Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - July 26, 2017

Today's Reading:

1 Corinthians 12

2 Kings 6:1-7:2

Jonah 1

Listen to the Bible







Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading  

In 1 Corinthians 12 we read about spiritual gifts. Some Christians may seem to have these gifts in abundance, while it may appear in your eyes that you were left out. But Scripture plainly states that every member of the Body of Messiah has been given spiritual gifts.

So, if you don't feel like you were given any gifts, or if you aren't sure what your spiritual gifts are, this blog is for you!

Today, I would like to share with you a study on Spiritual Gifts. With Scripture, I will show you how to identify and strengthen the spiritual gifts Yahweh has given you. 

The first question we should answer is: What are spiritual gifts? Spiritual gifts are an expression of the “manifold grace of God,” as it says in 1 Peter 4:10.  There are many spiritual gifts.  They are given for the purpose of furthering the cause of Messiah.
1 Corinthians 12:1, 4-12  "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Sovereign. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ."

In Ephesians 4, we find that Yahshua gives spiritual gifts unto all who are part of His Body.
Ephesians 4:8, 11-13  "Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.  And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." 
So, this means that since you have accepted Yahshua as your Saviour, you can be certain that He has given you spiritual gifts to use for edifying the Body of Christ. What are your spiritual gifts? Have you ever thought about it?

If you don’t know what your gifts are, you may not be putting them to full use.  In addition, you may even be inadvertently abusing them.  For this reason, it is very important that we prayerfully use the Scriptures to discern what our spiritual gifts are.  For we definitely all want to be putting them to full use in ministry, edifying the body of Christ.

There are three categories of Spiritual gifts, according to 1 Corinthians 12:4-7: 


1. Motivational Gifts
2. Ministry Gifts
3. Manifestation Gifts

The foundational  category of spiritual gifts is one we'll call motivational gifts. A person's motivational gift is the basic one which motivates him at the core of his being - hence the category name, "motivational gifts." Supporting the main category of motivational gifts come the lesser categories of ministry gifts and manifestation gifts. Each Christian has one motivational gift and the possibility of many ministry and manifestation gifts (as it says in 1 Peter 4:10, 1 Corinthians 12:31).

There are seven motivational gifts, which are listed in the Scriptures. They are: prophecy, the gift of proclaiming truth and exposing sin; serving, the gift of meeting the needs of others; teaching, the ability to clarify truth and validate information; exhorting, the gift of stimulating faith and promoting growth; giving, which is when God-entrusted assets are used to maximum results; organizing, which is planning ahead and completing tasks; and lastly, mercy, which is the ability to remove other’s distress and share their burdens. Again, each of us has been given ONE of these motivational gifts.

There are also seven ministry gifts in the Bible: Apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, healing, helps, governments, and tongues.

And there are nine manifestation gifts. When fully used for the cause of Messiah, these gifts work together to strengthen the Church.

The Seven Motivational Gifts are:

1. Prophets
2. Servers
3. Teachers
4. Exhorters
5. Givers
6. Organizers
7. Mercies

To better understand that seven motivational gifts, we can compare them to the senses of the body.

Prophets - Our bodies have heat preceptors. These preceptors send warning messages to the brain when heat passes a certain level of safety. This is similar to how the PROPHET functions within the body of Christ. When Yahweh’s judgment upon His people is imminent, the PROPHETS will sound the alarm.

Servers - The human body has special touch preceptors. When a person taps another, he seeks to gain attention in order to have a need met. This is how a SERVER functions in the body of Christ.

Teachers - Next, our bodies have balance preceptors. If the body leans too far out of balance, these preceptors will call for muscle response to correct the situation. In the same way, when doctrine is out of balance, the TEACHER is alerted and immediately calls for documentation and correction.

Exhorters - We all have preceptors which register the amount of stretching taking place when skin is either growing or being used.  Similarly, the EXHORTER is alert to spiritual growth and the steps of progress that Christians are experiencing.
Givers - When an object near the skin is colder than the skin, it draws warmth from the body to itself. The GIVER detects when someone is needing nurturing or spiritual warmth. The giver also perceives a heart growing cold, spiritually, and responds by drawing forth the needed warmth from the Body of Christ to meet the cold one’s needs.

Organizers - Deep pressure in the body triggers preceptors, which signal the brain to shift the weight of the body avoiding pain. When an ORGANIZER recognizes that too much pressure is building up on a few people, he will delegate the load to others to avoid serious consequences.

