Captivated By Love

Ladies!!! Oh an interesting cause to check out for sure in this video here that Sam Samy shares:

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I find it interesting that the lion wants to stay where it finds love in relationship rather than step out into the world all alone. As you know, Sam, a person is never alone because Jesus is always with us as His people of faith!!! Oh that just makes me smile!!! As you also know, Sam, Father created us for relationship!!! I am reminded that it is always good news wherever He opens and closes doors in our lives to put us in the divine place for us to be together with divine purpose with Him working in us as His people of faith!!! 🙂 Lots to ponder about this video!!! I am reminded of this song here about being a new creation in faith in Jesus and the specialness of His love:

https://g.co/kgs/b6vCDq

Thank you for the pondering again today, Sam!!! I’m sharing it!!!

Balancing Change in Life

Awesome new day greetings, precious saints!!! Yesterday, I wrote about how Father paces our lives just right as we look to Him and in recap, I wrote:

“As spiritual athletes or runners of the “cross” road, we may be asked to speed up temporarily or slow down at times in order to get us through certain places. God knows in His wisdom that an appropriate pace is important for long-term running!!!” 

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Here in Idaho, it is a new season of year with all of its beautiful color all around!!!

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In reflecting upon that, as people, we have different seasons in life as well. For example: God may adjust our pace of running with the different seasons of our life, too. But even in the winter years of retirement age, running does not have to stop. Many people find that no longer having an employer opens new opportunities to travel for the Lord and participate in missions around the world, while others find their new availability provides great opportunity to help their grown children and impact their grandchildren for the Lord. Some give more time to their church, spend more time praying or lend a hand to the community, maybe getting involved in politics to make a difference for Christ. A successful Hollywood movie star decided at age 69 to take a big step politically and ended up doing his greatest work in life – being one of America’s greatest Presidents for two terms. His name was Ronald Reagan, a man of great Christian faith. Remember him and other older saints and let us always reflect upon the possibility that our greatest work may still be ahead of us and even now. Advanced age doesn’t mean the bearing of fruit is done.

God has a purpose for His people as long as they have life on earth and that includes you and me, too, dear ones!!! I WANT TO ENCOURAGE YOU today, that YOU are always important!!! Oh let us never think of our lives as being without purpose to our Father even if life changes in where we are, when we are there or what we are called to do!!! WOOOHOOO!!! LIFE IS ALWAYS A DIVINE ADVENTURE WITH JESUS!!! JESUS JUST MAKES US SMILE!!!

I Am WIth You Always

Running the road of God’s purpose, we as spiritual athletes need to be balanced properly, upright and in rhythm with God’s leading. A physical runner watches the road before him carefully, not wanting to fall. He or she places one foot down and then the other, moving forward on the path ahead. Likewise, the spiritual athlete moves ahead through the day as he or she listens to God’s leading, stepping into one area of ministry then another. The spiritual athlete seeks to run upright and in good form to bring glory to God in every step.

Sometimes we step a little farther to the right or left into a specific area of ministry as the road before us necessitates, but all the time, we strive to remain on the road of God’s purpose. An example would be spending more time than we normally would to sit with an ill family member or devote more ministry time to the church one week a year to help with the weeklong vacation bible school. Perhaps it is getting away from all other areas of ministry for a weekend with your spouse to spend some time resting and ministering to each other or God may call you aside for an extended time of prayer, fasting, study and reflection. 

Jesus Reaching Out To US

In addition to the common purposes we share with other runners (believers) of the “cross” road, I am going to be sharing over the next few days a list of generalized areas of ministry that each of us individually will typically step in and out of in the course of our life.   Not all runners will experience all areas and I have not listed them in any order of priority because I believe God changes our priorities from day to day. God is the exception to listing an order of priority – God says in Exodus 20:3 “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Taking the time to develop a relationship with God, worshiping, praying, studying His Word and listening to God is “Job #1 for the spiritual athlete.”  He is  worthy of all praise and the sacrifice of all our lives as long as we have breath!!! HOOORRRAAAHHH!!! TO THAT I SAY AS THIS SONG SAYS HERE “YYYEEESSS LORD, WORK THRU US EACH ONE TO BUILD YOUR KINGDOM HERE ON EARTH!!! OH HOW WE WANT TO SEE YOU HIGH AND LIFTED UP AS THIS SONG SAYS HERE!!!

