Discover Your Spiritual Gifts - by Asela Jayarathne
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Discover Your Spiritual Gifts - by Asela Jayarathne

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This is very simple hand book that you can teach your children about Spiritual Gifts and help them discover their God given gifts.

This is very simple hand book that you can teach your children about Spiritual Gifts and help them discover their God given gifts.

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Discover Your Spiritual Gifts - by Asela Jayarathne Discover Your Spiritual Gifts - by Asela Jayarathne Document Transcript

  • A hand book for children and teens to discover their Spiritual Gifts .......... Discover Your Spiritual Gifts By Asela Jayarathne
  • Discover your Spiritual Gifts
  • Discover your Spiritual Gifts ! Copyright by Asela Jayarathne 2009 All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced in any form whatsoever, except for brief quotations in reviews, without written permission from the publisher. Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, New International Version (NIV) Copywrite 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Written and Designed by Asela Jayarathne Asela Jayarathne No 70 Yalegoda Handessa Sri Lanka 20480 E/ aselaja@gmail.com 2
  • Where you can find everything in this book 01. Spiritual Gifts 1.1 What is the purpose of giving Spiritual Gifts ? 1.2 Spiritual Gifts in the new testament 1.3 Spiritual Gifts in the old testament 02. 03. 04. 05. Gift of Apostle Gift of Prophecy Gift of Evangelism Gift of Pastoring and Teaching 5.1 Gift of Teaching Gift of Leadership Gift of Faith Gift of Giving Gift of Showing Mercy Gift of Counselling Gift of Wisdom Gift of Knowledge Gift of Distinguishing between Spirits Gift of Miracle Gift of Speaking Tongues and Interpreting Gift of Healing Gift of Craftsmanship Gift of Music How do you discover the gifts God has given you ? Conclusion 06. 07. 08. 09. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.
  • Thanks I first thank my Jesus Christ for saving me by sacrificing his life on the cross. I thank the Lord for his matchless love. I thank all those who prayed for me when I wrote this book. Their prayers steered me on. I trust this book will be a blessing to you. -Asela Jayarathne- 4
  • How to use this book ? Read this book may times. Then God will teach you about the many gifts he has given you. Through this book you will be able to recognize your gifts. You will come to understand Jesus better by reading this book, and begin to thank God for the gifts that he has given you. You can improve on the gifts God has given you and use them to benefit others. By reading the many Bible verses you will be able to study the Bible, know more Bible stories and also study the many Bible Characters. 5
  • Spiritual Gifts 01 What are spiritual gifts? Spiritual Gifts are special talents and abilities God has given us to serve him and each other. ( 1 Peter 4 : 10) These abilities can be put into two groups; one is God given and the other is inherited. Both abilities are given by God – 1 Cor 4:7 These abilities can be used for our needs as well as for God's purposes. Although these abilities may seem alike we can see some important differences. Spiritual gifts belong to Christians only. They are given by The Holy Spirit. - 1 Cor.12:7 Non-Christians do not have Spiritual gifts. 1 Cor.14:23-24 Inherited gifts are from birth and we cannot have what we do not receive. However spiritual gifts areboth from birth as well as when we receive Jesus Christ as our personal saviour. (born again) Jeremiah 1:5 - before he was born he was appointed a prophet. Galatians 1:15, Philp 3:05, Acts 22:3-5 - Paul was anointed to be a teacher and a preacher before he received salvation and was anointed to be a apostle, miracle worker, healer and to speak in other languages (tongues) after he received Jesus Christ as his saviour. 6
  • You can identify your inherited gifts and grow in them according to your will. 1 Cor.2:14 But to know and grow in the Spiritual gifts you need the help of the Holy Spirit. 2 Tim.1:7 You can operate in the Spiritual gifts through the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor. 2:4-5, Phil. 4:13 If anyone receives Jesus his abilities can develop into Spiritual gifts. Otherwise his natural gifts will remain as inherited abilities. 7
  • Why are we given Spiritual gifts ? 01.1 The Holy Spirit gives us Spiritual gifts to defeat the acts of the devil and through it to impart both Christians and nonChristians. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.-Mt 5:16 (NIV) ? Are our deeds good? Are we glorifying God through them? Why do we seem to limit our good deeds? WE ARE UNABLE TO IDENTIFY OUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS. Comparing ourselves with others - Most people identify themselves by comparing themselves with others. We look at the people around us and evaluate ourselves. By this we create a wrong impression about ourselves. We cannot measure ourselves but God will. 2 Cor.10:12-13 We can measure ourselves according to the portion of our faith. Romans 12:3,6-7 If you want to improve your nature and evaluate yourself, you definitely have to first identify your spiritual gifts. Competitiveness - Do we compete with our brother, sister, neighbour or best friend? Around you there are able leaders, talented musicians and others who seem to be doing better than you, are you jealous of them? Or do you thank God for them? 8
  • If you cannot identify your gifts, measure them or because of competitiveness cannot use them to Glorify God. Then: By reading the word of God By spending more time in prayer By receiving power from God You can identify the gifts God has given you and glorify his name. Gifts mentioned in the New Testament 1 Cor 12:28 Apostolic Gifts Prophecy Teaching Performing Miracles Healing Helping Pastoring Other Languages (Tongues) Eph. 4: 11 Apostolic Gifts Prophecy Evangelism Pastoring Teaching 01.2 Rom 12: 6-8 Prophecy Serving Teaching Counseling Giving to Others Leadership Showing Mercy 1 Peter 4 : 11 Speaking Serving 9
  • 01.3 Gifts mentioned in the Old Testament Creativity - Exodus 31:2-4 Music - 1 Samuel 16:18-19 (David) These two gifts are not mentioned in the New Testament because the early church was based in people rather than buildings. Spiritual gifts can be categorized in to three groups according to their nature. Helping Gifts Apostolic Gifts Prophetic Evangelistic Pastoring Teaching Serving Gifts Administration Counseling Faith Contributing Helping Showing mercy Signs Discerning of Spirits Miracles Healings Speaking in other languages (tongues) Interpreting of other languages (tongues) 10
  • Apostolic Gift 02 Eph. 2:20 - says that the church is founded on the function of the Apostles and the Prophets. This means that the church was started by the Apostles. Therefore this gift is always mentioned first when mentioning gifts. "And God has appointed in the church first apostles......." 1Co 12:28 (ESV) Apostles mentioned in the Bible The 12 disciples (except Judas) Matthias was chosen instead- Acts 1:26 (ESV) Paul - Romans 1:1 Barnabas - Acts 14:14 Andronicus and Junia - Rom 16:7 Features of an Apostle And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.-Acts 2:42 (ESV) This Shows that the apostles spent time with the believers, teaching, having fellowship and breaking bread with them. Biblical example.: Paul Acts 14:21-29 - These verses Show that he made many disciples. He went from place to place planting churches. After Paul started this new work he sent Timothy and Titus to the new churches. They organized the church, taught and gave guidance to the people. Titus 1:05, Philp. 2:19-21 - about Timothy 11
  • Paul did not build churches that were already founded by others. Neither did he work together with, or disturb churches built by another person. He traveled from place to place and started a new work. - Romans 15:20 The place he stayed for the longest was the church in Ephesus. It was for three years. - Acts 20:31 Can we see this kind of gifting today? Even today we can find people of this nature today. We can see these people working with both Christians and nonChristians in a very balanced way, also those who start new work according to their abilities. Today God has given this gift to many Pastors. These pastors serve in one church then go to another area and start church and after sometime hand it over to someone responsible and leave to start another work elsewhere, are those we can consider to posses the apostolic gift. Sometimes God may give you this gift as well. If you are given this gift you will always want to start something new. It will not be something already started by someone but will be something unique to you. God will give you the strength for that. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Phil 4:13 (ESV) 12
  • Gift of Prophecy 03 1 Cor 14:1, 4, 5, 12, 22, 39 according to these Verses the gift of prophecy is a very special to esteemed gift. What is the gift of prophecy? Is it reading peoples' palms and telling them their future? Is it reading horoscopes Is it to be an astrologer According to the bible the person who shares the prophecy has a revelation from God and translates it to help others understand. The Greek word "Prophecy" means “Shine in the forefront." When a prophet speaks it brings light even to the darkest place similar to lighting a lamp. - 1 Peter 1:19-20-21 Every time the prophets in the old and new testaments had revelation from God they explained to others.Acts 2:22-25,29-32, Psalm 16:8-11 1000 years before Jesus Christ was born, King David prophesied of his birth. What he prophesied about Jesus was 100% accurate. The gift of prophecy enables you to speak with 100% accuracy. - Deut 18:22 There's difference between true prophets and false prophets. Apostle John had previously warned the church concerning this. - 1 John 4:01 13
