Scripture Inspiration Day 2: Romans 12:4-8 Are We Using Our Spiritual Gifts

Romans 12:4-8

4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

We have a responsibility as a member of the body of Christ to use our spiritual gifts given to us by the grace of God. We have to ask ourselves, 1) What are my gifts? 2) Am I using them to build up the body of Christ? I know this can be a difficult one, because I think many of us may be unsure of what our spiritual gifts are and how to use them. I think the first thing we need to do is pray and ask God to give us clear guidance on what it is that he has for us to do as a member of the body of Christ. Ask him what your spiritual gift is, but also take time to examine yourself. Think about what you are good at, maybe it is teaching, serving others, or encouraging whatever those qualities that people tend to rely on you for may be a clue to what your spiritual gifts are. 

Once you discover the spiritual gifts you’ve been blessed with, then look for opportunities to serve. Ask the Lord to put you in the place and around the people that you can best serve or work with to accomplish his purpose. Our goals aren’t always his goals so we have to be very cognizant of listening to the Holy Spirit. Never think you do not have a gift because you do! I believe when we don’t use our gifts we are being disobedient and not living up to the potential that God gave us (remember this has nothing to do with man). Let’s not waste what the Lord has given us!

Scripture Inspiration: Day 1: 2 Corinthians 3:4-5 Confidence That Comes from God

1: 2 Corinthians 3:4-5 Confidence That Comes from God
“Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.”
When we are working towards a goal or aspiration one of the distractions we come up against is feelings of insecurity or incompetence. We working along and maybe we come up against an obstacle, all of a sudden we are filled with doubt and worry and then we stop. We stop working towards our goal because we don’t want to fail. Our confidence is shaken and halts our ability to move forward. This insecurity is straight from the enemy. Remember that with God there is no fear! If we lean on our understanding we can’t accomplish anything! Our competence and confidence comes through God. Do you think the disciples were able to fulfill their work on their own accord? Do you think that if they depended on their own human ability that they would have the confidence to spread the word of God knowing that they would be persecuted? Absolutely not. The Lord promised them that he would give them the words they needed to do his work, just as he gave the words to Moses to speak in the Old Testament. If confidence is stopping your progress than it is time for you to stop and pray. Ask God to give you the confidence through him and remember that nothing is impossible with him.

Let’s Not Scatter, Let’s Teach Our Kids to Draw Closer to God

Luke 11:25 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.”

When I read this verse my thoughts went immediately to the importance of giving our children a spiritual foundation. Our walk, relationship and study of the Lord’s word is vital in so many ways personally and for our kids. It is first through us that they experience the scriptures, praying and going to church. In a sense we introduce them to God. I never thought about this until of course I had a daughter. When I was intentional about reading the bible to her, praying with her and taking her to church I sensed that she was developing her own love and curiosity for God. Do I think that God won’t interject even if we don’t introduce our children? No, God IS and that means he can touch anyone’s heart and come into a person’s life whenever he chooses to do so. However, I do think we are his instruments that were made by his own handiwork to spread his word and guide our children to understand what it means to be with him and not against him.

It is a responsibility and honor to raise our children up in his way, so that they can live a fruitful life. When we aren’t in right relationship with God everything in our life is scattered, nothing is whole and can’t be because we are not aligned in him. Being scattered causes lost opportunities, sorrow, voids and so much more we come up against in this world. I’ve been scattered and it is a hopeless feeling that I never want to experience again. The world is scattered and that is what the enemy’s purpose is, to scatter the children of God and lead them away from his word and into the world! Don’t allow it! Dress your children for battle and equip them for what is needed to stand firm in their faith. When we’re intentional about giving our children the spiritual foundation that God intended for us to pass on as parents we are introducing them to his goodness, nurturing their spiritual growth and fostering a love for God that sparks that desire to walk with him. Only they can choose to give their life to Jesus, but we can continue to be our Father’s instrument in our children’s lives both through example and actions.

God Can Calm The Rough Waters in Your Life!

Lately, I’ve been in contact with women who are facing some serious storms in their lives. I have my own rough waters that have been rocking my boat, so I know their pain. When we are in the midst of a storm drowning seems like a very real possibility. These storms leave us gasping, flailing and filled with anxiety. But, we have to remember that God has the power to calm those waters. In Matthew 8:23, Jesus got into a boat and the disciples followed him. There was a furious storm and the waves were sweeping over the boat. But, Jesus was sleeping until the disciples woke him saying, “Lord save us we’re going to drown!” Jesus replied, “You of little faith why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the waves and it was completely calm. This scriptures speaks volumes about the awesome power of God and how we must put our faith in him.

