RSS

Tag Archives: Spiritual Gifts

Ambassadors For Christ

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us” II Corinthians 5:20 NASB

Clearly all Christians are called to ambassadors for Christ. An ambassador is an individual living in a foreign land representing the interests of their own nation. Their goal should always be what the best interest for their nation is and how to progress the interests of their nation. The nationality of all Christians, regardless of their location, is the Kingdom of God and Jesus is our King. As ambassadors for Christ our goal should always be, what the best interest of Christ is.

When King Solomon was praying to the Lord in the dedication of the temple he asked of God to look not just upon them but also on the foreigner who would pray to God, “so that all the peoples of the earth may know Your name, and fear You as do Your people Israel” (II Chronicles 6:33). God’s heart has always been that all of His creation would turn to Him and trust in Him. The temple was a testimony of the power and the presence of God in the midst of His people.

Today through Christ the New Testament teaches us that our bodies are now the Temple of God. (II Corinthians 6:19). God chooses to reside in us today through His Spirit for the same reasons He chose to reside in the Temple amongst the nation of Israel, so that the lost people of the world may know Him through His presence within us. As an ambassador we do not promote our own agenda, or our own plans, or even our own ideas. Everything we do points to the one of whom we represent.

As Christians we are in this world but are not of this world. We are foreigners in a foreign land. This world is naturally hostile toward the things of God yet we are called to represent God in this hostile world. Paul told Timothy in II Timothy 3:12 “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” When we simply try to blend in with the world and not allow Christ to shine through us we not only dishonor the Lord, we also do this world an injustice.

The world thinks that their way of living is perfectly fine, that they are on the right track, and they have everything figured out. However, they will never find peace, joy or any sense of contentment in what this world has to offer. I believe that God has put a natural void in the heart of every man that longs for God and cannot be filled by anything else. When the people of the world see the joy, the peace, and the sense of satisfaction within the lives of Christians they are then confronted with the realization that something is missing in their lives.

When we are ambassadors for Christ sharing the marvelous light of Christ we welcome the foreigner who has come to realize how brutal this world has treated him; the foreigner who is ready to give up his citizenship to this world and become a citizen of God. The church has now become the embassy welcoming him as a refugee-but more than that. Now that he has transferred his citizenship, he is a fellow citizen of the Kingdom of God-a brother in Christ. Apart from the ambassadors for Christ how would the foreigner ever know of Jesus marvelous light, how would he know he is welcome, how would he ever become a brother? He would be left to his doom.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Royal Priesthood

            The more we understand the Gospel the more we understand that the good news of God keeps getting better and better. The bible clearly teaches that God has saved us even though we are unworthy, and that He has called us into a calling that is set aside for His purpose; a calling of which He will provide our every need. Those two glorious gifts are worthy of our uttermost dedication and service to God, but that is not the end of the good news. As we continue to search the scriptures we find that through Christ, God has adopted us as His very own children and that we have become joint heirs in Christ Jesus. The bible says in Romans 8:14-17 “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” Paul called himself many times in scripture a “bond-servant of Christ.”A bond-servant is a willing servant. God has not called us to serve Him as His unwilling slaves. He has called us to serve Him as His child.

As the good news continues to get better and better we understand more of who God is and who we are because of Him. Jesus is not just royalty He is the King of Kings. Because we are adopted sons and daughters of God and joint heirs in Christ Jesus God has allowed us to join in the blessings of being a part of His royal family. In Christ we are royalty. Peter says of those who are a part of the family of God in I Peter 2:9, 10, “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.” He calls us a “Royal Priesthood.”

In this text of scripture all believers are called priests. This doctrine is called the priesthood of the believer. Some would argue that being a priest is for a select few. However, the Word of God clearly teaches that whoever has accepted Jesus Christ’s work of salvation has then been adopted into the family of God and now is a priest of God.

A priest has many roles and responsibilities. However, they can all be summed up into one main purpose. A priest is to represent mankind to God. One of the greatest ways that believers can represent mankind to God is to pray for them. God expects His people who are called by His name to pray. Jesus is our High Priest. We see Him many times in the gospels praying for His disciples. Paul told Timothy in II Timothy 1:3, that he thanks God for him, as he mentions him in his prayers.

As the priest of God serving mankind on behalf of God we should have a great burden for the lost and hurting. Many times I pray asking God to give me the compassion of Jesus. The compassion that calls out with a broken heart as Jesus did in Matthew 23:37 as He said, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.” Despite the wickedness of their ways Jesus still loved them and desperately desired to see them repent and turn to His saving grace. With this same heart of compassion we are called to cry out to the Father with a broken heart on behalf of the lost condition of this world. I dare say that the bulk of our prayer should be directed to praying for the redemption of the wretched.  I also dare to say, if we started praying in this manner we will see revival.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stir up Your Spiritual Gifts

“For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” II Timothy 1:6 NASB

Paul, knowing the time of his death was soon approaching, wrote his last letter to encourage Timothy to carry on with the ministry. He reminded Timothy of his ordination to the work of the ministry and that it was Paul himself who laid his hands on Him. Paul also reminded Timothy of the spiritual gift of God that was in him.

The NASB tells us to, “kindle afresh,” while the NIV says, “fan into the flam.” It illustrates a picture of a fire that has dwindled down to embers and stands in need of being kindled afresh or fanned so it will grow from an ember to a flame. I like the King James wording the best. It says, “stir up the gift of God.” These words give a picture of a fire that is about to die out and stands in need of revival.

For eleven years of my childhood I lived in central California on Vandenberg AFB. That part of California had a very dry climate leaving the land parched and therefore susceptible to wild fires. We were constantly warned to be careful knowing that the smallest spark could set off a raging fire. However, it wasn’t the parched land in and of itself that caused such raging fires. The Santa Ana Winds would kick up out of the east quickly turning the smallest of embers into an inferno.

The Word of God teaches that all Christians have spiritual gifts. Those spiritual gifts are given to us for the purpose of building up the Kingdom of God. (I Corinthians 12:1-11). Clearly, God has called all His children to serve Him. If we chose not to use the spiritual gifts God has given to us, they will die down to a small ember and are of little use. However, if we chose to walk in the gifting and calling God has placed upon our lives the spiritual gifts will be stirred up, kindled afresh, and set aflame for the Lord. If you are unsure of what your spiritual gifts are pray to the Lord that He would show you.

There is no doubt we live in a spiritually parched land. I am thoroughly convinced that it wouldn’t take much of a spark to set off the fires of revival within this dry and weary land. People are hurting, and therefore searching today like never before. They don’t know it yet but what, or who, they are truly searching for is the Lord. It is our responsibility to tell them-whether by word or action.

Imagine, if God’s people as a whole stood up and started stirring up their spiritual gifts in service to the Lord. Imagine, those same people praying for the wind of the Spirit of God to blow a mighty anointing upon those spiritual gifts. Wow! What a fiery, inferno, of a revival we would see. The only question now is, what are we waiting for?  

Raging fire

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,