Monday, June 16, 2014

E, F, and G {Blogging Through the Alphabet}

I can't believe I have gotten so far behind in the Blogging Through the Alphabet! Some of it's from business, some of it's from computer/internet issues...some of it just plain laziness.

Anyway, let's do this!

 E is for Encourage

Back in my late teens/early twenties, I took several "personality tests," etc., including one (it seems) for spiritual gifts. Back then, one of my strong spiritual gifts was exhortation, or encourager. 

The Bible passages discussing spiritual gifts are: Romans 12:6-8; 1Corinthians 12:8-10, 28-30; Ephesians 4:11. You can even take a test to discover your own spiritual gifts! Here is a pdf for you to print off. Or you can take one online.

The definition and description of Exhortation:

The spiritual gift of exhortation is often called the "gift of encouragement."  The Greek word for this gift is Parakaleo.  It means to beseech, exhort, call upon, to encourage and to strengthen.  The primary means of exhortation is to remind the hearer of the powerful and amazing work of God in Christ, particularly in regard to the saving work of Jesus in the atonement.  We see Paul commanding Titus to use this gift in Titus 1:9 and throughout chapter 2, particularly Titus 2:11-15.  He also charges Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2.

The Spirit of God gives this gift to people in the church to strengthen and encourage those who are wavering in their faith.  Those with the gift of exhortation can uplift and motivate others as well as challenge and rebuke them in order to foster spiritual growth and action.  The goal of the encourager is to see everyone in the church continually building up the body of Christ and glorifying God.  See also Romans 12:8, Acts 11:23-24; 14:21-22; 15:32

Sometimes, though, the encourager needs encouraging. It feels lonely and discouraging when it seems there is no one to encourage the encourager.

Which brings me to:

F is for Faith

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1.

I need to remember to have faith that God will provide me with the encouragement I need, when I need it most. Instead, I tend to worry.

For example, right now, my youngest is facing oral surgery this summer. He has to have a whole bunch of baby teeth pulled at once, so will be under general anesthesia. I'm not sure who's more nervous: he, or I. ;-)

Also this summer, my oldest and second oldest boys will be traveling to Florida, to help Grandpa repair the roof on his house. At this point, it is still undetermined whether the youngest and I will go, too, or not. The thought of the boys traveling alone, especially since Tim hasn't driven that far alone yet, kind of hits me in the pit of my stomach.

So, I have to have faith that God will truly watch over my children. After all, He loves them even more than I do!

What are some situations that test your faith?

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17.

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1.

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Romans 1:17.

And Jesus said unto them… verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Matthew 17:20.

Do you have faith the size of a mustard seed?

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. Romans 1:8.

Do you desire to have your faith "spoken of throughout the whole world"?

G is for  Grace

What is grace?

The dictionary defines it this way: favor or goodwill; a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior; mercy; clemency; pardon.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8,9.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11.

Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:3.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Romans 16:24.
Blogging Through the Alphabet
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