Out of all the gifts of the Spirit, tongues and the interpretation of tongues are probably two of the most misunderstood spiritual gifts; yet, the Bible gives more specific details on the proper use of these two gifts than most of the others!
What does this mean? It means that God wants us to be knowledgeable about the correct application and use of the gift of tongues. God doesn't want us to be fearful or ignorant...He wants us to be bold and well-informed.
We've all heard stories of certain gifts of the Spirit being misused or even abused. Sadly, this creates misunderstanding, perhaps even fear, and possibly skepticism toward the gift.
Yet, the gifts are real and the same God who bestowed them thousands of years ago is still the same God who bestows them today!
As we consider the gifts of faith, healing, and miracles, let's view them through the lens of scripture and the heart of our God.
Have you ever had someone come up to you and tell you information about your past or present that there was no natural way they could have possibly known? Was it edifying and did it give glory to God?
In this study we'll take a look at the spiritual gifts of word of knowledge and word of wisdom, how they relate to one another, and how we can discern whether or not a manifestation is from God.
Mercy and giving are two spiritual gifts that practically go hand-in-hand! In fact, those are characteristics that at a minimum every Christian should exhibit.
As such, they are two of the least controversial gifts, but discerning the true gift from a carnal manifestation can be subtle because on the outward appearance they can appear very similar.
So what does the Bible say about biblical mercy and giving versus the world's version of mercy and giving? Let's get into the Word and find out!
What is the Bible's definition of discernment, leadership, and ministry (service)? The world certainly has its own definitions about these things, but clearly the spirit of the world is contrary to the Spirit of God.
So how can we know the difference between the two? How does discernment in the flesh look different from discernment in the Spirit...and leadership and service for that matter?
Have you ever had someone say to you, "God told me to tell you..." and you didn't know exactly how to respond or what to say? I have. Most of the time the message was spot on; other times, it was clearly not from God.
So the next time someone says to you, "Thus saith the Lord..." what should you do? Let's study what God's Word has to to say about prophecy, teaching, and exhortation, and find out!
Have you ever wanted to know more about the gifts of the Holy Spirit? Many believers can relate to either an under-emphasis or an over-emphasis on the gifts today, which has resulted in misunderstanding, confusion, and sometimes even fear. So what does the Bible say?
In this message we'll open up God's Word and look at: 1) what can we know about the gifts, 2) what are the gifts, 3) what is the purpose of the gifts, and 4) how can we receive the gifts.
In God there is no partiality, no favoritism; therefore, it stands to reason that as His servants, there should be no partiality in us either towards one another. Right?
So if we’re being conformed to the image of Jesus, and Jesus shows no favoritism, then we also should show no favoritism.
As we open up God's Word and turn to the book of James, the Lord will show us six reasons why Christians should not show favoritism.
We know that one of the gifts of having a relationship with Jesus is that we become a "child of God," but what exactly does that mean and what are the benefits of being a child of God anyway?
In this study from First Peter we'll take a look at two key blessings that God reserves for His children, but the best part is where those benefits are located and what we get to experience between now and then!
A strong message in the book of James is that we are not to simply be hearers of the Word, but instead we are to be doers of the Word. So what is the danger in being exposed to God's Word, yet not allowing it to transform our lives? Why can't we just hear...why do we have to do?
In this study we'll consider what kind of mindset is necessary to become a doer of the Word, the qualitative differences between a hearer and a doer, and why choosing to be a doer matters so much in our relationship with Jesus.
When we've been hurt, we can choose to put up walls, shut people out, grow cold and bitter, plus a host of other reactions, but what does God want us to do? We've all been burned by other people which leads us inevitably to a crossroad and a question: do we give in to our carnal reactions or do we have a biblical response?
In this study from the book of Job, we'll consider 4 different reactions that we can have when others have hurt us, balanced by 4 different biblical responses. The difference in the path each choice takes us can make all the difference between living in the past or embracing the future!
It's not a coincidence that temptation and trials often come hand-in-hand. Have you ever noticed? When we are at our lowest, most broken and vulnerable state, we often begin to contemplate behavior that we would never even consider on a normal day. Satan just loves to kick us when we're down!
Yet, James reminds us that we aren't victims, we're victors! Not only can we rise above our trials through the power of Jesus Christ, we can also resist temptation and overcome the enemy's lies, just like Jesus did.
Sadly, we've all probably experienced betrayal at some point in our lives. It's natural to be hurt and for trust to be broken; however, our enemy wants us to cease trusting, perhaps even loving, altogether. That's not what God wants for us.
Remember, Jesus was also betrayed, which He knew was going to happen in advance, and He loved anyway. He didn't allow the pain of betrayal to rob Him of the ability to love and forgive, and we should't either.
As we study the final night that Jesus spent with His disciples, it may surprise us to find out who the betrayer really is...
How should we respond to those who are in the midst of suffering? And why does God allow suffering anyway?
In this study from the book of Job we'll take a look at three incorrect assumptions that Job's friend, Zophar, made concerning Job's suffering (hint: they weren't helpful!).
Then we'll look at three correct assertions that Job makes which shed some light on why God allows suffering and how we should respond to those who are in it.
Every person is challenged by worry and anxiety in their lives. Yet, worrying does not change our circumstances and can actually cause us emotional, physical, and spiritual harm. Worry always robs us; it never adds anything of value to our lives.
So what does the Bible teach us about an eternal perspective on anxiety and worry? How are we supposed to respond to those feelings when they begin to overwhelm us? What's the alternative?
Let's dig into the answers to those questions as we take a look at what Jesus had to say on this subject in Matthew 6:25-24.
If anyone had a pedigree to brag about it was Paul; yet, he knew that nothing this world had to offer could even come remotely close to knowing Jesus. The same should be true for us.
Our old life is in the past and any lingering allure is only a facade. Let's look at Paul's example in Galatians chapter 1 so we too can conclude that there is no going back!
We all have hurt, disappointment, and failed expectations in our lives, which often lead to bitterness. We may even have an intricate, complex web, a root system of bitterness that is choking out life and joy. Jesus came to bring us freedom from bondage, but bitterness leads us right back into bondage.
Let's look into the life of a confused man named Simon, a man perhaps not so different from us, and we'll see that God shows us a better way to live.
We live in a time of history where marriage is mocked and even presented in a negative light, but where did marriage actually come from and why?
As we study Genesis 2:18-24, we'll discover the answers to these questions as well as tools to help us build healthy and sustainable marriages for the long run!
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a perfect father. Perhaps you've had a traumatic relationship with your dad, or maybe your relationship is good, but it needs some work. Or maybe you are a father and you've realized your own imperfections and need to improve.
The good news is that regardless of our earthly fathers, as children of God, we all have a perfect Heavenly Father! But what exactly does it mean to be a child of God, and how should that undeserved title affect how we live our lives and view the future?
How can we know that it's really the Lord speaking to our lives and not one of the many other "voices" that are competing for our attention? We're all influenced by our past experiences, relationships, upbringing, and even our very own nature.
In this study through Acts 10:1-48, we'll consider 5 key points to help discern whether it's God we are hearing, or some other influence.
Do you ever find yourself dwelling on the past? Thinking a lot about the past can certainly have a powerful effect on how we live in the present and future.
In this study from the book of Job, we'll discover how a healthy reflection on our past can be a great way to stir up our faith, while an unhealthy reflection can actually keep us from living a victorious life.