Mercies - Special preceptors signal the brain when damage is occurring within the body. It is significant that other preceptors can be adapted to or even ignored, but these cannot. A person with the gift of MERCY will feel the pain of another and will not be able to rest until the cause of the pain is removed.

In Scripture, key insights into the identifying characteristics of these spiritual gifts are found through the Bible characters who possessed them. Let's look at each gift, seeking to notice its identifying characteristics:

Now that you have identified your motivation gift, it’s time to discover how to use this gift in a godly way, and how not to misuse it.  To discover this, let’s look at the seven motivational gifts, one-by-one. In each spiritual gift, I will also show a comparison table listing the spiritual strengths of that spiritual gift (shown in green) and the spiritual weaknesses of that spiritual gift, when misused in the flesh (shown in red).

The Gift of Prophecy:
The first motivational gift we’ll look at is the Gift of Prophecy.  Perhaps the Bible character who best illustrates this gift is Peter. The Bible gives good guidelines for those with this gift in Romans 12:9.
For a PROPHET, the most basic principle that most needs to be exercised is maintaining a CLEAR CONSCIENCE before God and man. A clear conscience allows the prophet to speak the truth boldly and with love.

The Gift of Serving:
Next is the Gift of Serving.  The Bible character who best illustrates this gift is Timothy. The Bible gives good guidelines for those with this gift in Romans 12:10.
For a SERVER, the most basic principle that most needs to be exercised is maintaining SUBMISSION TO GODLY AUTHORITY. Being under authority gives the server the needed protection as he manages his time.

The Gift of Teaching:

Next comes the Gift of Teaching.  Luke was a teacher. The Bible gives good guidelines for those with this gift in Romans 12:11. For a TEACHER, the most basic principle that most needs to be exercised is MEDITATION on the Law of Yahweh. Meditation allows the teacher to become mighty in Spirit.

The Gift of Exhorting:

Next comes the Gift of Exhorting.  Paul is one of the most famous Bible exhorters. The Bible gives good guidelines for those with this gift in Romans 12:12.

For an EXHORTER, the most basic principle that most needs to be exercised is acceptance of GOD’S DESIGN in creating him or her with the talents, family, or body style God did. Understanding and accepting God’s design allows the exhorter to understand and be able to explain God’s sovereignty.

The Gift of Giving: 
Next comes the Gift of Giving.  Matthew is a good example of this spiritual gift. The Bible gives good guidelines for those with this gift in Romans 12:13.

For a GIVER, the most basic principle that most needs to be exercised is stewardship under God’s OWNERSHIP. Understanding the principle of ownership allows the giver the freedom to respond to God’s direction.

The Gift of Organizing:

Next comes the Gift of Organizing.  Nehemiah is a good example of this spiritual gift. The Bible gives good guidelines for those with this gift in Romans 12:14.

For an ORGANIZER, the most basic principle that most needs to be exercised sensitivity to and grace in enduring SUFFERING. Suffering causes the organizer to be sensitive to the needs of others.

The Gift of Mercy:

Last comes the Gift of Mercy.  John is a good example of this spiritual gift. The Bible gives good guidelines for those with this gift in Romans 12:15.

For a person with the gift of MERCY, the most basic principle that most needs to be exercised is maintaining MORAL FREEDOM. Practicing the principles of moral freedom protects the one with the gift of mercy from improper relationships.

But which of these seven is your personal motivational spiritual gift? 

At this point, we are going to invite you to fill out a worksheet. As you complete this sheet, it will help you identify your motivational spiritual gift. There are 77 statements for you to rate. So, you can print the following table to fill out, or you can use a blank sheet of paper and make a table that has 14 columns and 13 rows:

Rate each statement on a scale of zero to four. 0=never, 1=not usually, 2=maybe, sometimes, 3=usually, and 4 = always! Be honest. Your answers should reflect how you really respond to situations.  You are trying to describe how your mind works, not what is right or wrong (especially since every spiritual gifts has righteous uses - positive, and carnal abuses - negative) . 

Do not answer according to what you think expected. Your answers might change as you mature in Christ, but for now, just answer exactly as you would handle it for real, whether or not this is the best way to handle a situation.

