Service – “The Gift of Prophecy”

Last week we introduced the idea that the gifts we have been given for the edification of the church are considered motivational gifts because they inspire us to do something. That is, they are active, not passive in nature. The seven motivational gifts we shared last week have specific characteristics that are observed in a person with a certain gift. We will take a look at each one hoping that doing so helps us recognize the gift(s) we have and how they are to be used to further His kingdom and bring glory to Him. We will take them in order as presented in last week’s post and as listed again below.

  • Prophecy ***
  • Serving
  • Teaching
  • Exhortation
  • Giving
  • Leadership
  • Mercy 

This evening we will take a look at the gift of prophecy. Obviously, when we read or hear that word, we usually think of the prophets of old in the Bible and the ones that come to mind are men such as Daniel, Isaiah and Jeremiah. Certainly there were many more than those who were classified as prophets and many of us  have read and been taught what God accomplished through them since we were youngsters. Most of us believe there are no longer prophets in that sense but one who has the gift of prophecy today exhibits very similar characteristics to them. Now let’s get to the meat of the subject.

According to one of the articles I read during my research, the basic motivational drive a person has if they have the gift of prophecy is a strong desire to apply the Word of God to a situation so that sin is exposed and relationships are restored. They are considered the “trumpets” who sound the alarm in the face of sin and compromise. I believe this is a very good overall description of the gift so let’s take a look at the characteristics the person with this gift most likely exhibits.

  • They call attention to sin and wrong attitudes.
  • They are passionate about exposing sin, not for the purpose of punishing the sinner but so that truth can be revealed and fellowship with God restored. 
  • They have a God-given ability to sense when compromises are being made. They demand action be taken and something done about the situation. The action can be in many different ways.
  • They are always opposed to any solution that involves compromise. That is totally unacceptable to them.
  • They strongly feel it is a sin for them if they observe or discern sin and say nothing.
  • They often have the spiritual gift of discerning of spirits. The Holy Spirit gives them divine insights into true motives
  • They are usually outspoken, even brash and they tell it like it is
  • They tend to see issues as “black or white,” not “gray.”

Someone with the gift of prophecy has several strengths that should be considered. These include their confidence with their use of Scripture because they regard the Word of God as the only source of truth. They can easily discern hypocrisy because of their gift of discernment. They are usually more teachable than others, easily accepts absolutes and takes God at His Word. In addition they are not easily swayed by emotions and they have a deep capacity to trust God.

These same people have a few weaknesses that they need to be aware of and guard against. They are often “painfully truthful” which can result in harshness and/or insensitivity. They have little patience or sympathy with people who do not respond objectively. Because of their deep conviction to truth they can be become prideful or intolerant.

As we have seen, this gift is very unique and only certain individuals possess it. As we stated before it is exercised to expose sin by revealing truth from God’s Word and results in restored relationships. This is serving others in the truth sense of the word because our relationship with God must be right in order for us to be the kind of Christian He wants us to be. If you have this gift, use it to serve others and thus bring glory to God!

I hope you all have a blessed day in the Lord tomorrow and a wonderful week to follow. Remember to thank Him for all He has done for you and those you love. The following statement made a tremendous impact on me a few weeks ago. I hope it does the same for you.

“What if you woke up today with only those things you thanked God for yesterday?”

Please note: Our group “Reassurance” will be ministering in the evening service tomorrow at Victory Baptist Church on 6th Street in Muscle Shoals across from the golf course. Service begins at 6:00 pm. If you have no plans for tomorrow night we would love to have you come and worship with us. It’s all about Him!

Service – “Motivational Gifts”

As we continue with our discussion of  the spiritual gifts we need to be reminded that the Holy Spirit has endowed each of us with the gifts we have for the purpose of ministry to others and not for self edification. We should also realize that one particular gift is neither more important nor less important than any other gift. The gift(s) we individually possess are assigned to us specifically for ministering to those in our own circle of influence. And I sincerely believe that we will give an account of how well we have exercised them. With this in mind let’s move on.

You may be wondering why I have used the term motivational gifts in the title for this week’s discussion so let me address that. In Romans chapter 12 Paul begins to describe what the christian life and service should be for the glory of God and continues the dissertation through chapter 15. In chapter 12 he provides a list of gifts that have been given to believers to help meet the charge. As I stated in last week’s discussion, all of them are motivated by the love that is so perfectly described in chapter 13. It follows then that the love He has blessed us with also motivates us to put the gift(s) we’ve been given into action. Therefore, the term “motivational” gifts. I might mention that the list of gifts in Romans is somewhat different from the list of gifts in 1st Corinthians, but that is a discussion for another day. However, the motivational gifts described in Romans are these:

  • Prophecy
  • Serving
  • Teaching
  • Exhortation
  • Giving
  • Leadership
  • Mercy 

As we continue our series in the coming weeks we will take a look at each one of these gifts and see if we can identify ways we can use them to minister to those around us. As we cover them, each of us will probably recognize the ones that we think have been given us and therefore serve as confirmation of how we are to proceed with them. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of spiritual gifts. God has also gifted us with different talents that are also to be used for service to Him and others for His glory. So, I look forward to exploring the possibilities that are out there for each one of us.

I pray that each of you have a blessed week and take the time to minister to someone else in whatever way the Lord leads you. We should always be alert to an opportunity to share the good news of the gospel with the ones God places in our path. 