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The Sparkle of YOU

God gives every believer spiritual gifts to be used in ministry to gift others (Romans 12:6-8). There are different gifts for different believers (1 Corinthians 12:4-6). They are gifted by the Holy Spirit, thus only to believers (1 Corinthians 12:7). Each one of us is a different part of the church body. It is important that we not expect all believers to be the same part as us. However, just because we do not have a particular gift does not mean that there will not be times when God does desire you to carry out a particular task, for example: you may not have the gift of evangelism, but we all have the responsibility for the Great Commission. It may not be your gift, or an activity that you love, but somebody has to change the diapers on the babies in the nursery! It is important that we remember that none of us are the complete body by ourselves. It is also important that we not think more of ourselves than we ought to (Romans 12:3). Spiritual gifts are chosen by God (1 Corinthians 12:14-20). They are equally important so jealousy towards another person’s gifts is foolish (1 Corinthians 12:21-27). You can have more than one gift and they can change or be flamed into action more at one time than another. God is our enabler who gives us what we need to accomplish what He wants to accomplish through us and when (1 Corinthians 12:6, Philippians 2:13). HOOORRRAAAHHH!!! Powerful saints we are with Him at work in us!!!

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Discovering your spiritual gifts takes time. Experience that comes from stepping out and trying some different areas of ministry is necessary to affirm our true gifts. When you are using your gift(s), you will enjoy it and when people are saying or showing that what you are doing is bearing fruit in their lives or saying that you are good at doing something in particular, these are indicators that you are working in your area(s) of giftedness. You will not learn this apart from trying. Try your hand at doing some things where you think you might be gifted and ask God to reveal the reality of your giftedness in that area. Try serving in several different ways, not just in the areas that assessment tests suggest (I’ll talk more about that later). Don’t worry about finding the perfect fit right away. Allow yourself to learn as you experiment. Consider one-time serving to try out different ministry areas. After each serving, ask yourself:

1) Was the work meaningful to you?

2) Was your emotional energy higher or lower after you served? Were you energized or drained?   Connecting your spiritual gift with an area of passion is the key to ultimate effectiveness and fulfillment in serving. It is also one of the keys to maintaining energy in serving.

3) Do you enjoy serving with the people involved?

4) Does it fit well with your schedule and time frame for the serving opportunity? You may discover that one part of a serving opportunity feels great while another part doesn’t, so use what you learn, both positive and negative to inform your next experiment. Don’t wait to be asked. Just step out! Whether your first step reveals your ideal serving spot or begins a slow process of self-discovery, it will provide invaluable opportunity to invite God to reveal your calling, your gifts and your passion.

 Run For the Vision

There are assessment tools available to help give you a hint at what you may be gifted at doing, but do not consider the results all-inclusive or an absolute indicator. As I just mentioned, experience will be the true test. DO NOT BE PIGEONHOLED BY TESTS! Assessment tools can give you some areas to think about and pray about. If you take the tests, it is important to be honest in your answers as to how you really are and not how you think you should be. The only should is that you should be yourself – how God made you!   A Spiritual Gifts Analysis that you can consider that offers personalized and instant results is available through the Internet by typing into the search engine:

       Church Growth Institute

You need to select FREE Spiritual Gifts Analysis – Church Growth.

If you do not have access to the Internet, you can also order a booklet test by calling the Church Growth Institute at 1-800-553-GROW (4769).

There are many assessment tools available through the internet and in book form to assist you in determining “Spiritual Gifts.” They vary in what they include, in that they may test for some or all of the “Spiritual Gifts” that the Bible refers to in Romans 12:6-8, Ephesians 4:11 and 1 Corinthians 12:1-14, but they may add other abilities and talents found throughout the Bible as well.

There are also different opinions as to what a “Spiritual Gift” is – some will say that they are limited to select gifts while others say a spiritual gift is anything that a person can do supernaturally well.

The “Spiritual Gifts” referred to in the “Running Your Road of Purpose” Bible study are the “gifts” referred to in Romans 12:6-8, Ephesians 4:11 and 1 Corinthians 12:1-14. They are listed below:

Romans 12:6-8                                  Ephesians 4:11                       1 Corinthians 12:1-14

Prophecy                                           Apostleship                             Wisdom

Serving                                              Prophecy                                 Knowledge

Teaching                                           Evangelism                             Distinguishing spirits

Exhortation/Encouraging                 Pastoring                                Speaking in tongues

Giving                                               Teaching                                 Interpretation of

                                                                                                                   Tongues

Leading                                                                                               Prophecy

Showing mercy                                                                                   Faith

                                                                                                            Miraculous Powers

                                                                                                             Healing

Some believe that the operation of some of these gifts is limited to early Christianity – a time when people did not have the written Bible and they looked for miracles to determine if someone was truly of God. According to some Protestant denominations, some of the spiritual gifts, for example: speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues were enjoyed only for a short time and were suited to the Church’s infancy, not to later times. This view is known as “cessationism.” While many churches hold to this view, others do not. One opinion is sure, God cannot be put into a box and have it be said of Him that He would not equip a believer to utilize a particular gift to carry out a purpose if that was His desire for that person to do so.

