“Am I dependent on God?” is the basic question.
Am I dependent when I use my well-honed teaching skills with these Sunday school children? Do I want to give them content, or do I want them to incorporate difficult truths into their lives? Am I dependent even in giving money out of my vast resources? Am I content with routine tithing, or do I want to be sensitive to the Spirit’s whisper about a certain independent missionary couple only to discover months later that they were near starving? Am I dependent to open my home in hospitality? Am I content with people chewing food and spewing words? Or, do I want to experience that bond of heart to heart, soul to soul, mind to mind? Am I dependent, continually, on God’s help, or am I able to do it alone?
This is the essence of I Peter 4: 11: The apostle is discussing attitude changes.
“Whoever speaks, as one who utters oracles of God; whoever renders service, as one who renders it by the strength which God supplies; in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.”
With which are you content? Speaking, or uttering oracles of God? Rendering service, or doing it with un-wearying reservoirs of strength?
Fifthly, all of the gifts must be developed.
Often the Lord awakens in us abilities which seem to have no relationship to our natural talents. The gifts of healing, the gifts of knowledge and of tongues, often appear to come spontaneously. These, however, need as much work as those others which are more familiar. Sometimes these can’t be called forth at will, but are given precisely to meet the need of a particular person at a particular time.
For decades, Karen Mains and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
An award-winning author of several other books, Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
In addition, pastors will find special resources to help them create effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.