  • Their ministry is revealing the things of God. Peter when filled with the holy spirit; accurately spoke of the messiah mentioned in the Old Testament, the coming of the Messiah and other similar events during that time. Prophets of the early church Barnabas - Acts 13:1 Simeon - Acts 13:1 Lucius - Acts 13:1 Manaen - Acts 13:1 Judas - Acts 15:32 Silas - Acts 15:32 The first ladies who were also prophetesses Anna - Luke 2:36-38 The four virgin daughters of evangelist Philip Acts 21:9 The woman of the early church covered their heads when they prophesied. - 1 Cor.11:5 Even today we can see the gift of prophecy and apostolic gift operating in many ways. However Rev.22:18 states that you have to be very careful when prophesying. The main aim is to get people to read the word interpret it and receive revelation of God. The importance of a prophetic word: What do you expect of this gift? Does God still warn people of the things that are ahead? This may be strange to you. But every thing that is to happen is foretold in the word of God. 14
  • The value of this gift: The value of the prophetic word is mentioned in 1 Cor 14:3 On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their up building, encouragement and consolation. When preaching - you can speak a prophetic word. When writing – a writer can share a prophetic word through his work. Through films - you can attract a lot of attention in this way as well. Do I have this gift? You need not be someone who has a big ministry to have this gift. If you are willing to project yourself God has already placed it in you. The ministries of the church, inside the church, in the community, ladies meeting or Sunday school are a good opportunity for you to begin using this gift. By using this gift you can bless many and many will be encouraged. You may not be a teacher or an evangelist but if people can be encouraged, comforted and be made spiritually strong by what you speak then you have this gift. 15
  • Gift of Evangelism 04 Christianity is a religion that is spread worldwide through evangelism. Its growth has come through sharing the gospel. In the beginning there was no problem for spreading the gospel. Paul Says in Romans 3:29 that God is God to the Jews as well as to the Gentiles. Acts 1:8 The responsibility of each Christian is to be a witness, But according to Eph 4:11 God has set apart a special group of people to be evangelists. This means that only some Christians are given this gift What is the ministry of Evangelism? Is it preaching to multitudes of people? The word Evangelist comes from Gospel or (Good News). In the word of God only Philip is mentioned as an Evangelist. Paul and Peter were Apostles. Timothy and Titus were priests, Aggabas was a prophet, but only Philip is mentioned as an evangelist. - Acts 21:8 Philip was one of the overseers - Acts 6:1-6 During this time Philip was a preacher but he served faithfully. Because Christianity was spreading widely throughout Jerusalem overseers had to be appointed. They operated in faith and won many people, because of this the high priests began to persecute them. From Acts 8:5 we can see the duty of the evangelist. 16
  • Acts 7- Stephen Philip the evangelist also had to face this situation Due to this persecution it is said that a number of believers left Jerusalem and spread to different places. Acts 8: 1 - 4 says that the evangelists preached the gospel wherever they went. During this time the apostles remained in Jerusalem. From this example we can see the difference between the evangelist and the Apostles. Thereafter only Philip is mentioned as an evangelist. From Acts 8:5 we can see the duty of the evangelist. His ministry was going to places. Philip was not a Pastor. He remained in Samaria for a short while and traveled to Gaza and Philistine. (Acts 8:26) There he led one man to Christ and left to Azotus, thereafter he spread the gospel from there to every town until he reached Caesarea. (Acts 8: 40) The other group in the evangelistic ministry is the group of preachers Philip preached to the unbelievers. Samaritans were non Christians. They were a mix of Jews and Gentiles, but their religion was similar to Judaism. They also awaited the Messiah. John 4:20 says that though they were a religious group they too needed to hear the gospel. 17
  • Another point is the message of the evangelist Philip did not build up any believers. He did not counsel the believers as Paul did. Philip had a single message. In Samaria he preached the Kingdom of God and the Gospel (Acts 8:12). When Philip preached to the Ethiopians he preached about Jesus through the word of God (Acts 8:35) Another important fact in the Evangelistic ministry is its result When Philip preached to the unbelievers of Samaria the result was they came to know Jesus. (Acts 8:6-12) Likewise when he preached to the Ethiopian he believed. Some difficulty you may face with this gifting Is this gift only for bible school or students who engage in this subject? Or else can I also have this gift? Yes you too can have this gift. You can engage in this ministry even better than theologists. God has chosen you for this task. How would I know that I have this gift? The answer to this question is clearly given in Acts 11. Answer the following questions and you can decide for yourself if you have this gift. 1.Do you have the desire to share the Gospel with others? You may not do this to bring people to God. Most Christians like to see lives changing. But do you have a desire to tell people about Jesus? 2.Do people come to Jesus by your nature of talking? 18
  • If I have the Gift of Evangelism do I have more influence over one group of people than for another? Yes. Some people use their gift victoriously in schools and universities, but they cannot win children and adults over. Some are very effective at mass meetings and some at home cells, they go from house to house and win people over. Where should I evangelize? You can be effective in your gifting at any needed hour. Through this you will be filled with joy and inspire you to find various methods of evangelizing. e.g. – The gospel can be shared by a Student in school, Mechanic in his workshop, businessman with his business partners and housewife with her non Christian Neighbours. Even if I don't have the gift of evangelism can I be a witness for Jesus Christ? Definitely. Acts 1:8 says, “you shall be my witnesses…” Luke 24:48 says 'of what shall we witness...” You will be a witness of these things vs. 46-47, says that Jesus must suffer and rise again on the third day and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. That is if you have received forgiveness for your sin you should talk about it. If your life has changed due to the power of Jesus then you must talk about it. For God's purpose for salvation is for believers to witness. God h a s called you and me to witness. 2 Tim 4:5 Paul encourages young Timothy by saying this. “ But you can keep your head up in all situations, e n d u r e hardships, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 19
  • The task of an evangelist is to tell people that God loves them. That sin has separated them from God, Jesus came down and bore their sin upon himself, therefore that sin does not have a hold on them anymore. Although everyone does not have the gift of evangelism everyone is called to be a witness. An evangelist is one who can see results in his ministry he is also one who has great favor with God. He will see great results in his ministry according to his faithfulness. Paul says to the Corinthians let people see us as servants of Christ and as keepers of Gods secrets. Be faithful to the calling (1 Cor 4 : 1-2) If you have the gift of evangelism, be faithful to God and you will se great results. 20
  • Pastor - Teacher Gift 05 “It was he who he gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists and some to be pastors and teachers…” - Eph 4 : 11 – 13 This gift is given to us that we may come to the understanding of the stature and measure of Christ. The church that preaches the good news and is able to win over unbelievers is similar to Jesus accepting infant Christians. They need to be fed by the word of God. The church has to visit their homes, have bible studies, organize events etc. This is in order to bring its new members to grow in the stature and measure of Jesus. For this you need Pastors and teachers in the church. Pastor – Teacher gifting Biblical examples:Pastor-Teacher gifting is a combination of two gifting. The gift of Pastoring is not only taking care of someone it is similar to what a shepherd does. The second is looking after sheep, Pastoring gift as a caregiver and teacher. We can see spiritual shepherds in both the n e w a n d o l d testaments. Ezekiel in the Old Testament prophesies saying prophesy to shepherds “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves should not shepherds take care of the flocks” (Ezekiel 34:2) God rebukes the shepherds for their unfaithfulness and also shows the shepherds their responsibilities 21
  • They should feed their flock (34:2) Make the weak strong and heal the sick. Bind the wounds of the broken and bring back those driven away and seek the lost (34:4) they should lead them in tenderness (34:5) and protect them from wild animals. New Testament is also very clear about the gift of Pastoring Apostle Paul introduces Jesus Christ as the Chief shepherd (1 Peter 5:4) The writer of Hebrews introduces Jesus Christ as the Great Shepherd (Heb 13:20) Jesus Christ himself claims to be the Good Shepherd (John 10: 11 – 14) The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep and the sheep recognize him. 1 Pet 5: 1-3 shows the elders the proper function of a shepherd. To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder to be witnesses of Christ's sufferings Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers not because you must but because you are willing as God wants you to be. Not greedy for money, but eager to serve not lording over those under your care but being an example. Also Paul warns the elders of Ephesus to safeguard their flock from deceitful teaching (Acts 20: 28-31) 22