On a sheet of blank paper, simply keep track of the question number and your rating number. These will be tallied at the end. 
Let’s begin: 
1.___You can easily detect hypocrisy and deception.  
(0 = never, 1 = not usually, 2=sometimes, 3=usually, 4=always)
2.___You can quickly discern hypocrisy and root motives.  
(0 = never, 1 = not usually, 2=sometimes, 3=usually, 4=always)
3.___You are very trusting of other people, and may fail to notice evidence of their sin, until they are proven untrustworthy.  
(0 = never, 1 = not usually, 2=sometimes, 3=usually, 4=always)
4.___You welcome good help and may disregard character flaws as long as the job gets done.  
(0 = never, 1 = not usually, 2=sometimes, 3=usually, 4=always)
5.___You tend to think you are not as important or needed as others in the Body. 
(0 = never, 1 = not usually, 2=sometimes, 3=usually, 4=always)
6.___You enjoy prayerfully guiding others around mental roadblocks.
(0 = never, 1 = not usually, 2=sometimes, 3=usually, 4=always)
7.___You highly value quality and genuineness in people and things. 
(0 = never, 1 = not usually, 2=sometimes, 3=usually, 4=always)
8.___When defending Yahshua, you will disregard your own physical limitations.  
(0 = never, 1 = not usually, 2=sometimes, 3=usually, 4=always)
9.___You can accept testing and difficulties better when you know there is a time limit.
(0 = never, 1 = not usually, 2=sometimes, 3=usually, 4=always)
10.___ Even when facing opposition, you are very loyal, especially to an organization.
(0 = never, 1 = not usually, 2=sometimes, 3=usually, 4=always)
11.___You like working under authority, having your jurisdiction clearly defined. 
(0 = never, 1 = not usually, 2=sometimes, 3=usually, 4=always)
12.___You often need to be told by others to rest or you will work to exhaustion.
(0 = never, 1 = not usually, 2=sometimes, 3=usually, 4=always)
13.___You attempt great things for God and do not let your own frailty or lack of resources stand in the way. 
(0 = never, 1 = not usually, 2=sometimes, 3=usually, 4=always)
14.___ You find it easy to meet your own needs and can easily accumulate finances and other resources.
(0 = never, 1 = not usually, 2=sometimes, 3=usually, 4=always)
15.___You could easily justify harshness in your ministry when you see people in sin. 
(0 = never, 1 = not usually, 2=sometimes, 3=usually, 4=always)
16.___You want to give troubled people another chance.
(0 = never, 1 = not usually, 2=sometimes, 3=usually, 4=always)
17.___You do not quickly make decisions that divide.  
(0 = never, 1 = not usually, 2=sometimes, 3=usually, 4=always)
18.___ You don’t understand how some people can be so unmotivated to do something.  
(0 = never, 1 = not usually, 2=sometimes, 3=usually, 4=always)
19.___You have difficulty saying “no”.  
(0 = never, 1 = not usually, 2=sometimes, 3=usually, 4=always)
20.___You encourage others by helping them see why God let things happen. 
(0 = never, 1 = not usually, 2=sometimes, 3=usually, 4=always)
21.___ You desire to bring refreshment or healing to God’s people.
(0 = never, 1 = not usually, 2=sometimes, 3=usually, 4=always) - Okay, from here on, I'm not going to repeat this rating system. But continue answering the following with a 0-4 rating, according to this system:
22.___You tend to go to extremes when repenting.
23.___ You need others, especially authorities, to affirm your decisions.
24.___To accomplish your task, you can tolerate objectionable authorities.
25.___You are tempted to quit everything when reproved.
26.___ You really like to please your authorities; and when you can’t, you are eager to do something else.

27.___You need to see obvious fruit and results as your work progresses.
28.___ You desire to be useful to God.
29.___You have a hatred of evil and doggedly pursue what is true, right, and just.
30.___You really want to relieve suffering and pain.
31.___ You believe that when people understand the truth they will respond correctly.
32.___ You especially emphasize achievement and getting things done.

33.___You love to do things that meet needs and add special touches that people appreciate.
34.___ You see great benefit in trials because they help people grow.
35.___ You are sensitive to needs and will gladly use your talents or resources to meet those needs.
36.___ You can quickly see flaws in other people and ministries.
37. ___ You prefer to work under or with someone who is in control.

