Select Page

Have you ever wanted to ask a question at church but just didn’t have the chance? Well, for the next four weeks we’ll be answering your questions about Jesus, the Bible and life in general, and we’re doing this because You Asked For It!

GIFTED

PASTOR MONTE YOUNG | 5/1/2016

>> HOW CAN I GROW IN A SPIRITUAL GIFTING?

••• This is a blog post from Pastor Monte to be used as a companion to this sermon

How can I grow in a Spiritual Gifting?
This is a great question that we addressed in Sunday’s sermon, but I felt like I needed to unpack this a bit more than I could in a 35-minute sermon.

1 Corinthians 12:1, NKJV
Now concerning spiritual gifts… I do not want you to be ignorant.
This is extremely important to both this discussion and to our own individual understanding. Paul is clearly saying that there is great misunderstanding about Spiritual Gifts in the 1st century; so much, in fact, that he had to address this ignorance in order to bring truly godly and biblical understanding. As your pastor, I’m joining with Paul: I don’t want anyone who calls NOLA Church home to be ignorant of Spiritual Gifts.

I’m going to break the rest of Paul’s instruction down bit-by-bit so that there is clear understanding of what the Text is actually saying.

1 Corinthians 12:4-11, NLT
There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same LORD. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same GOD who works all in all.
First, GOD intentionally diversifies the Giftings that each and every believer received both at repentance and with Spirit baptism. He does this so that each and every believer is well equipped to accomplish the task assigned to them. Each of these differences are designed to serve the Body of Christ (the Church). Each difference is given by the same GOD to different people as they need them.

As a believer, you may be Gifted in one area of ministry and another believer in another area of ministry. Problems arise when we all try to have the same Giftings, at the same time, in the same place, to serve the same people. Jesus made us and Gifted us differently on purpose for His Purpose. If He’s wanted us to be cookie-cutters of each other then He would’ve made us that way, but He didn’t. So, don’t try to be someone or something you’re not… be you Boo Boo!

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all
The manifestation or operation of a Spiritual Gift is given to an individual to benefit everyone in the Body, not just the person with the Gift. This is important because there are many believers who wrongly follow the teaching that the Gifting is given to the individual for the betterment of the individual. Because of this we see people build kingdoms to themselves by highlighting their gifting and focusing all of their efforts in this single area. They begin to reference themselves as Prophet—or example—or make sure to let everyone know that they have the Gift of prophecy or some other Gift, all to draw attention to themselves. Spiritual Gifts are given for us to serve each other, not to personally or financially benefit.

for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
Let me give you the listing of the nine primary Spiritual Gifts so that you can clearly see them:

  1. Wisdom
  2. Knowledge
  3. Faith
  4. Healing
  5. Miracles
  6. Prophecy
  7. Discernment
  8. Tongues (or Languages)
  9. Interpretation of Tongues (or Languages)

Notice the last statement in this paragraph: one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. This clearly shows us that Jesus distributes these Gifts as He sees fit, and to the individuals to whom He chooses. You can’t pass your Gift onto someone else, and neither I nor any other pastor or teacher can teach you how to develop Spiritual Gifts… they come directly from Jesus, and nowhere else. Let’s break each Gift down biblically:

Wisdom isn’t book smarts or the result personal study. This is godly wisdom that is given to the individual in the exact moment that they require it to bring Divine understanding to a situation that another person is going through. This Gifting doesn’t mean that the gifted person is a wise person all the time, simply in the moment it’s needed Jesus empowers them with His Wisdom.

Knowledge is similar to wisdom, but directed in a slightly different area. Godly knowledge of a situation can prevent a disaster from happening, or keep someone from making a bad choice, etc. This knowledge is given to an individual so that they help guide and shepherd another believer in a time of decision.

Faith is not to be confused with the measure of faith every believer has, but rather a Gifting that allows them to breathe faith into situations that other people are going through in order to encourage and enlighten them.

Healing is when a person is Gifted to pray healing prayers for other people to combat sickness, disease, abuse, betrayal, abandonment, death, separation, addiction, etc. A person who is gifted with healing will heal hurting or sick people; not with their own power, but by the Power of the Holy Spirit working in and through them.

* Note: sometimes people don’t believe in Divine healing because people who claim to have this Gift pray for them and nothing happens. Don’t tell people you have this Gift if they don’t got get better when you pray for them, because your self-serving lie can cause them to pull further away from Jesus.

