JESUS Loving the Unlovable

REVELATION 3:19:

JESUS is talking to a church and saying,

“Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten [I discipline and instruct them].  So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent [changing your mind and attitude]”  ~ Amplified Bible.

I seldom hear about the CHASTISEMENT OF THE LORD from today’s pulpits.  In fact, I don’t remember ever hearing about God’s discipline for people in the church.  But it is an issue that all Christians should learn about, and sooner or later, most of us will probably discover what it is to be chastened of the Lord.

The Purpose for Chastening is…?  

“The Lord has chastened me sorely, but He has not given me over to death”  (Psalm 118:18).

The PURPOSE is not to destroy but to LEAD to repentance.

“…You have chastised me, and I was chastised, like a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke; bring me back, that I may be restored, for You are the Lord my God.  Surely after I was turned [from You], I repented; and after I was instructed, I penitently smote my thigh.  I was ashamed, yes, even confounded, because I bore the disgrace of my youth [as a nation]”  (Jeremiah 31:18-19).

And to RESTORE God’s blessing.

“Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whom You discipline and instruct,  O Lord, and teach out of Your law (Word)”  (Psalm 94:12).

I must admit, I’ve never been fond of the idea of spanking–on the receiving end, or the giving end.  Probably because as a kid I received quite a few spankings.  And by the way, hiding under my parents bed to escape punishment never worked [It doesn’t work for God either.].

Mom would have an ever-present tree switch nearby, and would shout to me in my hiding,  “If you don’t come out right now, the punishment will be much worse!”

Looking back now, I recognize that the discipline of my parents was necessary in keeping me out of trouble–and in many cases to spare me from greater pain and suffering.  Of course back in those days, because of my immaturity, that reasoning wouldn’t make sense to a youngster.

Furthermore, I realize now what my parents went through during those years.  I too experienced the same in the raising our three children– the ordeals of correcting–not because my parents dislike us, but because they love us.  I don’t think my children understood that reasoning either while growing up, but its application was the same never-the-less.

That realization reminded me of God’s word in The Letter to the Hebrews– 12:9-11:

[9]    Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we yielded [to them] and respected [them for training us]. Shall we not much more cheerfully submit to the Father of spirits and so [truly] live?

[10] For [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for only a short period of time and chastised us as seemed proper and good to them; but He disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers in His own holiness.

[11] For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness–in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God]. 

God’s Word Exposes the Church’s Hypocrisy…

 “I know your [record of] works and what you are doing; you are neither cold or hot. Would that your were cold or hot!  So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth.  For you say, I am rich, I have prospered and grown wealthy, and I am in need of nothing, and you do not realize and understand that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked”  (Revelation 3:15-17).

Though JESUS has just exposed church hypocrisy, and has implied that many are pretending to know Him, yet don’t, His reasons are not because He hates them for falling in such a state but because He deeply loves them; He wants to come into their lives.

He reminds the church that He is impartial, always consistent while confronting and discipline.  That is the way GOD treats everyone He loves when they get off course, and believe me…I have certainly gotten ‘off course’ during my 42 years of Christian Life.

Proverbs 3:11, 12:

My son, do not despise or shrink from the chastising of the Lord  [His correction by punishment or by subjection to suffering or trial]; neither be weary of or impatient about or loathe or abhor His reproof.

For whom the Lord loves He corrects, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.

[Other Scripture to meditate on:  Hebrews 12:5-11; Job 5:17; Psalm 39:11; Proverbs 15:10]

JESUS’ Harsh Assessment…Revelation 3:19.

His harsh assessment of this particular church wasn’t for the purpose of driving them away from Him, but rather serve to put them on notice–YOU MUST BE ZEALOUS–they must be “HOT” (verse 16) and “REPENT” [changing your mind and attitude].

God Wants What Is Best For Us–

He wants us to have SPIRITUAL LIFE, not death.  All this language, the language of LOVE;

–  it’s the treatment of LOVE

– it’s LOVE rebuking, chastising, and exhorting.

JESUS wants to see you restored.

For this very reason, He will discipline us who persist in sin; will even deal out correction if we show signs of APATHY or SPIRITUAL INDIFFERENCE.

