An Apostle

Welcome back!

Last week we took the first step in this ministry mentoring journey by contemplating who we are in Christ.  I have this belief that people want to know who we are before they want to know what we believe.  Hopefully you have given last week’s assignment some thought.  Who are you?  Paul was Paul, not Saul.  His encounter with Jesus had made him a new man, a different man.  This world isn’t looking for more religion, it’s looking for real people and real relationships.  What change has Jesus made in your life?  Know it!  Share it!  Be clear, concise and speak about it with conviction.  If we possess a clear concise understanding of how we met Jesus and what that encounter has done in our lives we will be able to work that understanding into all sorts of conversations with people who are looking for the “real” thing.

An Apostle

Paul, introducing himself to Timothy in this letter says, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus our hope.”  An apostle, someone with delegated authority, a messenger with a mission.  God had called Him and commissioned him.  That might sound insignificant but it’s not.  Where there is agreement, there is authority. Paul was walking in agreement with God about His mission and ministry on this earth and because he was walking in agreement with God, he was working in the authority of God.  Paul was an apostle.  Now there were all sorts of apostles in the day but Paul was ministering in his gifting, mission and purpose in the kingdom of God.  That might sound appropriate for Paul but maybe not for you.  However, everyone of us has giftings and callings for this life and ministry that God has saved and called us to in this life.  Yeah, get ready to think about how God has gifted and called you.

First, let me say that I believe that there are at least three different types of gifting.  (1) Creational (motivational) Gifts.  (2) Charismatic gifts.  (3) Church gifts.  So, there are giftings and callings associated with serving and ministering in this kingdom of God.  You are going to be able to tap into a number of different assessments that will help you better understand those giftings but first let’s get a little understanding about these gifts.  Let’s start with what I call creational gifts.  Most people call these motivational gifts but I like creational because I believe that God created us with certain motivational gifts and I like that the idea of labels these gifts with a “C” word.  It’s part of my creational gifting.  When we come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and surrender our lives to His grace these gifts He created us with come to life. I believe that they were always there but just waiting to have the Spirit of God motivate them for God’s glory.  A lot of these gifts can be found in Romans 12 and in 1 Peter.  These creational gifts help determine how we interact with life and the people in it.  For instance, you might have the motivational gift of “mercy” and when you hear of someone’s troubles or pain, you feel with them.  You might have the motivational gift of administration and it’s just in you to organize and manage life and the activities in life.  It’s just you and it’s just the way you respond to life.  But when you came to Jesus those gifts became tools of the Holy Spirit.  God has made me this way to fulfill His life and calling for Him in this life time.

The next set of gifts are what I call “charismatic gifts” and these gifts are exercised in and through our lives as the Holy Spirit moves in and through us to do the ministry of Jesus on earth.  You can find a list of those giftings in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14.  These gifts operate in and through our lives as we allow the Holy Spirit to use our lives for His will and work.  We don’t always understand these gifts and just why and when they work in our lives but these gifts are revealed by the inspiration of God and He knows what these gifts are for and why we need them.  I like to think of the charismatic gifts as those gifts God gives us to do the ministry of Jesus on this planet during this lifetime.

The third set of gifts are what I call the “church” gifts.  These are gifts that God raises up in us and through us to build His church.  You’ll find a list of those gifts in Ephesians 4.  When Paul introduces himself as an apostle he is revealing this gifting that Holy Spirit had place on him and in him to work through him.

So, before I give you a link to assess some spiritual gifts assessments, let me tell you this.  Not all giftings can be discovered through manmade assessments.  I believe these giftings are given for the church to be the church and are best discovered with the church.  I think it’s important to understand how God has created us and called us if we are going to be satisfied in the work He has laid out for us.  So, let’s begin the journey.  Let’s discover our giftings together.  If you have signed up for this group you should receive an email from me for accessing this website.   Take the assessments and your results will be recorded for me to see as the administrator of our site.  Have a go at it and enjoy the ride.

Keep up the good work

Pastor Mike

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