Romans 12:3-8 NKJV For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
We talked about prophecy and teaching in the Ministry Gifts, and prophecy again in the Manifestation Gifts so a Bible Study last week most of our time was spent on the Ministering/Serving/ Helps, and Giving Gifts.
We’re going to finish our study of Spiritual Gifts with the final three Motivation Gifts, Exhortation/Encouragement, Administration/Leadership, and finally the spiritual gift of Mercy,
The divine enablement to reassure, strengthen and affirm those around you. The word Encouragement means “to instill courage into another person”.
The word translated “encourage” or “exhortation” is the Greek word paracletos”, or “paraclete” which basically means “to call to one’s side.” Which is the way Jesus describes the Holy Spirit when he told his disciples that He would send them a helper.
John 14:16, 26 NKJV And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
Exhortation can be:
1. Encouragement - Hey, well done!
2. Advice - I think it is better to finish your studies before starting a job.
3. Comfort - I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother's death.
The Spirit of God gives this gift to people in the church to strengthen and encourage those who are wavering in their faith. Those with the gift of exhortation can uplift and motivate others as well as challenge and rebuke them in order to foster spiritual growth and action. The goal of the encourager is to see everyone in the church continually building up the body of Christ and glorifying God.
The power of encouragement
Proverbs 12:25 (NIV) An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.
Proverbs 16:24 (NIV) Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Proverbs 25:11 (NIV) A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
- Characteristics: This person regularly helps others to apply God's word to their lives in a productive fashion. They bring comfort to those who are going through difficult times, and they tend to be very positive and complimentary. They are expressive about God's will being attainable and their goal is to motivate, comfort, and challenge.
- An exhorter uses Scripture to validate experience.
- Exhorters are willing and eager to come alongside a brother or sister in Christ during difficult circumstances.
- Memorization of, and meditation on, Scripture are usually very important to the exhorter, because he wants to be able to draw wisdom from the well of truth stored in his spirit.
- An exhorter sees every little detail, including the timing of every event, as part of God’s good and loving plan.
- Because an exhorter sees trials in a positive light, which is opposite of the world’s way of seeing them, an exhorter constantly reminds people of God’s sovereignty and love.
- Exhorters focus on balance; they avoid extremes, especially in doctrine.
- An exhorter seems to be able to give thanks in all seasons and circumstances, including the darkest ones.
- Exhorters understand that time reading and studying the Word of God brings more than information; it brings transformation.
- Cautions: They need to guard against being a "yes man or woman" and they may not be good at confrontation when it is needed. Their optimism may not take into account when some issues need the "prophet's challenge" in order to be corrected.
- Exhorters tend to need visible evidence of acceptance and affirmation.
- They can easily oversimplify solutions, which ultimately results in discouragement rather than encouragement.
- Surprisingly, exhorters can be poor listeners, even though they make excellent counselors. Sometimes they are so intent on telling you how to view your situation from God’s perspective that they fail to listen to your perspective.
- Mature exhorters give wise counsel from the Word of God. Therefore, their counsel usually proves to be effective. Unfortunately, their success often tempts exhorters to promote principles as formulas, and the formulas as cure-alls.
- Exhorters are often naïve and easily manipulated.
- Because an exhorter wants so badly for Scripture to provide a successful step of action to eliminate a problem, he may quote Scripture out of context or imply that it says something that it actually doesn’t say, rationalizing that the end justifies the means. This is a devastating trap for the exhorter.
Hebrews 10:24-25 NKJV And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Acts 4:36-37 NKJV And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Acts 9:26-27 NKJV And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
Paul commands or charges both Titus and Timothy to use this gift,
Titus 1:5-9 NKJV For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.
Titus 2:11-15 NKJV For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.
II Timothy 4:2 NKJV Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
The divine enablement to understand what makes an organization function, and the special ability to plan, execute, and achieve procedures that increase the church's organizational effectiveness.
(Greek Word: kubernesis - to steer, guide, helmsmen) Not Captin or in the case of the church the Pastor. It was used to describe a person that would steer a ship.