  • The chapter gives a clear example of the Shepherds ministry. How a person with a Pastor – teacher gift should feed his sheep; strengthen them, heal them and bind their wounds, cause them to come back, guide, protect, lay his life down for them and know his sheep personally. This should be his service and by this he becomes a true spiritual example to his sheep. Does every pastor have this gift? 1 Tim 3:2 – Pastors should be effective teachers How do you use this gift outside your church? Sunday school teachers, Youth leaders, children's workers, use this gift. They teach as well as shepherd t h e i r flocks. Some who are counselors and principals use this gift. You can use this gift to be a spiritual shepherd to your Sunday school group or your youth group. 23
  • Gift of Teaching 05.1 The gift of evangelism brings new souls to the church and the gift of teaching builds up people to the stature of Christ. (Mat 28:20) without teaching you cannot build disciples. The gift of teaching is the third mentioned spiritual gift (1 Cor 12:28) If a person is to have a relationship with Jesus he needs to be taught first. “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day….. to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:41-42) The teachers mentioned in the Bible Paul – 2 Tim 1:11 Barnabas – Acts 15 : 35 Apollos - Acts 18 : 24-25 Teaching and Women The world today has many lady teachers who are doing a good ministry, but the bible has various limitations regarding women. Paul writes to timothy “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent” 2 Tim 2 :12 24
  • He writes to the church in Corinth on the same lined “women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission” as the law says 1 Cor 14 : 35 – 36 Does this mean that women are prohibited to operate in the gift of teaching? We will consider further. A woman is not similar to a man whether it is mentally, spiritually or in character. Likewise the duties of male and female are not the same. Paul states further, “ And Adam was not the one deceived but the woman” ( 1 Tim 2:13) The reason God created woman was to be a help mate for man and not to have authority over him. Likewise we can see another fact that is Eve instead of following adam, gave him direction and the result was sin. (1 Tim 2 :14) But a woman teaching other women is not prohibited. “Teach the older to be reverent….then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children” (Titus 2:3-4) “But as for you, continue in what you have learnt and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learnt it and how from infancy you have known the holy scriptures” (2 Tim 3 :14 – 15) He reminded Timothy of his early teachers. Timothy learnt from his Grandma and mother (2 Tim 1 :5) We can also see that one woman along with her husband taught the scriptures to one person Acts 18 :26 Here we see that Achilla and Priscilla listened to the preaching of Apollos and approached him. He was an excellent preacher but did not know adequately. He knew only the teachings of John the Baptist. This husband and wife taught him the scriptures in depth. Here we see that Priscilla did not go above her husband but she taught alongside him. 25
  • What can we say about the missionary work of the woman ? She serves in various capacities, because the man does not fulfill his responsiblibites. Eventually if a woman has a gift of teaching she can share it with women and children. Home bible studies, Vocational Bible studies, Sunday school and cell groups are some places where women can use their gift. We can also see women using their abilities. Teaching is the foundation in any church. If there are no gifted teachers in any church we have to pray and ask God to send one. Or else ask God to give someone in your church the gift of teaching. If you feel that you have this gift :Go for teacher training courses. If your church does not have these courses, find a church that does. Find out if you can join these classes and what you learn impart to your church. 26
  • Gift of Leadership 06 Before Jesus formed the early church he had a group of twelve with him for three years. He taught these disciples and trained them to become effective leaders. Even these disciples had a wrong picture of leadership. Before they were taught they valued praise and honor. John and Jacob made a request with regards to leadership. (Mark 10:35) But Jesus rejected this request….. “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles regulate laws and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you, instead who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.” (Mark 10: 42-44) Here Jesus is very clear to his disciples about the qualities of a true leader. Today most leaders have rejected these qualities. They count on their position rather than their gifts. A Christian leader should never seek his or her personal gain. Leader mean a servant, otherwise there will be confusion and division amongst people. The word “leads” in Greek means “before” and “stand”. Therefore a leader means someone who stands in front. 27
  • Common concept of a leader:Sometimes when a leader does not have a right understanding of his leadership he can become a failure. We will analyze some of the concepts of a leader. 1. Some think that the gift of leadership comes with position. Most pastors think this is true. Some become leaders through vote or election. Therefore leaders in most churches are not gifted for leadership, untrained and uneducated. Leadership does not depend on position but on the gift. 2. Some become leaders due to personality The outward appearance does not qualify for leadership. The personality also does not count in leadership. Timothy is a young man who came to the forefront and served. Although he was not a leader yet, he had good relationship with people around him. Paul encouraged him due to this and said “For this reason I remind you to fan the flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying of hands” (2 Tim 1:6-7) We can think that Timothy was someone who was shy, but Paul selected him to go to the Philippian Church. “I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. I have no one else like him who takes a genuine interest in your welfare… because…. He served with me in the work of the gospel.” (Philp 2:19 – 22) Likewise there was a problem about sending someone to the church at Thessalonia. “We sent Timothy who is our brother and God's fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith.” (1 Thess 3:2) 28
  • 3. Some give leadership to those who have the ability to talk. The gift of Prophecy does not always come with the gift of leadership. When the great leader Moses, went to Egypt, God sent Aaron to talk on his behalf. 4. Everyone that leads does not have the gift of leadership. Although we all like to give we all do not have the gift to give. Though we all like to witness to others we all do not have the gift of witnessing. Likewise we all get instances where we have to lead e.g. Mother over her children, husband in his family. We all lead at some point or the other but that does not mean that we have the gift to lead. How to use this gift:The gift of leadership enables you to lead in the church or outside. (1 Tim 3:1-13, Tit 1:5-9) Many youth get the opportunity of leading in youth events, schools and other Christian movements. 29
  • Gift of Faith 07 What is faith? Faith is a gift that comes from God. Eph 2:8 says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Likewise Paul analyses the gifts of the Spirit “The same spirit gives faith” (1 Cor 12:9). Therefore faith is a gift from God. Hebrews describes faith as:- “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Heb 11:1) Faith is also foreseeing what we would do before God and thanking Him for the same. “Have faith in God”, Jesus answered (Mark 11:22) 30
  • Gift of faith God gives the special ability to come believers to have faith for very different things. This faith can move mountains and this is not a gift that everyone has. This is what Jesus says about this special gift. “I tell you the truth if you have faith as small as a mustard seed you can say to this mountain, “move from here to there and it will move” (Mark 17:20) Jesus did find a few who had this type of faith. When he went to heal the Centurion's servant the man said “I do not have the right to ask you to come to my home but say a word and my servant will be healed” (Mat 8:8) “Jesus says I have not found anyone in Israel with such a great faith”, Matt 8 :10. This man had great faith. He foresaw the miracle before it actually took place. This paved the way for action. Here faith initiated action. Faith enables God's name to be glorified by changing ordinary things. The hopeless things, into hopeful things. By this gift our level of hope gets built up. Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit given to man to serve God with joy, zeal and with hope. Faith can be seen but cannot be measures. We can only see the results of faith. 31