“Spiritual Indifference”:

Indifference robs a church of its MAXIMUM WORSHIP POTENTIAL-

It shows itself through…

…NEGLECTED ATTENDANCE…PREPARATION…PARTICIPATION…

Enthusiasm to Worship King of kings, Lord of lords, the Almighty living God will be missing (Psalm 122:1).  Violation of God’s Word will rob the brethren and yourself of EDIFICATION in the body of Christ (Hebrews 5:11-12).

Our interest must increase for our worship to be a blessing– “I don’t get anything out of worship.” — Are you putting anything in?!

AGAIN, Revelation 3:19, [The New Living Bible]:

“I continually discipline and punish everyone I love, so I must punish you unless you turn from your indifference and become enthusiastic about the things of God.”

“I Hear You Knocking…”

Picture of Door by Sarah Langova
Picture of Door by Sarah Langova

Since I’m a product of the 50’s, and  remembering listening to the music of the day on my old Silvertone Radio, the Fats Domino song rang out in my ear.  Although the rest of the lyrics certainly don’t fit the topic, the title certainly does.

“I hear you knocking but you can’t come in”

Revelation 3:20:

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him, and be [will eat] with Me.

JESUS IS THE DOOR! – John 10:7.

Restoration is Made…

What a telling image Jesus gives.  JESUS pictures Himself standing outside the DOOR of the repentive heart.

So often this famous verse is used to invite UNBELIEVERS to accept Jesus into their lives.  And of course, that is the message.  BUT the fact that He needs to ask to be let into the hearts of supposed Christians found in the church of Laodicea is a horrible assessment of their condition.

They, like the unbelievers around them, need to repent and welcome Him to come in and take control of their lives–to RESTORE the relationship they once demonstrated

Proverbs 15:10 says,  “The HEART knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy.”

Psalm 39:11:  “When with rebukes You correct and chasten man for sin, You waste his beauty like a moth and what is dear to him consumes away; surely every man is a mere breath.”

Indifference Robs A Church!

Robs it of what?  Of its MAXIMUM WORSHIP  POTENTIAL.

It shows itself through neglected attendance, preparation and participation.  My ENTHUSIASM to worship will be missing (Psalm 122:1):

“I WAS glad when they said to me,  Let us go to the house of the Lord!”

Violation of God’s Word will always ROB the brethren and yourself of EDIFICATION: The meaning “edification” in the sense of “being built up, strengthened in one’s faith” [Expository Dictionary of Bible Words].

Our interest must increase for our WORSHIP to be a blessing;

“I don’t get anything out of worship.” — Are you putting anything in?!   [ [i] Referenced].

While Christ is Knocking at Our Door…(3:20)

He is directing some of us to knock at Him; “knock and it shall be opened.”

He will certainly hear our voice and open the door to us.  He will not be DEAF to our voice, nor bar the door, nor keep us standing in the hallway, nor send us empty away.

Christ’s Church When He Comes…

The body (the church) will be found in different circumstances then, as well as now, and with many kinds of knocking; yet in all, it’s the same earnest desire on His part to be let in.  He will not force the door; but still wants to be let in.

Don’t find yourselves repeating the lyrics to a song that was popular in the 50’s: “I hear you knocking, but You can’t come in!” How much you will lose out on!

In His Absence…

—  NO outward prosperity,

—  NO riches,

—  NOR numbers can compensate…

IF HE IS KEPT OUT–all is sadness, and leanness, and poverty.

IF He is admitted, ALL IS WELL…

—  HAPPY is the church where Christ is daily feasting…

—  HAPPY the soul in which He has come to live…and who, is in daily communion by Faith and ENJOY the TASTES the Bridegroom’s LOVE!.

“I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he [will eat] with Me.”

 

 

 

 Reference:  [i]  www.bibleanswer.com/indiffrn.htm

Bible Translation Used: Amplified except where noted.

 

 

Operating at MAXIMUM Output – Spiritual Gifting (PART 2)

“Having gifts (faculties, talents, qualities) that differ according to the GRACE given us, LET US USE THEM”  (Romans 12:6 AMP).