In New Testament times a merchant who wished to take his cargo between two ports would hire a vessel and a navigator. In modern terms the word ‘pilot’ conveys his role. He (or she) understands the tides and currents around a particular harbour and goes on board an oil tanker, say, when still some miles from its destination to bring it safely to the dock. During that time he has full authority on board. Such was the case in the Mediterranean. The merchant would be on board with his cargo and state the destination. But the kubernesis would then take control in order to reach that destination with safety and speed, and direct the crew to set the sails and steer the vessel appropriately.
• Characteristics: The administrator loves to organize, strategize, and systematize things so as to make them run more smoothly, efficiently, and effectively. They are experts at knowing how something works or functions. They are constant improvers of the system and can tell others how to get something done or get from point A to point
B. They are great trouble shooters and anticipators of problems.
A person with the gift of administration is a good strategic thinker, organized, has supervisory skills and manages people and projects well. When directions are set by leadership, this person can help accomplish the job efficiently.
When the pastor needs a project done, a person with this gift can help accomplish it. Many para-church ministries need help with their administration.
* Organizes things
* Standardizes methods and procedures
* Enjoys managing and/or carrying out details
* Guards the "ship"
* Hesitates to take risks
* Maintains the existing organization
* Polices the workplace
* Is perceived as being more concerned for the property than for the people
* Enjoys making and enforcing rules and regulations
Baruch (Jeremiah 36:4-8) 4 So Jeremiah called Baruch son of Neriah, and while Jeremiah dictated all the words the LORD had spoken to him, Baruch wrote them on the scroll. 5 Then Jeremiah told Baruch, "I am restricted; I cannot go to the LORD's temple. 6 So you go to the house of the LORD on a day of fasting and read to the people from the scroll the words of the LORD that you wrote as I dictated. Read them to all the people of Judah who come in from their towns. 7 Perhaps they will bring their petition before the LORD, and each will turn from his wicked ways, for the anger and wrath pronounced against this people by the LORD are great." 8 Baruch son of Neriah did everything Jeremiah the prophet told him to do; at the LORD's temple he read the words of the LORD from the scroll.
This gift is often characterized by people who lead the body by steering others to remain on task. These people generally are concerned with the details of how to accomplish tasks, and tend to be masters at delegating specific tasks to other people according to their gifts and talents.
Luke 14:28-30 28 "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29 For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30 saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish
Clearly the elders of a church are anointed to bring spiritual direction. There has been an impartation through the laying on of hands at the time of their appointment. It is for them to hear God and to know the vision which the church is to pursue. However, they may not have the gifting or skill to put the necessary steps in place to achieve that vision alone. They need a gifted administrator alongside them to help them achieve their goal effectively. He ministers in his gift under authority but with authority. He understands the set of the sails and the direction that needs to be set in order to reach port safely.
• Cautions: They can become so focused on the tasks, charts, and graphs that they lose sight of the people. They may be too "black and white" in their approach to issues and problems. They can tend to lack flexibility and depend on systems and strategies more than the Holy Spirit to get things done. They are detailed people who need the visionary leader to inspire them. In leadership, this gift needs to be supportive of apostles, prophets, and teachers.
The divine enablement to attract, lead, and motivate people to accomplish the work of ministry. The gift of Leadership is the God given ability to lead people to accomplish God’s vision and goals. The biblical image used when describing leadership is “shepherd”. A Shepherd does not force his will upon the sheep, rather he tends and cares for them. The sheep instinctively follow a good shepherd. Jesus describes himself as the “Good Shepherd”, and calls Church leaders his “Under Shepherds”. The “Under Shepherds” must faithfully follow the example of the “Good Shepherd” and lay their lives down for the welfare of the sheep (John 10:14-18). The person gifted by God with Leadership abilities, will display the same servant leadership principles evidenced by Jesus and the Apostles.
- Characteristics: These people are overseers and goal setters in the church. They are motivators of vision and direction. The good ones are team players and delegators who take the initiative when others do not make decisions. They are natural leaders who can point out the direction and course that others will follow. They dream big. Credibility and respect need to be built up before an individual can truly exercise this gift.
