helping to ignite your imagination, creativity and passion for following God…

Posts tagged ‘spiritual gifts’

Chocolate Christianity

choco_man_new.jpg

How not to be a Chocolate Christian

or

How to change Ch-rch to Church!

Right mouse click to save this Podcast as a MP3.

Have you ever noticed that chocolate melts under pressure & heat? If you haven’t, take a piece of chocolate and hold it between your fingers! It will soon melt! If you are a Christian, you need to be active in your local church so that you don’t melt under pressure and you will remain firm in your faith! Otherwise you will be a chocolate Christian who easily gives up under the stress and pressure of every day life!

At a church local to where you live, you are needed regardless of who you are!

Perhaps this is you?

  • Interested observer but not a committed Christian
  • Not bothered
  • Not good enough
  • Just want to be left alone
  • Don’t know how to be involved
  • Don’t know why being involved is important
  • Too busy

But why should you be involved?

(more…)

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ADD – Develop Creativity

ADD-cover.jpg

Develops Creativity

Right mouse click to save/download this talk as a MP3 file

 

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1v1 & 27

Our God is a creative God! His creativity is all around us! Further to this, as humans we are created in His image, and as a result, we are creative! Everybody has some form of significant creative potential. If you don’t think you do, perhaps it is because you haven’t found your creative niche yet! The natural creativity of children is amazing! However, quite frequently significant persons bury creativity under layers of conditioning and negativity. Some of the greatest culprits are teachers, parents and peers, but there is hope because the conditioning process can be reversed. It is a process with a high cost factor, because creativity is essentially a life style. It has to pervade every area of your experience. None more so than in your area of service as a Christian Disciple!

Examples of Biblical creativity

Jesus used creativity in his teaching! He took every day people and objects, creating lessons out of them. Think of some of your favourite parables and see the creativity behind them! As for the Psalms, they are filled with creative language in order to praise God, seeking penance before God and expressing a desire to know God better! Similarly some of the symbolic language of the Bible is very creative. Take for example the genealogy of Matthew 1. To us it may well be tedious and insignificant, but to its initial audience of a small group of Jewish believers, it includes enormous significance and creative symbolism! The way Matthew constructed the genealogy highlights many things, one of which was his highlighting of Abraham, David and of course, Jesus! We know to the Jewish mind, numbers were not just mathematically significant but also held great symbolism! The number seven represents perfection. Each of the 3 stages in the genealogy of Matthew 1 contains 14 stages making a total of 42 times perfection! So what Matthew was saying that Jesus was a great deal more than perfect! Now if you were not a first century Jew, you would not at first see creative symbolism!

Why the importance of creativity?

  • Creativity perpetuates the learning process. As long as you live you should be learning, and remember that Christian Discipleship is essentially a call to perpetual learning.
  • Creativity is essential to meet the growing demands of a changing society. Package thinkers are out of business for an impact tomorrow. If we do not prepare those that we lead to change, they will not be a change element in our next generation.
  • Creativity is important to both affect & infect your communication with a characteristic freshness & vitality. We are commanded to communicate the truth. A communicative individual is always a creative individual.
  • Creativity develops your leadership style.
  • Creativity will overhaul your lifestyle. Most Christian Disciples seem to only exist and not live! If a person is living in the past or in the future, they cannot be enjoying the present.

What are the principles of creativity?

  • Creativity is largely a matter of effort. The mind is like a muscle and grows with use.
  • Quantity is essential to quality in the creative process. Scientific evidence suggests that it is only a maximum of 6% of ideas that are good. You have to get more ideas to get some winning ideas.
  • Results of which are good, bad or indifferent are welcome. Don’t pass judgment at the outset of the creativity process; you have go to withhold it.
  • Incubation generates illumination. Put your ideas on the back burner. Put time between thinking of ideas. Then don’t be surprised when a moment of inspiration of how to complete it arrives!
  • Group effort stimulates creativity if you learn how to listen.

How to activate creativity?

  • Experience provides fuel for ideation, which is the formation of ideas.
  • Problem solving. Get your drive going in the right direction.
  • Involvement in hobbies & fine arts. Photographic sites like http://www.Flickr.com are great places to see creativity in process and get tips on how to improve! There are oodles of websites out there for almost every conceivable hobby!
  • Reading. Creativity thrives on reading the only problem is passivity. Read it until you can tell somebody else. We tend to read the stuff with which we agree which only serves to reinforce our own prejudices and presuppositions. Read things that you know you won’t necessarily agree with, and expand your reading and thinking!
  • Writing. Keep a journal, a blog or a website! It’s easier than you may well think! Write down questions, examples and your meditations.
  • Spend time with creative people. Think with those you are leading. You think your ideas are so good because you have never tested them against someone diametrically opposed to yours.
  • Creativity can be used in the church. Just take for example worship services. Is worship just singing songs? Or can other means be used in order to worship, such as responsive prayers and bible readings? What about dancing as part of creative worship? What about creative outreach or evangelism? Try something new! By being creative, the church can be culturally relevant whilst still remaining biblically faithful to God.

