Friday, August 22, 2008

What is your Spiritual Gift?

Take this free online analysis to learn what your spiritual gifts are and how you can use them for God's glory.

I took it and I have two spiritual gifts that tied for #1.

Showing Mercy: As a mercy-shower you have the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by identifying with and comforting those who are in distress. You understand and comfort your fellow Christian. You enter into the grief or happiness of others and have the ability to show empathy which is to feel WITH others, not just for others.

Pastor/Shepherd: We are actually discussing the GIFT of shepherding, not the POSITION of pastor. As a gifted shepherd, you have the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by overseeing, training, and caring for the needs of a group of Christians. You are usually very patient, people-centered, and willing to spend time in prayer for others. You tend to be a "Jack of All and Master of ONE," meaning you are usually dominant in one of the speaking gifts (evangelist, prophet, teacher, exhorter) as well. You are often authoritative, more a leader than a follower, and expressive, composed, and sensitive. Your pleasing personality draws people to you.

In 2nd Place was Administration
In 3rd Place was Teaching

Monday, August 18, 2008


I think all of us women are guilty of gossip. I really liked this daily devotional from crosswalk.

Godly Talk or Gossip?
Melanie Chitwood

"Tell the older women to behave as those who love the Lord should.

They must not gossip about others or be slaves of wine.

They must teach what is proper." Titus 2:3 (CEV)


Have you ever said words such as: "I'm just telling you this so you will pray for her," or "I'm really not supposed to share this; just don't tell anyone else." Truthfully, I've been guilty of trying to hide gossip with words like this, but God has really been convicting me lately about my words. Specifically, God is challenging me to speak godly words. Now that this subject of godly words is on my heart, it seems that God is bringing verses and life-lessons about this topic wherever I turn.

As I drove home from Bible study, I realized that God had used my friend Debbie that night to deliver one of those life-lessons about godly words. Out of all the discussions that night, Debbie's words were the ones that stayed with me. Her words had pointed me to a deeper understanding of God, so much so that I wrote them in my journal and even shared them with another friend.

Over the ten years I've know her, I've learned many lessons about godly words from Debbie. First, I've never heard her gossip about another woman. The definition of gossip is "idle talk; rumor; talk of a personal, sensational, or intimate nature." In Titus 2:3 we women are instructed not to be "malicious gossips." God knew that we women might struggle with our words. Debbie has never even hinted at gossiping about another woman. That's an amazing track record.

The second lesson about godly words from Debbie has been the way she talks about her husband and her marriage. We've had many honest conversations about our marital challenges. Once again, Debbie has never gossiped about her husband. Even at times when she's been angry or frustrated with her husband, she doesn't berate him or share details that would embarrass him.

Finally, one of the keys to Debbie's godly words is in the amount she speaks. She is neither overly quiet nor overly talkative. The words she says are wise and point me to God. Her example in the amount she speaks teaches me to ask myself: Do I really need to say anything in this situation, or do I just want to hear myself talk?

I'm very much a work-in-progress in this area of godly talk. I've spent plenty of time lately confessing the sin of my ungodly talk, and I'm thankful for my heavenly Father who doesn't give up on me but calls me to His standards. I'll end with two things that are really helping me in this area. I have a friend who is also working on this and we hold each other accountable. And I have a question that I'm trying to use as a guideline for godly talk: Are my words going to lead to gossip or to God?

Dear Lord, You know what's in my heart and You know that godly talk is something that's challenging to me. Lord, I want to honor You with my words. I want to be a woman who can be trusted by others not to harm them, and I want to be trusted by You, Lord, to speak only what honors You. Make me aware of situations or people who might tempt me to gossip, and give me the strength to avoid these situations. Lord, if I sin with my words, convict me, cause me to repent, and to have a change of heart, a heart that wants what You want. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Application Steps:

Read through Proverbs chapters 6,10, and 13. Write down any guidelines you learn for godly talk.

Ask a trusted friend to hold you accountable to speak in a godly way.

Ask God to make you more aware of your talking.


Do I listen more or talk more?

Are my words going to lead to gossip or to God?

Are there situations or other people who tempt me to gossip? Can I avoid them?

Power Verses:

Proverbs 6:16, 19, "There are six things which the Lord hates ... a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers." (NAS)

Proverbs 13:3, "Careful words make for a careful life; careless talk may ruin everything." (Message)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Are you wheat or chaff?

Matthew 3:10-12 (NKJV)
And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

1. What do I like?
I like that when we turn to Jesus, he baptizes us with the Holy Spirit so that He is with us all the time. I like that I will be part of His wheat that He will gather into the barn because I have trusted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior.

2. What do I find challenging?
That every tree which does not bear good fruit, trusting in Jesus as their savior, will be cut down and thrown into an unquenchable fire. I know many people who are probably not saved and it's sad to think they will be cast into a fire that never goes out.