- Have vision and are able to get others to buy into that vision
- Are able to inspire others towards a good work, direction, or course of actions
- Others seem to naturally and willingly follow because of their servant heart
- Take initiative in starting new ministries or new direction
- Others trust their character, ability, skill level, and judgment
- Are willing to step forward and be responsible for some task or ministry
Leaders within God’s Church are held to a higher standard before God.
Hebrews 13:7&17 states… ”Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith….Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account….”
7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. 17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
In 1 Timothy 5:17-20 17 The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, "YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING," and "The laborer is worthy of his wages." 19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. 20 Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.
- Cautions: The leader can have the potential of becoming overconfident and perhaps demeaning of other gifts. They have the potential of losing sight of the individual and only seeing the "mass" or "the crowd". Leaders can often tell others where the church is going and where a ministry is heading, but they are poor at charting the course in showing others how to get there. They are often poor at details. Good leaders must surround themselves with people who have the gifts of administration and of helps.
The divine enablement to minister cheerfully and appropriately to people who are suffering.
The English definition of mercy invariably refers to physical acts of kindness. For example, treating the poor with affection and generosity, feeding the homeless. But there is another dimension to mercy which is the essence of blessedness and happiness.
Matthew 5:7 ESV "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
A. Mercy is not emotionalism.
To be merciful is far more than shedding tears.
It is easy for some to shed tears that are meaningless and unproductive. That's emotion without the motion—and that's not mercy!
B. Mercy is not just humanitarianism either.
Mercy goes beyond handing out clothes and food to the homeless and elderly. It's more than contributions to help victims of natural disasters and other tragic events.
1 Corinthians 13:3 ESV If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
The mercy Jesus was talking about is much more than the mechanics of doing good.
C. Mercy is an attitude, an outlook on life.
It is not something that can be “turned on and off” at will. Mercy is more than end-of-the-year giving to the church for tax purposes. Mercy, as demonstrated by Christ, involves the way a person truly feels. It is an underlying attitude of life. Mercy is to see others as Christ sees them and feel toward others as he feels toward them. In short, mercy is to have the attitude of Christ toward everyone.
Philippians 2:1-7 ESV So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
That is mercy to the soul. It extends love and warmth to those deprived of a connection to God. It is sensitive to those that are bleeding and dying and bringing the healing that Christ bought on the cross for them through His own blood and death. To those that are weak and growing, it reaches out to strengthen and equip them through the word of God and prayer. It touches lives through counsel, reproof, prayer, forgiveness, comfort, offering God’s mercy through Christ. This mercy can only come from those lives in whom Christ lives and reigns, those hearts led by the Spirit.
D. Mercy is action.
Mercy is action. If we have an attitude of mercy, we will perform acts of mercy. When mercy is translated into action, we are kind and gracious in our judgment of others. We look for the best in others. Our concern is redemption, not condemnation.
Mercy that is action ministers to others like in Jesus parable of the Good Samaritan where at the end of the parable the lawyer had to admit that a “neighbor” is one who acts.
You know the story which is in
Luke 10:25-37 ESV And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How do you read it?" And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." And he said to him, "You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live." But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.' Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed him mercy." And Jesus said to him, "You go, and do likewise."
- Characteristics: People with this gift assume the needs of others. They often desire to remove the pain of others. They aren't merely sympathetic, but they take action to alleviate the suffering.
They often find themselves focused around social issues and they develop ministries along those lines (i.e. the homeless, sick, those in prison, single mothers, the poor, etc.). They reflect the heart and compassion of God.
They have the ability to "walk in another's shoes" and to feel the pain and burdens they carry. They desire to make a difference in the lives of hurting people without being judgmental. They may have a difficult time evaluating the intentions of others and at times appear naïve.
- Cautions: They have the potential of being rescuers. Some pain and suffering is allowed and used by God as a tool to teach and correct behavior. The person with the gift of mercy needs to be aware of when God does not want the pain immediately removed, and when rescuing someone actually may perpetuate the problems in that person's life.
- Scripture Example: The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-35)
- Matthew 25:34-39 34
"Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat ; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink ; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' 37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink ? 38 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'
Matthew 5:7 ESV "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.