38.___ You learn much about a person by his credentials.
39. ___ You seldom take charge unless the authority is delegated to you.
40. ___ You like being appreciated. But you would rather be behind the scenes.
41. ___ You tend to organize and even think using lists.
42. ___ You like to be part of bringing things into being.
43.___ When you think you are right, you won’t back down no matter the cost.
44. ___ You are alert to how past events have shaped present problems and situations.
45. ___ You like to discover and understand deep issues and causes of problems.
46. ___ A cause/effect relationship may have be pointed out in a situation under your jurisdiction, but when it is you know what to do with it.
47. ___ You can get so involved in “your ministry” that you neglect yourself or your family.
48.___ You honor God by emphasizing that He never makes mistakes.
49. ___ You want all you do to be a witness for Yahshua.
50. ___ You can become so focused on what is right that priorities are neglected.
51. ___ You really appreciate empathy (you feel other people’s pain).
52. ___ In your conversation, you love to share with accuracy and in detail.  
53.___ Whenever you have charge of a project, you can accomplish much.
54. ___ You notice the practical needs of others and enjoy meeting them.
55. ___ You are visionary.
56. ___ Hospitality is a top priority to you.
57. ___ You are motivated to protect others from false teachers.
58. ___ You react when someone misuses the Lord’s Name.
59.___ You really love to hold to the truth.
60. ___ You can command respect, and even unintentionally intimidate others.
61. ___ You like to stick with a task until it is done; but if interrupted, it is hard to get back to it.
62. ___ You see life arranged as open and closed doors of opportunity.
63. ___  You like to invest your time, talent, or treasure in things of high value, quality, and usefulness.
64. ___ You are comfortable making quick decisions 
65.___ You are sensitive to slander and false accusations against yourself and others.
66. ___ You love to search for and discover hidden insight.
67. ___ You are very alert to priorities.
68. ___ You are not afraid to get dirty. Yet you really emphasize cleanliness.
69. ___  Eye contact is very important to you.
70. ___ You see yourself being strong in a number of the motivational gifts.
71.___ When God brings His judgment on those who are unrepentant, you are encouraged.
72. ___ You readily identify with the suffering Saviour.
73. ___ You are concerned that all preaching should be Biblical.
74. ___ You especially respect God as the Judge and Final Authority.
75. ___  You are tempted to see works as more important than faith – you must be doing something in order to please Yahweh.
76.___ You especially appreciate God’s sovereignty.
77. ___ You especially respect God as the Creator and the One Who makes things happen.
This concludes the questions.
Now you need to add up the ratings from column “A.” Enter the answer in the blue box immediately under the column.  Do this as you add your ratings for each of the columns.
Finally, number each column from highest ranking to lowest ranking.  Put a 1 in your column with the highest total.  In this example, the person scored the highest ranking in the teal colored column “G.” So a number 1 is placed under this column. Continue ranking your columns on down to the column with the lowest total score being ranked at number 6.
Now, let’s find out what these totals and columns mean.

If you scored highest in column A, your motivational spiritual gift is PROPHECY.  
If you scored highest in column B, your gift is MERCY. 
Column C is a TEACHER. 
Column D is an ORGANIZER. 
If you scored highest in Column E you are a SERVER. 
Column F is an EXHORTER 
and Column G is a GIVER.

Everyone has some of all the motivational spiritual gifts, but the one with the highest score is the one you should more pay attention to at this time.  This one is your main spiritual gift.  All of your ministry and manifestation gifts spring from this fundamental motivation.
Now, how can you put your God-given Spiritual gift to best use for His cause? If you aren’t already part of a home Bible study fellowship, or active church body, join one.  Then work together with the others in your group to maximize the spreading of the Gospel as the complete and fully functioning body of Christ.
If you’re a MERCY – start a special outreach demonstrating concern for the needs and feelings of the others in your church body, find ways to meet their needs and minister to their hearts.

If you are a PROPHET – present well-prepared sermons to your group, exposing sin, proclaiming righteousness, and warning of judgment to come.

If you are a SERVER – give practical assistance to the members of your body encouraging them and helping them fulfill their responsibilities.

If you are a TEACHER – share in-depth Bible studies with special emphasis on the precise meanings of words.

If you are an EXHORTER – give Biblical counseling and encouragement to members in order to assist them in applying Scriptural principles to daily living.

If you are a GIVER – give financial assistance and prayers for missionaries and ministries on the front lines.

And if you are an ORGANIZER –help the body of Christ to run smoothly and in a well-organized and fully-equipped manner so that every phase will be carried out decently and in order.

But, whatever you do – USE your God-given Spiritual Gifts for Yahweh.  Ask your Heavenly Father to help you put them to use to His glory. And pray for His help as you determine to never abuse this gift again.