Miracles is the Gift of bringing the miraculous into the natural realm in which we live. In other words, the Divine ability to attract the Supernatural into the natural for someone else.

Prophecy is the ability to speak GOD-Truth into someone’s life or situation, and sometimes speak GOD-Truth about things which haven’t yet happened. A person who is Gifted in this way isn’t necessarily a prophet, because a prophet is a Divinely ordered Office appointed by Jesus as a gift to the Congregation as a whole, not a person who is Gifted to minister or serve individuals within a congregation.

Discernment is a very Spiritual sounding way to indicate a Jesus-given bull crap meter in the situations which other people are facing. This is used when people are believing lies from the enemy or themselves which are blocking them from following Jesus’ direction for their lives.

Tongues (or Languages) is a Gift that is given to edify (or build up) an individual personally. This is the only one of the nine primary Gifts that is strictly for the individual who’s been given the Gift. This is the ability to pray in the Spirit for personal growth and development. This is not a prayer language, because that’s not a biblical term or description. This is not what happens when a person receives the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, because the Bible clearly distinguishes the two utterances from each other. This is not something that is a part of an individual’s personal worship, because Paul clearly instructs believers to not speak with tongues during worship so that unbelievers won’t be confused. And, finally, the Gift of tongues doesn’t make you more Spiritual than someone who doesn’t have the Gift. In fact, Paul says it’s the least of all the Gifts. Read 1 Corinthians 14 so that you can clearly see exactly how this Gift is to operate both in an individual’s life, and in the Congregation as a whole.

Paul is very clear in both chapter 12 and 14 that not every believer will have this Gift, but that there’s nothing wrong with asking Jesus to give you this Gift.

Interpretation of Tongues (or Languages) is to be used just in case an individual who receives the Gift of tongues forgets that they are in public. Paul reminds us that someone speaking in tongues is speaking or praying in the Spirit (1 Corinthians 14), and that this can cause confusion. So, because GOD isn’t the author of confusion, He provided a way to eliminate the confusion: interpretation. So, if someone speaks with tongues in a worship service, small group, prayer meeting, etc, they should also speak the interpretation into English (in our case) of what they just said in the Spirit. If they can’t, then they should really begin to realize that they might not be praying in the Spirit, or speaking with the gift of tongues… they may just be making noise (the biblical word is babble which means confusion). If someone says they can’t control their Gift, then their gift isn’t from GOD, because GOD will never bring confusion to a situation where an unbeliever can be pushed away from Him, just so someone can operate in their gifting.

So, let’s break down how all these Gifts operate within a congregation. Notice that they all serve the Body, with the exception of tongues, which builds up or edifies the individual. Jesus Gifts us so that we can serve, minister, heal, encourage, teach, disciple each other. Notice also that none of these nine primary Gifts are given for us to minister to unbelievers. The nine primary Spiritual Gifts are designed for believers to minister to other believes. There are several other Gifts that are designed for ministry to unbelievers, but that’s another discussion. If your Gifting compels you to go to the mall and minster to perfectly random strangers, then your gifting isn’t from Jesus, it’s probably you wanting attention. A good rule of thumb is this: don’t attempt to operate in your Gifting with another believer until you’ve first built a relationship with them. That way you won’t unintentionally harm them. First build trust, then ask Jesus how He would like for you to minister to that person, then follow His Lead as He Gifts you for each specific situation.

Another thing to remember about Spiritual Giftings is that Jesus will never Gift you so that you can draw attention to yourself or block someone else from receiving what they need from Him. For example: You may feel the tongues coming on during a Sunday Worship Experience (not biblical by the way, but let’s stay with the example), and with no regard for anyone else around you begin praying in the Spirit. Because you’re focused on your Gifting, thinking that your Gifting is worship rather than ministry, you’re oblivious to the fact that there’s someone sitting behind your or beside you who is totally freaked out and ready to get the h-e-double-hockey-sticks out of the building. Now, let’s be honest: do you think Jesus knew they’d be freaked out? And, if He knew that, why would He Gift you in that exact moment to freak them out? Does that really sound like His Character? Or, would He wait until you’re in your private time with Him (as the Bible clearly states) and overshadow you and begin praying through you to edify and build you up so that you could speak clearly understandable words in the earshot of the unbeliever so that they could be drawn closer to Him?

