(Part 2 of 3)
d) The gift of exhortation meets personal needs… Encouragement is seen here. Encouragement stimulates faith. Inspiration is a powerful healing remedy. The word “exhortation” means “called alongside to help.” Think of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, the helper and comforter. We can easily call exhortation “the gift of standing by.” Being ready to help those who are feeling unsteady, to keep them from falling. The gift of exhortation encourages personal growth. One who exhorts has the ability to encourage people to meet life’s challenges successfully. His motivation is to stimulate faith.
e) The gift of giving meets financial needs… Many people need financial assistance to ease their loads. Galatians 6:1-2 speaks of bearing one another’s burdens. “Ye which are spiritual” (KJV)… This refers to those who are “responsive to the Spirit” helping those who genuinely need help. Jesus speaks of a “caring spirit.” A caring spirit works with simplicity, liberality, honesty, and without pretence or show. A giver is motivated to help and sees to it that the work of God succeeds.
f) The gift of ruling meets administrative needs… Management skill is seen in using one’s abilities to lead someone out of his distress. Many people don’t seem able to make decisions; they are unable to plan. Someone who is responsive to the Spirit can lead them. The Lord has people who can give direction, plan, and coordinate activities. In the Kingdom, someone at times must take charge. A Christian who finds himself in serious distress can get out of trouble by implementing the wisdom and guidance of those who have been given the gift of leadership. A leader who administers wisdom and leadership must lead with humility, never arrogance.
g) The gift of mercy meets emotional needs… Love and compassion can relieve emotional distress. People who hurt need comfort, not criticism. Jesus had compassion for people who had needs. “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful” (Luke 6:36, KJV). True ministers are motivated to give needed support. He or she has the ability to see where people are at, to identify their needs, and relieve them of their distress. They are “hope builders.”
Romans 12:1-5: Preparing ourselves to express the gifts
1) Present your physical body to God by the mercies of God (verse 1)… It’s God’s mercy that must motivate us to willingly give ourselves to Him. Paul did not say, “By my apostolic authority I command you to submit.” He did not say, “I’m in charge here. Submit yourselves to teach a class” or “submit to some other church-related duty.” If God’s mercy does not move us, we will not be moved by force. Paul is exhorting us to be available physically and mentally (willing submission). The Spirit does not put pressure on you to make this sacrifice. The word “mercies” as used here means “compassion.” Reasonable service refers to an act of worship. Giving yourself to God for service is an act of worship. Say, “Lord, I give myself to you as a living sacrifice.”
2) Be not conformed to this world (verse 2)… Don’t pattern your service to God by what the world does. The world is self-centered and sinful. God can anoint your natural abilities, but natural abilities learned through the systems of this world cannot be as effective as the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Let God shape your spiritual abilities. He will shape your mind by the Spirit to His way of doing things. Let the Spirit reshape your thinking. The Word of God brings His will to your mind by the Spirit. In the Lord’s Prayer, the Spirit comes to purify us so that we can clearly know the will of God. The “wisdom” of the unredeemed must not take the Holy Spirit’s place in our thinking. The Spirit wants to make our minds alive, active, and alert. God hates apathy. Apathy is a great sin in the saints today.
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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