3. What do I learn about God?
That He sent Jesus to baptize with the Holy Spirit so that those of us who trust in Him will never be alone. We will always be filled with the Spirit and can face anything with Him inside us. I also learn that he baptizes those who don't follow Him with fire. This makes me realize that His judgement is severe and you can't go back and accept Him once it is too late. The fire is unquenchable. I also learn that when you are baptized with water by a preacher, it means nothing if you haven't been baptized with the Spirit by Jesus (given your life over to Him).

4. What is He leading me to do?
He is leading me to bear good fruit and lead others to know Jesus so they will be saved from the unquenchable fire.

5. What will I meditate upon?
[He will] gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Matthew 3:12b

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Flight into Egypt

Once again, I'm doing the 5 question study.

Matthew 2:13-15 (NJKV)
Now when they departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him."
When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying "Out of Egypt I called My Son."

1. What do I like?
I like that God speaks to us to protect us from harm. I like that Joseph listened to God and trusted Him, even though it meant fleeing to a foreign land. It couldn't have been easy to do what God told him to do. I like that this scripture reveals an Old Testament prophecy that Jesus fulfilled.

2. What do I find challenging?
God told Joseph to flee to Egypt, a foreign land. It is challenging when God asks me to step out of my comfort zone, even if it is to protect me or the ones I love.

3. What do I learn about God?
If we are willing to listen, He will lead us away from harm. I also learn that Jesus fulfilled many messianic prophecies from the Old Testament.

4. What is He leading me to do?
He is leading me to trust Him. Sometimes the things He leads me to do may not be fun or easy, but they may be for my own protection or for His glory. I need to be willing to listen and go where He leads me, even if it is hard to do or seems ridiculous.

5. What will I meditate upon?
When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying "Out of Egypt I called My Son." Matthew 2:14-15

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

5 Questions

Our associate pastor preached tonight and gave us a great idea for a good in-depth Bible study during daily quiet time. I couldn't wait to try it out and wanted to post it on here. He said to find a few verses to concentrate on, then after reading them ask yourself these 5 questions.

I chose Hebrews 4:14-16 (NJKV)
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

1. What do I like?
God understands how we are tempted to sin because he was also tempted.
He sympathizes with our weaknesses to sin, making it easier to go to Him in confession.
His throne is open for me to come to Him anytime for help.

2. What do I find challenging?
God was tempted like me, but He did not sin...that's a tough thing to compare myself to because often when I am tempted I DO sin.

3. What do I learn about God?
He is merciful and forgiving. His throne is open for me to come boldly to Him no matter what I have done wrong. He understands that it is difficult for me to resist the temptations of Satan and is willing to forgive me for my sins.

4. What is He leading me to do?
I think he is leading me to always come to Him and throw myself before His throne for forgiveness for my sins. There are times when I feel I can't ask for forgiveness because I don't think I'm sorry enough for the sin to repent. But He is telling me here that He understands my weaknesses and will help me in my time of need. I need to rely on Him for everything...even help with repentance.

5. What will I meditate upon?
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Heb. 4:16

What are your answers to these questions for this scripture? I'm interested to hear your input.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A New Post!

I'm so sorry it's been so long since I've posted. I've been very busy with several things in life. But I HAVE been in the Word and God has revealed so many things to me. I feel like I've really grown spiritually these last few months, but I still have a long way to go.

Today I read 1 Kings 13. This took place after Jeroboam led the people to worship false gods. In Chapter 13, a man of God came to Jeroboam with a message from God. God commanded that man to give his message and turn and go. He was not to eat bread or drink there and was not to return the same way he came. The man was on the right track and turned down the first person to offer him bread and drink. However, an old prophet came to him and told him to come back to his house and eat and drink with him. This old prophet lied to him and told him God told him "bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water." The man of God went back with him and ate and drank with him. Then the Lord punished him. When he left, he was killed by a lion.

What did I learn from this chapter? There are many people who come to you in life trying to lead you away from the Lord and what He has commanded you to do. This man was an old prophet who lied and led the man of God astray. Not all people who try to lead you away from God will appear to be the type who would do that; some may even be fellow Christians or church leaders. Here's the test we should always give...if what they say does not match up with the Word of God, don't listen! This old prophet claimed God told him to take the man back to his house to eat and drink. The problem is that didn't match with what the Lord had already told the man. We have to be careful what we believe when people try to influence us. It doesn't matter if it is your own pastor...always confirm what they say with the Word of God. The Bible will never lead you away from God; it will only bring you closer. Stay in the Word...even if it means only reading one verse a day...stay in it. If you don't, you open yourself up for Satan (the lion) to attack.