For more to think about please do read Genesis 1 and ask yourself the following questions, writing them down if you can, and see how you respond or react to them. Then why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together.

Q1. Knowing I am in the image of a creative God, how am I developing my own creativity for His service?

Q2. How can creativity be used during Church worship services?

Q3. Remembering some of the parables Jesus taught, what sort of things did He use creatively and how can I in some way emulate His creativity in my ministry?

Right mouse click to save/download this talk as a MP3 file

Paypal Donate If you find these resources helpful to you, please do prayerfully consider making a donation. Thank you

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

Subscribe via iTunes

I heart FeedBurnerAdd to Google Reader or Homepage

ADD – Creativity

ADD-cover.jpg

Develops Creativity

Right mouse click to save/download this talk as a MP3 file

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1v1 & 27

Our God is a creative God! His creativity is all around us! Further to this, as humans we are created in His image, and as a result, we are creative! Everybody has some form of significant creative potential. If you don’t think you do, perhaps it is because you haven’t found your creative niche yet! The natural creativity of children is amazing! However, quite frequently significant persons bury creativity under layers of conditioning and negativity. Some of the greatest culprits are teachers, parents and peers, but there is hope because the conditioning process can be reversed. It is a process with a high cost factor, because creativity is essentially a life style. It has to pervade every area of your experience. None more so than in your area of service as a Christian Disciple!

Examples of Biblical creativity

Jesus used creativity in his teaching! He took every day people and objects, creating lessons out of them. Think of some of your favourite parables and see the creativity behind them! As for the Psalms, they are filled with creative language in order to praise God, seeking penance before God and expressing a desire to know God better! Similarly some of the symbolic language of the Bible is very creative. Take for example the genealogy of Matthew 1. To us it may well be tedious and insignificant, but to its initial audience of a small group of Jewish believers, it includes enormous significance and creative symbolism! The way Matthew constructed the genealogy highlights many things, one of which was his highlighting of Abraham, David and of course, Jesus! We know to the Jewish mind, numbers were not just mathematically significant but also held great symbolism! The number seven represents perfection. Each of the 3 stages in the genealogy of Matthew 1 contains 14 stages making a total of 42 times perfection! So what Matthew was saying that Jesus was a great deal more than perfect! Now if you were not a first century Jew, you would not at first see creative symbolism!

Why the importance of creativity?

  • Creativity perpetuates the learning process. As long as you live you should be learning, and remember that Christian Discipleship is essentially a call to perpetual learning.
  • Creativity is essential to meet the growing demands of a changing society. Package thinkers are out of business for an impact tomorrow. If we do not prepare those that we lead to change, they will not be a change element in our next generation.
  • Creativity is important to both affect & infect your communication with a characteristic freshness & vitality. We are commanded to communicate the truth. A communicative individual is always a creative individual.
  • Creativity develops your leadership style.
  • Creativity will overhaul your lifestyle. Most Christian Disciples seem to only exist and not live! If a person is living in the past or in the future, they cannot be enjoying the present.

What are the principles of creativity?

  • Creativity is largely a matter of effort. The mind is like a muscle and grows with use.
  • Quantity is essential to quality in the creative process. Scientific evidence suggests that it is only a maximum of 6% of ideas that are good. You have to get more ideas to get some winning ideas.
  • Results of which are good, bad or indifferent are welcome. Don’t pass judgment at the outset of the creativity process; you have go to withhold it.
  • Incubation generates illumination. Put your ideas on the back burner. Put time between thinking of ideas. Then don’t be surprised when a moment of inspiration of how to complete it arrives!
  • Group effort stimulates creativity if you learn how to listen.

How to activate creativity?

  • Experience provides fuel for ideation, which is the formation of ideas.
  • Problem solving. Get your drive going in the right direction.
  • Involvement in hobbies & fine arts. Photographic sites like http://www.Flickr.com are great places to see creativity in process and get tips on how to improve! There are oodles of websites out there for almost every conceivable hobby!
  • Reading. Creativity thrives on reading the only problem is passivity. Read it until you can tell somebody else. We tend to read the stuff with which we agree which only serves to reinforce our own prejudices and presuppositions. Read things that you know you won’t necessarily agree with, and expand your reading and thinking!
  • Writing. Keep a journal, a blog or a website! It’s easier than you may well think! Write down questions, examples and your meditations.
  • Spend time with creative people. Think with those you are leading. You think your ideas are so good because you have never tested them against someone diametrically opposed to yours.
  • Creativity can be used in the church. Just take for example worship services. Is worship just singing songs? Or can other means be used in order to worship, such as responsive prayers and bible readings? What about dancing as part of creative worship? What about creative outreach or evangelism? Try something new! By being creative, the church can be culturally relevant whilst still remaining biblically faithful to God.