“LET US USE THEM” Is Operating at MAXIMUM Output:

NUMBER ONE GIFT – PROPHECY

There is a BIG DEBATE today in the churches on whether the GIFT of PROPHECY still exist.  These are the people who want to say, “PROPHECY has PASSED AWAY.”  They use 1 Corinthians 13:8 as their basis:

“As for PROPHESY (the GIFT of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away”  being done away with along with TONGUES AND KNOWLEDGE:  “…as for TONGUES, they will be destroyed and cease; as for KNOWLEDGE, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by TRUTH].”

They then go on to say the “perfect thing” is the Bible.  When the Bible was finished, PROPHECY passed away along with TONGUES and KNOWLEDGE.  I do not agree with this idea and let me tell you why.

I agree with many of today’s evangelical commentators.  When the apostle Paul refers to “the COMPLETE and PERFECT (total) THING COMES”   (1 Corinthians 13:10}, its meaning is referring either to the Second Coming of Christ or the perfection of the human soul, occurring when the Christian is united with Christ Jesus in death:

“That you are not [consciously] falling behind or lacking any spiritual endowment or Christian grace [the reception of which is due to the power of divine GRACE operating in your souls by the Holy Spirit], while you WAIT and WATCH [constantly living in hope] for the COMING of our Lord Jesus Christ and [His] being made visible to ALL”  (1 Corinthians 1:7).

The word PROPHECY, “prophatea”is from the verb “prophatuo” for you Greek students.  Simply, really a base word from the concept of “prophamea”which is PRO, before, and “phaohea“, to speak.  Means to “speak before’.  It doesn’t mean to speak before in time but to speak before in terms of an audience.  It is NOT to speak beforein terms of FORETELLING the future either.  It is to speak before an audience; literally, to speak before SOMEONE; to speak in PUBLIC or publicly proclaiming.  That is the GIFT of PROPHECY.  It is NOT a reference to any content; doesn’t say whether it is REVELATORY; that is, a REVELATION from God directly; or non-revelatory, proclaiming something God already revealed in the past.  It is simply a COMMUNICATIVE GIFT, not a CONTENT GIFT.

NOW WHAT IS THE GIFT OF PROPHECY THEN?

By definition, it is “the ABILITY given by the Spirit of God to a person; to PROCLAIM God’s TRUTH publicly.”  That IS the GIFT!  Look at Chapter 14:3, 1 Corinthians.  This should help you understand:

“EAGERLY PURSUE and seek to acquire LOVE [make it your aim, your great quest]; and earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual endowments (gifts), ESPECIALLY that you may PROPHESY (interpret the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching).”

Now God has always given this GIFT and still does in today’s Church.  There has never been a time in history, God’s dealing with men and women, that somebody hasn’t had this GIFT.  God had somebody SPEAKING His Word.  See, that’s all the term means.

The Old Testament for example, abounds with uses of enablement to PROPHESY.  What was the PRIMARY FUNCTION of the Old Testament prophet?  PROCLAIMING God’s Word.  Some of it was FUTURE; some of it was PRESENT; some of it was a reiteration of the PAST.  Very often, the prophets would speak what God had already done (read Habakkuk); read ALL the minor prophets in the Bible.  They would SPEAK about God–what God WAS DOING and what God WOULD do.  But PROPHECY was NOT always PREDICTION; that was only one-third of its capacity and element.

And the New Testament is no different.

PROPHECY is just as vital today because God is not through with revealing Himself.  So in the New Testament, God reveals Himself again; disclosing ALL the MYSTERIES.  In fact, John says in The Book of Revelation:

“Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who reads aloud [in the assemblies] the word of this prophecy; and blessed are those who hear [it read] and who keep themselves true to the things which are written in it [heeding them and laying them to heart], for the time [for them to be fulfilled] is near”  (Revelation 1:3 AMP).

Moving on to the SECOND GIFT found in 1 Corinthians 12:8 is THE WORD OF KNOWLEDGE:

To one is given in and through the [Holy] Spirit [the power to SPEAK] a message of wisdom, and to another a word of KNOWLEDGE and understanding.”

