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Friday, May 28, 2010

Gifts irrevocable

Dear beloved: We have seen in the past few teachings that God has poured out His gifts on all mankind, and He has done it in three different ways. First, when the Holy Spirit was poured out in the second chapter of Acts, with it the gifts were dispersed. These gifts of the baptism of the Holy Spirit are listed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 12. They include: word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healings, miracles, prophecy, distinguishing of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues. These gifts have more to do with the body as it ministers inwardly, as you can see some of these gifts are difficult for those not initiated into Christianity to understand. Then Paul gives another list of gifts given in Romans 12, and these are more for the body to minister outwardly, as you can see most of them are intended to be ministered to the outside world, the uninitiated. Beginning in Romans 12:6, they include: prophecy,measure of faith, service, teaching, exhortation, giving with liberality, leading with diligence, showing mercy. Then we have the office gifts spoken of in Ephesians 4:11 of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher. These gifts are the backbone, the framework of the church and function more as offices and so override the individual gifts of Corinthians and Romans.

Paul tells us in Romans 11:29 for the gifts and the callings of God are irrevocable. What that means is that once God bestows a gift upon you, that gift or calling will not be taken back by God. God does not change His mind or make mistakes as man does, so when God gives a gift it is forever! Praise God for that. Men may come and go in their devotion to God and in their exercise of the gifts, but God is steadfast and does not change His mind. If men fall into sin or disobedience, the manifestation or activation of the gift may languish, but when repentance and righteousness is restored, God is faithful to His original promise and the gift is right there also. James tells us in James 1:17 that every good thing bestowed and every good gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. Maybe you are in a place in your Christian walk where you are not sure if you still have some of the gifts God poured out on you when you were first saved, or when you first received the Holy Spirit baptism; trust God and move forward in exercising your gift and watch God restore. Or maybe you have backslidden and feel luke warm or even cold toward God, maybe even lost your faith. In that case you need to repent of your sin (whatever it was that led you away from God) and wait on the Lord to rekindle the flame that you once felt in your heart toward Him.

Do not lose perspective on the purpose of the gifts: they are tools in the toolbox of the believer to be used to bring the lost to the Lord, to equip us (the saints) for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12). They are not for our boasting or self promotion, but they are for us and all those lost to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ. (Ephesians 4:15), v16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. Beloved, God has equipped us to reach the lost. Look around you this day, the fields are white with the harvest. Now go into the fields. God bless you this day, in Christ, Jim

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