375 - Why the Holy Spirit Gives Us Gifts

November 27, 2016

In our study of Spiritual gifts, the question before us is this: Why does the Holy Spirit give us His gifts? What's the point? How does giving us gifts, that we don't believe we have, benefit Him?

The answer is found in 1 Corinthians 12:7. Here it says: But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.

Got that. But what does this verse really mean?

The word manifestation means "expression, to make visible or observable." Think about that. The "expression" of the Holy Spirit, or the way the Holy Spirit expresses Himself is "given to each one for the profit of all." Or, the way the Holy Spirit makes Himself "visible or observable" is by the gifts He gives to "each one for the profit of all."

Do you see how important these gifts actually are? And what specific gifts are we talking about?

To continue in context: for to one is given the (1) word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the (2) word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another (3) faith by the same Spirit, to another (4) gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the (5) working of miracles, to another (6) prophecy, to another (7) discerning of spirits, to another (8) different kinds of tongues, to another the (9) interpretation of tongues - 1 Cor. 12:8-10.

And this is only the beginning. There is so much more to learn. Are you interested? Then keep listening.

The following is a study on 1 Corinthians 12:4-11.



337 - What is the Prayer of Faith?

February 21, 2016
Some of the most wonderful yet confusing verses in the entire New Testament are found in the last chapter of the book of James.  Do you know what these verses mean:

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.  Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.  Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much - James 5:13-16

Are you suffering?  Do you know those who are sick?  Do you know what the prayer of faith is and what is involved in calling for the elders and having them anoint you with oil?  Are these verses somewhat confusing to you?

If so, then keep listening.

The following is a study on James 5:13-16.


193 - Where Did All the Kudzu Come From?

December 24, 2012
When we look around at the people in the church it becomes painfully evident that many of them are deceived, lost, and have followed the wide path that Jesus said leads to destruction and have forsaken the narrow gate that leads to eternal life.  These people seem to pop up everywhere, like kudzu, and can often choke out the spiritual health of a church.

Come on, you know it's true.

And the question facing us is how are we to deal with this reality?  What are we to do?

James addresses those very questions in the closing of his letter.  Let me encourage you to keep listening and find out more. 

The following is a study on James 5:19-20.

192 - Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth

December 23, 2012
There are times when we read a phrase or word in the Scriptures and assume we know what it means simply because of how the word is used today.  But language changes over time.

Just think of what the word "cool" or "rock" or "gay" meant 70 years ago and what it commonly means today.  See the problem?

So, to rightly divide the Word of Truth we must determine what the Scriptures say when they were written and not what we want them to say today.  Words like "sick" and "healed" and "saved" don't always mean what we think they do.  And this is never more clear than in the last chapter of James.

Intrigued?  Good.  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on James 5:13-18.

191 - Everybody Lies

December 12, 2012
Lying today has evolved into an art form.  From our government to the media to our valued institutions, it seems there is little truth spoken today unless it serves some selfish purpose.  After all, everybody lies.

Men and women lie to each other when they promise to stay together until "death do us part" and then they turn around and say the same line to someone else who is more "compatible" or whose differences are not "irreconcilable." 

Everybody lies.  But James speaks about the radical truthfulness that comes with knowing Christ.  And that truthfulness flies in the face of our contemporary culture.  Want to hear more?

The following is a study on James 5:12.

190 - Loving Stuff

November 27, 2012
As Christians, we are commanded to "love the Lord with all our heart, mind and soul" and to "love our neighbor more than we love ourselves."  But often we find our affections focused on stuff, worthless trinkets and toys, more than on the Lord.  And that sad fact of life never becomes more clearer than during the Christmas season.

James rebukes that kind of self-centered life rather harshly.

If you have ever looked at the teaching of Jesus and the example of the early church regarding wealth, and compared it to our selfish, narcissistic lifestyle and felt... uh, ashamed, then keep listening. 

The following is a study on James 5:1-6.

185 - Listening to Laodicean Voices

October 21, 2012
When you come to the understanding that the seven letters written to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3 actually lay out for us church history in advance, you will come to the frightening conclusion that we are now living in the Laodicean church age.  And that is the frightening age that Jesus says He wants to vomit out of His mouth.  Remember?

But what does that mean for us today?  Much.  Everything.  More than you can imagine.

Just keep listening.

The following is a study on Leaving Laodicea and James 5:1.

184 - God’s Will and the Non-Negotiable

September 12, 2012
When it comes to the ever elusive topic of "How to find God's will for your life," one key element seems to be conspicuously missing.  And that element, that non-negotiable, can be found in James 4:13-17.

In part it reads, "Come now, you who say..." 
And then later, "Instead you ought to say..."
And finally, "Therefore, to him..."  

Are you confused?  

Just keep listening.

The following is a study on James 4:13-17.

183 - The Loss of Innocence

September 5, 2012
James 4:12 says, "Do not speak evil of one another, brethren" which is a command that is seldom obeyed in our church culture today.  Many, if not all, Christians are guilty of this.

But what happens when you are the object of evil talk or slander?  What happens when those closest to you malign your character in secret with evil intent?  How do you respond?  And, more important, how do you overcome?

Often we build walls up between each other or develop attitudes of disengagement to cover our hurt and loss of innocence.  But, be encouraged, there is a better way.  Just keep listening.

The following is a study on James 4:11-12.

180 - Truths About God and Life

July 19, 2012
Sometimes, when difficult times come our way, it helps to reflect on God and the truths He reveals to us about His character and life in general.  And it would literally take a lifetime to attempt to understand all the truths about God.

But let's just list ten... our Top Ten.  And they deal with God's sovereignty, His love, His choice of us from the foundation of the world, trust that destroys worrry and doubt, living in His Kingdom and now the kingdom of Satan, that God is for us even when we are not for Him, that nothing we do can separate us from the love of God, the entire promise and hope of heaven... and the fact that He promised us an abundant life today.  Whew.  Overwhelming, isn't it.

If you need some encouragement... then you'd better keep listening.

The following is a study on ten truths about God.