My classroom called life…Kingdom lessons

My desire is to abide

100 year curse…about to be BROKEN! January 22, 2009

The Lord has been speaking to my heart about the breaking off of this generational curse, this terrible event that took place 100 years ago exactally (Nov. 1909)…there WILL be redemption.  Something will happen on this date this year to BREAK off the curse.  Amen.  Thank you Jesus for writing your story on the hearts of men and women in Cairo.  Victory is Yours!

The moral arc bends

The Herald (Australia)

21/01/2009 9:18:00 AM
ONE hundred years ago a black American man, Will James, was lynched in the main street of a town called Cairo, in the state of Illinois, when he was strung up from a telegraph pole beneath street lights in front of thousands. 

Fifteen photographs of the lynching became postcards. The atmosphere was described as “circus-like”.

 

James didn’t die by hanging. The rope broke and he fell to the ground where he was “riddled with bullets”, before his body was dragged for several kilometres and finally burnt.

 

He wasn’t the only man lynched on November 11, 1909. After the mob killed James it turned on a white man, Henry Salzner, who was awaiting trial for murder. He was lynched, but not shot, mutilated or burnt. His body, hanging from the pole, was also photographed, and the image became a postcard.

 

In his book about lynching, Without Sanctuary, published in 2000, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Leon F. Litwack noted the men and women who “tortured, dismembered and murdered in this fashion understood perfectly well what they were doing”.

 

“This was not the outburst of crazed men or uncontrolled barbarians but the triumph of a belief system that defined one people as less human than another,” he said. Nearly 90 per cent of lynching victims were black.

 

Lynching postcards did a roaring trade until the US postmaster general banned them from the mail system.

 

In 1909 100 years before a black American man was to become president federal legislators initiated the first of many attempts to make lynching a federal crime, because of the extent of lynching and the failure of states to act.

 

Typical of state representatives was Benjamin Tillman, governor of South Carolina from 1890-94, who said in 1900: “We have done our level best (to prevent blacks from voting) . . . we have scratched our heads to find out how we could eliminate the last one of them. We stuffed ballot boxes. We shot them. We are not ashamed of it.”

 

Also Tillman: “We of the South have never recognised the right of the negro to govern white men, and we never will.”

 

The sound we might hear today even at this distance, over and above the celebrations as Barack Obama is made 44th US president, is of Tillman and his like, turning in their graves, not to mention the angry cries of some who never will recognise “the right of the negro to govern white men”. But they’re a minority. The majority feel jubilation, relief and astonishment.

 

Cairo, Illinois Barack Obama’s home state is a town with one of America’s worst racial records. Its population is predominantly black. By 2000 it had an infant mortality rate of 15.4 per cent, which was, shockingly, only the state’s second-worst. Industrialised nations have an average infant mortality rate of 6 per cent, according to UNICEF.

 

About half the town’s children live in poverty and in Cairo “poverty can’t be separated from the issue of race”, said Cairo resident Sarah Gatewood, in an article about its history.

 

When integration was forced on Cairo in the 1960s and 1970s, city elders filled the local swimming pool with concrete rather than allow black people to use it. When white shopkeepers refused to hire black workers and black residents boycotted stores, shop owners closed rather than change.

 

There were violent clashes and lynchings, and the white supremacist group White Citizens Council, known as the “white collar Klan”, ruled.

 

Barack Obama visited Cairo a few years ago while running for the US Senate. He was met by 300 people, one-third black, two-thirds white, wearing “Obama for US Senate” badges, supporting “a black guy born in Hawaii, with a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas”.

 

When he returned to Cairo in July 2005, Obama quoted Dr Martin Luther King: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” and noted that the arc “bends because each of us in our own small way tries to bend it in that direction”.

 

Obama’s election is more than an American triumph. It is a human triumph.

 

It took more than the 100 years between Will James and Barack Obama, but the minority of individuals black and white who showed courage and sought justice for all, became the majority bending the moral arc today.

