Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Gifts (of the Spirit or service) (11/22/07)
By Betsy Cobb Wise
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Grandpa always said that the Lord doesn’t need to take people home sick. God’s in the healing business. He preached some of his best sermons to the barnyard chickens and to her.
Lizzie thought about Grandpa as she checked the odometer for the next ten miles she’d traveled, a little game she played to pass the time. Her mind was dazed from the tedious ride; but she noticed a red and white sign:
STAY ALERT FOR GIFTS
Lizzie wondered what that meant and immediately remembered that Grandpa wore out Bibles and rocking chairs just studying The Word of God. If this message referred to the Bible, the sign referenced gifts of the spirit. Suddenly she felt rejuvenated at the prospect of another sign. A mile had passed when she saw:
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE SOURCE
Again, she knew God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost so Lizzie was comfortable with acknowledging that He certainly knew about gifts because He gives so freely. No sooner had this thought passed then in the horizon she saw another sign.
So much of what Lizzie heard in today’s world had nothing to do with God’s wisdom. Most people just shot from the hip. A friend of hers exercised this gift by spending time with God who gave her profound truth. Lizzie realized the signs were coming one every mile.
Once Grandpa had told her that she would sing to the nations. As years passed, she published a song called “Redeemed by the Lord”, available worldwide. God spoke through Grandpa a word from heaven. Then once again one of those now familiar red and white signs appeared.
Wow, she sure needed to know that word’s meaning. Lizzie couldn’t imagine life without Grandpa who had anchored her so many times. She realized the real anchor was God but Grandpa lived the message for her benefit. Lizzie was hopeful for the next word.
HEALING and MIRACLES
Oh boy was she familiar with these gifts. Grandpa had prayed and laid hands on thousands of people in his lifetime and she saw God work powerfully through him to heal others. She had been supernaturally healed twice. With one of those healings, she glowed for days. Hadn’t a mile passed?
Many words had been spoken over her through the years. Even though there were words that had not come to pass, she knew they were from God. Other words just fell to the ground when they were spoken. A prophet must know the Lord first she thought to prove their words. Hallelujah! She couldn’t wait for the next mile marker. There it was!
Lizzie remembered a time when a woman got up in church and gave a convincing message. Grandpa elbowed her and told her that a dividing spirit was speaking. She asked him how he knew and he told her the nature of God was not revealed in her words. Lizzie learned to find out God’s heart about everything so she could figure out the heart of another. Lizzie was getting close to Grandpa’s house. Right on time, there was a sign.
Speaking in tongues had scared her when she was little because she didn’t understand what the people were saying. It was always awkward when no one knew the answer. As she pondered this, another sign appeared.
INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES
That was the other gift that didn’t seem too much in abundance; yet she knew people who could do this. She had also learned that the gift of discernment helped to identify people who tried to interpret but just made up stuff. Lizzie pulled up to Grandpa’s house where a sign read:
THE BODY OF CHIRST
It was no coincidence that the signs ended at his house. It finally dawned on her that Grandpa worked for Burma-Shave at one time. Once inside and after all the hugs Lizzie asked Grandpa about the signs. He confessed he paid someone to put up the signs because people needed to know they had a part in representing Jesus to the world. Lizzie knew her Grandpa wouldn’t go before his job was done and his body was well.
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