1 Corinthians 12:4-9,11 ESV
"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit...All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills."
So how does the gift of faith and the faith spoken of in Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" differ? The first is a gift given to individuals God wills to give to, to be used for the common good of all. The later is the faith we are all as Christian's called to in order to accept and believe in Christ's death, resurrection, and for our very own salvation.
I was encouraged recently to see how some such as myself who have the gift of faith have encouraged others in the faith, and how they are not the same. My husband and I recently moved to Alaska to start Legacy Church. Before coming, God spoke to me that we were to sell our home in Missouri and use the money from it to help start Legacy Church, with a number of $80,000.00 to believe for specifically.
We recently were able to deposit money from our home into Legacy Church and it reminded my husband and lead pastor of Legacy Church of the previous conversation we had had about the "$80,000.00" that God had laid on my heart to believe for. My husband wanted to know if we really had received the money in it's entirety as he himself had believed God had spoken to me about, but also had known he himself did not have the faith that I did. He explained that through this experience he could see that having faith such as himself, looked very different that having the gift of faith that he could see in me.
I showed him in our personal budget how God had given us exactly $80,000.00 from the sale of our home and additional money we had not budgeted for that God had given to us before moving. My husband was encouraged in his own faith to see how God had miraculously provided the exact number God had spoken to me that day to believe for. My gift of faith had encouraged his faith to become stronger as my husband watched God fulfill it!
You see when I heard God tell me we were to sell our home to be used to start the church, and to believe for it; I responded in joy and expectation to see God do what He had said He would! I had no doubt God would fulfill what he had spoken, I just knew I had to do my part by asking Gods will to be done. The selling of our home and the additional money he gave to us provided for $80,000.00 of the $434,500.00 budget needed to launch and operate the first five years of Legacy Church.
Last thing, I learned through my husband's encouragement for me was to not be frustrated with him or others when they are not able to "see" things that I can because of my gift of faith. He challenged me as I challenge you today that if you too have the gift of faith, to remember that not everyone has the same gift of faith as you do. They have faith as Christians but it looks different than having the gift of faith does, and your gift of faith will encourage others in their faith as they see what you could see all along come to fruition!
Communication is often overlooked, yet is the very thing we long for when in a relationship with another. Have you ever been in a room with someone physically but still felt alone? Have you ever felt like two ships passing in the night?
There is a reason for feeling this way and something you can do about it.
There are TWO parts to every conversation. The listener and the speaker. When either party does not feel heard by the other person they will either choose to stop trying to share how the feel, or will act out emotionally in anger or depression. We ALL want to be heard, and especially from those that we love. But why is it sooooooo hard? Let's look into why and try to implement these simple steps into your life.
The speaker is the person needing to be heard, to know they are not alone in how they feel or in what they are experiencing. Do you feel like your conversation is met with it being flipped back onto the listeners thoughts or feelings, or is being met with conflict? If so, maybe you can change a few things to help the listener receive what you are saying and want to listen to what you have to say.
1. When you speak use "I" messages.
Using "I" messages allows the other person to not be put in immediate defense mode making them feel like they have to defend themselves. "YOU" messages will do this, and cause the other person to not want to hear what you are saying, and feel they have to rebuttal and defend themself.
2. Make your message short.
Make your message short enough for the LISTENER to be able to repeat what you are saying before moving onto something new or into more detail. This allows the other person to focus on what is being said and not have to remember a long message.
3. Allow the other person to speak when you feel heard.
Allowing the other person time and space to response and speak themself while you are LISTENING. This makes the conversation a two way street and not all about one person. It allows for the other person to feel heard too.
The listeners job is NOT to think about how to defend themselves. The LISTENERS Job is to put yourself in the other persons shoes and try to understand why they feel the way they are feeling. When it is your turn to speak you will be heard as well as you have listened. So start with the position you are in and serve the other person be choosing to listen first! When it is your turn to listen...
1. Try to put yourself in the other person's shoes.
Like I said before, try to understand why they feel the way they feel from THEIR shoes, NOT yours! This will allow the other person to feel heard and understood.
2. When the speaker is done speaking, repeat back to them what they said.
This does not mean that you repeat back to them word for word what they said like a parrot. This means you repeat the story back to them the way they have described it, while again from THEIR shoes.
3. Lastly, do NOT rebuttal.
This is NOT your chance to defend yourself, this is your chance to LOVE the other person MORE than yourself, by trying to understand them! AFTER you have done your job listening and the SPEAKER feels heard by you is it your turn to then communicate what you want to say using "I" messages and not "YOU" messages.
Finally, RINSE and REPEAT until you both feel on the same page and understood by each other!
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Adopted from Markman, H., Stanley, S., & Blumberg, S.L. (1994). Fighting for your marriage. San Francisco: Josey-Bass Publishers.
As a single divorced mom, I felt lost and alone. Everywhere I looked was filtered through a lens of fear! Almost like looking through glasses. Everything I saw was processed through a false message I later learned about, that lead me to believe I could not trust anyone, was unlovable, hopeless to change and deserving of punishment. But I had it all wrong...
Have you ever felt like fear ran your life, being afraid that something bad might happen to you or to someone else you loved? Worried about what tomorrow would bring, never being able to enjoy today? If you have, I understand your struggle, and to be honest still deal with fear when I loose sight of the peace God gives when I place my trust in Him and Him alone. I know that may sound cliché, and I honestly didn't believe it myself until it happened to me, but I know that if God can do it in my life, He can do it in yours!
It starts with a place of surrender. A heart willing to be vulnerable and open with God about how you feel. It may create tears as you get really honest with the things you are afraid of. But in those tears and acts of surrender, as you call out for God to help you, He begins to bring into your heart a different perspective. A NEW set of lenses that allows you to feel His peace, and then carry it with you wherever you go!
I learned on my journey I was NOT unloveable, but was beautifully and wonderfully made. I learned that God is NOT a punitive God ready to strike me with a bolt of lightning for making a mistake. I learned I was created in God's image, which means I have the power of the living God living inside of me that has already crushed everything in this world that causes us to be afraid! But this message of hope and peace is not just for me. It is a message God has given to anyone who believes in Him! To anyone that feels lost and afraid and chooses to be still for a moment, focus their mind on God and talk to Him like they are to talking to a friend!
I challenge you to LET GO and LET GOD! If you really want to feel the peace that surpasses all understanding spoken about in Philippians 4:7; all you have to do is ask the God that loves you, cares for you, and is sitting right beside you for help!
And if you don't know how to ask, let me pray with you now...
Lord God, I pray you help the person that is reading these words to believe you are here in this room sitting right there beside them. I pray they are able to feel your presence and grow deeper in their trust of you. Father I pray that the fear they carry will be taken from them and the peace you promise be given to them in fears place. May your peace surpass their understanding, and filter through all of their thoughts that the enemy would want to use to destroy them. May they feel your love Father God and know they are not alone. Fill them with the peace you give so they may experience you in a new way today. And give them your strength to be reminded to continue to bring their fears to you until they no longer struggle to find it. Thank you God for your peace Jesus!
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Phillipians 4:7
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Is this you?
.Do you want to know God more? Do you want someone to help you do so? Do you want someone to walk alongside you who has been in your shoes? Do you feel alone? Do you want to experience the healthier and happier you?