 

The Article

 

Running Hard… January 19, 2009

Filed under: Cairo Kids,Newspaper Articles,The Race — charredsmore @ 7:29 am

santa-cruz-half-marathon

This makes it official.  Real.  Authentic.  No backing out now.  I’m accountable to all of you reading this. 

 

I am training for a half marathon.  Yeah, Heather, who “hated” running not long ago is attempting the “impossible!”  Ha!  I have always loved making and reaching goals, whatever they may be.  That’s just me.  I have always loved pushing the limits…sometimes that can be good, sometimes bad.  Forgive me when you have been the brunt of the bad.   I am learning and growing, esp. with my words.  Yikes!  The power of the tongue.  I really need to be careful with my words.  Okay, back to the running…

 

I love going to the gym, I love working the elliptical, the bike, rollerblading, lifting, aerobics, Billy Blanks, rock climbing, sports…you name it…EXCEPT RUNNING.  I watched my roommate and good friend/-train for a half marathon and celebrated with them when they finished.  It was a marvelous event!  The energy!  I was wishing that I could have been there withthem running through the finish line…even though I hated running at the time.  Haha!  Funny, the different emotions you feel when watching people complete a marathon.  Really, it reminded me of the saints, coming into the Kingdom after a hard life of persevering and constantly choosing life, choosing obedience, choosing Jesus.

 

This past year I helped the 5th and 6th graders train for a 5K Levee Race in Cairo.  It was incredible to see the students persevere in running and training…hard.  This was a challenge for them.  Most of these students have not seriously committed to anything in their lives…this was a first for them.   Praise God!  They wanted to commit.  They wanted to run, even when it was hard, even when they complained, even when they whined…they did it!  I was INSPIRED!  I ran along with them, a 5K, which was a first for me too!  Before, I couldn’t even make a mile without walking.  Now, I was addicted to running.  I have be a little careful about this one too…with my personality type, I can just plain get addicted to anything…healthy or not.  I prefer to ONLY be addicted to the Holy Spirit these days.  I pray it stays that way.

 

Back at home over Christmas I reconnected with a friend who is a rockstar triathalete, or at least training to be one.  Super determined and goal oriented.  Helped write out a training plan on a napkin.  I really need to start following it pretty strict if I want to do this thing.  Haha, don’t worry Chris, I am not a total slacker!  So pray for me friends, this endurance thing is hard work.  Espescially when you are busy, out of town, have tons of committments and responsibilities.  It has to be a priority.  When it is a priority (no, of course not the first or even second or third priority) you make movement and progress.  My friends, the gym will be my best friend for a while.  I should start going early in the morning, time with the Lord while running on the treadmill is good stuff.  I’ve even done some church up in there!  For real, they are closed on Sundays, but we have a key (yea, small towns still trust people) so us girls will sometimes hit that up with our ipods full of some worship music, scripture in front of us…pressing in while pressing on.  I keep on keepin’ on!  Yea.  Something like that.  That’s my desire.

 

 

Of course there are 100’s of parallels with my spiritual journey…

 

“Running the race with perserverance.  Run as to win the price, which He has called me Heavenward in Christ Jesus…”

 

Since moving to Cairo I have known that my life is pretty full of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), however a couple biggies are lacking.  A good friend prayed over me regarding a really tough situation, two words came to her, “PATIENCE and PERSERVERANCE.”  Now, it is three and a half years later and another close friend prophesied, “PATIENCE and PERSERVERANCE” over my life.  “These are/will be the cornerstones of my life.”  I nearly dropped the phone.  Are you kidding me?!?  Along with that a vision of running across the finish line with the Olympic rings above my head.  WOW!  Talk about Jesus speaking directly to my HEART!  I love it.  I love Him – Jesus. 

