against. 

So I ask again, do you have someone you need to forgive? Ask God to search your heart and show you who or what you may need to be forgiving today. It’s not a suggestion of God to forgive others, it is a command. With an awfully high price to pay, according to Jesus. 
Matthew 6:14-15

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

It’s not something the other person earns and it doesn’t make what they did okay. It means you are released from the captivity of resentment. 
It means you will also be forgiven by our Heavenly Father. How many times should we forgive? 
Matthew 18:21-22
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
And what if you can’t forgive? Ask God to help you. It is His will for us to forgive. 
1 John 5:14-15

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.


Dear Lord,

Search my heart. Reveal to me the bitterness I may be holding on to. Let me release that with your help. I acknowledge that forgiveness cannot and is not meant to be earned. Rather, it is by knowing the grace I have been given that I can pass this on in forgiveness to my fellow brothers and sisters. Despite that wrong that may have been done, I choose to fully forgive. That doesn’t mean what they did was okay. It means I release them in grace and cling to your promises. Thank you for forgiving me for my sins. I can only do this through the our strength, so help me Lord. 

In Jesus’ Name, 

Amen