Grow Your Gift

Friday

“For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God,which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.”
‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

In California, we had a fireplace in our little living room that we would use to warm the house during the few cold, damp winter months. I loved the warmth but I loved the ambiance that it created. I actually had a terrible time keeping it going.  My husband was fabulous at it. I would watch him carefully build it, pay attention to it, poke at it, feed it and adjust it until it was a blazing fire warming the whole house. There were days when he would get the fire started for me in the morning and then leave. I would gaze into the flames for a few minutes and then get engrossed in reading or writing. I would forget about the fire until I realized it was only a smoldering pile of half-burnt wood. It gave me an appreciation of what “fanning the Flame” means.

When God gives you a gift, it comes as a spark. A small light with great potential but will not grow unless it is fed, prodded, poked and paid attention to.

Jesus gives it to you and expects YOU to fan it into a fire.

God gives you the gift but expects you to grow it.

The verse after “fan the flame” is “God has not given us a Spirit of fear”.  God knows that fear is the number one reason we don’t grow our gifts, so he gives us something more powerful than fear: Himself.

When God sparks a gift for you to use and grow in, He helps you grow it with three key things:

Power


Love


Self Discipline

Don’t focus on the fear, my friend. Focus on the Spirit of God within you and fan the flame of what Jesus has given to you.

What has God sparked in you?

What are you doing to grow it?

What is stopping you?

God’s Way

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“The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.”

Proverbs 29:25 MSG

Mankind’s definition of surviving is:

  • Do whatever it takes. 
  • Grab whatever you can. 
  • Serve yourself first.
  • Learn from other’s mistakes.

God’s definition of surviving is:

  • Trust Him.
  • Give whatever you can.
  • Serve others first.
  • Learn from other’s success.

My prayer for you today is that you choose God’s way of surviving instead of yours.

His way is better (and leads to thriving).

During this time of crisis, reach out and help someone who is afraid. 

Dude, Be Kind

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Someone needs you to be kind today.

To preach without words.

To listen without judgment.

To speak the truth in love.

To serve without complaining.

To be brave.

To be real.

To be available.

“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season;”
‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭4:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Be available for God to use you anywhere, anytime with anyone and He will.

Walking It Out

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“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”     ‭‭

2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Walking is a pretty mundane activity.
It’s not as glamorous as running.
I’ve always wanted to be a runner but I am definitely not one.  I am simply a very good walker.
Walking is what you learn early by falling down a lot.
It is what gets you to the kitchen in the morning for your first cup of coffee.
It is basic and boring and taken for granted unless you can’t do it anymore.
Charles Spurgeon said,
“That man has not yet learned the true spirit of Christianity who is always saying, ‘I can preach a sermon by faith.’ Yes, sir, but can you make a coat by faith? ‘Can you cook dinner by faith?”.
The real work of life isn’t using your gifts by faith but living your life by it: Paying your bills, doing your job, cooking dinner, cleaning the toilet.
It is in these small necessary everyday things that God’s power is revealed not just in the great things but in the small ordinary ones. 
It is when God’s grace and power are evident in washing the dishes when you are tired and spent.
It is when you stop yourself from going all buck wild on the attitude you just received from your teenager.
It is when the holiday isn’t working out to be what you hoped for but you are able to roll with the punches and still enjoy the special moments that would otherwise be buried in resentment and disappointment.
When what you see does not dictate how you behave.
That is when faith leads your life instead of sight. 
It isn’t very exciting but it is totally life-giving.
Don’t worry about running your faith race today, just focus on walking it out faithfully.
Love you.
Today may you walk slowly, steadily and consistently in faith in who Jesus is, what He has done and in who He is re-creating you to be.

Kindness

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Someone needs you to be kind today.

To preach without words.

To listen without judgment.

To speak the truth in love.

To serve without complaining.

To be brave.

To be real.

To be available.

“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season;”
‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭4:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Be available for God to use you anywhere, anytime with anyone and He will.

Your Gifts

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“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬
The gift that you are with your smile and words, your hands and heart, how you cook or clean, create or organize, how you lead and follow, bless and pray is meant to be given, not hidden.
God has given you gifts. 
All kinds. 
Some come as talent.
Others are revealed in character. 
Some are gifts to you as well as through you that bring such joy that you can’t wait to share them.
Some are so close to your heart that you are afraid to reveal them. 
But gifts are made for giving.
Salt is made for seasoning.
Light is made for lighting. 
Gifts are made for giving.
The more precious they are to you, the more powerful they will be for others.
The gifts you have been given are to be given away: to serve, to love, to mend, to tend, to bless, to build. 

Survive

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“The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.”

Proverbs‬ ‭29‬:‭25 MSG

Mankind’s definition of surviving is:

Do whatever it takes.
Grab whatever you can.
Serve yourself first.
Learn from other’s mistakes.

God’s definition of surviving is:

Trust Him.
Give whatever you can.
Serve others first.
Learn from other’s success.

How are you going to survive today?

Survive

A grasping person stirs up trouble, but trust in GOD brings a sense of well-being. If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.

Proverbs‬ ‭28‬:‭25-26‬ MSG

Mankind’s definition of surviving is:

Do whatever it takes.
Grab whatever you can.
Serve yourself first.
Learn from other’s mistakes.

God’s definition of surviving is:

Trust Him.
Give whatever you can.
Serve others first.
Learn from other’s success.

How are you going to survive today?

Your Gifts


The gift that you are with your

smile and words,

your hands and heart,

how you cook or clean,

create or organize,

how you lead and follow,

bless and pray

is meant to be given, not hidden.

God has given you gifts.

All kinds.

Some come as talent.

Others are revealed in character.

Some are gifts to you that bring such joy in you that can’t bare to share them.

Some are so close to your heart that you are afraid to reveal them.

But gifts are made for giving.

Salt is made for seaoning.
Light is made for lighting.
Gifts are made for giving.

The more precious they are to you, the more powerful they will be for others.

The gifts you have been given are to be given away: to serve, to love, to mend, to tend, to bless, to build.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Shine.
Season.
Give.

Do it Afraid 

  

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭19‬:‭26‬ NIV)

The enemy will gladly use your feelings and emotions to confuse, slow down and stop you from obeying God.

When God asks you to step out in faith, it will always be to do something that is beyond what you can do by yourself.

You will need God’s help to accomplish it. You will need His power, His Strength, His Grace, His mercy- all of it, all of Him,to do what He has asked you to do.

Whenever you face something you can’t do by yourself- fear rises up. That is okay. You are not supposed to “do it by yourself”. You are supposed to do it “with God”.

So when it comes to obedience: do it afraid. The feelings are natural when what God is asking you to do isn’t.

God is asking you to trust, to obey, to step out in faith and do something with Him.

To reach out. To love. To forgive. To share. Whatever “it” is, do it afraid.

Don’t wait for the feeling to leave- it will not.

Feelings don’t dictate your obedience, they only indicate how much you need to depend on God.

Do it anyway.
Obey anyway.
Step out in faith anyway.
Do it afraid.