Spiritual Gifts are empowerment to heal and minster to people, not to be used in or as worship, not to push people away, and not to draw attention to the individual. Sure, there are plenty of people around the world who do it differently, but that doesn’t make it biblical. Sadly, much of what is blamed on Spiritual Gifts is simply learned behavior that people picked up from watching ignorant people put on a show. Our job is to disappear and point people to Jesus, not draw attention to ourselves.

So now, back to the question… how do I grow in Spiritual Gifts?
The only way to grow in Spiritual Gifts is to grow in your relationship with Jesus. Also, read the Bible and allow the Word of GOD to direct and guide your relationship with Him, not tradition or religion. As you read the Bible and pray for understanding, you’ll soon begin to realize that we receive some general Giftings when we repent and make Jesus the LORD of our lives, then we receive access to the nine primary Spiritual Gifts when we receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. All of these Gifts except one are give for us to minister to others. This should demonstrate a huge GOD-Truth to all of us: ministry is about others, not us.

How do we teach Spiritual gifts at NOLA?
We are very intentional in everything we do. We intentionally base every aspect of our Mission, Vision, Process and Path on biblical instruction or biblical principle. So, in our NEXT Steps small group we introduce each individual to Spiritual Gifts, and we provide biblical references and examples for each one of the nine primary gifts, as well as all the secondary or general Gifts. So, a good way to start growing in your understanding of Spiritual Gifts would be for you to register to join our NEXT Steps group by clicking here. Then, pray and ask Jesus to Gift you how He sees fit, to baptize you with His Spirit, and to provide you with GOD-opportunities for you to express or operate in that Gifting so that you can minister to another believer.

>> HOW DO I USE MY SPIRITUAL GIFT?

••• This is a blog post from Pastor Monte to be used as a companion to this sermon

How do I use my Spiritual Gifting?

This is a question that every believer should be asking. As we’ve already learned, Jesus gives us Spiritual Gifts for us to serve others. In my first blog post we learned that the nine primary Spiritual Gifts were given for us to serve other believers. This is very important because if we approach someone who isn’t a believer and begin prophesying or try to give some random stranger a word of knowledge… well, you can see the problems that can arise. Remember, Jesus isn’t the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), so there’s no way that He would gift us to confuse someone who isn’t in relationship with Him.

This shows us that it’s highly important that we use wisdom, and dedicate ourselves to never using our giftings for our own agenda. Spiritual Gifts are empowerments to serve others, not to build our own ministries or to elevate us above others, or even to lord over people in some mystical way… we’ve been gifted to serve. And—don’t forget—all the Gifts are to be administered through love (1 Corinthians 13).

So, if the nine primary Gifts are for us to serve other believers, how do we serve unbelievers? This is another great question!

There are 16 sub-Gifts that are listed and/or demonstrated in the Bible. When I say sub-Gift it’s not to infer that they are less than the Primary Gifts, simply different and are used in a different way. Let’s break these down:

