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Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Sadly, many people will look at us and judge us by appearances and as we’ve already read, they can miss-read us because they don’t see what’s on the inside which is what is of ultimate importance.  Jesus said “You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one” (John 8:15).  Every time that someone looks at us and they judge us by appearances, they are judging us by human standards and very likely miss-judging us.  What they can’t see is what is most important anyway.  The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were only concerned with what people saw them doing but God knew their hearts and saw that they were inwardly full of sin. Bible Scripture Images

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, ... Biblical Verses Image


My friendship with him dissolved soon thereafter. I no longer felt like this was a teaching I could follow — the Holy Spirit led me away from it. Over the years, I continued to ask questions from time to time of people who I considered filled with the Spirit of God. Time and again, I would receive confirmation that tongues was an edification for the person, not God, and served no valid purpose in the way it is practiced by various Pentecostal and Charismatic churches. I also would encounter those that spoke in tongues. I would usually not react adversely in any way or judge that person, but I still did not feel at peace with it. Now, let me clarify that with the statement that I believe if God the Spirit DID have a purpose that glorified Him and not the speaker, absolutely, He could bestow such a gift upon him — as He WILLS and for His glory. Are there people that speak in tongues today? I’m sure there are. Does the language always come from God? Hmmm, now that’s a good question and one that is between God and the person doing the speaking. Bible Verse Wall Art
He really began to assert his independence covered by ‘transparent’ LYING after our first child was born and his mom died. He had a brief emotional adulterous relationship with a woman at work that I discovered and I took action to go to her and relate to her that God’s best man for any woman would not be another woman’s wife. I ministered and prayed with her …she then called me to apologize and quit her job and left town …I was not until just lately I found out that she was a married woman ! SO my husband has never been transparent and still is not being so . He simply does not have the ‘skills’ to call upon himself to be truthful .
I know many other Christians are feeling His call more than ever. He is prompting me to study, dive into His Word, learn from others that are His teachers and spend more quality time with Him. I am waiting on His leading and for Him to point the way. I will do whatever He wants me to do, go where ever He wants me to go — in His name, for His glory. Bible Scripture Images

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. ...


I was saved at the age of 4 and yearned to receive the gift of speaking in tongues since I was around 12. I would ask God for it, but He had His own timing for me to receive the gift. I received it in the beginning of huge trials I’ve been going through for the past 2 years (I’m now 30–finances, buying a home that the inspector lied about and the home was unhealthy to live in, in turn creating marital struggles, and dealing with severe depression in my spouse and the way he treats me because of his depression). I know it has different uses, but I feel God gave it to me in order to pray and speak to Him about what I’m going through. I definitely run out of things to say and when I’ve run out of words, I begin speaking in tongues—I’ve found that when I have spoke in tongues it’s always been when I’ve hit my breaking point in my situations and I’m crying out in desperation to the Lord. Many times I will pray in tongues for awhile and then it turns into beautiful worship songs. As it goes on my tears and crying calm down and I feel more and more calm and at peace. It’s been a real blessing and I’m trying to learn more and more about uses, but for now its been a way for God to help me through these hardships and hurt. Bible Verse Wall Art

Thank you Jerry…yes, it is time to move on as we can agree to disagree and not be disagreeable as you have not been and you are not or have been disagreeable and I thank you for that. Since not all, even in the early church, Paul wrote that not all speak with tongues, then clearly Augustine was wrong and certainly I must believe what is in the Bible over these early church fathers.
Sadly, many people will look at us and judge us by appearances and as we’ve already read, they can miss-read us because they don’t see what’s on the inside which is what is of ultimate importance.  Jesus said “You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one” (John 8:15).  Every time that someone looks at us and they judge us by appearances, they are judging us by human standards and very likely miss-judging us.  What they can’t see is what is most important anyway.  The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were only concerned with what people saw them doing but God knew their hearts and saw that they were inwardly full of sin. Bible Scripture Images
I agree, Pastor Jack. A number of years ago, I’d say about 15, I was in a transitory time in my life and seeking answers from God. I had reached a point of asking the big WHY? Why are we here, why did you make me, what am I missing? I had been feeling distressed and anxious about my life for a while. One day, I cried out to Him, in my car, and clearly, as if just a whisper, I heard “It’s the love.” Wow. Of course. It’s like something you know, just like you know you have a nose on your face and yet you don’t really notice it all that much in the mirror unless it has a zit on it. In front of me the whole time, interwoven in my life and yet for the first time I really understood that God IS love, God created us because He loved us and He wants us to love Him. He never forces anyone though. Before that, I had a hard time understanding God’s love and how He could possibly love a sinner like me. That was a break through moment in my faith walk. It was a deeper understanding of the nature of our loving God and every day I just keep falling deeper in love with Him. He’s amazing. Biblical Verses Image
This actually has left many of those betrayed feeling like they were the cause of their spouse’s sinful choice! This is not just in the secular world of attempts to ‘fix’ a marriage but also is found in many church counselling paradigms. I have read many testimonies of how frustrated people who have gone to get help who have come away with either useless , cliche advice , or worse , damaging them by lack of wise counsel upon this most difficult issue.

