Monday, January 25, 2010

Believing God

I'm currently teaching the Beth Moore study, Believing God, for the second time and am challenged in a fresh way to do more than believe God simply exists and He's "out there somewhere".  Beth says that God's family suffers from unbelief and that God is working to get us to believe Him, to believe He acts personally and intentionally in relationship with each of us to work mighty and good deeds that bring people in touch with His goodness and kindness.

One of last week's assignments brought me face to face with a concept I thought I understood. Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.  In a message by Bill Johnson from Bethel Church in Redding, California, he conveyed that we grow in faith when we hear what God intends to do in a situation and the word of Christ we hear is an active, current message of God to our hearts.  Brad Jersak in Abbotsford, BC, Canada wrote a good book (Can You Hear Me?) along similar lines.  He encourages us to tune in our hearts to God much like a radio is tuned to a signal.  His conviction (biblically based) is that God continues to speak to people today.  In our busy lives (especially in the western world) we don't stop and get quiet in order to hear or we hastily brush past the quiet voice of God in the midst of the din of our busy lives.

I am making a renewed effort to listen for God's words, to be eagerly awaiting what He says, and to act on what He tells me to do.  I choose to BELIEVE God, not just believe IN Him.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gifts are for giving

A friend reminded me that I LOVE discovering spiritual gifts in people and encouraging the release of those gifts for the benefit of others. God gives every one of his followers certain "graces" (most often translated "spiritual gifts") that are to benefit other followers AND the world around us to draw people into relationship with him. Many people don't consciously think about this and consequently leave dormant grace gifts that could be making a difference in life with people.

Do you know your graces?  Do you love serving others or leading?  Do you find hosting people to be absolute joy?  Do you share your faith effortlessly? Do you get frustrated when others struggle to believe God will do what he says he will do?  Those are indications of gifts God has given.  Explore these Bible passages (I Corinthians 12Romans 12:6-11, Ephesians 4:7, 11-13) and ask God what your gifts are then release them, give out of that special grace (ease in giving, joyful, "natural") provided by God just for you.