I have struggled with this question, literally, for years — at least 30, I would say. It began with an experience that occurred when I was friends with a young man who was Charismatic and was, he, himself, very charismatic! He introduced me to the concept of speaking in tongues. He did it himself and encouraged me to do so as well. As I look back on it, I felt like he PRESSURED me to speak in tongues, making me feel like I was missing something if I didn’t. It made me feel inadequate as a Christian and I so wanted to be fulfilled by everything the Spirit had to offer, yet, somehow, I could just not muster a syllable. Then one evening, we had a small prayer group of mostly his friends that I had become acquainted with and they laid hands on me. I opened my mouth and out spilled this gobbledy-gook of words that I knew in my heart I was just making up so that I could prove to them that I had the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. I felt shame, not joy. I continued to fake it, questioning the depth of my faith and why the Spirit was not giving me this gift. Scripture Images
It was at that moment that I also understood the vitality of our relationships with one another, our family, our friends, and the love of our brothers and sisters in Christ as well as all humanity. Didn’t God offer the gift of Grace to ALL people? Everything in this world will one day be returned to dust or torn down to its foundations and the only thing that goes from this world into the heavenly realm is our spirits and what accompanies them is love — our love for each other, our love for God and God’s love for us. Nothing. Else. Matters. Biblical Verses Image
BTW ….There are two articles on here about prayers …go to the index , I thought they were very well done and helpful. I think your idea for a space for prayer requests is a good one. I saw a side bar with that but I am not sure I trust sidebars …sometimes they are like a popup …my limited computer knowledge showing now! Hahaha…..Thank you for the exchange here Cat ….it is comforting to know someone is caring about others so much! Bible Scripture Images
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 concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; ... Bible Scripture Images
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:3-8 Bible Scripture Images
I grieve that he and all of us MISSED ‘ what marriage was intended to be . I often tried to tell him ‘I did not get married to be alone and to go everywhere alone’ he did not respond to this ..He was too involved with work and the OW …and finally she urged him to ‘give her children ‘ since she had ‘ used up her time to meet anyone else”! of that is what he said.
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Thank you Shirley for your comment. I am not saying in this article that healings still do not occur but the days of just having a shadow passed over someone would heal them. Who do you know that can heal everyone in every instance like the apostles could? If so, they should empty the hospitals or children’s cancer wards. That is my point. God can heal anyone He wants and He can use anyone He wants but He never promises to heal everyone at every time, everywhere. God alone heals. It is not the person who heals but God who enables those to pray for or lay on hands for SOME to be healed but certainly not all. I am not limiting God or putting Him in a box. If you know someone who has the gift of healing, then get a camera, head to the hospitals and children’s cancer wards and empty them…and then I will believe. God does still heal yes, but not everyone. That was the same then, and yesterday, remember Paul prayed three times and was never healed. Scripture Images
I think this indicates the way that society has bought the lie and even in churches to soothe the consciences of adulterers that marriage is nothing more than how the world sees it . To many who study the word it is the responsibility of those who claim Christ to enter into it knowing it is a covenant between man and GOD and the man and the woman and a covenant which JESUS said was unbreakable until death. Biblical Verses Image
The gift of healing has been a controversial one (v 9). Some “faith healers” claim to have this gift yet have often been exposed to be frauds by undercover reporters. Many of those “healed” have been interviewed prior to their supposed healing. Some tap the power of positive thinking to convince them that they are healed. Others have even used “scam artists” or actors to portray someone that has been healed from an infirmity that they never actually had. This gift was more prominent in the New Testament church to confirm that Jesus Christ’s name had power and that God was working in the church. I am not saying that people are still not healed today but the days of having someone’s shadow passing over them and they are instantly healed is over. The gift of healing may be in relations to the power of prayer and we know that the effectual prayer of a righteous man or woman can accomplish miracles (James 5:16). In any event, we must attribute any healing that is done is “…by that one Spirit“ and not by humans (v 9). Scripture Images
Jesus said blessed those who mourn for someday they will be comforted and God has said that He will wipe away every tear someday my friend. Ironically, God allows us to get knocked down and when we do get knocked down, it is quite convenient at times because then we are already in a position pray from our knees! You are loved Anthony. You know that I pray.
NOw he is deeply damaged and I petition the Lord to continue to work in my own walk and for the soul of my husband …and that of the OW and those children …OUR own children have been deeply wounded too …they have been raised in the Word so I thank the Lord for keeping them in His care despite the way that my husband’s choices have indicated that he did not even think of how this would hurt them as well. Scripture Images
Each and every church member is clearly a part of “… the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles (no longer in this church age), second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? Now eagerly desire the greater gifts“(I Cor. 12:28-31). I pray you not only seek and discover your gifts but that you utilize them to the strengthening of the Body of Christ, for which you are a part. If you are not, then today is the time to become part of Christ’s church because members of this body will live on into eternity. 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.
Romans 12:7-8 also speaks of additional gifts; “if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” This shows that some are gifted at teaching, some at showing mercy, some in giving to the work of the Lord, and some who show an unusual amount of forgiveness (called mercy). Bible Verse Wall Art
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. ... Bible Verse Wall Art