 

 

I will reflect and share more on this journey as it unfolds.  It will be a challenge.  But everything worth fighting for usually is.  That’s why it is a battle.  The easy stuff isn’t appreciated as much – ya know?  So, I press on…I run…I keep on…I MUST!

 

Pray for me on this journey.  Both the marathon and the spiritual journey. 

 

The predicted (half) Marathon of choice…

 

Drum roll please……………………………………

 

Santa Cruz, California

April 19, 2009

 

I was praying to go back to Cali. for my spring break.  Yes, I will have a spring break, now that I will be teaching (starting in March).  While checking on line, I wanted to do something in the Bay Area…this will be the very last day of my spring break…in a place I almost ended up moving to about four years ago.  Yeah, I always knew I would be moving to California, so I started looking for jobs at different camps.  I had a friend from YMCA Camp St. Croix (where I worked at the time) who had worked for this great camp out there (Santa Cruz).  She suggested I apply.  While in the interview process I was not feelin’ it was for me at the time, although I was drooling at the possibility.  When the job was offered, I politely declined, knowing the Lord had His perfect time.  Now, I know that was His best for me.  I was definitleyNOT ready to head out to Cali.   I was definitley supposed to be in Cairo, IL, the desert.  I needed/still need MUCH refinement.

 

His perfect time my friends. 

 

So, really, it’s all kind of a prophetic act…

Patience. 

Perseverance. 

Preparation.

Training.

Waiting.

California. 

The race. 

The challenge. 

Running Hard. 

Amen. 

 

Covenant – Two becoming ONE November 5, 2008

Filed under: Newspaper Articles,Revelation and Growth,The Word — charredsmore @ 6:48 pm

Covenant.

What does this even mean?  God has made a new covenant with His people.  People enter into covenant when they choose to marry.  God cut covenant with Abraham when He declared His promises to him and His offspring.  So, what is covenant all about and what is the big deal?

Let me tell you, it IS a big deal.  This is God’s promise to His children.  When the LORD created a covenant with Abraham, he had him cut some animals in half and asked Abraham set the pieces on oposite ends, then He appeared to Abraham as a smoking pot and passed through the pieces.  What is that all about?  Sounds a bit disgusting, huh?  There is purpose in EVERYTHING our God does, even if it is a mystery to us at the time.  His wisdom is far beyond ours, and sometimes appears as foolishness to mortal man.  He was communicating to Abraham the seriousness of His promise to Him (and his offspring, and to those who would be ingrafted into the fam – like me and most of you).   

 

Here is the LORD’s promise to Abraham:

Genesis 17:1-8

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty [a] ; walk before me and be blameless. 2 I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”

 3Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram [b] ; your name will be Abraham, [c] for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”

Genesis 15:9-19

But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?”

 9 So the LORD said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.”

 10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.

 12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the LORD said to him, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”

 17When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river [d] of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates- 19the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”

**Please read through the whole chapters to gain context for the covenant established. 

WOW!  What a promise, and considering the One speaking.  God is setting Abraham and his family apart.  He specifically told Abraham that he would be the father of many, that those who blessed his family would be blessed, those who cursed them would be cursed.  They would inherit the land.  They would be persecuted for a time, but end prosperous and fruitful in the land.  Now that’s a promise to hold onto. 

When we enter into covenant – we are choosing death.  Death to self.  Our identity is changing – we are no longer composed singily of our own DNA, but we have become one with the person we agree to enter into covenant with.  Two becoming one.  Us choosinng to become one with God.  His spirit living in us.  His DNA in us.  His love flowing through our veins.  Yes, this is covenant. 

We are telling Him that He has full access to ALL of us, and we have ALL access to Him.  Who got the short end of this deal?  So often, we take this arrangement for grantid – taking all we can from God, but not giving Him a thing.  I am guilty of this selfishness. 

Forgive me Father. 

My heart says, “YES, I want you to have all of me.” 

My mind is a battlefield.  More and more, let me be transformed Jesus into your likeness. 

More and more let me say, “Yes” to your love.