Genesis 1:26-27 “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Bible Verse Wall Art
1 Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
I was not even aware that there was a NAME for this kind of thing until more recent years …it was “Higher Criticism’ that was one of the key elements along with many other ‘isms’ added to the faith …going back to the most basic way that the Serpent used and still finds most effective to deconstruct people’s hope in learning truth from the Bible , the scriptures that are GOD breathed and trustworthy are being ripped apart by anti christian ‘scholars’ who are nothing more than skeptics and workers of evil intent upon destroying the faith of those who are unstable and unlearned at the earliest age possible. Biblical Verses Image

In 1 Corinthians 13:8 Paul made an interesting, almost startling, statement: “Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.” In the expression “love never fails,” the Greek word translated “fails” means “to decay” or “to be abolished.” Paul was not saying that love is invincible or that it cannot be rejected. He was saying that love is eternal—that it will be applicable forever and will never be passé. Tongues, however, “will cease.” The Greek verb used in 1 Corinthians 13:8 means “to cease permanently,” and implies that when tongues ceased, they would never start up again. Bible Verse Wall Art
Each and every believer has been given by the indwelling of the Spirit of God, gifts of the Spirit (Acts 2:38).  In Acts chapter 8 and in 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14 we see external gifts of the Holy Spirit. They were not gifts that they have been developed by human capacities, therefore the believer has absolutely no right to brag on these gifts. If we exalt in our gifts, we are taking credit for something that we have not earned ourselves. It is like taking credit for a gift you receive on your birthday. It is just that; a gift that was not yours but given to your freely and it is given apart from any inherent capabilities that you have within you. It is not like changing the old hymn from How Great Thou Art to How Great I Am. Bible Verse Wall Art
Now it happened at the turn of the year that the army of the Arameans came up against him; and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, destroyed all the officials of the people from among the people, and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus. Indeed the army of the Arameans came with a small number of men; yet the LORD delivered a very great army into their hands, because they had forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers. Thus they executed judgment on Joash. Biblical Verses Image
The next gift is the ability to speak in different tongues (v 10). This has been one of the most controversial and most misunderstood gifts of all. When the original outpouring of the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost, there were many speaking in tongues. Paul wrote about tongues extensively in 1 Corinthians, chapters twelve through fourteen, but he was reproving the Corinthians for misusing the gift. It’s very difficult out of this passage to get any kind of mandate to speak in tongues, to get any kind of affirmation that this is something to be sought, because what you have here are primarily corrective orders given to the Corinthians. They had actually prostituted the gift of tongues into something pagan that wasn’t even representative of the work of the Spirit. All you need to do is to go back to Acts 2 and read verse 4, “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other languages”. The literal translation in Greek is “glossa” and means tongues. This same word “glossa” (language) is used again in Acts 2:11. This means it is a known language not some unknown tongue. Then it says (in Acts 2:5-11) that there were unbelievers present at Pentecost and were hearing God’s message in their own “dialektos” dialects or language: “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 their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues” (dialektos or dialects)! So there were unbelievers present at Pentecost hearing God’s message in their own languages and their own local dialects, not ecstatic gibberish.
While many white musicians gravitated toward country, folk, and old-timey music to express their spirituality outside of traditional Christian hymns, Black Gospel music drew heavily upon the traditional spirituals that had been passed down from the days of slavery, picking up its more driving rhythmic emphasis from blues and early jazz. Composer and singer Thomas A. Dorsey crystallized the style in 1932 with his epochal "Take My Hand, Precious Lord," and went on to compose a great many songs that later became standards. When performed in the churches, the music was traditionally sung by a choir, with individual soloists sometimes taking the spotlight; this often happened in a form known as "call and response," in which either the choir or the soloist would repeat and/or answer the lyric which had just been sung by the other, with the soloist improvising embellishments of the melody for greater emphasis. As the music developed, these soloists became more and more virtuosic, performing with wild emotion (and, in the South, physicality) in order to properly express the spiritual ecstasy the music was meant to evoke. The music was quite egalitarian in terms of gender, as both male and female performers -- Brother Joe May, Rev. James Cleveland, Mahalia Jackson, the Clara Ward Singers, etc. -- gained wide renown among both black and white audiences. The small-group format was also prevalent, with major figures including the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, the Soul Stirrers, the Swan Silvertones, and the Dixie Hummingbirds; in general, these groups placed a greater premium on smooth vocal harmonies, although some performances could approach the raucous energy (if not quite the huge sound) of a choir-with-soloist group. As the years progressed, black gospel and black popular music influenced and borrowed from one another, reflecting the gradual change of emphasis toward R&B; black gospel also had an enormous impact on the development of soul music, which directed gospel's spiritual intensity into more secular concerns, and included a great many performers whose musical skills were developed in the church. As a recognizable style unto itself, black gospel music largely ceased to develop around the 1970s; progressing racial attitudes had helped black popular music reach wider audiences (and become more lucrative) than ever before, and tastes had turned towards the earthy hedonism of funk and the highly arranged, sophisticated Philly soul sound. The former wasn't quite appropriate for worship, and it wasn't all that practical to duplicate the latter in church services. However, the traditional black gospel sound survived intact and was eventually augmented by contemporary gospel (an '80s/'90s variation strongly influenced by latter-day urban R&B); plus, singers like Whitney Houston continued to develop within its ranks. Bible Verse Wall Art
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