Now the word KNOWLEDGE is a ‘speaking gift’, the utterance of KNOWLEDGE.  The Greek word LOGOS can mean “written on a page; spoken to a crowd, spoken privately to individuals.  WHAT IS IT?  It’s speaking KNOWLEDGE and it is a SPECIAL GIFT I might add.  Here is one definition I uncovered: “It’s the Spirit-given ability to observe-listen now-to observe biblical facts and make conclusions.” The spiritual GIFT of observing biblical FACTS and MAKING CONCLUSIONS is the ability to UNDERSTAND the Bible.

There are all different ways this is manifested in the Church.  It can belong to people of your Church that never have been to Bible School or never been to seminary.  BUT…they have the ability to study the Bible, draw out facts and make conclusions by observing.

This GIFT comes in all different energizing s.  There could be a hundred people with it, always working differently in the body.  It might be in combination with WISDOM a little bit, and a little bit of KNOWLEDGE sort of splattered around.

In my own studying and discovery, and writing The WORD Detective blogs, I think maybe I’ve got one-tenth of the GIFT of KNOWLEDGE and nine-tenths of the GIFT of WISDOM.  Sort of mixed and matched.  That is the beauty of how it all works!

I think the BEST BIBLE DEFINITION of the GIFT of KNOWLEDGE is found in 1 Corinthians 13:2:

“And if I have prophetic powers (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and posses ALL KNOWLEDGE, and if I have [sufficient] faith so I can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody).”

Paul is saying, “If I have the gift of proclamation (prophecy), and I understand everything that’s proclaimed, then ALL KNOWLEDGE is mine.”  He goes on to make a point on LOVE.  But all I’m really saying and drawing out here is simply, ‘ it is the ability to understand the TRUTH of God.’

The THIRD GIFTING Mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8 Is The WORD of WISDOM.

The WORD of WISDOM, WHAT IS IT?  The GIFT differs from KNOWLEDGE in this way.  The EMPHASIS is on the skill of application rather than the KNOWLEDGE of FACTS.

WISDOM is the ABILITY to take the FACTS that the gift of KNOWLEDGE has brought out, then makes a skillful application of them through the POWER of the Holy Spirit.

1.  This GIFT could belong to a Christian Counselor; sees a problem and by his Spirit given KNOWLEDGE of the Word of God, draws out the principles that can be practically applied solving the problem.

2.  This is the GIFT of the expositor who takes the Word of God, studies the commentators as I do, then reads from all those who have the GIFT of KNOWLEDGE.  Then can draw the applicable principle of living.

3.  This can be something that a BELIEVER ministers to another BELIEVER in the area of assisting in practical life.

You already know the GIFTS of KNOWLEDGE and WISDOM are so different.  You know people who have so much Bible KNOWLEDGE but not enough WISDOM and are ridiculous when it comes to application; the absent-minded professor.  There is all this ‘STUFF’ in their minds, but can’t make any of it work for them.

The Greek word for WISDOM is Sophia.  12 of the 27 books in the New Testament use this word.  It is seen in FIVE categories with which I’ve listed below:

1.  An attribute of God.

2.  Intellectual ability.

3.  It is seen as the person of Jesus Christ, who is — “the WISDOM of God.

4.  Proud human wisdom OPPOSED to God (James 3).

5.  Its DOMINANT use is “the ability to understand God’s will for our lives and application to obedience.

I’m not going to take time to give you 20 illustrations I’ve uncovered in different Scripture passages, but here are a few you can jot down:

Matthew 11:19; 13:54.

Mark 6:2.

Luke 7:35; 21:15.

Acts 6:10.

James 1:5, 3:13, 17.

2 Peter 3:15.

The DOMINANT USE of WISDOM is mentioned in the above passages.  So after reading the verses listed, what then is the GIFT of WISDOM?  It IS the Holy Spirit-given ability to show us the principles we need to know and obey to fulfill God’s will; operating at MAXIMUM output!

Yes, it had a REVELATORY aspect surely in the early ages.  All of these SPEAKING as the first three SPEAKING GIFTS did so.  But that wasn’t its EXCLUSIVE use.  It is much broader than that, Scripture says, “knowledge makes the teacher; Wisdom the preacher and pastor.”  But let’s go even further than that.  I say, as others do, KNOWLEDGE is collecting the facts; WISDOM is the application.