Have you entered into covenant with the Lord? 

Have you entered into covenant with a spouse? 

I suggest you go back to the roots of that decision and renew your committment. 

There was a sacrafice in entering covenant.  The animals were cut in two.  Sacrafice.  Jesus was pierced and killed (but had the POWER to overcome the grave).  There IS sacrafice in committment.  Jesus sacraficed EVERTHING to enter into covenant with us.  He left paradise and walked the corupt and sinful Earth. 

He laid His life out – slaughtered by the very men He created…all for us to ENTER into covenant. 

Consider His great sacrafice.  Consider His great love. 

 

**Reflections from a sermon I heard at Faith Center Church in Paducah, KY (Pastor John Aitken)

Faith Center Church

 

 

Reflections of a white woman living in a black community… November 4, 2008

THREE YEARS AGO

Everyone loves going to the basketball games in Cairo, in fact the school is known for its amazing basketball players. As I sat in the high school gym for my first Cairo ball game I couldn’t help but glance around at the faces in the stands. There were about 10 white people in the entire gym, and I came with five of them. Did this bother me? No, of course I have been in situations where I have been the minority – churches, volunteered at different schools…Was this a problem to me? No. What hit me at that moment was the fact that I had just moved to a community that is predominantly African American, the tables were turned. Now I am was the minority. Let the reader understand I am in NO WAY trying to describe my experience as a parallel to what African Americans (and other minorities) experience every day, and in NO WAY am I saying that I can identify with their struggle. At that moment I had a revelation, I had NOTHING to offer the people in Cairo. Prior to making the move, I was the typical idealistic college grad. Who thought she could conquer the world with Jesus on her side. Jesus gives does give me victory in every area of my life, however I had a bit of pride that needed to be stripped away. I had to see that it wasn’t about my great ideas, my knowledge, my wisdom, my plans, my proposals, my dreams…it was about HIS. And let me tell you, I needed to come to that place of feeling absolutely worthless to the community – without Christ. Questions swirled through my mind as I looked around. This wasn’t just a basketball game, this was my life, this was my community, this was my ministry, this was my new home. I wondered how I could fit in. I wondered how I could identify. I wondered how I could show Christ’s love. I wondered how I could make an impact.

THREE DAYS AGO

After staying up all night and worshipping with my brothers and sisters at SIU in Carbondale, I decided to get a little sleep before heading off to the Mounds Celebration. Mounds is a little town right next door to Cairo. They have a town parade which travels less than a mile, concluding at the park with vendors, a petting zoo, and games. Usually I don’t go to these types of things alone; it’s just more fun with a group of people. Today was different, I knew that I would go by myself, everyone else was still sleeping. I was determined to cheer on the Cairo Band as well as visit some friends at the park who had booths set up. Since I don’t know many people in Mounds, I parked next to some Cairo-ites and hung out with them during the parade. I snapped a bunch of pictures of the parade and the Cairo Band, hoping that some would be put in the school yearbook. As the band marched on by, my heart was beating along with the deep drums thumping. The energy is contagious. Afterwards I walked to the park to check out the happenings there. I was pleasantly surprised to see some old friends. A couple gals who were involved with the dance team I coached when I first got to Cairo, Coraviece, and Deborah and Johnny, along with some new friends who own horses in Olmsted. It was great reconnecting with people, a blessing to see people I have built relationships with over the past three years of living in Cairo. It was a satisfying afternoon, and I was thankful that I went to the Mounds celebration despite my lack of sleep. As I drove home, I had a flashback of my first Cairo basketball game.

My, how things have changed. My heart and mind have been transformed since moving down here. My perspective has shifted. I no longer see myself as a minority, although this is true, I see myself as part of the whole. I am a member of the Body of Christ.

I need you, you need me.

That’s it.

I praise God for sending me here to Cairo, for it has been a place of refinement and revelation. Thank you God that I truly have NOTHING to offer this community except you in me.

