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LETTING THEM LEAD BY JILL BRISCOE
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“Give us the tools, and we’ll finish the job”. Said Winston Churchill. He was referring to the weapons that England would need to win the war against Germany.
What was true for England is true for the church. The Father sent the Spirit to give us the gifts so we’ll finish the job. Spiritual gifts are the tools the church will use to win the war against evil. Spiritual gifts are very important. The church’s job is the evangelization of the world, and it is the exercise in futility to try and serve God’s cause without exercising spiritual gifts.
The giver of the gifts is God himself. He has demonstrated his generosity by the way he gave the world the greatest gifts of all – his only Son (John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”) He not only gave his only Son, but he also gave his Holy Spirit. He delights in giving good gifts to his children – all his children. Even small children can delight in the spiritual abilities God gives them to serve him. When they help Jesus, they experience a lot of joy and fulfilment, just like we do!
Not only did God give us himself, but he gave us other gifts as well. He gave the church gifts in the shape of leaders. These particulars people are called apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers. “Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his responsibility incudes training our children to lead as well.
According to 1 Corinthians 14:3 “3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. 4 Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.” A prophet’s job is “helping others grow in the Lord, encouraging and comforting them.”
Today, we call that Spirit-empowered preaching. Bothe men and women received and exercised these gifts, as indicated by Philip’s four daughters in Acts 21:9 “He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.” Evangelists, on the other hand, preached to unbelievers, gathered the converts together, and established churches. They would be similar to today’s evangelists and pioneer missionaries. Perhaps, like Philip, we have children who love Jesus and want to use their gifts to serve him. Philip’s girls understood that the Holy Spirit had given them gifts with which to serve Jesus. As we give our children chances to serve him, even at a young age, they will blossom in every dimension of their lives.
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