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God's Investment

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Good Morning! We are in a sermon series entitled, “Gifted”…
last week… the importance of the gifts of the spirit...
a. We talked about the difference between a gift and a talent… Talent is something you are born with.. a gift is a grace — or plural gifts which God has given for the purpose of strengthening the church..There are many different variations of gifts and ministries.
But The Same Spirit behind the Gifts — We are all encouraged to desire Spiritual Gifts...
Our memory verse this morning is about being Zealous for Spiritual gifts and seeking to excel in the gifts that are for building up the church there are all kinds gifts… but our motive for desiring gifts… is to build and to grow People --- namely our church family..
1 Corinthians 14:12 CSB
12 So also you—since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, seek to excel in building up the church.
When we Speak of Spiritual Gifts we talking about the Holy Spirits empowering and abilities…
Definition of a Spiritual gift… This a definition by --- Peter Wagner.
Discover Your Spiritual Gifts What Is a Spiritual Gift?

A spiritual gift is a special attribute given by the Holy Spirit to every member of the Body of Christ, according to God’s grace, for use within the context of the Body.

There are two important elements in this definition… 1. Gift is a Special attribute....
2. Spiritual gift is given to every member… it this special and unique attribute when expressed causes the church to be encouraged and edified…
When a hurricane Andrew hit South Florida, Lorena’s home was severely damaged. The elderly woman received an insurance settlement, and the repair work began. However, when the money ran out, so did the contractor, leaving an unfinished home with no electricity.
Lorena had been living without power ever since Hurricane Andrew. For more than fifteen years, Lorena had been living in a dark house with no heat, no air-conditioning, and not a single hot bath or shower.
She got by with extension cords running into her house, plugged into a tiny refrigerator and a cook top, and a small lamp or two in the front of the house.
Acting on a tip, the mayor of Miami-Dade finally got involved. A few hours of work by electrical contractor restored power to the house. Norena planned to let the water get really hot and then take her first bubble bath in a decade and a half.
“It’s hard to describe having [the electricity] come on....” she said. “It’s overwhelming.”
Can you imagine living 15 years without power?
“Power is essential to the Christian life”
One of the lessons that I have learned about being in Ministry over the years…if we try and do serve the Lord in our own strength we are going severely limited… and ineffective.... the reason has to do with Power..
In 2 Corinthians -4 Paul is dealing with the difficulties he often faced when sharing the Gospel… Paul tells us that..
At times it seems that gospel is veiled to those who are perishing… because the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbeliever from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory Christ…
He adds… If possible... the very image of God...
Nothing has changed in two thousand years… when ever the gospel is proclaimed through words and deeds the god of this world is right there… waging a spiritual battle to render the church and this message of saving grace as ineffective… But this does not sway Paul’s confident..
Paul starts this section with confidence....
2 Corinthians 4:1 ESV
1 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.
The reason we... we don’t lose heart
We don’t quit… we don’t stop… is because we have been entrusted with Ministry… We were shown mercy… we have experienced the impact of Grace… we were shown mercy… There are times when our hearts have been hardened to grace… God is long suffering with us… Enspite of our own attitudes.. God has given us a ministry..
We have this ministry… the word the phrase “we have....” speaks of something that has been received… something in our possession… the ministry is the Ministry of the New Testament… the ministry of the Spirit… It is a summary of chapter 3 where he tells
tells the Church that his sufficiency to be minister does not come from the law (from the letter that kills) but from the Holy Spirit.. Paul says they became very bold because the ministry of the Spirit surpasses… the Glory of God in the Ot… Paul uses the example of Moses… when God’s glory was upon his face.. it shone for a moment then it diminished… but the Glory of God in the NT… increases from Glory to Glory..
PAUL then says we don’t Loose heart--- because we have been given this ministry of Mercy!
This ministry of the Holy Spirit is about being conduit of God’s light...
2 Corinthians 4:5–6 CSB
For we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’s sake. For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.
Paul tells us that it is the message that carries power… and so there is a heavy dependance on God to do what we need to do… The word of God has power within itself… We don’t add value to the word…simply proclaim what it says..
The word Proclaim simply means to make something known… we can make Jesus shine through both our words and our deeds...
keller says it like this..

A 350-pound guy with a wet noodle isn’t anywhere near as dangerous as a 90-pound weakling with a bomb.