 

His Body part IV December 20, 2007

Filed under: Newspaper Articles,Revelation and Growth,The Word — charredsmore @ 11:26 pm

There are more presents for you.  No, not from Santa, these gifts are from the Lord God Almighty and they were given to you when you received new life through His Spirit filling you.  They are for all seasons.  He is such a good God who delights in giving His children gifts from above (James 1:17).

Although this is not spelled out specifically in the scriptures, it is my belief that each person when created in their mother’s womb is given a motivational gift(s) (as described in His Body part III from Romans 12: 3-8).  I believe the manifestation gifts are given when one is born of the Spirit.  The Lord fills us with the manifestation of the Spirit and takes residence in us.

Here the manifestation gifts are described in 1 Corinthians 12…

·         Utterance of Wisdom

·         Utterance of Knowledge

·         Faith

·         Gifts of healing

·         Working of Miracles

·         Prophecy

·         Tongues –

·         Interpretation of tongues

·         Discernment of Spirits

Jesus was anointed by the Spirit to operate in all of these gifts – “And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38)  Jesus had the power to heal the sick, cast out demons, and even raises the dead. 

In Jesus Christ the fullness of God was pleased to dwell (Colossians 1:9).  Since I have the Spirit of God dwelling in me, ALL of those gifts are available for the Lord to use – if I am a willing vessel yielded to Him.

This same power is available to us.  In John 14:12-14 “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”  This anointing is incomprehensible to me…yet I know it is not about the power. In Corinthians Paul discusses the gifts and sandwiched in between these conversations is the description of love (1 Cor. 13).  We gain nothing without love.  As these signs and wonders increase, the manifestation of our Lord and Savior here on the earth, our eyes MUST be focused on Him.  Saints, if we become enthralled with the gift, we are missing the point.  All of these manifestations are from One Spirit and to glorify One Holy God.  We must pray that our hearts do not become deceived.  We must ask the Lord for wisdom and humility as we operate in our giftings.  Each day is an opportunity to glorify the King of Kings (and not ourselves).

In Jesus Christ the fullness of God was pleased to dwell (Colossians 1:9).  Since I have the Spirit of God dwelling in me, ALL of those gifts are available for the Lord to use – if I am a willing vessel yielded to Him.

 Move and breathe on us Spirit of God.  We are desperate for you. We need you.  Fill us with your rivers of living water. 

 

“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. ’By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.” John 7:37-39 

 

 

*Do you want to know how God wired you and what FREE gifts He has graciously given you??? Of course you do!  Give us a call and we will send you some tools to help you discover your gifts – Two Rivers Ministry 734-4182.  We love you beloved of Cairo.Merry Christmas.  

 

His Body Part III December 18, 2007

Filed under: Newspaper Articles,Revelation and Growth,The Word — charredsmore @ 12:37 am

I have been wanting to write this for about a week now, but it kept getting set aside.  Finally my deadline came, I only had an hour to finish.  Here it is, the third part to “His Body”.  Stay tuned, there will be a fourth part… 

Back again, with another message about the body of Christ. What I originally thought would be one article, has turned into three. My hope is that this article will be a bit more personal as I walk through the Word of God concerning spiritual gifts. Hopefully you will begin to see your unique place in the body of Christ.

“As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God’s many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor].” ~1 Peter 4:10 (Amplified Bible)

First I would like to discuss the motivational gifts (now, don’t get hung up on language here, people may call the types and the gifts by different names, but let’s just stick to what the Lord is trying to communicate and not get controversial about verbiage). If we look at the Greek word for gifts in the above verse and in Romans 12:6-8 is “charisma” – meaning gifts we posses. “These are gifts that God has built into us, made part of us, to be used for the benefit of others and for His glory. They are gifts that shape our personalities.” (17, Fortune, Don and Katie).

