Today, the Holy Spirit wants to deposit HOPE into your heart and mind. Remember when we first got started how Peter told us that we have Living Hope in Jesus? Sometimes you have to revive hope. You have to remind your soul that your hope is found in Jesus and in Jesus alone.
I love the word of the Psalms, “O Lord, you alone are my hope. I’ve trusted you, O LORD, from childhood” (Psalm 81:5). Isn’t it incredible to think that we are joining millions of people throughout human history who have found a Living Hope in Jesus and the empty tomb? I wanted to remind us this day that the tomb is still empty. Peter saw Jesus’ resurrection body and never got over it. He started preaching the Good News and never looked back.
I’ve been reading through the book of Acts recently. I’m seeing Peter in a way I’ve never seen him before. For example, in Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit comes, Peter gets filled up with boldness and starts telling people to turn to Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. At the end of their worship, the disciples give people an opportunity to come forward and get baptized. I’ve stood on those steps where Peter would have preached and seen the cleansing pools where the baptisms happened. At the end of it all, 3,000 people came forward. It would have been an amazing day for the early followers of Jesus. I can imagine hugs, tears, high fives, perhaps even some loud cheers. People changed by Jesus. It was new on that day, and it hasn’t gotten old yet! I wonder if Peter finished up the day and said to his friends, “What just happened? Did 3,000 people really just get baptized?” Thomas who loved accuracy might have spoken up and said, “Yeah, Bart and I counted every one of them!” Just let this sink in (no pun intended) for a minute.
Peter, who had previously denied Jesus, is now boldly and effectively reaching thousands.
What happened? He got filled with the Holy Spirit and in the process he got a spiritual gift! Peter previously spoke with his own words, and now he has experienced what it means to, “speak as though God himself were speaking through you.”
What does it do for you when you hear stories of God using other people? Sometimes it can discourage us. I have to be careful how much I look at the Instagram accounts of other pastors. We often see someone else’s story with an extreme filter added.
It can be discouraging when you compare your gifts to another person. You can always find something they do better than you. I’ve found gift comparison to be one of the greatest enemies of living in my gift with bold faith.
Peter tells us that the Holy Spirit gives each of Jesus’ followers a gift, selected from a variety of gifts. So you have a gift from God, given for the purpose of making a difference. You were hard-wired by God to live a fruitful life. There are certain things that only you can contribute to the body of Christ. God has planned for you to love certain people that no one else can love quite like you can.
The Holy Spirit gives us these gifts for the purpose of serving, loving, and blessing others. Some of us like to be on a stage, others love to be behind a computer, some love numbers, others hate numbers. There is somebody who loves the things you hate and hates the things you love. This was intentional on God’s part—to build up a body that exists to bless and serve the world.
Spiritual gifts have to be discovered, but they also need to be developed. The only way to develop the gift is to put it to use. Some of you have dormant gifts because the lies you believe have sidelined you. Your best art is still inside of you waiting to be brought out to bless the world around you.
Who is going to bring it out of you? Good news, you have an Advocate—the Holy Spirit who is whispering into your ear right now. As you start exercising the gift in faith from a good heart, He will begin to fill the sail with wind. He will pour fuel on the fire and use you.
I wonder what that thing is inside of you? Maybe there’s a book that needs to get written, a song that needs to come out, meals that need to be made for others, flowers that need to be delivered, encouraging conversations that need to be had with teenagers, meetings that need to be organized, events that need to be designed, planned, and executed. Wow, what a list! We’re powerful when we trust the Spirit to release our gifts!
When we step out by faith and with a righteous heart, Heaven applauds. Glory rises, and praise ascends to the throne room of God. The church unleashed with fire! An unstoppable force that Hell cannot contain. We get to play a part! We get to be used by ALMIGHTY GOD to bring HEAVEN down. God’s kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven.
“Spiritual gifts have to be discovered, but they also need to be developed. The only way to develop the gift is to put it to use.”
Father, help me to lean in to the gifts you have given me. Help me not to shrink back out of insecurity that my gift isn’t as developed as someone else’s. If You put it in me, You intend to use it for Your glory. So, whatever that looks like, I want to be available and ready to be used by You.
The way God gifts each of those who follow Him with a spiritual gift is a reminder of both how He loves us and how uniquely we are created. Allowing God to display His power through the gifts He gave me has brought me great joy in life. Comparison and stereotypes about how men and women supposedly are can be used to quench the Spirit, and cause our gifts to lie dormant. God doesn’t give our gifts based on gender, though. Any gift can be given to anyone regardless of gender, and in that we know that God’s kingdom is a special way of life.
“When we step out by faith and with a righteous heart, Heaven applauds.”
May we all take one step in Faith with a righteous heart today.
Thank you Pastor Andy! Indeed, we all have unique gifts, and what better way than to share our gifts with others. God Bless!
Thank you Pastor Andy for the great reminder of the extensive blessings God has given us, including spiritual gifts. I am encouraged that God wants to use us; there are certain things that God has designed us specifically to do. When we don’t exercise our gifts we rob our generation of God’s work through us. Thank you Lord for entrusting us with your Kingdom work!
Yes! Thank you Pastor Andy for reminding us to discover our gift and use it to glorify God. I pray God will help me to be bold to share His good news.
I enjoyed the imagery of seeing how we people’s gifts are designed to work together. Some people love doing what others really don’t like but together, these people create a team that can do more than if they were to work alone.
Also, love the reminder that gifts are to be developed. There are always ways to learn and grow.
So encouraging!!! I can especially relate because I’ve realized comparison often is how the enemy pulls us away from being focused on our identity and purpose in God.
How empowering it is to be reminded that the Holy Spirit is in us, and the more we #justdoit and put our gifts to use, the more he will develop those gifts and use them to glorify God and bring heaven to earth!!
Lord… Help us to remember who we are in you, and to boldly and in faith use our gifts to serve others. May it all be for YOUR glory!!!✨??
Once again this is the message is on point and very encouraging to me and I hope others. I’ve been doing some outreach and I find that God plan is written I just have to let it unfold and I know the help of the Holy Spirit is pushing it along. You hit the nail on the head so to speak with the lies that have sidelined me thanks
Beautiful! The Holy Spirit of Jesus empowers us so that the yoke is easy and the burden is light! Thank u Pastor Andy!
Thank you Pastor
Good stuff: “speak as though God himself were speaking through you.”
“Some of you have dormant gifts because the lies you believe have sidelined you. Your best art is still inside of you waiting to be brought out to bless the world around you.”
God has blessed me with many gifts. I pray that he will continue to help me in develop these gifts and to not give into the devils lies to sideline me from continuing God’s work.
1 Corinthians 12 is more on spiritual gifts
Your point of view caught my eye and was very interesting. Thanks. I have a question for you.