The Holy Spirit is this Powerful gift that the Lord has deposited within the believers life.... The Holy Spirit… is a person… the Holy Spirit is active… and powerful… Even though we have weakness… the Holy Spirit is mightt in the believers life..
Paul uses the metaphor of treasure in jars of Clay…to illustrate this point further..
2 Corinthians 4:7–10 CSB
7 Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. 8 We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; 9 we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. 10 We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed in our body.
Clay jars were the throwaway containers of the ancient world, so that their life spans were generally a few years at the most. They were used to store and transport water and olive oil and wine and grain and even family treasures. Earthenware jars were an anonymous part of everyday living as they were used for cooking and eating and drinking and storing leftovers. Every domestic archaeological excavation site contains their remains, called ostraca, from the Greek word for pottery. No one took note of clay jars any more than we would of a fast-food container. They were simply there for convenience. It was no great tragedy when such vessels were broken. They were cheap and easy to replace.
God has placed his most treasured possession inside our human frailty.. it is like putting gold bars in a gym bag… He uses the weakest delivery system to show the glory of God… He did this on purpose...
In fact, just as the brilliance of diamonds is always more striking when contrasted with a black background, the worth of the gospel is more evident against the backdrop of human frailty. God has entrusted the indestructible, imperishable treasure of the gospel to weak, fragile jars of clay.
What happens where these fragile jars are pressed and crushed... through the circumstances of life allows “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
It is easy to misread what Paul says here so that we interpret it as the means of enhancing our power. Thus we may imagine that as we embrace our weakness God will pour his power into us so that we become powerful. The natural equation is: My weakness plus God’s power equals my power.
But that is not what Paul is saying. Rather, he teaches that as we embrace our weakness, God fills us with his power so that his power is manifested through us. We do not become powerful. We remain weak. We do not grow in power. We grow in weakness. We go from weakness to weakness, which is to remain vessels of his power—ever weak and ever strong.
Someone once asked St. Francis how he was able to accomplish so much. He replied,
“This may be why: The Lord looked down from heaven and said, ‘Where can I find the weakest, littlest man on earth?’ Then he saw me and said, ‘I’ve found him, and he won’t be proud of it. He’ll see that I am only using him because of his insignificance.’  Saint Francis
” “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (v. 7). Have we embraced our weakness as a way of life—and as the invitation to his surpassing power?
The Holy Spirit has given 3 specifics things...

1. We have been given Abilities.

Have you ever looked around the room and seen amazing talents and gifts around you and thought --- what do I have to contribute?
God is not so much interested in our talents and our abilities… He is interested in the investment that he has made in giving us his spirit..
The Bible says that God has given to us has at least one Spiritual gift … Each of us have a unique spiritual purpose.. and it is not for us but for someone else.. Paul expresses this idea in Romans...
Romans 1:11–12 CSB
For I want very much to see you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that is, to be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.
At the time of writing the Roman epistle, Paul had been actively engaged in his ministry for almost thirty hectic, energy-sapping years. He had endured enough hardship and been exposed to enough trauma and excitement to last most people for half a dozen lifetimes.
Paul is Still enthusiastic about to traveling to Rome…and meeting the Christians there…
Paul is not sure what gift or gifts he might impart because he has not been to Rome. He simply wishes to enhance their spirituality.Paul is not in it for what he could do for himself, but what he could do for them…
Paul recognized that when he got there not only did he have a gift for them --- but there was a spirtual gift for him to receive...
We need the Gifts of everyone....Here is the problem… if we don’t use our gift… we become consumers.... instead of blessing… Our human nature gets the best of us..
Have you noticed that…our human nature is more prone to tear down than it is to build up. The path of least resistance leads to grumbling and criticism and gossip, and many there be that follow it…
The Holy Spirit empowers to be encouragers… come along each other and lift each other up...
Something supernatural happens when we use our gifts… when we strengthen others... lift others up we get encouraged… One of the blessing of using your gift… is that your receive blessing as well....as you serve you receive back…
Jesus taught in about forgiveness and giving within the same section of scriptures..… These are both both dispositions of a christian— we are those who should be those who are willing to forgive… but at the same time ready to give. Forgiving and giving dispostition..
Luke 6:38 CSB
Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over—will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”
The image here is of a “measure” basket filled with grain, which is pressed down (to make more room), shaken up (to make the grain settle and create more room), and still “overflowing.” Thus, a “fine” measure, and the one by which God responds to those who give and forgive.
You can’t out give God… God will be no mans debtor…no matter how much we give him — He gives us more!
The Christian businessman H. P. Crowell, founder of Quaker Oats, who said, “For over forty years I have given sixty to seventy percent of my income to God. But I have never gotten ahead of Him! He has always been ahead of me!”
..
When we allow God to use our Spiritual gifts and resources for Kingdom purposes.. amazing things happen.. God will take the little we give and do exponentially more ...

a. God Uses our talents, but He Empowers our gifts.