Don’t get hung up in these issues. The point to remember is that all believers are gifted by the Holy Spirit to serve in a way(s) that builds the church. Assessment tools can be used to give you a hint at how you may be gifted, but they are not absolute or all inclusive as God gives us other abilities and talents as well through which He works His purpose for our lives. Experience is the key to truly understanding our uniqueness that God has given to each one of us for serving Him. Each one of us is specially equipped and none of us are indispensable to the body. To that I say, WOOOHOOO!!! LET’S GO IN THE GIFTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TO SHINE FORTH THE LOVE AND LIGHT AND VICTORY OF JESUS INTO THE WORLD WHEREVER HE HAS US AS HIS ENERGY WORKS SOOO POWERFULLY IN US AS THIS SONG SAYS HERE. I AM PROUD OF YOU FOR DOING SO, DEAR ONES!!!

Gift of Heaven

Time to Let Him Reflect

TimingEcclesiastes 3:1 says “there is a time for everything.” The right sense of timing is important in making good decisions. Jesus understood this well and mentioned “time” several times throughout the gospels. When the time was right for His arrest and the beginning of His crucifixion, He was very aware of it and He acknowledged it to His Father, saying “Father, the time has come.”  When it comes to joining God in His work, we do not want to get in a hurry, but be patient for God to work through things in His timing (Psalm 37:7, Psalm 27:14).

He will bring things together in the right timing. When the timing is right and God wants us to move out, He will nudge us in our spirit to go.

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There's A Spark in You

When I sense that timing is not right, this is an indicator to me I am not to go or something needs to change and therefore, I need to talk to God about resolving a problem if I am to continue. When timing is right, priorities are not compromised. What is to be done is done in an orderly and fitting way, not in a state of chaos.

Ecclesiastes 8:5-6 says “the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter.” 

These are the ways that God generally speaks to us, however, He is capable of speaking in whatever way He chooses – in one example in the Bible (Numbers 22), He spoke through a donkey to Balaam!   The thing we need to remember is that we need to test all things against God’s Word to be sure they are of God because Satan, our enemy, is at work to mislead us and we also have our flesh with it’s sinful desires that can mislead us which is a good reason not to assume God’s will based on our emotions or feelings (Romans 13:14). We will not hear God through occult (demonic) mediums, the dead, divination, sorcery, interpreting of omens, evil spirits, or practices such as fortune telling, tarot cards, palm reading, horoscope (astrology) and witch craft (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). In the book of Deuteronomy (32:17), God tells us His view of demons. In this passage, He says of Jeshurun “They sacrificed to demons, which are not God.” When you open your life up to these things, you are making yourself vulnerable to demonic powers that are very real and harmful and contrary to God. YIKES!!! WATCH OUT, DEAR ONES!!! Jesus spent a lot of His time rescuing people from demonic possession throughout the gospels – the demonic realm is real and should not be played with.

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John 10 tells us Jesus is the good shepherd and His sheep will listen to His voice, they will follow Him because they know His voice; but they will never follow a stranger, in fact, they will run away from a stranger because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice. The longer we run with God, the more we get to know, understand and recognize His voice and see Him working in our lives so that where He goes, we can follow. He beckons us “Come, follow me!” (Matthew 4:19) The word “come” means to arrive or attack. Therefore, Jesus’ request is to “arrive at or attack the opportunity to “follow” Him. To follow is “to accompany, to assist, to imitate.” Hence, let us “arrive at or attack the opportunity to accompany Him, to assist Him and imitate Him as His beloved people of faith.” He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out – “Listen – He’s calling to us now!” How exciting!!! YES, FATHER, I HEAR YOU!!!

Girl With Jesus

Where is He calling YOU to “come follow Him for the divine life???” Oh sooo proud of you for doing so!!! I’m a gal seeking to follow Jesus in His invitation to me!!! He is on the move and it is His promise that “He is at work in us to will and act according to His purpose,” so as this song says here “Make me salt, make me light, Lord Jesus, for that is what YOU are and oh, I’m a wanna be just like You, Jesus!!! BRING IT JESUS – BRING YOU THRU US TO BE REFLECTIONS OF  YOU IN THIS WORLD!!!

Jesus Reaching Out To US