Here is a breakdown of these gifts that God has so graciously given to us, where you can find them in the Word, and some of the weaknesses of these gifts…

Perceiver (Prophecy) – according to the portion of his faith. Those with this gift can clearly perceive the will of God. If we look in the Old Testament you will see examples of this personality in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Moses, and Deborah…In the New Testament John the Baptist as a forerunner telling of the coming Christ. Weakness: Need to remember to offer grace and mercy to others when speaking truth.

Service – let him give himself to serving. A servant will frequently work behind the scenes taking care of tasks and people. They don’t need to receive recognition; they just want to get the job done. One woman sticks out to me in the New Testament with this gift – Martha, Mary’s sister. She served our King Jesus while He was visiting. Weakness: Remember to abide in Him and work with Him, not just for Him.

Teaching – People with this gift have the unique ability to understand the Word of God, break it down and communicate it to others. They are looked at as scholars, researchers, and lovers of the Word. New Testament teachers: Timothy, Thomas, and Luke. Weakness: Remember ask the Lord for humility and meekness.

Exhortation – Exhorters often see the best in people. Encouragers want everyone to have a full and meaningful life. They are the people you often go to for a listening ear, advice and prayer. Biblical Exhorters: Weakness: Remember to speak truth in love. It is more important to speak the truth than to flatter someone.

Contributing to Needs – People with this gift love giving: friendship, love, time, talents, treasures, resources, whatever, they just want to give. They have a strong understanding of being a steward of the Lord. Biblical givers: Cornelius (a Gentile) was known for giving alms to the poor, in honor to God, before He even knew Jesus. Weakness: Remember

Leads – Leaders have the ability to see each unique role within the body of Christ and placing them together in a way that best glorifies the Lord. God gives them a strategy from heaven to organize groups of people. Biblical Leaders – Moses and Joshua lead the Hebrews to the Promised Land as they were lead by the hand of the Lord. Weakness: Remember to keep yourself humble and submit to your authority.

Acts of Mercy – People with this gift offer an abundance of compassionate love to people All people. Their heart breaks with the things that break the Father’s heart. They show their love through listening, prayer, and advice. Biblical examples: The Good Samaritan, Ruth, Rachel and Rebekah. Weakness: Remember to please God rather than man. People with this strong compassionate heart often find themselves covering up sin issues in order to please people.

Jesus Christ is the fullness of ALL of these gifts. His desire is display His personality IN us.

While discussing the beauty of these gifts with a friend, she commented on the goodness of the Lord, “They are totally free, we didn’t even do anything to get them!” Yes, that is right…totally free, His grace offered to mankind.

Sources:

Fortune, Don and Katie. Discover your God-Given Gifts. 1987. Grand Rapids: Chosen Books

 

His Body Part II December 11, 2007

Filed under: Newspaper Articles,The Word — charredsmore @ 7:32 pm

Hopefully you have read the article from last week discussing the function of the Body of Christ, each member having a specific function and purpose.

The Lord is calling to us, “Rise up beloved!”

In order to better understand the positions in the Body of Christ, I first wanted to share scripture with you that describes the offices that Jesus has given to some of the members of the Body.

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors, and teachers, to equip the saints fo the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, craftiness, in deceitful schemes…”  Ephesians 4:11-14

When we look at these scriptures it is clear that the offices of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher are given by Christ for His work in order to BUILD up the BODY in MATURITY and UNITY. It is important to understand and walk in humility, as the purpose is not for us to wear titles and boast about our position, but rather for the purposes of His Kingdom.

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”  Romans 12: 3-5

According to these verses in Romans, we ought to put ourselves in a humble position and recognize that we belong to one another. Do you live your life like this? Do I? Lord, help us to stay low at your feet. Help us to consider others above ourselves.

I have mentioned the various offices that the Lord has graciously given to build up the body. Now, there are different gifts given to the body of Christ, which I will mention briefly and follow up on in the next article (His Body – part III).

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as He wills.” ~ 1 Corinthians 12:4-11