For more to think about please do read Genesis 1 and ask yourself the following questions, writing them down if you can, and see how you respond or react to them. Then why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together.

Q1. Knowing I am in the image of a creative God, how am I developing my own creativity for His service?

Q2. How can creativity be used during Church worship services?

Q3. Remembering some of the parables Jesus taught, what sort of things did He use creatively and how can I in some way emulate His creativity in my ministry?

Right mouse click to save/download this talk as a MP3 file

Paypal Donate If you find these resources helpful to you, please do prayerfully consider making a donation. Thank you

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

Subscribe via iTunes

I heart FeedBurnerAdd to Google Reader or Homepage

Chocolate Christians!

choco_man_new.jpg

 

How not to be a Chocolate Christian

or

How to change Ch-rch to Church!

Right mouse click to save this Podcast as a MP3.

Have you ever noticed that chocolate melts under pressure & heat? If you haven’t, take a piece of chocolate and hold it between your fingers! It will soon melt! If you are a Christian, you need to be active in your local church so that you don’t melt under pressure and you will remain firm in your faith! Otherwise you will be a chocolate Christian who easily gives up under the stress and pressure of every day life!

At a church local to where you live, you are needed regardless of who you are!

Perhaps this is you?

  • Interested observer but not a committed Christian
  • Not bothered
  • Not good enough
  • Just want to be left alone
  • Don’t know how to be involved
  • Don’t know why being involved is important
  • Too busy

But why should you be involved?

Why? You have talents to be used!!

When Jesus said to His apostles “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14v12), it was through the promised Holy Spirit (John 14v17), and the impartation of Spiritual Gifts that His words were fulfilled.

The reason that the Holy Spirit imparts spiritual gifts to Christians is so that the body of Christ is built up (Ephesians 4v12), for the common good of the church (1Corinthians 12v7, 14v12) and “so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 4v12). These three reasons signify that God wants Christians to be active in service and not still like stagnant water. That is why we have been given gifts and if these gifts are not used for God’s purposes, then they are utterly useless and meaningless. And the gifts are not just the supposedly spectacular gifts but also the supposedly mundane! Cleaning is as much a spiritual gift as preaching is!

As we are not to neglect our gifts, or let other Christians neglect their gifts, we are to fan the gifts into flame (2 Timothy1v6). Much like blowing on embers and stirring them up will restart the flames of a fire! To do this, as Christians, we are to employ the gifts faithfully and by asking God to continue their development, strengthening and for opportunities to use them! Seek gifts that build up others, commands Paul (1 Corinthians 14v1-12). Ask God faithfully for gifts that give opportunity for service to God and others!

Why? We are dependent on each other

As Christians, we are dependent upon each other, just as one part of the human body has dependence on another part. That is why we serve each other and use the gifts generously given by God. As all Christians have gifts, we have a responsibility to discover and develop them (1 Timothy 4v14)! God has called Christians and equipped them with spiritual gifts, and they are not to be neglected! You are a member of the body of Jesus Christ the church! If you are not being active that means the Church body is affected aversely! Its like a part of your body failing to do as it should!

Why? Improve your serve!

They are opportunities for Christians to serve other people. Some gifts like teaching, helping or leadership quite possibly are enhancements of natural abilities whilst others like faith, healing and miracles are from the Spirit’s empowerment alone.

In the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), Jesus intimates that those who follow Him, will be judged according to all that they have been given stewardship of! This includes things such as Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthians 12v1-10), acts of service (Galatians 5v13) and material possessions (2 Corinthians 9v6-8)! These are used to accomplish three other items of Stewardship: mission, message and people.

Why? To follow Jesus

The Christian life is not to be static or inactive – it was never meant to be! The Christian life is to be dynamic! It is to be active. The word servant is key in Scripture. It is used at least 500 times in its various derivatives. When a Christian serves, God’s honour is released. This is done because service shows the beauty and glory of Jesus Christ to those being served and to those watching. That is to be our motive for service. Serving is never to be about what you and I can get out of it. When that is the motive, God is not glorified. God’s glory, honour and supremacy are to be the goal of a Christian’s life. Spiritual growth comes from serving rather than being served. This is because what ever is given in service of God and others, your faith grows and Jesus Christ gives back even more.