Let’s break it down. as Christians we are disciples and followers of Christ. We follow him, we believe in his word and we have faith in him. We follow him not because it is the cool thing to do, on the contrary being a Christian in a society that doesn’t revere the Lord can be very challenging and counter cultural, but we do it because we love our Lord and rejoice in being his children. We are in the boat with our Savior. Sometimes we rest comfortably in the boat. The waters are calm and reassuring that we are floating right along in life. The horizon appears clear and it is smooth sailing ahead. This is when our faith is strong. We don’t doubt God because our circumstances are good.

Cut to the darkened clouds, the strong winds, the rough waters that suddenly appear out of nowhere and begin swaying us from side to side and threaten to drag us underwater. Jesus is still in the boat with us, but we start to panic, we are afraid that the water will overcome us and we’ll be dragged into the pit of the sea. We start gasping for air, crying and clutching on to the sides of the boat hoping not to meet our demise. “Where is my Lord? Doesn’t he know that our boat is going to overturn and I will be lost?” Suddenly all of the comfort you felt is gone. All the blessed assurance you experienced while sailing toward the horizon has suddenly disappeared and is replaced by stress and fear. Jesus in the meantime is quiet.  He is well aware of your circumstances and is not shaken. Nothing will happen unless it is in his will.

You begin to call him frantically, “Lord, help me, I’m surely going to drown, please listen to my prayer.” Our Father who is immeasurably good rises and rebukes the wind and the violent storm that is raging in your life. It may come rather sudden. One day you are in the eye of the storm and the next day the sun is out and your sailing again toward the horizon. Or maybe he lets the storm last awhile and keeps you clinging on to the sides of your boat, but however he decides to respond he is still in the boat with you. He never forsakes you because he loves you.

“Oh you of little faith, why are you so afraid?” In retrospect, how many times have we asked ourselves this very question when we witnessed the mighty hand of God work in our circumstances? Why are we of such little faith when our Lord has proved to  be faithful to us time and time again. Fear is from the enemy. The enemy’s plan is to plant the seeds of doubt in us so that he can worm his way into our hearts and mind. He schemes to fill us with everything that our Father negates! No storm is too strong for our Father to calm. He will never leave you alone in the boat. He is the captain of your ship and he knows exactly what storms you need to weather through and for how long. All you have to do is trust him, have faith in his promise and allow him to steer you through the waters. Follow him, have faith in him and that he is your Lord.

Matthew 6:7 Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find,

This verse from Matthew 6:7 is one of my favorite verses in the bible. As a single mom we are often times solely responsible for our children. Even if their father is involved in their life (which mine is) it can still be challenging when you think of all of the responsibility that falls on your shoulders. But God is there to ease our anxieties. I have been a single mom for awhile now, and when Anya and I first moved out on our own, I had many apprehensions. Sure I had always lived on my own before, but now I was responisble for this beautiful child, I had to provide a good home for her. I have a decent job, but when you are paying everything on your own, you can’t help but to feel some anxiety. I knew in my heart that moving out was the best option for me, Anya and her dad. But now I had to really rely on God.

I prayed all the time. Sometimes I didn’t trust the lord like I should have. But this passage has made a difference in my life. We need to pray and ask God to give us what we need, we need to go to him, when we do that he can open doors for us that we had only seen as closed. When we begin to knock or pray to God in earnest he hears our prayers, after all he already knows what we need, and he will provide.

When Anya and I first moved out on our own we lived in a spacious two bedroom apartment. It was nice, and it was a good home for us. But, I wanted Anya to live in a home that had a yard, I wanted her to have a playroom, and I wanted to be able to wash my clothes in my own house instead of going to the laundromat. But I was grateful for what I had. When my lease was up I inquired about the townhouses that my real estate company had. There were either none left or they were way out of my budget. I look at single family homes to rent, and I had my heart set on finding one. It seemed that in the area I was looking nothing was available to suit our needs. I prayed that God would let me find a home that would be comfortable and affordable.

One day I happened to call my realty company and a 2 bedroom townhouse that was being completely remodeled was available when my lease was up. It was affordable, completely new with shiny hardwood floors, it had a yard, a basement that was big enough for a playroom and a washer and dryer. I loved it. I had my heart set on a single family home, but I knew that God had answered my prayer and he knew exactly what I needed. It has been a month and Anya and I are very happy in our new home and we thank God for it.

Ask God, for what you need through prayer, and once you do that believe and have faith that God will provide for you. It may not be exactly what you asked for, and it may not be given to you that day or even that month or year, but when it is given it will be exactly what God has in store for you. Don’t be afraid to ask God for what you want, we are his children and he will take care of us and ours.

God Bless