Walk In Your Gifts

“We don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are”
Anais Nin

Are you ever frustrated because people don’t behave in a certain way? Do you ever get angry because someone didn’t respond the way you would have?

The right way.

We tend to be a self-centered bunch. I don’t mean selfish I mean self-centered. It’s something we have to constantly stay vigilant about. We are all uniquely made by God with specific gifts, talents, and bents. This is how a community is built. This is how a church is built. We all bring something unique and valuable to the community.

We must constantly be on guard against expecting others to behave in a certain way or respond to things the way we would.

This morning I was looking through my Strengths Finder results and realized I have put expectations on people based on my personality and my priorities. I haven’t been fair.

I’m reminded of a song by the band DOWNHERE called “The Problem”

Today I repent of my judgmental spirit and my expectations on people that have been unreasonable. I will walk in my gifts, not someone else’s, and I will not expect others to walk in mine.

Will you join me?

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Posted by Gary in Church Growth, Leadership, Personal, Practical

The Prodigal

This morning I ran across a video written by the brother/sister team of Ryan and Meghan Baird on Bob Kauflin’s blog Worship Matters. As I watched I was reminded of something God showed me last year.

Before you watch the video let me share some thoughts:

We’ve all read the story of the prodigal son and heard it preached many times. When I was first walking with the Father it was easy to identify with the story. Even though I hadn’t said to my father “I wish you were dead, now give me my inheritance” it was easy to see how God had been reaching out to me and how I had, many times, walked away.

Having walked with the Father for over 25 years it became harder to identify with the story and I tended to listen passively and move on. But a truth remains in the story for we who have been walking with the Father a long time.

We all have seasons of spending our inheritance outside of relationship with the Father.

If you have applied, by faith, Jesus sacrifice for your sin you are, by grace through faith, made righteous and a child of God. Ephesians tells us it was the Fathers idea from the very beginning to adopt us as sons (inheritors) and give us an inheritance. To the extent we spend that inheritance outside of relationship with the Father we are prodigals. With that in mind watch the video:

Here are the lyrics:

You held out Your arms, I walked away
Insolent I spurned Your face
Squandering the gifts You gave to me
Holding close forbidden things
Destitute a rebel still, a fool in all my pride
The world I once enjoyed is death to me
No joy, no hope, no life

Where now are the friends, that I had bought
Gone with every penny lost
What hope could there be for such as I
Sold out to a world of lies
Oh, to see Your face again, it seems so distant now
Could it be that You would take me back
A servant in Your house

You held out Your arms, I see them still
You never left, You never will
Running to embrace me, now I know
Your cords of love will always hold
Mercy’s robe, a ring of grace
Such favor undeserved
You sing over me and celebrate
The rebel now Your child
© 2009 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP).

Deuteronomy 30:2-3 promises us if we will:

return to the LORD your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, that the LORD your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you. Deut 30:2-3

The Robe speaks of welcoming into the family and removing sin. We are clothed with His righteousness, made righteous. The ring is a sign of sonship (inheritors) being sealed by the Holy Spirit with second inheritance of wealth, dominion, and rulership. Sandals differentiate us from a servant. The feast declares to the world the Joy of the Father. Freedom and honor are restored in perfect reconciliation and all the son did was return.

He has not dealt with us according to our sins,Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:10-14

Don’t wait. Relationship with the Father is to be valued more than our inheritance from Him. He wants to spend it with us. Wherever you are right now be purposeful. Don’t rehearse a speech. Just return, I’m going to do that right now.

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Posted by Gary in Faith, Intimacy W/God, Personal, Worship