  • Gift of Giving 08 Another gift of the spirit is the gift of contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously Rom 12:8 This gift is generally limited. Paul used this gift to collect and distribute finances in the church. This gift is not entirely dependent on finances only god is the provider. Here Paul speaks to Timothy about the people who operate in this gift. “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant not to put their hope in wealth which is so uncertain, but put their trust in God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to be rich in good deeds, and be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for themselves for the coming age. (2 Tim 6:17-19) Every Christian has a responsibility towards contributing to God's ministry. “Unto whom much is given, much is expected” (Luke 12:48) God has commanded us to give according to what we receive. Paul mentions about our heart attitude when we give….. “ if it is contributing …. Give generously” (Rom 12:8) The idea is to give whole heartedly, not to control the church with our finances or to build the repute of the church. Likewise money is something God gives us for his service. When Paul advised the church in Corinth he gave an example of the church in Macedonia “Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 32
  • For I testify that they gave as much as they were able to and even beyond their own ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as w expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will. (2 Cor 8:2-5) Paul writes further about the church in Macedonia “But just as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech (prophetic) , in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us, see that you excel in this grace of giving” ( 2 Cor 8:7) Just as the leaders of the church can be equipped with every gift they also can be gifted in contributing. Whatever your gift let it be a blessing to another. Sometimes you may not be able to teach. Sing or play an instrument, you cannot evangelize, but you have the ability to earn money therefore remember to contribute towards God's ministry. Experience the joy! This is your responsibility! 33
  • Gift of Mercy 09 The world today needs the beauty of love. No doubt everyone does. The last days will be filled with terror and danger (2 Tim 3: 1-4). Therefore the gift of mercy will be like a diamond in the dark setting. This gift enables people to work with joy amongst the rejected, disabled, elders, sick and the mentally handicapped. Are you happy with your hospital ministry? Do you enjoy going to prisons, elder's homes and children's homes? Are you excited about sharing God's love with these people? Then be thankful to God for the gift he has given you. Use it for his work. Some use this gift to help their neighbours in need, to help an elderly person to cross the road etc. There is no limit for the operation of this gift. There are a countless number of people who need ministry of this gift. Paul says to the church in Rome…. “If it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. (Rom 12:8) Therefore those who have this gift do it joyfully and with a pleasant attitude. 34
  • Gift of Counseling 10 The apostles used this gift on their disciples many times to challenge them. When do you use it? Paul says “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice” (Rom 12:1) Jude challenges the Corinthian church to use the gift of faith (Jude 3) This gift is not only to challenge believers. Some are unable to use this gift in open in the church. The reason is because they are not leaders. However they can use this gift in a personal way. Likewise encouraging is also a part of this gift. Paul writes to the church in Corinth “the punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. Now instead you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by the excessive sorrow. I urge you therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.” (2 Cor 2:6-8) Here we see how one person uplifts another. This is also a part of this gift. The person concerned in the one who has sinned and gone against the church. Paul urges the church to forgive him and love him and encourage him. Priests, Counselors, Marriage counselors and social workers are some who operate in this gift. Counselors and advisers also operate in this gift. The gift of advice can also operate in admonishing. When the discipline in church is under attack, this gift operates. The Philippian church had very good Christians in it. They were united in spirit and goals. 35
  • They also helped Paul financially but in this church there were two people who misbehaved. Paul admonishes them, “I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord.” (Philip 4:2) Ananias and Sapphira were admonished by Peter for deceiving the Holy Spirit and lying to the apostles. Paul openly admonishes Peter for not associating the Gentiles in the presence of the Jews (Gal 2: 11-14) This advice (admonish), results in asking forgiveness from God. The adviser does not lead the person to his advice, but to the repentance in the Lord. Do you need counsel? Admonishing, encouraging and challenging are the main points in counseling. By this you can motivate people to action. Patience is a key feature that should be evident in a counselor. Paul writes to Timothy “rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Tim 4:2) Here some respond very quickly and some reject. Some test your patience. Some put aside advice yet some after you advise and they fall you say “I told you so.” But if you are a counselor you should have a sea of stored up patience. The other essential is the word of God. Timothy was a counselor who was well based on the word of God. He also had general knowledge bases on other things. As a counselor you should be able to listen well, and after you identify the problem you can give proper guidance. 36
  • Counseling and other gifts Counseling and prophecy are similar gifts. John the Baptist prophesied likewise he challenged the Israelites. “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Matt 3:2 Peter challenged the Israelites “You disowned the Holy and Righteous one and asked a murderer to be released against you” (Acts 3:14) In both instances the one who prophesied had this gift. “But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.” (1 Cor 14:3) The gift of counseling and prophesy are two different but similar gifting. But they are different as well. Prophets mainly foretell the future, counseling is not, and it can be an admonishing, encouraging or a challenge. A prophet brings to knowledge the things concerning life. He praises God. King Davis speaks of God's goodness in the Psalms. He speaks of the beauty of the Lord, but does not speak about getting people to make decisions. Joshua is a good example. “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… but as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) The gift of counseling and mercy go together. Without mercy we can put people in problems and drag them into worse situations. But in counseling we listen and encourage people. Evangelism and councelling go together. A councellor explains the gospel well, he themn allows the people who listen to him to make a decion. An evangelist does the same thing but when he makes a call to decide, people caome forward more easily. Here he is able to prepare the minds of the people. 37
  • Now you may want to know if you have this gift:You can ask yourself, 'when I counsel someone how does he respond.’ When Peter spoke to the Israelites about crucifying Jesus, they wept. “They were cut to the heart and said to the disciples, brothers what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37) John the Baptist after he challenged the people they said “then what should we do” (Luke 3:10-12) When you advice someone and they ask you to mind your own business then you have to think differently about your gifting. But when you advice and they listen to you, you have this gift. Thank God for your gift and use it more. God will bless you more. 38
  • The Gift of Wisdom 11 This is a special gift given by God to the church. You can know God's will. This enables to give spiritual answers to sudden problems. Biblical examples:We can see this gift operating clearly in Gen 41. Pharoah had a dream and he engaged ll the wise men to interpret this dream, but they were unable to. The cup bearer remembered that Joseph had solved his dream in prison and he informed the king about it. Joseph was able to interpret the dream for the king as well. Pharoah realized theat Joseph spoke in the Lord. He said”can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God” (Gen 41:39) We see this gift in 2 chronicles in a special way. David was old and he died, the next king was Solomon. God asked the new king what he would like to have, then Solomon replied “Give me wisdom and knowledge that I may lead these people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours” (2 Cron 1:10) God replied… “Therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given to you” (2 Cron 1 :12). God gave this gift to him. He used this gift throughout his kingship. There was an instance when two mothers brought one baby and claimed to be its mother. Solomon sorted this problem out with God's wisdom. (1Kings 3:27) The Wisdom of Solomon spread from Israel to the nations around. The Queen Sheba came to Israel to find out about King Solomon's wisdom. She asked some difficult questions from him. 39
  • “But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed not even half was said me, in wisdom and wealth, you have far exceeded the report I have heard.” (1 Kings 10:7) After Nebuchadnezzar's dream was interpreted by Daniel he said “ I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers, you have given me wisdom and power and you have made known to me what we have asked of you.” (Daniel 2:23) Here he thanks God for the spiritual wisdom. The seven men chosen as helpers (overseers) had this gift in the early church. There was a problem about the Greek speaking Jewish widows not having enough food rations. They needed wisdom to seek this problem out. The Apostles challenged the believers “brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of spirit and wisdom.”(Acts 6:3) Stephen was one of the seven. He not only distributed the rations but also preached (acts 6:9) Some men debated with him “but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the spirit by whom he spoke.” (Acts 6:10) The men around him could not contend with him. The gift of wisdom and the wisdom of the world. There is a marked difference between the wisdom of the world and the gift of wisdom. Worldly wisdom is divided into three groups based on the scripture. Life's experiences. Incidents and the kind of people we meet enable us to have the wisdom of the world (Natural wisdom). There is an example in Acts 19:29 – 41, when the people in Ephesus seized Gaius and Aristarchus and there was a great unrest. The city clerk used his wisdom to release the two. Doctor's Lawyers and politicians use this kind of wisdom. 40