Now I’ve spent some time on that GIFT for a purpose.  I wanted you to see how important it is that we understand it.  And the people who want to come along to eliminate all those GIFTS: KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM, AND PROPHECY have a problem.  Because if, you eliminate PROPHECY, then what are you going to call those who are PROCLAIMING the Word of God?  If you eliminate KNOWLEDGE, then what are you going to call the theologians; the people who dig out deep truth with their skill?  If you eliminate WISDOM, what are you going to call the GIFT of being able to take TRUTH and apply it to life?  You have to come up with new names because God is still doing it through believers today.

Two Other Speaking Gifts–Four and Five:

Number four, the GIFT of TEACHING.

In Romans 12:7, and this is very important, again it says,  “For ministry, let us wait on our ministry, or he that teacheth” (King James Version).  This is really good!  “He that teacheth on teaching.”  Again, it’s using the definite article.

Here is the GIFT of TEACHING and whatever you teach, let it be consistent with the teaching.  And what is TEACHING?  It’s THIS, isn’t it?  So if you TEACH, be consistent with teaching.  What IS the gift of teaching?; distinguished between the GIFT and the OFFICE?  You can be a teacher in Church as an official position.  And if you were a teacher, you should have the gift of teaching.  But not all who have the GIFT of TEACHING are recognized as OFFICIAL TEACHERS because the gift could be exercised in so many ways.

Let me tell you what the GIFT is:  It is the ABILITY, in the Holy Spirit to pass on TRUTH to somebody else.  That’s simply enough, isn’t it?  PROPHECY is proclaiming Christ to an audience and TEACHING is passing on TRUTH to somebody else so they receive it and implement it.  It is a communicative ability.

FIFTH, The Last Gift is EXHORTATION – Romans 12:8:

“He who EXHORTS, to his exhortation.”

What is the word EXHORTATION?  In the Greek, the words Paracalan; Paraclete; Paracletas. 

We know that word as The Comforter; Holy Spirit.  It means to comfort or help or advise or strengthen.  God has given some people in the body not to necessarily PROCLAIM; dig out the facts, not figure out the principles and apply them in WISDOM, not even to systematically TEACH.  They just go around and sort of STRENGTHEN people; they encourage you; they help you; they advise you.  If you want a simple definition:  It is the ABILITY to provide comfort and courage; help and strength to somebody who needs it.”

When I first started The WORD Detective blog, I became discouraged in the beginning because it seemed no one was viewing the words.  And then two people, who definitely have the GIFT of EXHORTATION encouraged me, comforted me, and gave me strength in their words to diligently pursue ideas through God’s Word at MAXIMUM Output!  Thank you fellow bloggers, JoAnn and Florence.

It also could come through a PROCLAIM ER; could come through the PULPIT.  PROPHECY is EXHORTATION.  It could come through TEACHING; it could come through counseling.  It can come in many ways.  It is the ability to get by somebody who has a problem and build them up; encourage them, bear their load.  People say, “Oh yes.  It’s the GIFT of Counseling.”  WRONG!  Counseling isn’t a GIFT, it’s a PROCESS.   I like Martin Luther’s definition:  “Teaching is directed to the ignorant; exhortation to those who know better.”

Let me finish in PRAYER,

Lord, I thank You for the GIFT that You have given each one of us as believers in  Your Son Jesus.  And we pray that we might minister these gifts for those who have the gift of PROPHECY or PROCLAIMING.  The gift of KNOWLEDGE or WISDOM or TEACHING or STRENGTHENING; we pray, Lord, that they might minister the gift as good stewards of the manifold Grace of God.  As you have poured out these abilities, may we in obedience and thankfulness minister the same to one another.  May we exercise; operate in our gifting s with MAXIMUM output for Your Name’s sake.  On FIRE for Jesus!

In Jesus Name, AMEN.

WANTED: More Liberals In the Church!

“Then he said to me, This [addition of the bowl to the candlestick, causing it to yield a ceaseless supply of oil from the olive trees], is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, saying,  Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit [of Whom the oil is a symbol], says the Lord of hosts”  (Zechariah 4:6 AMP).

“…he who contributes, let him do it in simplicity and LIBERALITY; he who gives aid and superintends, with zeal and singleness of mind; he who does act of mercy, with genuine cheerfulness and joyful eagerness”  (Romans 12:8 AMP).