  • Administration is the Divine strength or ability to organize multiple tasks and groups of people to accomplish these tasks (Luke 14:28-30, Acts 6:1-7, 1 Corinthians 12:28)
  • Apostleship is the Divine strength or ability to pioneer new churches and ministries through planting, overseeing and training. This is not the same as the Office of Apostle that is described in Ephesians 4:11-14 (Acts 15:22-35, 1 Corinthians 12:28, 2 Corinthians 12:12, Galatians 2:7-10)
  • Craftsmanship is the Divine strength or ability to plan, build and work with your hands in construction environments to accomplish multiple ministry applications (Exodus 30:22, 31:3-11, 2 Chronicles 34:9-13, Acts 18:2-3)
  • Evangelism is the divine strength or ability to help unbelievers take the necessary steps to becoming a born again believer. This is not the same as the Office of Evangelist that is described in Ephesians 4:11-14 (Acts 8:5-6, 8:26-40, 14:21, 21:8)
  • Exhortation is the Divine strength or ability to encourage others through the written or spoken word and biblical Truth (Acts 14:22, Romans 12:8, 1 Timothy 4:13, Hebrews 10:24-25)
  • Giving is the Divine strength or ability to produce wealth and to give by tithes and offerings for the purpose of advancing the Kingdom of GOD on earth (Mark 12:41-44, Romans 12:8, 2 Corinthians 8:1-7, 9:2-7)
  • Helps is the Divine strength or ability to work in a supportive role for the accomplishment of tasks in ministry (Mark 15:40-41, Acts 9:36, Romans 16:1-2, 1 Corinthians 12:28)
  • Hospitality is the Divine strength or ability to create warm, welcoming environments for others in places such as your home, office or church (Acts 16:14-15, Romans 12:13, 16:23, Hebrews 13:1-2, 1 Peter 4:9)
  • Intercession is the Divine strength or ability to stand in the gap in prayer for someone, something or someplace believing for profound results (Hebrews 7:25, Colossians 1:9-12, 4:12-13, James 5:14-16)
  • Leadership is the Divine strength or ability to influence people at their level while directing and focusing them on the big picture, vision or idea (Romans 12:8, 1 Timothy 3:1-13, 5:17, Hebrews 13:17)
  • Mercy is the Divine strength or ability to feel empathy and to care for those who are hurting in any way (Matthew 9:35-36, Mark 9:41, Romans 12:8, 1 Thessalonians 5:14)
  • Missionary is the Divine strength or ability to reach others outside of your culture and nationality; while in most cases living in that culture or nation (Acts 8:4, 13:2-3, 22:21, Romans 10:15)
  • Music/Worship is the Divine strength or ability to sing, dance or play an instrument primarily for the purpose of helping others worship Jesus (Deuteronomy 31:22, 1 Samuel 16:16, 1 Chronicles 16:41-42, 2 Chronicles 5:12-13, 34:12, Psalm 150)
  • Pastor/Shepherd is the Divine strength or ability to care for the personal needs of others by nurturing and mending life issues. This is not the same as the Office of Pastor/Teacher that is described in Ephesians 4:11-14 (John 10:1-18, 1 Timothy 3:1-7, 1 Peter 5:1-3)
  • Service is the Divine strength or ability to do small or great tasks in working for the overall good of the body of Christ (Acts 6:1-7, Romans 12:7, Galatians 6:10, 2 Timothy 1:16-18, Titus 3:14)
  • Teaching is the Divine strength or ability to study and learn from the Scriptures primarily to bring understanding and depth to both believers and unbelievers (Acts 18:24-28, 20:20-21, 1 Corinthians 12:28)

Through these 16 Spiritual Gifts Jesus uses us to attract people to Him, and to meet their needs. Effective operation of these Gifts will open the doors for us to lead an unbeliever into relationship with Jesus, and in that place we are able to serve them through the nine primary Gifts.

How do we teach Spiritual gifts at NOLA?

We are very intentional in everything we do. We intentionally base every aspect of our Mission, Vision, Process and Path on biblical instruction or biblical principle. So, in our NEXT Steps small group we introduce each individual to Spiritual Gifts, and we provide biblical references and examples for each one of the nine primary gifts, as well as all the secondary or general Gifts. So, a good way to start growing in your understanding of Spiritual Gifts would be for you to register to join our NEXT Steps group by clicking here. Then, pray and ask Jesus to Gift you how He sees fit, to baptize you with His Spirit, and to provide you with GOD-opportunities for you to express or operate in that Gifting so that you can minister to another believer.

>> READ SERMON NOTES

(Psalm 119:66, NKJV) Teach me good judgment and knowledge, For I believe Your commandments.

AVOIDING CONFUSION

(1 Corinthians 12:1, NKJV) Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:

Ignorance about Spiritual Gifts creates a tension:

Living CYNICAL and POWERLESS vs Accepting GOD-TRUTH and receiving His POWER

WHAT ARE SPIRITUAL GIFTS?

(1 Corinthians 12:4-7, NKJV) There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same LORD. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same GOD who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:

Two GOD-Truths about Spiritual Gifts:

  1. Spiritual Gifts are EXPRESSIONS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT through believers
  2. Spiritual Gifts are given to believers for the BENEFIT of other BELIEVERS

(1 Corinthians 12:8-11, NKJV) for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

The nine primary Spiritual Gifts:

  1. WISDOM 2. KNOWLEDGE 3. FAITH 4. HEALING 5. MIRACLES
  2. PROPHECY 7. DISCERNMENT 8. TONGUES 9. INTERPRETATION

(1 Corinthians 13:1-3, NKJV) Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned. But have not love, it profits me nothing.

HOW DO I RECEIVE SPIRITUAL GIFTS?