Let me illustrate the difference between God using your gift and talent.
David was extremely talented he had a range of gifts - they manifested in some of the tasks that he did...
He was shepherd, He was warrior, David was a poet, a song writer and skilled musician… After the period of the Judges..
Israel had chosen Saul as a King of Israel… as they wanted to be like all the surrounding nations.. they chose Saul because he looked the part on the outside.. taller than everyone and good looking… carried himself well… But Saul did not have a heart for God… his own leadership ambitions often got in the way..... Instead of seeking God… He took things into his own hands… and his continual disobedience led to God rejecting him as King. We are told that God spirit departed from him and in fact
“a harmful spirit from the Lord came and tormented him.” This is the only time in scripture where this kind of thing is said… but this spirit TORMENTED him..
And Saul asked his servants to provide for him a man that could play the Lyre (harp).... he wanted to mellow out with some tunes..he wanted a skilled musician.
1 Samuel 16:17 ESV
So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.”
Find someone who has Talent… skillful.. These servants think of David who was obviously known for his talent as a musician… But we are going to learn about David is not only was he talented but he was also gifted… He was annointed
1 Samuel 16:23 ESV
And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.
When David played the instrument…the… harmful spirits departed from Saul… and Saul was refreshed… by the way one of the sure sign that you have a gift is that people around you will be refreshed..
David music was more than a talent (skill)… David’s gift did something in the Spiritual Realm....We need to remember that the battles that we fight are not in the physical realm but the spirit…
There is is a big difference between raw talent and and gifts given by the Holy Spirit. One are natural abilities and the other is spiritual abilities.
We cannot use natural abilities engage in a spirtual warfare… The Holy Spirit gives us ability from heaven..
2 Corinthians 10:4 ESV
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
Power from heaven is God given ability to do God given tasks to carry out God-Given commission.
The Holy Spirit has given 3 specifics things...
1. We have been given Abilities.

2. We have been given great Promises

During Superbowl (37) , FedEx ran a commercial that spoofed the movie Castaway, in which Tom Hanks played a FedEx worker whose company plane went down, stranding him on a desert island for years. Looking like the bedraggled Hanks in the movie, the FedEx employee in the commercial goes up to the door of a suburban home, package in hand.
When the lady comes to the door, he explains that he survived five years on a deserted island, and during that whole time he kept this package in order to deliver it to her. She gives a simple, "Thank you."
But he is curious about what is in the package that he has been protecting for years. He says, "If I may ask, what was in that package after all?"
She opens it and shows him the contents, saying, "Oh, nothing really. Just a satellite telephone, a global positioning device, a compass, a water purifier, and some seeds."
What if Tom Hanks had known what he had been given in that parcel?
God has given us every resources for Spiritual growth and strength… This is what Paul tells the church Ephesus that God had blessed them with every every Spiritual blessing in heavenly places.
Ephesians 1:3 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
Paul gives us a list of blessing Christ..
We have been chosen in Him… in his love he predestined us for purpose of His will… In Christ we have Redemption (bought out of slavery) through his blood we have been forgiven by the riches of grace… we have blessing on top of blessing… layers of blessing that leads to this inheritance of having eternal life.
There is nothing lacking for us to walk in the total freedom offered to us in Christ…Then he goes on to to say that God has given the ultimate blessing the Gift of the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 1:13–14 ESV
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Paul tells us what transpired at salvation.. When we heard the word of truth… we believed in Him.. were sealed by the Holy Spirt. What is important to note that we receive the HS immediately on trusting on Christ..
What is significant about the sealing of the Holy Spirit?

a. Authenticates the work that Christ has done in our lives.

The presence of the Spirit proves the believer is genuine. Romans 8:9 “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His”
It is not simply our lip profession, our religious activity, or our good works, but the witness of the Spirit that makes our profession authentic.
A seal has to be something that’s palpable, something that’s visible, and something that can be seen. a seal was a signet on a ring that a king had so when he was writing a letter, and he wanted to show this was a decree, a real decree, not a forgery, he would take his signet ring and he would put it on soft wax, which had been softened by a flame, on the document or on the letter. When anyone read the document with his seal on it, they knew this was the real thing. This was a way for the king to say, “This is authentic.
Keller, T. J. (2013).

b. It speaks of a finished transaction.

We talk about sealing the deal.. a sealed legal deed or document that indicates ownership of a car, house, or some other possession. Your bank may ask you to sign papers work on a loan or a mortgage.. and the deal is not complete until some document has been signed.. the transaction has to be completed... The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance… It the assurance — it is the Spirit that witnesses with our spirits that we are Children of God.
Paul speaks of this being the good deposit…
The Holy Spirit has given 3 specifics things...
1. We have been given Abilities.
2. We have been given great Promises

3. We have been given Great power.

With the gift of the Holy Spirit comes Power.
… …When Jesus Ascends into heaven and the Holy Spirit descends.. With the coming of the Holy Spirit came the distribution of gifts to the church for the purpose of growing and encouraging the Church Body.
The completion of Christ’s work was marked by the pouring out of his Spirit and birth of his body, the church. Jesus told His disciples to go to Jersulem and to wait for the Promised Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:1–4 ESV
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
What is striking about the day of Pentecost is the miraculous nature of the Holy Spirits coming… It is supernatural — the disciples were waiting for the gift of the Holy Spirit..
And then Holy Spirit came in power. There is the combination of a wind and fire...two metaphors that are used over an over in regards to the Holy Spirit. In creation the Holy Spirit is seen moving over the waters… God spoke to Moses from the burning bush.
Pentecost was a MARKER
There was only one Pentecost…and that happened in Jerusalem 2000 years ago
A.W. Tozer
“I do not believe in a repetition of Pentecost, but I do believe in a perpetuation of Pentecost — and there is a vast difference between the two.”A.W. Tozer

What does it mean to be filled with the HS?

