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W.O.W. Lifestyle (Women Of the WORD)

    by Carmen Schroeder

GIFTS, FRUIT, and SHALOM!
Date Posted: July 6, 2007

Pursue love! However, keep on eagerly seeking the things of the Spirit; and especially seek to be able to prophesy. - 1 Corinthians 14:1 (CJB)

Therefore I, the prisoner united with the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called. Always be humble, gentle and patient, bearing with one another in love, and making every effort to preserve the unity the Spirit gives through the binding power of shalom. - Ephesians 4:1-3 (CJB)

Every follower has received a spiritual gift for the edification of the Body of The Messiah. For the purpose of furthering His Kingdom, He has given to each of us 'birthday gifts' immediately upon our faithfully calling out His Name to save and redeem us. (The Hebrew name 'Yeshua' is a contraction of the name Yehoshua [Joshua] which means 'YHWH is salvation'.)

The Promised Gift Jesus spoke about in John 16:7-15 is the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). The Hebrew word ruach means breath or spirit. The Hebrew word kodesh means 'set apart'. And this is exactly what The Spirit of God's function is: to 'set apart' every one of His own from the standards of the 'olam hazeh (present age) and cause us to bear much fruit for the Kingdom of Christ Jesus, our Messiah! So, why then, is there such disunity in The Body of Christ surrounding (especially) 'gifts' when The Spirit of Unity is The Great Gift of Shalom?

Let's start with one simple reason being that we have thoughtlessly, foolishly and arrogantly exalted the gifts He gives above the Giver Himself.

[Please note that 1 Corinthians 12 describes His gifts and 1 Corinthians 13 describes His love, which is what we are told to pursue in 1 Corinthians 14:1. Love IS His Fruit!]

Here are 7 points of interest to consider:

1.) Between our common enemy and our own hearts, many have been deceived into believing that one gift is superior to another simply because we have foolishly exalted 'our gift' ABOVE The GIVER & His Fruit. This has and will always cause much division and confusion within the Body simply because it is not in alignment with His Word - it is out of His ordained Kingdom order.

2.) Jesus said that our Father is glorified in our bearing MUCH FRUIT (He did not say the Father was glorified in our using gifts - which are HIS gifts) - John 15:8. He knew man was prone to exalting His gifts (as if they were our own) above the Fruit of HIS Spirit which undeniably reveals either our carnality or HIS Governance over our lives.

3.) His Gifts are to be used 'for something' (i.e.- the building up of the Body) - 1 Corinthians 12:7, whereas His Fruit can only be produced BY SOMEONE - HIS Spirit {thru His 'dying-to-self talmidim' (Hebrew disciples).}

4.) According to 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, I can still use His Gifts all the while bearing NO FRUIT because I am not governed by HIS Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit of LOVE). And because HIS Gifts and callings are irrevocable (Romans 11:29), HE does not take them from me, but rather He does render me fruitless. In His gracious LOVE, He does not take back the gifts He has given even when we misuse them. However, we will know and be known by either our lack or abundance of HIS FRUIT in our lives.

5.) We will know HIS love and possess HIS joy and peace AS we employ HIS patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in our relationships with others. (Galatians 5:22-23)

6.) We have a need for His Gifts right now in the ‘olam hazeh (this present world) because here, we can only know partially and see dimly. But these gifts will eventually pass - or cease - when the 'perfect comes' (‘olam haba - the world to come/new heavens and new earth). Then 'we will know fully JUST AS God has fully known us all along!'. 1 Corinthians 13:9-12. There will be no need for spiritual gifts in the ‘olam haba. Everything will be perfect!

7.) We can refuse to die and continue to use His irrevocable gifts BUT it benefits neither you nor I, and this is the cause for great confusion in the Body today. It does not accomplish what He has intended. For the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in POWER (1 Corinthians 4:20).

The LORD has left us with a command to pursue LOVE. Only then will we bear much fruit and truly enjoy HIS fellowship and the life HE gives.

So, what next? What is my part? I'm so glad you asked!

There is so much division in our congregations because there is so much division within our own hearts. Furthermore, when our LORD has made us to realize unity (SHALOM) in our individual hearts (which begins with a return to a discipled study of His Word of Truth), then we will begin to experience His unity within His Body. The LORD has already given to us UNITY. That is what ‘It is finished’ meant - redemption! However, we are only able to realize holy unity as we die daily to ourselves. Paul emphasized that we are to preserve the unity the Spirit gives (Ephesians 4:3).

Have you noticed that the ‘Unity Chapter’ of Ephesians four proceeds chapter three’s Kingdom purpose for us, which is ‘to know the love of Christ that we may be filled with all the fullness of God’? That has to come first.

Psalm 86:11 declares: 'ADONAI, teach me Your way, so that I can live by Your truth; make me single-hearted, so that I can fear Your Name.' The NKJV reads 'unite my heart to fear Your Name'.

Your problems will not be fixed with a change of scenery, location, job or friends or denominations (which are not inspired of God). Shalom comes from within and HE desires to create that wholeness in you and me. The change REALLY does begin with us individually. First, shalom within and we can know shalom without as He creates it there as well. And to think, all we had to do is ask HIM personally and humbly!

Shalom Rav!!! (Abundant SHALOM!)

Shalom: Hebrew word meaning not only ‘peace’, but tranquility, safety, well-being, health, contentment, success, comfort, wholeness (unity), integrity, lacking no good thing!

"Bible verse and quote" from Jan Couns

Bible and Quote - August 25-29

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Biography Information:
Carmen Schroeder is the stay-at-home mother of one son, Caleb, and three daughters, Bethany, Kaitlyn, and Kierstyn (ages 6-12). She is happily married to her high school sweetheart, Stacy, and together they serve the LORD in Missouri.

Carmen enjoys encouraging other women with the life-changing Word of God through teaching, mentoring and song in conferences and workshops.

Carmen's testimony is one of victory as 1 John 5:4,5 (AMP) says: 'For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith. Who is it that is victorious over the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on that fact]?

Her message is that this Christ is the One Who generously gives heavenly wisdom for victorious living.

Email Carmen directly to discuss an article OR stop by and visit her new Women of the Word blog here!
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