This past Sunday in church, we were blessed by Andrew Damazio as our quest speaker.  The title of his message was,  “10 Signs of a Supernatural Church.” [Acts 2]

As I was having my quiet time this morning, Holy Spirit laid on my heart the above two Bible verses.  As I began to study and uncover the evidences of Sign #7 given in the morning message, I quickly discovered that more liberals are needed in today’s churches.  As Andrew stated, to be a ‘supernatural church’, there are obvious signs.

SIGN #7: Fruit of the Spirit and Giving.

The Golden Lampstand in Zechariah 4:2 is a symbol of divine testimony; the out-shining of God’s glory.

An angel was speaking to Zechariah and said to him, “What do you see? I said, I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with its bowl [for oil] on the top of it and its seven lamps on it, and [there are] seven pipes to each of the seven lamps which are upon the top of it.”

Lying behind all God’s activities with men is the reason for man’s creation; His desire to display His glory.  The human race failed as a whole to realize this grand design.  But the testimony of the glory was taken up by individual witnesses (Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and others).  The enormous responsibility rested on their shoulders.

Then the testimony passed from individuals to a nation–Israel.  Ultimately, Israel failed.  So the testimony was  transferred and passed to the Church, consisting of Israelites to whom Gentiles were later added.

The Glory of God certainly blazed up anew in the Church in the beginning (Acts 2).  In the course of time, speaking in general terms, the Church has also failed.  One of the seven churches of Asia, recorded in The Book of revelation was threatened with the entire removal of its Lampstand (Rev.2:5).

The article, as beautiful in itself, has no significance by its mere form (shown in the photo).  But only the light of God blazes out from it.  This is what God is always seeking, the display of His glory in and through His people–His church.

SOLID GOLD–

The Temple’s Menorah and Zachariah’s Menorah are made from solid gold, symbolizing the light of God’s truth to the world.  Gold symbolizes holiness and purity.

THE BOWL–

The bowl is filled with Olive oil which is the source for the oil which in turn feeds the lamp.  In the Temple, the job of the priest was to maintain the oil.  Here in the bowl, it is over the lamp feeding the lamp oil directly from the Olive trees.

SEVEN LAMPS–

From the center pipe, six pipes branched out, ending with lamps.  Exodus 25:37 gives a description of the seven lamps on the Menorah.  Jesus, when He appeared to John in Revelation, chapter 1 was in the midst of the seven golden lampstands.  The lamps represented the seven churches; Christ light to the nations through the church.

TWO OLIVE TREES–

They stood near the lampstand, to the left and right of the bowl.  Beaten olive oil was fuel for the Menorah of the Tabernacle and the Temple.  Olive oil was also the chief ingredient of anointing oil used in anointing kings and priests (Exodus 30:24).

The question before us in Zechariah 4:11; if the vision essentially shows a solution of continual beating, storing and dispensing of oil, then what does the interpretation in verses 6 thru 10 mean?

The interpreting angel gives us the answer:  “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit [of Whom the oil is a symbol], says the Lord of hosts” (verse 6).

The lamp of Exodus was maintained by human endeavor in obedience to a God-given plan.  The lamp of Zechariah omits the need of human endeavor.  The vision is all about the oil and the interpretation is all about the Holy Spirit.

The puzzle of verses 6-10 is, while God clearly asserts it was going to be done through His Spirit and then emphasized, the Spirit will be the working agency of the human hand.  How does this all relate to the signs of a “Supernatural Church”?

Anointing oil’s significance is to be “anointed”; to be made sacred (consecrated); to be set apart and dedicated to serve God; to be endowed with enabling gifts and grace; to be divinely designated, inaugurated, chosen for some purpose in this life of ours.  We know this subject is important to God because the words anoint, anointed, and anointing appear more than 150 Spirit-inspired verses including 22 New Testament Scriptures.  If you are a born-again believer in Christ Jesus, you are “anointed.”  You are priests; prince and princes; heirs to the throne of God.  Say to yourself out loud, “I am anointed” [I will bring this out againin Romans 12:8].

The English word anoint is derived from ancient Latin;  inunctus, “smear with oil.”  Anointing was appropriated to equip us for the task of giving.  When God calls, He qualifies, He equips and He has already prepared us to be givers through the Holy spirit.