  • Worldly wisdom God spoke against this wisdom. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” “Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Cor 1:19-21) The wisdom of the world and God's wisdom are different. The wisdom of the world rejects God's creation (Gen 1:1-2). This wisdom says that there are many paths to God (John14:66, Acts 4:12, Proverbs 14:12) The wisdom prevents man from knowing God(1 Cor 1:2). James 3:15 talks of the wisdom as worldly, fleshy and satanic. Third form of wisdom is the wisdom that the believer gets from God. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5) also James says this wisdom is “pure, peaceful, loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. (James 3:17) This wisdom is used by pastors before counseling, young couples before they find their life's partners, parents to bring direction to their direction to their children. This wisdom could be received from God through prayer. This wisdom enabled Elisha to discern Gehazi's sin (2 kings 5:20-27) Also Israel in the war against the king of Syria knew the entry points of the king and the way they planned to attack. This happened repeatedly and the king held a meeting with his leaders ans asked them if they gave secret information to the enemy. 41
  • “There is an informer amongst you, otherwise how do they know all our plans?” No one replied. They feared for their lives. Then one servant said “There is Elisha the prophet in Israel who gives the King of Israel all the information of all the commands given from your bedroom.” How did this happen each time the King of Syria spoke a secret the spirit of the Lord enabled Elisha to hear it. He had the gift of knowledge. Peter used this gift at least twice. Jesus asked his disciples “who do people think I am?' They answered “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah some Jeremiah or another prophet.” Then he asked the disciples “who do you think I am?” “You are Jesus Christ the son of the living God” Peter was the one who answered in this manner. How did Peter know this Jesus says this to Peter “Blessed are you Simon son of Jonah for this was not revealed to you by flesh but by my father in heaven” (Matt 16:13-17). Peter found this out not by his own wisdom but the wisdom that came from God. The gift of Knowledge is God given. Through this we can communicate action through our teachings. It is very difficult to tell others that you operate in this gift. 42
  • The Gift of Discerning of Spirits 13 People say that they know what the other thinks but most often they don't even know what they are thinking. God alone knows my thinking. According to the bible we cannot understand the thoughts of another. To know the thoughts of another's heart God has given us a gift of discernment. The world is moving fast towards new religions, denominations, new beliefs etc. Christians too have fallen into this situation. This situation has been evident from the times of the early church. Paul says to the church in Ephesus “ I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples, after them. (Acts 20:29-30) Paul warned the church in Corinth too, “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. (2 Cor 11:13-14) By this false prophets, false prophesy and faith can be found out. God has given the gift of discernment to some believers. “…. To some the gift of discerning spirits….” (1 Cor 12:10) The gift operates mostly when the gift of prophesy is operating. “Two or three should speak and the others should weigh carefully what he said” (1 Cor 14:29) To weigh things out the gift or discernment is useful, specially to see if it is according to the word of God. 43
  • If this gift is not operating in the church, how do we know that the prophesy is from God? There is an answer to this from 1 John 4:2. Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God. Also Paul writes to the Galatians and Corinthians “if you receive a different spirit, from the one you received or a different gospel from the one you accepted” (2 Cor 11:14) Paul uses this gift at a meeting in Phillipi, there was a slave girl who followed Paul shouting “These men are servants of the Most High God…” Acts 16:17, if anyone testified in this manner about a Christian worker today he would be very happy. This slave girl followed Paul Daily. Paul discerned that this was not honoring God and that it was an evil spirit operating against the gospel, he said to her “ in the name of Jesus Christ I command you to leave” (Acts 16:18). The evil spirit left her immediately. We have more than the early church believers. We have the complete word of God. Not only what Paul said but the scriptures in completion. In the letter to the Hebrews it says every believer should read the scriptures, remember and develop the discernment of spirits in their life (Heb 5:12-14) Likewise those who do not learn the word of God will not be able to discern false teaching. If every believer has the gift of discernment what will happen? Can we see it operating in a special way? The new testament clearly shows the right and wrong. The Holy spirit and the word of God are the main helpers (Heb 5:14). They are tools for mature Christians. If you want to discern spirits and know right from wrong read the bible. Learn it and be with the learned teachers, and learn from them. Compare Bible verses. 44
  • “Now the Bereans were were more of noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the scriptures, everyday to see of what paul said was true.” Acts 17:11. Take this as an example. 45
  • The Gift of Miracles 14 Our God is a God of miracles! He is a miracles! Let us consider the objective of miracles Scripture shows us that miracles are signs and wonders. A miracle is something beyond human ability. The objective for miracles is to display the power of God. God speaks to Moses and hands over the task of freeing the Israelites, Moses debated with God “If they do not trust me what shall I say? If God did not send you,…......” God spoke to Moses, 'What do you have in your hand?' A staff, Put it down, It will turn into a serpent. Now take it by the tail. It will turn into a staff Do this in order to make the people know that they have seen God. (Exodus 4:1-5) When people see the power of God through miracles they believe the words that are said. “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with you.” (John 3:2) Likewise miracles have an effect on the third party “When the crowds heard and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said.” (Acts 8:6) 46
  • Moses released 10 plagues upon Egypt (Exodus 7-12) He Parted the Red Sea (Exodus 14) When he struck the rock the water sprang out of it (Exodus 17) Elijah enabled the widow keep her oil and flour without finishing. He raised her son from the dead (1Kings 17) He bought fire from the sky (1 Kings 18) Elisha had a double portion of Elijah's anointing. With it he raised a dead man (2 kings 4 :38-44) Healed Namans' leprosy (2 kings 5) He made an iron axe float on the water (2 Kings 6) We can see many miracles in the Old Testament. But at the end of the Old Testament there was a silent period for about 400 years. God stopped speaking to people. The prophets spoke on their own accord (Zech 13:2-5) there were no revelations, signs or wonders. Miracles happened and they ended. This is how Job described it, “God has given, and He has taken away. Praise the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21) One day there appeared a strange star over a cattle shed in Bethlehem. God began to speak to his people again. This time his messenger was his only begotten son. With this messenger the power of God which was not seen for years came upon the whole world. His words were powerful. The blind began to see, the lame began to walk and the dead rose up. Even his followers did the same. Paul talks about himself to the church in Corinth “the things that mark an apostle – signs, wonders and miracles (2 Cor 12:12) There were times that miracles were performed against sinners. (Acts 5: 1-11; 13: 8 – 12) Sometimes miracles were to enable people to listen to God. (Acts 3: 1-12)God used this to give direct revelation. John the apostle was used in this manner. 47
  • Once again the miracles of God stopped. Nothing happened for centuries. After ages the mercy and the gospel of God was heard. It spread around. Society changed in an amazing manner. God too began to manifest. The revelations that were given ages before began to reveal to man once again. Once again God's power was seen. Those who read the word of and believe in it say that they have experienced a miracle in their lives. Today the sick are healed; blind receive sight the lame walk, the dead rise up and many miracles happen today. Sometimes you too may have experienced many miracles in your life. Sometimes the greatest miracle may be your life change after you gave your life to the Lord. By that you would have walked out of the dark world into his marvelous light. (Acts 26:18) From death to life (John 5:4) “ Received forgiveness for your sins” (Col 1:13) “Received the peace of God” (Rom 5:1) Who does miracles? We will look into the scriptures. The first disciples performed miracles. “ When Jesus had called the twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure all diseases, and sent them out to preach the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:1) Jesus gave power to drive out demons and heal the sick. Therefore the first twelve disciples had the power to perform miracles. The scriptures mention another group of seventy two. “ The lord appointed seventy two.. to heal the sick…..they returned happy that they were able to heal the sick. “Lord in your name even demons were cast out” (Luke 10:1-9-27) It is mentioned that this group performed many miracles. 48
