Friday, December 13, 2013

Romans. .Week 2. .Discussion

Hello. .hello! Hope your week has gone well! 
I’ve been able to spend some time studying the spiritual gifts the last couple weeks. .
and even took an online inventory to help me identify my own gifts!!
Some things that I learned in my study of Spiritual gifts. .
1.) Every person with the Spirit of Christ living within them. .
is bestowed with a Spiritual gift or gifts. .
to use within the body of Christ (the universal church made up of all believers). This may be different than just the personality traits that you possess that you use for your daily jobs and have possessed from birth.
2.) The main purpose of the gifts. .
are to help strengthen and build up the living church, so that God’s work is carried out.
3.) We are not all given the same gifts. .
or the same capacity to use the gifts. .
so comparing what gifts we are given, vs gifts that other believers are given. .
is not a good plan.
4.) The gifts are like a muscle. .
in order to build the gift within ourself. .
we should be exercising the gift on a regular basis as God gives us opportunities.
 (and I will tell you. .He HAS given me opportunities over the last few years to start exercising my gifts!!)
5.) Like all other things that God blesses us with. .
we should work to steward our own spiritual gift(s) to the best of our ability. .
and I suspect that if we DON’T use our gifts. .
that we will have to explain to God on judgment day. .
why we didn’t choose to make the most of them!!
There are 4 places within Scripture. .
that discusses this concept. .those scriptures include. .

Romans 12:6-8;
1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28-30;
Ephesians 4:11;
and 1 Peter 4:9-11. .
I encourage you, when you have time. .to check those short verses out. .
just so you are aware that the bible makes mention of them in several locations.

If you are interested in learning more. .I encourage you. .
to check into this podcast series. .by Chip Ingram. . .
you should be able to download them to your Kindles, Nooks, Ipods, droid phones etc, or listen directly off your computer. .
if you don’t have a podcast app on your device. .
search up a free one in the app store. .
and then when the app is installed search for Chip by name and the same list that I have included above from his website. .will come up and you can download for free there!!
Another great tool from technology! You can also do it via Itunes for free.
There are 4 messages. .and they are 50 minute messages divided into 2 parts each. .
I thought he did a great job of breaking down the gifts. .
The messages are from the series Your Divine Design going back to Sept 26-27 for part 1, which was a general overview. .
The meat of the series was Sept 30-Oct 1 talking about the different Spiritual gifts and helping you identify your primary gift. .
The next 2 podcasts talked about the gifts on a little different level and talked about developing the gift in your life. .
and the final two, which I listened to in an afternoon while cooking and doing laundry. .
talked about how people abuse those gifts as well on a number of different levels. And that was a very enlightening message to me, based on some study and conversations that my husband and I have had this week stemming from things outside of this particular study on Romans. .
The series would make great listening for commute time or as you do laundry!
Something else I was intrigued by. .
Pull out your bibles and look at the discussion placement of those gifts within the context of Romans 12. .
First Paul tells us to be a LIVING sacrifice to God. .
Offering our self. .ALL of our self. .for His use, to PLEASE Him. .

IS our spiritual WORSHIP??

 Have you ever stopped and thought about it that way??
Next Paul tells us that God actually gave us each some things within ourselves (spiritual gifts). .
to use as we perform OUR part of the “body” of Christ. .
Finally as he finishes chapter 12. .
Paul outlines some characteristics that should be apparent if we are living AS a holy and acceptable and living sacrifice to God!! If you don’t know ANY thing else from the book of Romans by the end of the month. .
you should KNOW these things. .
they should be at the top of our list of things to ask God to help us improve in our own lives!
If you are interested in completing a spiritual gift inventory yourself. .
this is the site that I used. . 
There is another tab at the top of this page labeled “spiritual gifts”. .
that does a nice job of explaining the gifts. .
it is quite similar to the way that Chip explains them in his podcast series. .
and resembles the other web sites that I studied over the last couple weeks as well.
SO. .the discussion for the week was. .
What did you learn about God this week out of the book of Romans??
There were a lot of qualities that I appreciated this week. .
For instance. .God is a God of endurance and encouragement and hope and peace (found throughout chapters 15-16). .
and those things spoke loudly to my heart this week. .but the part that I loved the best. .

was found in chapter 8. .verse 26. .
The Spirit helps us in OUR WEAKNESS. .and prays FOR us. .according to GOD’S will!!
How awesome IS that?!?
Romans 8:26-27 In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us[l] with unspoken groanings. 27 And He who searches the hearts knows the Spirit’s mind-set, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
The “saints” are us, you know!! And then Paul goes on to remind us. .
that we KNOW. .
that all things work together for good for THOSE who LOVE God. .
those who are CALLED according to HIS purpose!! I think that is one of the most misquoted scriptures that I hear!!
People tend to stop after the “all things work together for good” and forget that God only promises that to those people that He calls His children!
There have been many times. .
when I find myself just babbling the same 5 words in my prayer because the situation is so intense that I just can’t get beyond those words. .
yet at the same time. .
I have just felt a comfort in my soul. .
knowing that the Spirit is already ON IT. .
communing straight with my heavenly Father on MY behalf. .
praying for the best solution to the problem. .
in accordance with the will of God. .and as the chapter continues. .
Paul reminds us a SECOND time. .that Jesus Christ himself is interceding for us. .
So the Spirit intercedes from WITHIN us. .FOR us. .
and Jesus, the 2nd person of the Holy Trinity intercedes for us from His place in heaven at God’s right hand. .
and then Paul goes on to remind us. .
that NOTHING will EVER be able to separate us from the love of GOD IN Jesus Christ our Lord!!
And if that doesn’t just make you want to jump up from your chair and shout HALLELUIAH. .I just don’t know what will!!

Looking forward to hearing your responses over the course of the weekend!!
 Have a GREAT one!!
Love Melanie

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