The People’s Choice

It appears that the primal desperation to gain more (than the other guy), reduce risk, or subjugate a competitor for the sheer adrenaline rush, murdered trustworthy engagement and buried the idea of living peaceably. We've got some decisions to make.

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Closet Deposits

Some of you may think of me as not invited into this conversation (I’m single), nevertheless this one is a Crumb for women. After further thinking about the last blog (Giftwrapped), I wonder about the profound fallout that comes from covering ourselves in our intimate relationships. As a reminder, in Gen:3 when Adam covers himself …

Giftwrapped

This was a challenging post because the discussion is so explosive that it took some time to narrow it down! To bring you up to speed, my initial posts on spiritual gifts pointed us toward a fuller grasp of what possessing a spiritual gift may mean for each of us in a practical way. The …

Talent Acquisition Theory

In this post, I will explore some complexities around talent acquisition. According to jobhero.com, a talent acquisition professional assesses staffing needs and then identifies and recruits talented individuals to fill those needs. Let’s put the mind of a talent acquisition specialist into conversation with Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church (1Cor 1:26-29). While talent …

Commended, Commanded and Charisma

Most of us are somewhat familiar with the word charisma. Secular understanding of the word charisma dubs it the “it” factor, star quality, charm. It’s the ability to magnetize (or hypnotize) the room. The biblical understanding of charisma originates in the roots of the words charis and chara and contains a multi-layered message about grace, our personal qualities, our relationship with God and our service to each other. In the biblical context, the word charisma conveys the joy and calm delight of a superior leaning toward an inferior in a way that is gracious. If we accept this basic understanding we might agree that in offering salvation, God leaned toward us (Paul in Rom. 5 says He commended Himself in our direction). Once we accepted the Savior, He commanded believers to lean in the direction of others with the same graciousness. And…He gave us the tools with which to accomplish that task. Those tools are called grace endowments or spiritual gifts.

Spiritual gifts are not natural talents or abilities. They are not skills or random, semi-periodic inclinations. They cannot be duplicated. They cannot be acquired through study. They can only be deposited in nature and by degree, from God. Too often they remain hidden from their possessors. Or imitators counterfeit them. Sometimes when gifts are discovered, they remain uncultivated. Sometimes they are discovered and cultivated but not used. Sometimes they are used, but their power is weakened. Spiritual gifts must be received. Through faith and consistency, they prove themselves. The saddest display is to see believers anoint, appoint and force themselves (or other people) into a role or office.

The Apostle Paul (1Cor 12) opened his commentary on gifts with, “I would not have you ignorant.” While he used what we might describe as harsh language, Paul’s intent was simply to inform and inspire the Corinthian church. He warned them against not understanding the exponential degrees of salvation[1] they possessed in their diversity (of gifts) and connectedness (by the Spirit). The Apostle wanted the church to be mindful of the potential for covetousness and competition (largely the reason Satan fell). Finally, Paul wanted the church to embrace the idea that love was of paramount importance in the operation and administration of the grace gifts God had given them. In the next couple of writings, we will search for some clarity around spiritual gifts.

To begin with here is a list of things to think about regarding spiritual gifts. The ideas are listed in no particular order. Please read through the list and if you have a question, please ask it via the blog or e-mail your question to palmtree43@gmail.com. I will attempt to address your question in future posts:

  • You possess any number of over 12 gifts listed in Scripture (See 1 Cor 12:4-11; 28, Rom 12:6-8, Eph 4:11).
  • Your gift was created and imprinted into your nature before you were born. (It was sleeping).
  • The adversary cannot keep your gifts from getting to you because he cannot intercept the eternal relationship between you and God.
  • Both your degree of awareness that you possess the gift and your willingness to accept the gift can be subject to interference.
  • Your gift is activated (awakened) when you give your life to Christ. It is born when you are born again.
  • Your gift is modeled in the Word of God. (Somebody in the bible who behaves like you possesses your gift).
  • God commands that you cultivate your gift so that you can use it accurately.
  • The purpose of your gift is to reflect the light and redemptive nature of Christ until He returns.
  • The biblical employ of your gift is a testament that Christ is real. This makes you evidence.
  • Your gift will operate in one of several increasing degrees (spirit, gift, and office).
  • Some people possess gifts and some (gifted) people are gifts to the Body of Christ.
  • People experience your gift through the filter of your personality and temperament.
  • A cross comes with your gift. (Due to the nature of your gift, you cannot do what others can do, or you must suffer what others will not.)
  • Your gift is often related to a weakness you possess or something God wants to teach you about yourself, Him and/or the world.
  • You must have the humility to accept the gift you are given rather than covet the more sought after gifts.
  • Your gift will cause your faithfulness to be tested. (Can you administer your gift in times of great personal loss and duress?)
  • As much as you operate in your gift, God assesses it as emptiness if your heart is not pure in its administration.
  • Your gift can be identified by a simple assessment.
  • When you know your gift, your next steps are to cultivate the gift. Then explore your calling and assignment – trust the process.
  • God will not take away your gift. He chose you.

No matter what your personal history is, if you have accepted Jesus Christ, then you are a son. If you are a son, then know that God made a deposit of Himself in you that He expects to see in operation. You can literally save a life by operating in your gift. You can turn someone toward Christ while operating in your gift. You can keep someone from destruction – from losing hope. You are a deliverer. Listen to the Apostle Paul (1Cor 1:26) -he’s talking about you.

“26 Just look at your own calling, believers; not many [of you were considered] wise according to human standards, not many powerful or influential, not many of high and noble birth. 27 But God has selected [for His purpose] the foolish things of the world to shame the wise [revealing their ignorance], and God has selected [for His purpose] the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong [revealing their frailty]. 28 God has selected [for His purpose] the insignificant (base) things of the world, and the things that are despised and treated with contempt, [even] the things that are nothing, so that He might reduce to nothing the things that are, 29 so that no one may [be able to] boast in the presence of God.”

Do you believe that?

BreadCrumbs for Life!


[1] (Salvation can be defined as the act of deliverance or rescue from hurt, harm, danger or passion.)

Taproots

"What the missing dad doesn’t know is that the timbre of his voice, the slow tat, tat, of his footsteps along the hall, the sound of his razor buzzing communicate to his son’s ear, and with his son’s soul."

Roots

Beaming with pride and an apparent sense of rightfully inherited authority, he poised the long, flexible carving knife just above the center of the bird then apparently his voice melted in a rhythmic decrescendo as he burst into tears, crying out, “My father never taught me how to carve a turkey.”