  • To explain further: Moses and Aaron performed miracles before the king. Moses' rod turned into a serpent and likewise the Pharaoh's magicians too were able to do the same. Jesus says that during the end times there will be false teachers, false prophets and miracle workers. 'For false Christ's and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles, to deceive even the elect – if that were possible (Mat 24:24) John mentions about a political leader and a religious leader in the last days. The religious leader will perform many miracles; he will bring fires from heaven to earth before men. “He performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven” (Rev 13:13) We can ask God for miracles. Yet we cannot depend on miracles because we have handed our lives over to God. Miracles will refresh your faith but we can't depend on it to make our faith grow. What about your life? Have you ever experienced miracles in your lifetime? Are you prosperous in life? God's promises for our lives are the same and they are new each day. 'But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him, He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. (Jer 17 :7-8) The biggest miracle in your life is the new birth (John 3:3) If you have experienced it, it's about time you tell someone else about it. 49
  • The Gift of Tongues and interpretation of Tongues 15 Many Christians think they can measure their spiritual levels by the speaking of tongues. Some say this is the external sign of spiritual baptism, some say it is not. Yet this gift is scripturally of the same importance as all the other gifts. This is a two fold gift. Tongues that can and cannot be interpreted. Paul explains this in 1 Cor 14. He says that in the church if someone openly speaks in tongues there must be an interpretation as well. Otherwise it will be of no use to anyone. Although many have the gift of tongues only a few have the interpretation. Such persons can use this gift of tongues to edify themselves in their personal prayer times, for Paul says…. 'The one who speaks in tongues speaks to God, He speaks spiritual secrets but none can understand.' (1 Cor 14:2) Speaking in tongues : What does Paul say? 1.The book of Acts mentions tongues a few times. The Jews on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2 :3 - 4) They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the spirit enabled them. The Gentiles (Acts 10: 45-46) The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. 50
  • The disciples of John the Baptist. (Acts 19:6) 2. Paul talks about the gift of tongues in 1Cor 12 and 14 and shows how to effectively operate in this gift. But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue (1 Cor 14:19) 3. Whenever we worship in tongues our faith builds up. We draw closer to God. 4. There will be many believers who do not have this gift but operate in other gifts. “Some the gifts of prophe some discerning of the spirits and some various tongues and interpretations of them. 5. If someone desires the gift of tongues it is not wrong. 6. Paul advises some who use this gift without purpose in the assembly of believers. He says it's better to talk in a language known than unknown. (1 Cor 14:39) 7. Paul says “I speak in tongues more than anyone of you and I thank God for it.” (1 Cor 14:18) 51
  • The Gift of Healing 16 We often recon, that the gift of healing is only physical. However the word of God does not say so. Every other gift in Greek is referred to as 'Charisma' but the gift of healing is referred to as 'Charismas' it is in plural (1 Cor 12:9) It is not just one type of healing but various types of healings. This means that is covers mental, physical and spiritual healing. The word of God refers it to spiritual healing as well. “For this people's hearts have become calloused, they hardly hear with their ears and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with heir ears, understand with their hearts and turn and I would heal them.” (Matt 13:15) Peter has spoken of spiritual healing as “by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Pet 2:24) God uses, men, women and children to heal people spiritually. When a person is introduced to Jesus he is spiritually healed. An evangelist heals with his gift of evangelism. A pastor by encouraging his peoples brings spiritual healing. The scriptures speak of mental healing. When Jesus began his ministry he took the book of Isaiah and read from it. 'The spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, recover the sight of the blind and release the oppressed' (Luke 4:18) Here the prisoners and the oppressed can be identified as mentally and emotionally disturbed. One purpose for Jesus to come down to the world is to heal the mentally oppressed. 52
  • Here the prisoners and the oppressed can be identified as mentally and emotionally disturbed. One purpose for Jesus to come down to the world is to heal the mentally oppressed. This gift is very much in need for the world today. Pastors and counselors are gifted with this gift. This enables to bring hope and comfort to those mentally disturbed. The third kind of healing is physical healing. We can see it clearly in the first disciples and in Jesus. Jesus healed the blind, lepers, the lame and the paralytics. The apostles too were anointed with this gift with which they healed many who were physically sick. The book of Acts mentions this gift only a few times. Peter and John were on their way to the temple when they met a man who was lame from birth at the temple gate when the man asked them for money, Peter said “Silver and Gold I have none but what I have I give you, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth walk” (Acts 3:6) He caught him by his right hand and made him stand. The man started to walk and jump as he was totally healed (Acts 3:7-8) There was another healing in Lydda by Peter a man named Aeneas a paralytic for eight years was healed (Acts 9:33-34) Philip was another who had the gift of healing. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks evil spirits came out of many and many paralytics and crippled were healed. (Acts 8:6-7) Another important person who has the gift of healing in the book of Acts is Paul. In the island of Malta he healed the chief official Publius' father from fever and dysentery (Acts 28:8-9). He also healed a crippled man in Lystra (Acts 14:8-10) 53
  • The book of Acts talks only of 3 persons who operated in this gift. They are Peter, Paul and Philip. When they laid hands many were healed without any treatment. Likewise we can note that Paul who has this gift, talks of personal situations when he sought of healing himself. 'To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassing great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me, but he said to me “My grace is sufficient…..for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 7-10) Paul tells Timothy who hade a stomach ailment “stop drinking only water, and use a little wine, because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses” (1 Tim 5:23) Many who are sick today look for instant healing. Many believers seek healing for their terminally sick loved ones whereas some others pray for the healing of their loved ones. Does God heal today? Yes God heals today. God heals in various ways today. God is unchanging. When we look into the word of God we see him healing man in various ways. 1. God heals instantly. Today we can see many miracles happening. Sickness being healed instantly, Men being blessed by this and God is glorified, which results in a Growing of Faith. Sometimes when a friend gets sick it takes months to heal and our faith drops and we begin to question God about healing. God does not always heal instantly, God uses various methods. 54
  • 2. We can see this kind of healing. When you continue to pray in faith healing also takes place in stages. 3. God heals through medicine and treatments. The Old Testament records the healing of King Hezekiah who was sick unto death. Here God listens to his prayer and extends his life by another 15 years. Isaiah the prophet told him the treatment God wanted him to have. Isaiah said, “Prepare a poultice of figs and apply it to the boil…” (Isaiah 38:21) We do not know what healing powers the fig poultice had but Hezekiah was healed. Likewise when Jesus healed the blind man he took some mud and spat on it and rubbed it on the eyes of the man and asked him to wash it off and he was healed. (Mark 8:22-26) God's Spirit works in many ways. To one, he gives good health that is in order to fulfill his plans on a person's life. God has a big plan for every person. Some people are sick for a long time, but God loves both the sick and the healthy. But God's plans work in different ways. When we have faith do we get healed? No it does not happen that way. 1. God stops the healing to discipline. We see it in the church at Corinth. God did not heal 'so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved for the day of the Lord' (1 Cor 5:5). This man has fallen sick because of his sin. When he repents later on Paul tells the church to accept this man (2 Cor 2:6-1) 55
