christical

Inspired by Jesus. From a Christian. For the Christian and anyone else who bothers to listen.

Spiritual Gifts: Background June 30, 2012

Some spiritual gifts put people front-and-center. Others are less conspicuous, more as a supportive gift than a lead gift.

Background: exhortation, service, discernment, helps, celibacy, hospitality, faith, giving, mercy.

Exhortation: To encourage others and motivate them toward a positive relationship with God.

  1. Bible Verse: Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV84)
  2. Example: “Liza” is a really encouraging person. She always knows just what to say.
  3. Remember: This is a real gift. But only give advice if it’s solicited.

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Spiritual Gifts: Representative June 29, 2012

Representative Gifts: teaching, leadership, administration, apostle, evangelism, pastor, knowledge, wisdom.

These gifts are common of representatives of the church, such as church workers and go-to people.

Teaching: To instruct others in the bible systematically and logically so as to communicate information for spiritual understanding and growth.

  1. Bible Verse:And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:28)
  2. Example: “Jack” does a great job of finding Bible passages relevant to today’s Christians.
  3. Remember: A good teacher teaches those who want to be taught. Don’t be overbearing, don’t be too vague.

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Spiritual Gifts: Extraordinary June 28, 2012

Filed under: Let's Get Biblical!,Within the Church — christical @ 11:22 am
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Every believer has a spiritual gift. Some of them a little more rare than others. But all gifts are the same in importance.

The gifts I’m writing about today are considered extraordinary. These are normally the stories that make the news. However, one must understand that the power these gifts give people comes from God alone. And these gifts are: prophecy, healing, miracles, tongues, interpretation of tongues, martyrdom, missionary, and voluntary poverty.

Prophecy: The speaking of God’s message to his people.
  1. Bible Verse:  We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. (Romans 12:6)
  2. Example: “Dave” is brave enough to see what is wrong with the spiritual life of someone/something and speak out about it. People listen to Dave, and he has led so many people to change their lives in God for the better.
  3. Remember: Prophecy isn’t always some miraculous thing. But these people are the natural leaders, the visionaries, the reformers.
Healing: To be the means through which God makes people whole in all aspects.
  1. Bible Verse: And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:28)
  2. Example: “Lou” is a really good doctor. “Amy” asks God to heal people through her when she prays with them. “Lisa” is an amazing Christian therapist. All of these people have gifts of healing. Some of them are miraculous, others just look like a talent.
  3. Remember: Faith healers don’t heal anyone. God heals people through faith healers.
Miracles: To perform mighty deeds with the power of the Holy Spirit, which are deemed by witnesses to be of supernatural origin.
  1. Bible Verse: God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. (Hebrews 2:4)
  2. Example: In the middle of a fire, your younger sibling is stuck in the middle of a ring of flames. Nobody can reach them. “Darcy” runs into the house. A minute later, Darcy and the child come straight out of the flames, running through fire . . . unscathed.
  3. Remember: Be careful. God can make big things happen, but so can Satan. God, however, is more powerful.
Speaking in Tongues: To speak in a language not previously learned so as to witness to people in their own language.
  1. Bible Verse: 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. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. (Acts 2)
  2. Example: “Joseph” spoke in Spanish on the mission trip. The twist? He normally knows little more beyond “Si.”
  3. Remember: What use is speaking in tongues if there’s no one to interpret the tongues?
Interpretation of Tongues: To translate the messages of someone who is speaking in tongues.
  1. Bible Verse: If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God. (1 Corinthians 14:27-28)
  2. Example: When  someone in the congregation started speaking classical Greek, “William” was able to interpret the speaker’s message as he had studied classical Greek for years.
  3. Remember: Interpretation of tongues may also be a one-time, miraculous thing.
Martyrdom: To die or to suffer for Christ.
  1. Bible Verse: While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:55)
  2. Example: People die all the time in developing countries because they profess their faith.
  3. Remember: Don’t be afraid. God is with you. Remember from Matthew: “Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Missionary: To minister to people of another culture.
  1. Bible Verse: Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:20a)
  2. Example: “Alice” has the opportunity to go to Africa as a part of Doctors Without Borders. She decides to go and take some Bibles along with her.
  3. Remember: While being a missionary is tough work, it’s very rewarding to see the happiness on people’s faces when they receive help.
Voluntary Poverty: To give up your own comfort so as to aid others.
  1. Bible Verse: If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:3)
  2. Example: Being a missionary is part of this. You’re going to be uncomfortable, but it’s all to bring people closer to comfort and closer to Christ.
  3. Remember: God will guide you.
That’s all for today. I pray all is going well for you this week.
In His Love,
The Jesus Freak Girl
 

Spiritual Gifts: Part 1 June 27, 2012

Filed under: Let's Get Biblical!,Within the Church — christical @ 4:37 pm
Tags: ,

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Pet. 4:10)

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-5)

It’s true that the subject of spiritual gifts is a popular topic among hardcore Christians. It’s also true that many people like to search to find their real strengths, and like knowing that God has gifted them with something. But why it is important for Christians to know our gifts is so that we can develop and use them to the best of our abilities.

This is why I decided to do a series on Spiritual gifts. So stay tuned!

Romans 12 recognizes seven unique gifts: exhortation, giving, leadership, mercy, prophecy, service, and teaching.

1 Corinthians 12 recognizes eleven unique gifts: administration, apostle, discernment, faith, healing, helps, knowledge, miracles, tongues, tongues interpretation, and wisdom.