Jesus speaking in Matthew 25v15-30 tells of the rewards for faithful service and the penalties for being faithless. Serving others is a sign that you are trusting in and having faith in God. It’s a visible aspect of your invisible faith. Service is the outward expression of your inner beliefs. Serving is an outward expression of your inner faith – an external working out of your inner salvation. Serving God and others is the mark of a spiritually mature (or spiritually maturing) Christian and through service, the greatest servant of all, Jesus Christ, is reflected in our lives. “For Jesus Christ, came to serve and give his very life for others” (Mark 10v45). As Christians we are to be as Jesus Christ (Romans 8v28; Philippians 2v5) and to serve. Yet if we are honest, we sometimes feel incapable, just as Moses did (Exodus 3). When the church is built up, unity will inevitably prevail and be built up.

GO!

So if you find you are currently inactive in your local church, then please go and make yourself available to serve there! Ask your pastor or church leader how you can help out! By doing so, and submitting yourself to the Holy Spirit who indwells you, the lives of other people could be changed for God’s greater glory because of your acts of service and worship.

For more about serving, stewardship and spiritual gifts, please do see other links on this website:

Serving

Stewardship

Spiritual Gifts

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Chocolate Christians!

choco_man_new.jpg

How not to be a Chocolate Christian

or

How to change Ch-rch to Church!

Right mouse click to save this Podcast as a MP3.

Have you ever noticed that chocolate melts under pressure & heat? If you haven’t, take a piece of chocolate and hold it between your fingers! It will soon melt! If you are a Christian, you need to be active in your local church so that you don’t melt under pressure and you will remain firm in your faith! Otherwise you will be a chocolate Christian who easily gives up under the stress and pressure of every day life!

At a church local to where you live, you are needed regardless of who you are!

Perhaps this is you?

  • Interested observer but not a committed Christian
  • Not bothered
  • Not good enough
  • Just want to be left alone
  • Don’t know how to be involved
  • Don’t know why being involved is important
  • Too busy

But why should you be involved?

(more…)

WISE – Spiritual Gifts

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Partake – WISE – Spiritual Gifts

Download this Podcast (right click and save)

Paypal Donate If you have found this resource helpful to you, please do prayerfully consider donating £1. Thank you

When Jesus said to His apostles “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14v12), it was through the promised Holy Spirit (John 14v17), and impartment of Spiritual gifts, that His words were fulfilled.

What are spiritual gifts?

The phrase “spiritual gifts” derives from the Greek word Charismata. They are also called grace gifts, which refer to any gift God gives out of the abundance of His grace and are given to all Christians as God sees fit (1 Corinthians 12v11). They are not all spectacular gifts such as healing and tongues, as some churches today would have you believe! The gifts quoted in various New Testament passages reflect this: “administration, apostle, discernment, evangelism, exhortation, giving, faith, healing, helps, knowledge, leadership, mercy, miracles, pastor, prophecy, service, teaching, tongues, tongues interpretation, wisdom.” Have you ever met anybody who asked for the gift of giving or gift of mercy? Paul commands that you “try to excel in gifts that build up the church” (1 Corinthians 14v12). And there are probably many more outside of that list! When the church is built up, unity will prevail, for the diversity of Spiritual gifts within each local church, helps build unity.

Who has them?

All Christians have them! As a Christian, you have spiritual gifts, for in his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well” (Romans 12v6). God the Holy Spirit, through His infinite wisdom, mercy and grace bestows these gifts upon you to be used so that God is glorified through your service to Him (1 Peter 4v11)!

The Purpose of Spiritual gifts

The reason that the Holy Spirit imparts spiritual gifts to you it is so that the body of Christ is built up (Ephesians 4v12), for the common good of the church (1 Corinthians 12v7, 14v12) and “so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4v12). These reasons mean that God wants you to be active in service. If your spiritual gifts are not used for God’s purposes, then they are meaningless.

Your Response

All Christians are dependent upon each other, just as one part of the human body has dependence on another part. That is why we serve each other and use the gifts generously given by God. As all Christians have gifts, you have a responsibility to discover and develop them (1 Timothy 4v14)! God has called you and equipped you with spiritual gifts, and they are not to be neglected! You are to discover, discern, develop and put into effect your spiritual gifts, so that God can be glorified and His church built up! Ask God to continue their development, strengthening and opportunities to use them! Seek gifts that build up others, commands Paul (1 Corinthians 14v1-12). Ask God faithfully for gifts that give opportunity for you to serve God and others!

Download this Podcast (right click and save)

Paypal Donate If you have found this resource helpful to you, please do prayerfully consider donating £1. Thank you

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