GLORY IN THE HEART–Romans 12:6-8:

“Blessed [are you–happy, fortunate, to be envied, with life-joy, and satisfaction in God’s favor and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward condition], because the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God, is resting upon you”  (1 Peter 4:14 AMP).

Can you feel the GLORY resting on your shoulders right now?   A quick observation on the gifts and ministries of the Spirit.  There is a reason for gifts of the Spirit; something of the nature and attributes of God shown through God’s people; the Church.  Not the church building, for we are the church; we have the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God resting on our shoulders.

Examples:

The gift of exhortation is a glimpse into how God exhorts, urges, presses, spurs, warns us (Romans 12:8).

The gift of giving is a glimpse into how God desires to lavish upon us things for our good.  The giving of the gifts given is for our edification; it enables us to get a glimpse of the nature of God as He personally works in the lives of His people.  The more you exercise your giving, the better others are able to see how the particular area of life in the Body works itself out in their own lives.  I might not have the gift of evangelism but…if I want to know how to evangelize, then I should seek someone in the Body (the church) who God has gifted in that area.  Someone might not have the gift of teaching but…if that person wanted to get a handle on how to instruct, let’s say his children, you may want to observe how that gift is being used by a teacher, who wants to give then glean from him or her.  So we shouldn’t think we’re not given a particular gift by the Spirit.  At the same time, we’re not responsible for seeking to please God in areas outside our particular giving or gifts.   The gift of giving goes beyond what we think or even imagine God expects from us.

OUR CAUTION–Romans 12:8:

The last part of verse 8 deals with our attitudes; our heart condition as we do the giving.  Most people think that when we talk about “giving”, we are talking about money; tithes and offerings.  That is true, but giving is much more.

Picture for just a minute a curtain rod attached above your bedroom window.  Hanging from the rod are curtains from top to bottom.  If one end of the curtain rod falls down on the carpet, then everything else slip off the rod into a pile.  Do you have a clear picture of that pile on the floor?

Now suppose that curtain rod that’s holding everything up, is called the LOVE ROD.  Hanging on the rod is your giving, your faith, prophecy, teaching, encouraging, giving aid, practical service…   Everything hangs on the LOVE ROD!  If the ‘love rod’ slips and falls, then everything hanging on it will land on the floor of despair in a heap.

Verses 9 of Romans 12 adds, “[Let your] love be sincere (a real thing)”; without hypocrisy or selfishness.  What’s LOVE got to do with your giving?  EVERYTHING!

Paul mentions three gifts:

1.  GIVING.

2.  RULING.

3.  SHOWING MERCY.

He tells us how our giving is to be administered in the exercising of all spiritual gifts.  Paul says the giving is to be used with, SIMPLICITY, DILIGENCE and CHEERFULNESS.

Simplicity–means “with sincerity; free from mental pretense and hypocrisy.”  Whether it is giving or any other exercise of spiritual gifts.  Our giving must be from a pure heart as ministers of Jesus.  Without thoughts of self; serving Him for His glory and not for our own personal gain.

Diligence–the word means “with haste” (Our word “speed” comes from this word); earnestness striving after something.  It refers to seeing the urgency of the moment, of some need around us, then reaching out to make a difference in the lives of others while still time.

Cheerfulness–This word means “with excited joy and readiness of mind.”  We get the English word “hilarious” from the Greek word.  Giving in the service of God should fill our hearts with unbridled joy, excitement.  Can you just imagine what it would be like in church during the “tithes and offerings” segment of the service and people gave “with excited joy and readiness of mind”?  Not faking it until you make it but from the heart.  It might even be called a “Supernatural Church”!

A “SUPERNATURAL CHURCH” IN THE COMMUNITY:

Romans 12:8 says, than when we do the giving, “let him do it in simplicity and liberality..”  That is where I got the idea for the title of this blog post:  WANTED: More Liberals in the Church.  You probably were a bit confused at first but hopefully you get the idea; people who are giving liberally will become a supernatural church!

The idea in a “supernatural church” is the giving as we serve and an excited heart; giving glory to your church because you want to!  Witnessing, tithing because you want to!  Being in a supernatural church is all about what the Lord wants you and I to be!