God has made us exactly the way that it pleased Him and we all must remember that God has chosen the weak and the base of the world (1 Cor 1:27) and what the world considers despised and lowly (1 Cor 1:28) is important to God and that’s all that matters, isn’t it? He looks at the inward parts of the human heart, not the outward appearance, so don’t worry about what the body looks like, be concerned with the things that God sees because in the end, that’s all that’s important and that’s all that really matters. What others think is nothing…what God knows is everything. Bible Verse Wall Art
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 tell my Brothers and Sisters for God to give them the ears to hear what, if anything, the Spirit of God is speaking through me or any other preacher/teacher. I tell them that the Spirit may speak to them through the whole message I have to share, by one paragraph, by one sentence, or by one word. The words we receive by the Spirit will be life changing. The Spirit has shown me that a word received from Him will produce more love for God, more love for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, and more love for our neighbors as we love ourselves, where we fulfill all the law of God (Mt 22:37-40). All Christians will stumble and fall in their walk with God. No one of us is perfect. Fortunately, by God’s grace and love for us, we can receive the grace to repent and confess our sins, then be forgiven, cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Where God enables us to get up after we fall and get back on the path with Him.
I tell my Brothers and Sisters for God to give them the ears to hear what, if anything, the Spirit of God is speaking through me or any other preacher/teacher. I tell them that the Spirit may speak to them through the whole message I have to share, by one paragraph, by one sentence, or by one word. The words we receive by the Spirit will be life changing. The Spirit has shown me that a word received from Him will produce more love for God, more love for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, and more love for our neighbors as we love ourselves, where we fulfill all the law of God (Mt 22:37-40). All Christians will stumble and fall in their walk with God. No one of us is perfect. Fortunately, by God’s grace and love for us, we can receive the grace to repent and confess our sins, then be forgiven, cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Where God enables us to get up after we fall and get back on the path with Him. Scripture Images
And it will come about in that day, that every place where there used to be a thousand vines, valued at a thousand shekels of silver, will become briars and thorns. People will come there with bows and arrows because all the land will be briars and thorns. As for all the hills which used to be cultivated with the hoe, you will not go there for fear of briars and thorns; but they will become a place for pasturing oxen and for sheep to trample.
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.
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
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
Paul wants to make clear that we should not elevate one gift over another but esteem each and necessary for the completeness of the Body of Christ as Paul says in I Corinthians 12:12-23, “Now if the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
I remember one powerful message God gave me to teach at church titled “The Unholy Trinity”. There is no such statement like this you can find in the Bible. But God had me teach the church that the unholy trinity of “me, myself, and I” is one of the greatest things that hinders our walk with God. I was able to teach them that taking up our cross and following Jesus was the way to get rid of that “unholy trinity”. I could only have learned this by the Holly Spirit. I don’t claim to always hear from the Holy Spirit. I have heard from Him, disobeyed, and suffered the consequences.
From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all. Scripture Images
On gifts, one thing is clear, you can desire a gift! Working with the Holy spirit you can discover gifts already deposited in you or an awakening of ‘latent’ gifts or even one you feel you don’t have at all! However, it is meant for the body of Christ. Just as Jack says, we should reflect a life that attracts non-believers to the Kingdom. That life is largely judged by the fruits-Love, Joy, Peace, etc. Scripture Images