Paul tells the church in Ephesians to pay attention to the lives… to their walk… making the best use of their time because the days are Evil… understanding the will of God… not being drunk… but being filled with the Spirit…
Ephesians 5:18 ESV
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,
Probably Paul remembers on the day of Pentecost, on the first day in which the Spirit of God descended on the church and in a way brought the church into its present form, on the day when all the apostles got up and began to speak with power and people said, “Who are these men and why are they drunk?” Do you remember that? They were filled with the Spirit, and they said they were filled with wine, and probably Paul remembered that historically being filled with wine and being filled with the Spirit were mixed up.
Now whenever you see an explanation like this, “Don’t be drunk with wine. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,” drunkenness and being Spirit-filled must be in some way different but in some way similar or they couldn’t be compared, right?
the word drunk here simply means to be soaked. It means to be dominated. Why did “to be soaked” come to mean drunk?
They are similar in the fact ...
drunkenness is not a function of how much alcohol is in you. Drunkenness is a function of how much alcohol has you. See, it doesn’t matter how much alcohol is actually in your body. The real question is not how much is in you, but how much the alcohol actually controls you and how it affects you. That’s what makes you drunk. To be soaked means you’re dominated by what is in you. You’re dominated by the alcohol…
Likewise the Holy Spirit leads and guides us.... The difference is that Alcohol is a depressant because it depresses part of your brain.. so that you don’t have to deal with stuff… you can simply repress things that need to be dealt with… but being drunk doesn’t lead to any real usefulness… Where the Spirit of God increases our effectiveness.
it is God’s will that we are filled with the Spirit....
What does it mean to be filled?
-to be filled (supplied) is a verb— Speaks of being..

a. Continuously filled

It means to be or become generously supplied with - It is to be continuously filled..Holy Spirit’s ministry is a floodlight ministry on Jesus. A floodlight, of course, shows you the building. It throws everything in relief. It puts all the emphasis on the building; you can’t even see the floodlight.
The goal of the light is to flood this building with light so you can see nothing else. You can’t even see the light, so the building is very, very visible and fills your vision. If it’s true, then, that the job of the Spirit of God is to make the truth about Jesus Christ shine, if the job of the Spirit of God is to show you his beauty, is to dazzle you and to fill your mind and heart with him then what does it mean to be filled with the Spirit?
It means to be

b. Flooded with Truth.

Where the gifts come into play is that they are the over of being filled with the Holy Spirit… One thing we heard from at thrive is that we need the Holy Spirit.. the reason is not that we have spiritual pride… rather than we become a better version of ourselves.
James Emery White
To be filled with the Holy Spirit means that we allow him to occupy and control every area of our lives…How much of you does the Holy Spirit have?
When teaching this to my seminary students, I bring two glasses of water and two packets of Alka-Seltzer to class. I drop a packet of Alka-Seltzer, with the wrapper on, into one glass. Then I plop an unsealed packet into the second glass, and watch it fill with fizz.
I say to my students, "Both glasses have the Alka-Seltzer, just as all Christians have the Holy Spirit. But notice how you can have the Holy Spirit and not his filling." Our goal is to live in such a way as to unwrap the packaging around the presence and power of the Holy Spirit within us.
Adapted from James Emery White, Long Night's Journey into Day (WaterBrook, 2002)To be filled with the Holy Spirit means that we allow him to occupy and control every area of our lives…How much of you does the Holy Spirit have?
When teaching this to my seminary students, I bring two glasses of water and two packets of Alka-Seltzer to class. I drop a packet of Alka-Seltzer, with the wrapper on, into one glass. Then I plop an unsealed packet into the second glass, and watch it fill with fizz.
I say to my students, "Both glasses have the Alka-Seltzer, just as all Christians have the Holy Spirit. But notice how you can have the Holy Spirit and not his filling." Our goal is to live in such a way as to unwrap the packaging around the presence and power of the Holy Spirit within us.
Adapted from James Emery White, Long Night's Journey into Day (WaterBrook, 2002)
Conclusion:
Challenge: What steps can you take this Week to walk in the fulness of the Spirit.
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