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January 22nd, 2010

Fruit of the Spirit

Fruit of the Holy Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. – (Galatians 5:22-23)

Sometimes we confuse fruit of the Spirit by calling them “fruits of the Spirit“. This seems like such a small thing; but, unfortunately, this small thing can lead us to a dangerously false conclusion.

The fruit of the Spirit involves all nine of these qualities. We can’t excuse a lack of growth in one area or another as simply not having all the fruits of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is working to create the character of Jesus in us (2 Cor. 3:18; see Gal. 4:19). He wants to see us growing in each area and not excuse ourselves from one of these qualities of Jesus.

I don’t know about you, but there are several in which I need to grow — but I believe the Spirit is making progress in them. Let’s keep encouraging each other to let the Spirit lead us to become more like Jesus in every way!

Prayer : O Precious Father, God Most High, thank you for your patience, grace, and forgiveness. I want the Holy Spirit to lead me and empower me to grow in every way, but especially so that I can be more like Jesus in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. Thank you for hearing my prayer offered in Jesus’ name. Amen.

January 20th, 2010

Do not bring sorrow to the Spirit

Sorrow to the Spirit

And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. – Ephesians 4:30

Other translations say, “do not grieve the Holy Spirit.”

Two truths scream to be heard. First, how we live matters to the Spirit deeply! Second, we can actually oppose and wound the Spirit of God who lives in us.

As Galatians 5:13-21  reminds us, feeding the fleshly, sinful nature, side of ourselves puts us at war with the Spirit of God. Things like telling lies to each other, acting out our anger, stealing, sharing unwholesome talk among ourselves, living with rage and brawling and slander, all are activities that bring the Holy Spirit sorrow (Eph. 4:25-32). Living under the influence of the Spirit empowers us beyond these bad qualities as we are conformed to be like Jesus (2 Cor. 3:18; Gal. 5:22-23).

Prayer : Sovereign God, I confess that I sometimes ignore the impulse of the Holy Spirit inside of me and act in ways that are inconsistent and hurtful to you. I want to be more like Jesus — more under the influence and control of your Holy Spirit. Please open my eyes to your will, your presence, and your character as the Spirit leads me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

November 7th, 2009

Special Ministry Gifts


When we are called by the Lord into an area of ministry, then he gifts us in special ways to enable us to fulfill that ministry. There are many spiritual gifts. They are available to all believers as needed… Now, however, I wish to speak about special gifts, abilities and personal characteristics that the Lord draws out of a person, which are fairly unique to that person.

Special Ministry Gifts : There is no complete list of these. The Lord is not bound by tradition, convention or law when he creates them in someone. I will mention a few.


1. Gift of Tongues

What are some of the main characteristics of a spiritual language that make it useful in ministry?

It can’t be understood by the human mind, meaning that the mind cannot intercept what is being said, interpret it and, as so often happens, disbelieve, block or distort the message.

It can be received by the human spirit. This means that the Holy Spirit, through the agency of the person speaking in spiritual language, can feed into the spirit of a person truth they need to hear. This happens even if the person is asleep or in a coma, or if the person’s mind would normally interfere.

2. Drawing Pictures

Children respond to and understand things visually rather than through written words. Pictures are as much a language as writing. Be encouraged, even when praying for an adult, to draw what God shows you.

3. Burden Bearing

“Burden bearing is predicated upon the capacity of our spirit to identify with another, to empathize, to share and shoulder emotional loads. In the same way that two physically can carry a log which one alone cannot lift, burden bearing takes one end of a load, and so enables a brother to survive and function. Whereas two must be in proximity to lift something physically, burden bearing requires no spatial nearness. We can feel, identify, share and pray about another’s burdens at whatever distance we may happen to be.” (Healing the Wounded Spirit, p 395)

4. A Father Heart

For the Hebrews, a mother is a provider of nurture, while a father is the source or origin of the person, and God the Father is the source of a people. This idea of source has tended to be lost today. In particular, we have forgotten that just as God is the source of Adam’s human spirit, so too is our earthly father in some way the source or generator or mediator of a child’s spirit.

5. Other Prophetic or Apostolic Gifts

There are many other special gifts which parallel the operation of many of the apostles and prophets in the Bible. We won’t discuss them here, except to mention the function of releasing others into ministry. This is probably an apostolic gift, just as Paul established leaders in the churches he started, and frequently occurs in prayer ministry.


Whatever the gift you are given by the Lord, please ensure that at all times, especially while you are learning to use it, that you do not become presumptuous and apply it where it is not being asked for.

Sometimes a prophet or apostle will appear to work autonomously, against the prevailing opinions of others, but they pay a huge cost of responsibility for this measure of trust by the Lord. Yes, aspire to prophesy, but anyone who would like to be a prophet should think twice, and then discuss the cost with one who knows.

Whatever your gift(s), always listen first to what the Spirit is saying to you, and like Jesus – only do what the Father is doing.

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