Ephesians 4 recognizes two unique gifts: evangelism and being a pastor.

Then there are several different passages that recognize five unique gifts: celibacy, hospitality, martyrdom, missionary, and voluntary poverty.

I’ve decided to put these gifts into 3 categories. And here they are:

Extraordinary: prophecy, healing, miracles, tongues, interpretation of tongues, martyrdom, missionary, voluntary poverty.

Representative: teaching, leadership, administration, apostle, evangelism, pastor, knowledge, wisdom.

Background: exhortation, service, discernment, helps, celibacy, hospitality, faith, giving, mercy.

So, this is what I’ll be doing for a while now. I plan on being able to answer a few questions, including:

  1. What is x gift?
  2. How do I know which gift I have?
  3. How can I use my gift(s)?
  4. How do I know what spiritual gift(s) I have?

Thanks: God be with you!

–The Jesus Freak Girl

 

The Deal with Praise Music Songwriting June 26, 2012

Filed under: Christian Culture,Homemade Praise — christical @ 10:52 am
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Mood: Sent on a mission!

By the title, you can probably guess what I’m going to write about today: songwriting; praise songwriting in particular. It’s holy music, Batman!

Many people like the idea of songwriting, and many take up the endeavor. But very few people actually finish writing their songs. Why? It’s easy to get discouraged, because, let’s face it: songwriting is hard, especially because you’re trying to create your own melody based off of lyrics (or the other way around).

And how do I know this, you ask? Because I’m trying to write one at the moment. So, here are a few tips:

• I find that it helps to pray before you write. For some reason it gets me thinking more about God.
• Try to make sure that the lyrics make sense. This is why I write the lyrics, then the music.
• The instrument choices should match the feel of the song. Unless you’re going for some irony in your music.
• Make it yours. Even if someone likes to listen to only country music, that doesn’t mean that they won’t write some pop or rock songs. Let your music be free from the labeling. Unless, again, you’re going for irony.
• When I write praise music, I like to use bible verses as inspiration. I’m currently trying to write a song for the Nativity of John the Baptist (I had an interesting conversation with some friends about John the Baptist), so I looked up as many verses as I could about his birth and the prophecies surrounding it.
• Make sure your songs have a steady rhythm to them. Many songs have been ruined because their rhythm was terrible, thus, they sounded like a jumbled mess to the ear.
• Have fun with it, and speak from the heart. The most heartfelt songs have been written and performed by those who have experienced the feelings about which they’re singing. But then again, that can make a song borderline sappy.

Sweet. God Bless you all.

Spiritually thirsting for more? Read Psalm 95:1-7.

In His Love,

The Jesus Freak Girl

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21, NIV184).

 

Yeast, Water, and V8: 3 Object Lessons about God June 25, 2012

Filed under: Applied Faith,Christian Culture — christical @ 5:05 pm
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Mood: Hungry for righteousness!

So,today I’m going to be giving you all an object lesson with vegetable juice. But first, let me explain a parable from Jesus which is about food.

He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.” (Matthew 13:33 NIV84)

So, yeast is a powerful ingredient. Even with only a small amount of yeast, you can transform the dough into light, fluffy bread. It doesn’t take an ocean to get someone wet; you only need a small amount. Such as it is with faith. With even a small amount of faith, you will be transformed, too.

So, parable time.

Faith is like a combination of electrolytes and water during a workout. Those who do not pushed to the point where they sweat a lot need less water, those who are need more water.

So, some people sweat more, just as some people are persecuted more for being a Christian. And those who are persecuted more really struggle sometimes with faith, and many persecuted Christians have problems with keeping faith. I’m not saying that those who have it easy don’t need faith; but without all the stress it’s easier for them to be a relaxed Christian. But the more you strive for a relationship with God, the more intense and passionate you become about Jesus. And that, my friends, is the key to an awesome relationship with God. That fire, that love, it’s really a beautiful feeling. And even though people all have different amounts of faith, it’s that unity that binds us together as Christians.

One last object lesson before I go:

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Heaven: The Real Party (Part 2) June 23, 2012

Filed under: Let's Get Biblical! — christical @ 1:11 pm
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So, one common question I’ve heard is, “How do you get to heaven?”

Out of my own curiosity, I tested this on my sister. Her response?

“By having faith in God. And just like believing in Jesus, that he’s Lord and stuff.”

Hm . . . Not quite that simple. How about we consult our friend, the Bible?

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:24 NIV84)”

So, my friends, that is how you get to heaven. (1) Hear the Word, and (2) believe what Jesus said and accept him as your Lord and Savior. Now, simply believing that God exists is not enough. For instance, Satan believes that God exists. But he chose to not be in heaven. Angels have free will, too.

And no one said getting into heaven would be an easy task. But luckily we have the Big Guy watching over us. Even then, our reward for faithfulness is not of this world. Check this out from Matthew:

I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

“He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. (Matthew 10:16, 22, 29, 31, 39, 40 NIV84)

News flash: no matter how innocent you may be, the world isn’t. Keep on your guard at all times. No person is perfect, even if they say they are a Christian. Just because they say something doesn’t mean it’s true.

Oh, and one more thing: if you’re worried about whether you’re saved, ask yourself if you want to be saved. Is your answer yes? Then you’re definitely saved. Is your answer no? Then I’d be happy to talk to you sometime.

I pray you’re having a relaxing weekend.

Asking the readers: How long have you been a Christian? And what denomination church do you attend?

In His Love,

The Jesus Freak Girl

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21, NIV184).

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