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Spiritual Gifts

 “For the body does not consist of one member but of many.” I Corinthians 12:14

There was a time in my life where I thought my stronger gifts were some of the weaker gifts in the grand scheme of spiritual gifts. My gifts have always been more of encouragement and serving. Many of the “jobs” from these gifts are more of the behind the scenes jobs that don’t get a lot of attention or praise. It is typically those gifts that are up front kinds of gifts that get more attention.

Spiritual gifts are like parts of a body. Each part of the body is vital to the overall health of the body. This means we are ALL useful for God’s glory and His kingdom.

I think of the eyelash. It is such a small part of the body but it’s function is important. I learned about this when I went through chemotherapy. Some chemo cocktails will cause you to lose your hair. This doesn’t just mean the hair on your head. It can mean all body hair including your eyelashes. You may think an eyelash in a very insignificant part of the body but when you don’t them you can’t blink away things that could get into your eyes. One doesn’t realize how many things do get into our eyes until you don’t have functioning eyelashes. The thing is, this tiny eyelash plays a BIG role in the health of an eye. Should something dangerous get into the eye it could scratch it or cause an infection. Maybe your eyesight would be compromised or lost.

We can’t discredit any spiritual gift. The Lord equipped each of us with different spiritual gifts that work together to form the body of Christ. Those up front jobs can’t function without the behind the scene jobs. I want to encourage all of us to embrace your gift great or small. Even the smallest gift can be used for the greatest glory.

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Psalm 91

I like to underline and take note of verses I love in my bible. This psalm is one of those chapters that I’ve unlined almost every verse. My bible study notes say about this psalm, “A glowing testimony to the security of those who trust in God.”

Please read Psalm 91.


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Beautifully Broken

I came across this new to me song this week and have fallen in love with it. Here is what Plumb had to say about the album this single is on, “Describing the album’s message, Plumb says “Brokenness is a theme for humanity; I’ve experienced a lot of it in my own life. We get so scarred up, and all we see is our brokenness. It’s important to accept that yes, we are broken and flawed, but at the end of day our identify is not found in our mistakes- those aren’t who we are. Who we are is God’s children; that alone makes us beautiful. We need to hear human stories and songs about people going through these battles with brokenness so we can say ‘I’ve been through the same,’ and feel the hope of not being alone.”

 


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Multiplying Through Brokenness

Have you ever felt so broken that you figured God couldn’t use you? I came across this beautiful thought in my “Unstoppable” study by Christine Caine about brokenness. But first, I want us to read through the story of Jesus feeding five thousand plus people with five loaves of bread and two small fish.

Please read through John 6:1-15.

Here are the facts from our passage today:

• Over five thousand people followed Jesus to hear Him preach.
• Jesus knew there wouldn’t be enough time for all these people to go home for dinner and therefore they needed to be fed.
• Jesus asked the disciples where they’ll find food to feed everyone.
• The disciples knew it would cost more than they had to purchase enough food but they did find a boy who had five loaves of bread and two small fish.
• After giving thanks for the food, Jesus broke it and had the disciples distributed it to everyone.
• In the end, everyone got fed and the boy went home with twelve baskets of bread and fish left over.

The thing about brokenness is that it has a multiplying effect. Christine Caine says, “The miracle is in the breaking. It is in the breaking that God multiplies not enough into more than enough.” 

We become broken in many ways. Broken from abuse, failed marriages, troubled past, addictions, disabilities, health issues and even from other people’s poor choices. Being broken hurts as these things shader your life into a million pieces. But here’s the thing, your brokenness causes you to have experience to help others in their brokenness. Your shattered pieces can be given away to encourage, restore, build up and walk alongside someone who has been broken in the very same way you have.

The Lord can take your broken pieces and multiply them in ways you can’t even imagine. I think of the boy in this story. We don’t know much about him. Was he poor and this the only food he and his family had to eat for the week? The only thing we know is that he was willing to give all he had to Jesus. I’m sure he didn’t know Jesus would not only multiply his small meal but give return to him enough food to replace what he shared.

Are you at a point in your brokenness that you are able to reach out to other broken people? I pray that you’ll ask the Lord what He can do with your broken pieces and watch as He multiplies them.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

Quote and brokenness thought by Christine Caine from, “Unstoppable: Running The Race You Were Born To Win, pg. 43.


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The Interest of Others

I have read through the book of Jonah since my Sunday School teacher taught about it when I was very young. Sometimes it is hard not to glean something new from this well known story. And yet . . . God can always show us something we haven’t focused on before . . .

Most of us know about Jonah’s story. How God told him to go and preach against the city of Nineveh. How Jonah chose to try to run away from God. While he was fleeing on a ship bound for Tarshish, the Lord caused a great storm to arise and cause fear in those on the ship. In the end, Jonah realized his disobedience was the cause of the storm and the only way to end it was for him to be thrown overboard. (Jonah 1)

We all know that a big fish swallowed Jonah where he stayed for three days and nights. We know that Jonah repented of his disobedience while in the belly of the fish and his prayer ended with this, “But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have owed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord.” The Lord chose to command the fish to vomit Jonah out onto dry land. (Jonah 2)

The Lord came to Jonah a second time and said, “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you” (Jonah 3:1). This time Jonah did go, the king and all of Nineveh heard the message and repented. Unfortunately, this was not what Jonah wanted to see happen. He wanted them to be punished for their sins but the Lord showed compassion upon them and saved them from destruction. (Jonah 3)

At the end of this story we find Jonah sulking under a vine the Lord provided for him. It helped ease his discomfort from the heat and sun. The Lord also provided a worm that ate the vine so it withered and died. At this point Jonah starts to wallow in a misery of his own making and becomes angry with the Lord for killing off his only protection from the sun. (Jonah 4)

Here is how the conversation went between God and Jonah:

“When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, ‘It would be better for me to die than to live’” (verse 8).

“But God said to Jonah, ‘Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?’

‘It is,’ he said. ‘And I’m so angry I wish I were dead'” (verse 9).

“But the Lord said, ‘You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?'” (verses 10-11).

It amazes me that Jonah witnessed a miracle first hand. He was part of being used by God to save people from destruction. He learned a valuable lesson about obedience. Lived through being swallowed by a large fish. And yet, he throws himself a pity party because he didn’t get what he wanted. Jonah was more concerned about his precious vine than he was over a nation of people who didn’t know the Lord God. My study notes say, “Are the souls of men not worth as much as a vine?”

As I finished reading through this book I had to ask myself if I was more concerned about myself and material possessions than I am about those who are lost? There are so many things in this world that we can be concerned over that overshadow what we really should be concerned about. The Lord is more concerned about the lost than He is about our personal and material comfort.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4


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Psalm 90

Every Sunday we read through one chapter of Psalms. This morning we’ll be reading through Psalm 90. My study notes say of this psalm, “A prayer to the everlasting God to have compassion on His servants, who live their melancholy lives under the rod of divine wrath and under His sentence of death – a plea that god will yet show them His love, give them cause for joy and bless their labors with ending worth.”

The one verse that sticks out to me is verse 12, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” My prayers for us is that we would value every day the Lord has given to u. 

Please read Psalm 90.