Summary: Spirit-filled people live in the power of the Almighty and they are empowered people, though ordinary just like you and me. God and you can do amazing things!
Maximum Satisfaction! God’s ‘way to go!’
Just about every little boy dreams about being a super-hero. So do grown men, but we don’t talk about it!
In my conversations with people, I love to listen for dreams, for clues about a person’s passion. In the fresh years of our youth, we are full of dreams and passion.
∙ When my adult kids are home (they range in age from 27 to 32), I’m infected with their enthusiasm for life, and a little frightened for them, because they are so idealistic! My son, Sean, is bravely starting a new business - in this economy! Our daughter and her husband, are moving to California so he can pursue his Ph.D at Fuller Theological Seminary.
In our youth, we are open about how much we want to live in a way that makes real difference.
∙ In our early 20’s, Bev and I packed up our baby boy in school bus and moved from NJ to Wyoming, full of dreams about making a difference in a town for Christ. The adventure was not at all what we expected, but God used that year to re-make us, to change our whole outlook on life. I don’t know if I would nearly so ready to make that kind of radical move now that I am 30 years older.
As we experience more of life, many of us let our dreams die. We pack up our youthful idealism and settle into life’s routines, grinding away at life- and often, in the process, we start to die by inches. Changing the world seems to fade in importance when there is a mortgage to pay, braces that need to be put on crooked teeth, and deadlines imposed on us by a boss who isn’t too interested in what really makes us tick.
By the time we’re 35 or 40, most of don’t talk about dreams anymore. We’ve been laughed at too many times, told that we were too old, too young, too dumb, too smart, too ‘something’ to think that way. Our passion dies and we stop dancing, becoming plodders, increasingly bent and sometimes, embittered by life as the years pass.
In my talk this morning, I want to preach you a dreamin’ message.... but it is not about living in fantasy land.
It’s about possibilities, but not about the power of positive thinking. I want to take you beyond childish longing for super-hero status and point you toward an empowered life!
One of the things about success that has become so much more clear to me with maturity is the importance of those who lend me their influence, gift me with their resources, and guide me with their wisdom. These people EMPOWER me. I know that is a buzz word, but anyone who desires to make a difference, who wants to experience real joy and effectiveness, must understand the criticality of networking, of linking up with others, in interdependent relationships.
Here’s my premise today.
Spirit-filled people live in the power of the Almighty and they are empowered people, though ordinary just like you and me. God and you can do amazing things!
I want to talk with you about God’s Plan and Power to make your life count for something. I want to help you to capture the dream of being a Christian who breathes the Presence of the Spirit and does ‘signs and wonders’ in the service of the King of heaven.
If you haven’t already figured it out, I am going to talk about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s get a definition. Spiritual gift
∙ A spiritual gift is a divine enablement, an ability given by the Holy Spirit, to a Believer so that he can make his unique contribution to the work of God, contributing his/her unique work to the Body of Christ, the Church. Gifts must not be confused with natural talents or with learned skills.
Dr. John Rea defines a spiritual gift as a
supernatural capacity or power bestowed on a Christian by the Holy Spirit to enable that person to exercise his function in the church.
The Gifts of the Spirit are distinct from the character qualities that the Holy Spirit creates in us. The fruit of the Spirit is to be universally evident in every Believer’s life in increasing measure as they measure in their Christian life. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are proof of the Spirit’s life in us! Unlike the gifts, which are unique and specialized for God’s purpose in us, our community, and our time; the fruit of the Spirit is for all people, all churches, and all eras until the perfection of the Kingdom comes.
In my lifetime I have been exposed to two erroneous ideas about spiritual gifts.