Friday, January 17, 2014

New Shoes And Places To Go Wearing Them

"For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance." - Romans 11:29 KJV

The the gifts of divine grace, which range from salvation to the new powers granted to individuals as new creations, and the personal invitations of God are both things that God never turns Himself away from or regrets.

"Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed... 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. For to one is given through the Spirit 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 12:1, 4-11 ESV

"Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness." - Romans 12:6-8 ESV

"Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift." - 2 Corinthians 9:15 KJV

"As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." - 1 Peter 4:10 KJV

There is so much to say about God's gifts. I think most people go through life understanding very little about God's generous nature.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." - Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." - 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

The gift of rebirth is such a wonderful gift. A vital indispensable ingredient to have a spiritual life. New eyes of understanding. New abilities. New Unbroken connection to God that is forever renewed. It is our salvation from Hell and from ourself.

The gifts are not going away. We may not receive them and that is sad but once given God does not even consider taking them away or being sorry that He gave them. They are fixed.

A calling is different. God thinks of it in the same way He thinks about a gift... no regret. It is an invitation into something new. Sometimes this has a wide window of entry and other times the window is short. God never regrets inviting us but we may not show up to see and experience what He has called us into or it may get postponed for long periods of time.

Gifts from God are good and perfect. A calling is a realm of possibilities. If we have received Christ we are all gifted and we are all called. Called to Him and called into adventures that He has planned for us.

"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began," - 2 Timothy 1:9 KJV

"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:" - 2 Peter 1:10 KJV

"To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." - 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 ESV

Last night we were saying, 'Everywhere we go our feet are shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace.' (see Ephesians 6:15). So no matter where we go today... who we meet... whatever room we go into... Jesus is there beckoning us to meet Him somewhere. He wants us to wear the shoes He gave us so we could go on a great adventure.


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