  • Likewise many Corinthians who partook of the Lord's Supper with sin fell sick. “Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and the blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord, eats and drinks judgment upon him. That is why many among you are weak and sick and a number of you have fallen asleep.”(1 Cor 11:27-30) 2. Personal sin is not eh only cause of sickness (reason not to be healed). Some are to be humbled Paul had many things to boast about. He was educated and of Jewish descent. He had a zeal for the Lord. He had a face o face encounter with the risen Christ. He also had experienced heaven….yet “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surprisingly great revelations, there was given a thorn in the flesh a messenger of Satan, to torment me” (2 Cor 12:7) Here Paul shows that God has kept this in him so that he would not be proud. He says that he prayed thrice but God's grace was sufficient and was the answer to his prayers. 3. Another reason for not healing instantly is to bring Glory to God through the healing. Once, Jesus was going to the synagogue, where he met a man who had been blind from birth. The disciples questioned Jesus with regard to it. “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2) “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life” (John 9:3) God did not find it necessary to heal this blind man before this. He has his own timing. Here he waited for the best time so His name would be glorified. 56
  • God has a special plan in each of our lives. He is unlimited. When we are sick we need to pray also people who have the gift of healing also pray for healing. Sometimes the answer will be 'No' like to Paul or 'wait' like the blind man. Whatever the answer is we should be joyful. Thank God. The reason is God's plan is complete in all situations. Whenever you are healed, is it God who heals? No. every healing does not come from God. Even Satan can heal. We can see this kind of healing in operations. We see that it happened years ago. Moses' miracles when his staff became a snake and when the water of the Nile became blood the magicians of the Pharaoh did the same (Ex 7:8-21). Jesus also spoke about the end times “Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you, away from me you evil doers'. (Mat 7:22-23) This is what Jesus says about the mighty works of the future. Likewise there will be false Christ's who perform miracles. For false Christ's and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect. (Mat 24:24) The power of the devil will operate with signs and wonders and take men away from God now and in the future too. We should be well aware of this. Every healing not comes from God, BUT REMEMBER God sometimes heals instantly and at times step by step through treatment and doctors. Sometimes he will not heal at all. 57
  • The Gift of Creativity 17 This is not seen in the New Testament but in the Old Testament. When God gave Moses instructions to build the Holy of Holies he had chosen Bezalel. “See I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the spirit of God, with skill, ability, and knowledge in all kinds of crafts-to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship. (Ex 31: 2-5) It shows that Bezalel received the power of the Holy Spirit to build the Holy of Holies. Creativity….this gift is a gift from God. Creativity is included in these areas · Gold · Bronze · Silver · Stones · Woodwork Can we looks to this as spiritual gifts? Did Bezalel inherit it from his parents? You may be thinking in these terms but you will see what the scriptures say. 58
  • “To build all that I have commanded….have filled him with the spirit of God….. wisdom in everyone's heart….the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the Testimony with the atonement cover on it , and all other furnishings of the tent, the table and it's articles, the pure gold lamp stand and all it's accessories, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering and all it's utensils and the basin with it's stand and also the woven garments for Aaron and his sons….they are to make them just as I commanded” (Ex 31: 5-11) We can see that this kind of creativity is from God. But you may not realize it's from God. You may not even have started to use it. The Church and Creativity Can you use this gift in the church today? Many churches are blessed by using this gift to build the church, for the carpentry and to decorate the church etc. Creativity and the World This gift is not only limited to the church. If this is your gift you can use this to build up a good relationship with your neighborhood. To win people to God you need not only have the Gift of Evangelism. You and use the Gift of Creativity as well. You may think you are only a carpenter, a tailor, a housewife and be ashamed of yourself. But you don't have to be, just use the gift that God has given you. God has given you, it is creativity. You can use this gift in spiritual warfare. You can use this gift and birth new disciples. If you do not use this gift you will be discouraged in life. You will wonder why God put you in this world. Do not think of what you don't have! Develop what you already have! Be the person God wants you to be! God will open up many doors for you!...... 59
  • The Gift of Music 18 When the people of Israel worshiped God, they sang out aloud. Then they spent sometime meditating on the hymns. When they praise God they needed to be directed by music. For this they selected people who had the gift of music. King David had a special place in the word of God due to this gift of music. King David was a gifted musician. We find his gifting mentioned first in 1 Samuel 16: 16-18. Saul was disobedient to God (1 Samuel 15:19). God dethroned him. Samuel the prophet was sent by God to Bethlehem to Jesse's family to anoint someone from this family to be the new king ( 1 Samuel 16:10). Samuel looked at seven of the sons and he was puzzled that none of them were God's choice. Then he found out that the youngest son was looking after the sheep and he asked Jesse to send for him (1 Samuel 16:11). When David came before Samuel, God spoke to Samuel “Go and anoint him, he is the chosen one.” Samuel anointed David and from that day on the spirit of God came on David (1 Samuel 16: 13). The spirit of the Lord left Saul and an evil spirit entered the king (1 Samuel 16:14). The king wanted someone to come to him and play some music and a servant of the palace brought David for this task. One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows to play the harp. He is brave and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine looking man and the Lord is with him. Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” (1 Samuel 16:18-19). 60
  • Here we see the gift that David had was music. This brought him before the king. A gift opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great (Proverbs 18:16). David could also sing apart from his ability to play the harp. He also composed songs and wrote 73 psalms in the book of Psalms. Samuel introduced David in this manner “Anointed by the God of Jacob Israel's singer of songs”(2 Samuel 23:1) . David sang the sweetest songs in Israel. But was this gift given by the Holy Spirit? Yes! It was given to him by the Holy Spirit. Jesus testifies about this”David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit declared”, (Mark 12:36) David wrote songs and sang songs. He was given this gift by the Holy Spirit. This gift was not given to him after he entered the palace. He got this gift at birth. David was far away from his father's house, he was looking after his sheep and he was very lonely but during this time he played the harp. As a youth he was an excellent musician. His gift enabled him to write 73 of 150 psalms. At the palace he appointed a group of musicians to sing songs unto the Lord. (2 Chronicles7:6) Another who had this gift is Solomon the son of David. “God gave Solomon wisdom, great insight and his depth of understanding was immeasurable as the sand on the seashore. Solomon's wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the men in the East… He spoke 3000 proverbs and his songs numbered 1005”(1 Kings 4:29-32) 61
  • Two of his songs are in the book of psalms (Psalms 72 and 127) but his unique songs are in the Song of Songs or Song of Solomon. This gift is not only singing, playing a musical instrument or writing a song. The Old Testament projects this gift in 6 ways. · · · · · · Playing a musical instrument (2 Chronicles 34:12) The Levites had an understanding of musical instruments. Singing (1 Chronicles 15:19) - Heman, Asaph and Ethan were singers. Songwriters (2 Chronicles 29:30) - Asaph (David's seer) wrote songs for the Lord. Music Director (Nehemiah 12:46) – For in the days of Asaph and David there were directors of music. Music Teachers (1 Chronicles 15:22) – Because he was clever at it he taught singing. Makers of musical instruments (2 Chronicles 7:6) – The Levites took the Lords musical instruments. David made them in order to thank God for his everlasting mercies. This gift of music is used more by some. By this they are able to grow more in this area. They can also explore further into this gift likewise some believers have other gifts apart from this gift of music. Therefore they can combine these gifts and use them. If you have the gift of prophesy with this gift you can create songs accordingly. If you have the gift of teaching you can teach music. But if you are creative you can make musical instruments. These combinations put together can cause a g r e a t impact. 62
  • Music in the New Testament This gift is not only limited to the Old Testament. “What then shall we say brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn or a word of instruction, a revelation a tongue or an interpretation.” (1 Corinthians 14:26). We see here that those who have the gift of music should use it in the church. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts” (Colossians 3:16) This gift in the church today This gift operates in the church, Sunday school, youth meetings, ladies meetings, home cells etc. But most often we see that in the church we have unpracticed singing and untrained musicians. Most often these people are used in the field of music. Some do not like to develop themselves in their music. If you have the ability to play an instrument or sing, keep training. If you can write songs, teach, direct a music group then grow and develop yourself. Use your gift for God's glory. God will surely bring honor to you. 63