(1 Corinthians 14:1a, NKJV) Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts

Two steps to receiving Spiritual Gifts:

  1. Remove the BARRIERS

(Acts 2:38, NLT) “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to GOD, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

  1. Receive the GIFT Jesus designed for you

(John 20:22, NLT) Then [Jesus] breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

FRESH START

(Matthew 21:22, NKJV) “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

NEXT Step:

Trust JESUS and begin using my SPIRITUAL GIFTS to serve other people

“If we truly love people, then we’re ready to serve them, not draw attention to ourselves.”

Building GODly Kids

PASTORS MONTE & OLGA YOUNG | 5/8/2016

>> READ SERMON NOTES

(Psalm 119:66, NKJV) Teach me good judgment and knowledge, For I believe Your commandments.

BEING A GODLY WOMAN

(Titus 2:1-5, NLT) Promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching… teach the older women to live in a way that honors GOD. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of GOD.

Five key ingredients to becoming a GODly mother:

  1. SEEK GOD first
  2. Speak FAITHFULLY
  3. Show true BEAUTY
  4. Stay HUMBLE
  5. SERVE Jesus

BUILDING GODLY KIDS

(Proverbs 22:8, KJV) Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Nine key ingredients for building GODly kids:

  1. Develop a passionate RELATIONSHIP with Jesus
  2. Strong marriages add STABILITY to a child’s life
  3. Make the BIBLE your STANDARD
  4. Parents must be on the SAME PAGE
  5. PROTECT your kids
  6. BLESS your kids
  7. Understand your child’s greatest NEED
  8. TRAIN your kids
  9. Teach your kids to WORSHIP Jesus

FRESH START

(Psalm 119:66, NKJV) Teach me good judgment and knowledge, For I believe Your commandments.

NEXT Step

Put JESUS first in my family, and BUILD my children on His FOUNDATION

“GOD loans our children to us, only for a little while… we have to protect them.”

Give Me Faith

PASTOR MONTE YOUNG | 5/15/2016

>> READ SERMON NOTES

(Psalm 119:66, NKJV) Teach me good judgment and knowledge, For I believe Your commandments.

WHAT IS FAITH?

(Hebrews 11:1, NLT) Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.

  • Faith is the CONFIDENCE that comes from a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus

(Hebrews 11:6, NLT) It is impossible to please GOD without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that GOD exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

(Hebrews 10:35-36a, NLT) So do not throw away this confident trust in the LORD. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do GOD’s will.

LIVING BY FAITH

The challenge to live by faith creates a tension:

Trusting MYSELF vs Stepping out of the COMFORT of my CONTROL

(Romans 1:16-17, NLT) For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of GOD at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how GOD makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”

(James 1:2-4, NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

  • Don’t ask Jesus to take me OUT ask Him to take me THROUGH

RECEIVING FAITH

(James 1:5-8, NLT) If you need wisdom, ask our generous GOD, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in GOD alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the LORD. Their loyalty is divided between GOD and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

  • When I pray WITHOUT FAITH I’m telling GOD that I believe in MYSELF more than HIM
  • Receive faith by choosing to TRUST Jesus more than MYSELF

(James 1:16-18, NLT) So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from GOD our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession. 

FRESH START

(Psalm 119:66, NKJV) Teach me good judgment and knowledge, For I believe Your commandments.

NEXT Step: Surrender my LOGIC and accept His REALITY

“Trying to live for GOD without faith is like trying to walk without your feet.”

GOD’s Financial Plan

PASTOR MONTE YOUNG | 5/22/2016

>> READ SERMON NOTES

(Psalm 119:66, NKJV) Teach me good judgment and knowledge, For I believe Your commandments.

IT ALL STARTS WITH TRUST

(Proverbs 3:5-6, NKJV) Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

  • GOD’s financial plan is not because He WANTS something FROM me, but because He HAS something FOR me

There’s a tension that we feel when we talk about money at church:

  • Living as my own PROVIDER vs Placing all my TRUST in Jesus

GOD’S FINANCIAL PLAN

5 steps of GOD’s Financial Plan:

  1. TITHING
  2. PROVIDING
  3. BLESSING
  4. BUILDING
  5. ENJOYING

FRESH START

(Philippians 4:19, NLT) And this same GOD who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

NEXT Step: Trust Jesus as my PROVIDER and look to Him for my FUTURE

“GOD’s financial plan is not because He wants something from you, but because He has something for you!”