Service – “Gifts In Action”

Now that we have covered a few of the tools that God has equipped us with to prepare us for the work of service to others, let’s see if we can determine how we go from here and proceed with putting that service into action. When we hear the phrase “service to others” what comes to our minds? Do we think of it in the context of being a servant to someone else just to do their bidding? Does it go against our grain in the sense that we feel that we deserve to be served more than someone else. Well, both of these attitudes are far from what God expects us to have. So, what is the real meaning of service to others? It is simply this; we are to put the needs of others ahead of our own needs. As we shared a few weeks ago in our preview, life is not about us but about serving Him by serving others. And gentlemen, the basis of this is love. The kind of love that Paul writes about in 1st Corinthians, chapter 13. Unconditional, unselfish love just like what Jesus had for us when He gave Himself up to death on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. What an example of putting the needs of others first! So, how can w come close to that?

As we mentioned in last week’s post, in addition to the tools God has equipped us with, He has also given us certain spiritual gifts that are to be used in our service endeavors. However, many of us have never affirmed that we have one or several and certainly never confirmed what they are. We may not even understand how we find out what they are. Well maybe this will help. I heard many years ago that if you want to find out what your spiritual gifts are then start serving instead of sitting. This way God will reveal to us what our gifts are and then we start applying them in service to Him. Paul describes some of these gifts in chapter 12 of 1st Corinthians but is certainly not an exhaustive list. That same chapter also describes how each of our gifts are compliments to the gifts of others so that all those in the body of Christ can be ministered to. These same gifts can then be used to minister to those outside the fold as a witness to them. So, the use of our spiritual gifts are critical in our attempts to serve others. Next week we will discus some of these gifts in more detail.

The next piece to the puzzle is how to recognize what the needs of others are. It is impossible to meet the needs of someone else when we don’t know what they are. So how do we find out what needs others have? Well, we could simply ask them. However, most of the time and most people have too much pride to admit they have a need much less what it is. I believe the best way is to build a relationship with them and then observe their situation. At some point, it will begin to become clear how we can help meet their needs. We can then start to do those things that meet the need and do so in such a way as not to damage the other person’s pride. Next week we will also talk more about what to look for in others that will indicate what needs they have. This is the first step in putting the needs of others ahead of our own needs. And as we said before, this is indeed the service to others that God expects from us.

I hope each of you have a great week and will begin to observe those around you that may have a need you can meet. That is a powerful witness. God bless each of you.



Service – “The Tool of Worship”

A few weeks ago we started off our series on “Service” with a preview of what we mean by that term. We mentioned that during Jesus’ time here on earth He was all about serving and ministering to others as an example to His disciples and ultimately to us. He was continually meeting the needs of those who He came in contact with, both physically and spiritually. Now, we also need to remember that every person He touched was by divine appointment as He made His way to the cross. Nonetheless, the example he set should also be a reminder to us that life is really not about how we can benefit from others but it is about us serving those around us, especially other believers in our local church. This is how we serve Him in order for Him to receive all of the glory and honor He deserves.

We also have discussed a couple of tools that we can use to help us get to a point of understanding what God desires for us to be. We have talked about the tool of prayer in which we have the honor and privilege of talking directly with God. Last week we discussed the tool of bible study in which God speaks to us through the person of the Holy Spirit as we meditate on His word. Both of these tools are very personal in nature and allows us to have an intimate relationship with Him. They are also used in a corporate setting where using them results in a more unified body and each member can be encouraged. Tonight we will look at one more tool as we emphasize the role worship plays in equipping us for service to others.

Let’s start by trying to define worship. Webster defines worship as the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity. It is also defined in the verb form by the act of showing reverence and adoration for a deity. But does those words really define what we mean by worship in the christian world. The Greek word “proskuneo” found in the New Testament is translated “to fall down before” or “bow down before” and the indication is that it is a state of mind when the Holy Spirit is in control. It is not just some emotional experience we have, especially if it is not done in spirit and in truth as John 4:23-34 describes. The following link is to a great article on defining worship: Christian Worship

I truly believe that all of us who have been born again and are a new creation in Christ knows when we are in a genuine spirit of worship and certainly realize that there is to be no focus on us but the focus is to be totally on Him. Again, this is normally a personal experience most of the time but also occurs in the corporate setting. To be honest, some of the greatest worship experiences I’ve had have been when I was alone, praying, studying, meditating, listening to music or just being quite. Many times I have been overwhelmed by the feeling of His presence and knew I was on Holy Ground. I’ve had the same experience on occasion during a worship service at church but regretfully not as often I would like. And it seems that the frequency continues to decrease. The church needs revival folks. I need revival! I bet you do too.

I think we all now have a feel for what true worship is so let’s come to a conclusion of what it does for us. As prayer gives us the way we can speak directly with the Father and study of His word opens up the channel for Him to speak to us, worship has a wonderful impact on us that we can’t get from anything else. True worship helps confirm and solidify that our faith and trust in Him results in fulfillment of God’s promises to us and that our faith in Him is not in vain. When we are thus reassured, we can then become the kind of servants to others that we are commanded to be. Is it any wonder that God is able to provide us with everything we need to do His will. I think not. It is up to us to take what He has given us and use it for His glory. Amen and amen.

Next week we will begin to look at some of the ways we can put service to others in action. We will see that we do that by using the tools we have but we will also see that the spiritual gift(s) that each of us have plays a major role in accomplishing the task.

May God richly bless each of you and your families in the coming days.