  • How do you identify the gifts God gives you? 19 How do you identify Gods gifts? You can follow the steps given below. God wants you to identify the gifts he has given you. Faith The first step to identify is that you have faith! You should have faith that God has given you a gift. God will not ask of you what you do not have or what you are not trained to do. This is what Jesus tell his disciples, “You did not choose me, but I choose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the father will give you whatever you ask in his name. This is my command love each other” (John 15:16) If we ant to bear fruit in Him we have to remain in Him. If we remain in the Lord the spiritual gifts will operate in us. The scriptures tell that we are given gifts by God. If it is not so the word of God is a lie. Sometimes it might be difficult for you to believe. Sometimes it must be because you do not have experience. But you must believe. For the word of God will never lie. Believe you have a gift! Have faith! Thank God for it! Likewise probe into the gift that you have received. 64
  • Prayer Because you do not ask you do not get (James 4:6). To know what your gifting is Pray. Ask God. But I have prayed so much? I need to know what my gift is….You may be thinking like this. Your gift may be hidden, Your attitude may not be right. James wrote about this…. “Because you ask with wrong motives, you may not spend what you get on your pleasure.” (James 4:3) You have friends who are becoming very popular and God is using them powerfully. You think you too can gain popularity by operating in your gifts. By this you will know the wrong attitudes in you. We find someone like that in the word of God. When Simon saw that the spirit was given at the laying of the apostles hands he offered them money and said “give me also ability so that everyone I lay hands on may receive the Holy Spirit”. Peter answered : “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could by the gift of God with money? You have no share in this ministry because your heart is not right before God” (Acts 8 :18-21) It is not enough to reckon the gifts of God. We should develop and operate in the gifting. Look up to God. God will bring you many opportunities to your gifts. Knowledge Faith, Prayer and the third most important is to have knowledge of your gifts. The main reason to write this book is to get you to know your gifts. You may already know your gifts but this may be a new way of getting to know your gifts. 65
  • Help Ministries · · · · · Ministry – To encourage other others and to help others Gift of Giving – to contribute to Gods ministry financially Gift of Mercy – the help the outcasts in society with a joyful heart Creativity – to bless others with your labor, find new ways and means to help Gift of healing – to heal people mentally, physically and spiritually. To bring direction to others · · Leadership – to guide people and bring order to their lives Faith – to have faith n God and to lead others to a vision Word Ministry · · · · · · · · · · · This gift shows us how to get connected with the word of God. Apostolic gift – the ability to start a new ministry Prophetic gift – the ability to preach the word and bring in new revelation from God Evangelistic gift – the ability to win people to God with the word of God Pastors/Teachers – to spiritually feed the people with the word of God, to take the people through the paths of righteousness Teaching – to find the truth in the word and impart it Counseling – to get people to act to bring on the power of Gods word Wisdom – to bring Gods truth Knowledge – to know the guidance of the Holy Spirit Discerning of Spirits – to know all the spirits that operate apart from God to know if it is operating from God or Satan Music – we all have a relationship with God through music, this is specially wanted in leading worship. 66
  • Special Gifts · · · Miracles – to be able to do things impossible with man Other languages (Tongues)- the speaker cannot understand what he is talking. By this we can speak in secret to God. Interpretation of tongues- the one interpreting tongues does not know anything of the language. This gift should operate with great sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. Responsibility What is the ministry you are involved in at the moment? Are you a Sunday school teacher, or a singer in a group or are you the leader of your Sunday school class. Gods will is that you serve Him in any place. When you continue to serve you will reckon that you are getting new gift. Let's look at Phillips life. He first started with building up the church in Jerusalem (Acts 4:34) Later he became one of the seven (Acts 6:3). Later he went to Judea and Samaria to spread Gods word and did a mighty ministry (Acts 8:12) The first thing he showed in his life is his gift of hospitality. Then he showed leadership qualities, then evangelism, teaching and prophesy. This is because he had laid the first gift he had unto the lord. Then he was filled with many gifts. Whatever your ministry is be faithful. Then God will give you more gifts which you can use in your ministry. You will be able to see the fruit of your ministry. 67
  • A few more explanations 1. Act according to your will What do you do that makes you happy? What are your inherited gifts? Sometimes Christians do not use their gifts which therefore become ineffective. 2. Be watchful about other peoples needs Do you feel that you have to help the oppressed, the poor or any others? By your thought patterns you can identify your gifts. 3. Make use of your past experiences. In which areas have you succeeded? In which areas of your ministry are you most satisfied? In what areas have you succeeded with the gifts that God has given you. In what areas are you happy? These are your gifts. 4. Be aware of the responses given by others towards your ministry. What do others say about your ministry? You can identify your gift by being aware of the responses given by others. God wants you to discover your gifts. You are going to be very happy about it. Here are some ways to use them. 5. Make use of every opportunity Ø Go for training Go for leadership training, Sunday school teacher training, worship and singing training respective to your gift. Ø Read books Sometimes you may not be able to go for training classes. Yet you have the ability to read. Reading books and magazines will help you keep yourself updated and help build up your knowledge. 68
  • 6. Continue in your gifts If you put your gifts into practice you can improve on them. Gifts are like the muscles in your body. If you do not exercise and make an effort to keep fit your muscles become weak. 7. Discover the value of your gifts If you get discouraged about your gifts and give up operating in them you will never discover it. If you know the value of them, you will operate in them. 8. Growth in your gifts will bring you personal opportunity A major problem in the world today is personal identity. Who am I? Where am I going? There are some of the questions we ask ourselves. What God says is that you have been designed for a special task. Yes God has given you a gift, because you are special. You are essential to the body of Christ. The truth of this can be discovered after you operate in your gift. 69
  • Conclusion 20 I like to begin the last chapter with a verse from the Bible. God is able to make our doubts and fears disappear and bring assurance. “A gift opens the way for the driver and ushers him into the presence of the great” (Proverbs 18:16) The gift that David had was music. This enabled him to enter the kings' palace. Philips evangelistic gift enabled him to go to Samaria. Paul's teaching and apostoliptic gift took him to the west with the gospel message. Elijah's gift of faith made him stop the rain for three years by this he went before King Ahab. Bezalels' gift of creativity enabled him to build a Holy palace for God in the wilderness. Nathan the prophet went before King David. King Solomon's gift of wisdom brought many people around the world, to him for advice. The counsel of Peter brought 3000 Jewish hearts to repentance and to follow Jesus. God may not always use your gift and mine to take us before great men in the world. But God will open many doors and paths to enlarge our ministry. “The gift of God opens the way….” 70
  • God given gifts identified by me: ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' Discover Your Spiritual Gifts How can I use them? ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' What must I do to grow in them? ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' What have I learnt from this book? ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' 71
  • Discover Your Spiritual Gifts Dear reader, Everyone who is born of God has been given Spiritual Gifts. He has not given some to adults and some to children. They are given to all freely. As a parent, leader or teacher God has entrusted this responsibility of introducing these Spiritual Gifts to your children to you. Therefore this book will be a helpful tool for you in this covering your Spiritual Gifts and also to help your children this cover theirs. To all you young people I believe this book will help you too, to find out what your Spiritual Gifts are. Read this book well! Meditate on the scriptures! Pray ! Begin to use them! Share your experiences with others ! May the Lord bless you mightily. - Asela Jayarathne - Asela Jayarathne No 70 Yalegoda Handessa Sri Lanka 20480 E/ aselaja@gmail.com