Friday, January 25, 2013

Spiritual Gifts, Grace & Ministry - Learning from Tim Keller

Building a Community of Ministers and not Consumers. Begin with laying the foundation for Godliness, emphasize on character building, spiritual fruit and grace. Follow with discovery, use and development of gifts, with 3 main groups of Prophet, Priest & King. Discovery of Gifts by Gift-test (not recommended) but by 3-Steps of   1. Affinity: the needs you resonate to.   2. Abilities: the abilities and roles you have.   3. Opportunities: the community of leaders, friends, guidance and endorsement. Danger of serving with our gifts without the grace and using the outcomes of our ministry to earn God's favor or self justification. Tell-tale signs of stress, insecurity, jealousy, condemning, critical, hypocrisy. Godliness is for long term effectiveness and able to compensate for our weaknesses. Serving and our Calling in the unique matching gifts-group, venues, level of abilities, seasons of life. 

The Friday Study Group members have decided take a break from the usual way of studying Bible Book by Book and do a topical study from good sermons. We start with one of the great preachers of present time,  Tim Keller. Time Keller's sermons and articles are available widely in the internet and many free sermons are available in his Redeemer's website.  We start with this one Spiritual Gifts and Graces.

The key points are summarized in the abstract. The details are shown in the mind-maps below.
Please be aware that the maps show our learning from hearing the sermons with our own added comments and views. It is recommended that you listen to the original sermon first and may be compare notes with us.

The warning given to us that we should serve with our gifts driven by grace. Always start and end with grace with gifts being tools to do a better job. We serve out of our acceptance and the grace of Christ in us to meet the needs and build up the community of Christ.

Hope it is helpful for you to find your ministry in the community where you are serving. Please share with us your personal experience too.

A Quick Summary (5 Mar 16)

Finding your gifts and ministry:

1. 3 Types of Gift Groups: Prophets, Kings and Priests
  • Prophets - vision, intelligence, strategies, big picture.
  • Kings - management, organization, execution.
  • Priests - charity, care, counselling, ... the heart and people oriented. Above two groups cover the mind and are tasks oriented.
2. Finding your Ministry: Affinity, Ability and Opportunity

3. Above all, your character is a lot more important that your gifts.
Godly character can compensate for your lack your gifts.
Gifts without character becomes a dangerous instruments for sins.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Bible Study Daniel 12 The End Times

We have come to last chapter of Daniel and the end times of the history of mankind. It was sealed to Daniel but it is opened and is very obvious to us. In this book, we also see the influence of spiritual forces behind the natural. We see the brevity of our lives and even of the total history of mankind. We see the insignificance of great kings or tyrants. God is sovereign above and over all. Yet God came to save us, the dusts of earth. The wicked will not understand and continue in their denial of God but the wise understand and purify themselves. Be wise, know God and live rightly as the time is short.
Chapter 12 is a very short chapter. But it is the conclusion of the history of mankind. We want to know what happen in the end. It is very important then to the meaning and the future of our lives. There are many things we can learn from this chapter and from the book of Daniel. We should spend much time reflecting on this.

Here is mind-map :

A related passage on Judgment of Nations is given Mat 25 See:

Here is the questions for reflections:

Here are additional lessons for me:

1. It is a Dual World of Spiritual and Natural.
The happenings in our natural world are influenced by the happenings in the spiritual worlds.  Dan 12v1. See Kingdom Principles Discussion 04 The Dual Worlds

2. It was sealed to Daniel but opened up to us.
While Daniel did not fully understand and was told to seal up the book until the end, but it is opened to us. We know about the empires of Babylonian, Persian, Greek - Alexander & division into fours, Romans, EU and the rise of technology with increase flow of knowledge and travels. Our clear understanding of Daniel shows that we are at the end times and we are just waiting for the last few signs.

3. There is a Time of Judgment to Hold Man Accountable for His Works.
Dan 12:2,3,10 and Mat 25:31-45.
Like us be wise and know God and live rightly as the time is short.

4. God is Sovereign & The Brevity of Human Life and Nations
Read Isa 40. If not, the following:

[Brevity of Life]
Isa 40:6  ... All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
Isa 40:7  The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely the people are grass.
Isa 40:8  The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.
Isa 40:10  Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.
[Nations as Nothing]
Isa 40:17  All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.
[God the Creator]
Isa 40:22  It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
[What are the Great Men?]
Isa 40:23  who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.
Isa 40:24  Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble.
[Those that Worship God are Have 'Eteranl Life']
Isa 40:31  but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Lim Liat (C) 13 Jan 2013