Catalyst: The Oversized Gift

14 02 2008

oversized-gift.jpgImage: The Oversized Gift Leaders are often gifted. They can begin to depend on their giftedness for success, to the neglect of their character. Leaders sabotage themselves when their gift is bigger than they are. Their talent enables them to wing it through life. Good leaders build their character so that they will trusted by others to use the gift God has given them.

Verse: Psalm 15:1-2

Learning: Leaders, two things really hit home for me in this lesson: Gifts and Fruit. Spiritual gifts are given by God. The fruit of the Spirit is something you work on with God’s help and grace. The gifts God gives are a means to an end. And the end isn’t to be successful, to get ahead or to get applause. Our end and our goal is to give glory to God and to build His kingdom. Once we get that out of the way, we can focus on Fruit.

Galatians 5:22-25 spells out fruit. “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of FRUIT in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”

Of the nine listed…

  • Which one has Christ been growing in you?
  • Which one do you need to work on?

This week, joy really hit home for me (I should say love, because today is Valentine’s Day, but joy is something I need to work on). One thing that I have realized lately is that I don’t have any hobbies…things in my life that bring joy outside of ministry. I love ministry, but I have nothing that I do in life “just for fun.” Is that sad? I sometime justify my behavior saying I’m busy and to build Epic requires all this time. At times I wonder, I spend so much time building a church that I’ve forgotten to build a life? A teleconference on Tuesday with Perry Noble (www.perrynoble.com), the lead pastor from Newspring Church in SC really hit home in my heart. He said, “God doesn’t need me to build his church. He’ll build it with or without me. I get the joy of working with Him, but he’s doing it…so have some fun!”

Catalyst leaders….post a Fruity growth area..

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5 responses

26 02 2008
Denise Hillbom

About a year ago I picked up this study by Beth Moore called “Living Beyond Yourself Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit”. It was great learning and growing in all areas of fruit—-love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and—-I put the study down. (I wonder why?) Self-control has never been one of my strong points. Several weeks ago, I sensed God directing me back to that study. I knew exactly what He was saying, Denise, you need to get this. I have learned to follow His lead immediately. Beth Moore says “Any Man or Woman is a mighty warrior if he or she has self-control. Any person without self-control is either an accident looking for a place to happen or a slave in chains. Only through the self-control developed by the Spirit can we ever fulfill the promise of Jesus: Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free John 8:32”.

I want more than anything else in life to be a mighty warrior for Christ and one of His churches called Epic. Beth also says “We are the temple of God…and self-control is our wall of protection! It fortifies all that is within.”
She suggests looking at the things in life that are breaking down your walls and begin by exercising self-control over your mind and mouth. Watch what is goin in and what is coming out. It has been challenging but I am on my way to becoming a mighty warrior.

28 02 2008
Amy

Well I believe Christ has been growing patience and peace in my life. At the beginning of the school year I thought I would have a real teaching position. Obviously that didn’t happen and at first I was jealous of other people getting out of college and getting jobs right away (actually making decent money). But this school year while I’ve been subbing, I’ve seen how God has grown me in so many areas. I have learned that I need to be patient for his timing and have peace in where He has me now.

I currently need to work on self- control. This is mostly in my setting aside time to spend with Jesus but also in my eating habits. I also realized yesterday that some of the things I’ve been listening to and viewing haven’t been God honoring. I need to start asking myself with every activity, “Is this God honoring?”

13 03 2008
Brandon

I feel that God has been helping me in growing my abilities to be patient person. In January I hired an intern, who is working couple of days a week to help with some prospecting and marketing campaigns. I have always been a very self-motivated and hardworking person, so it’s difficult for me to work with someone who dosn’t quite have the same drive and passion that I do. Especially when I’m paying him!

As I prayed about what to do, I realized that there are many factors that I didn’t consider as I jumped to conclusions about this person. For him it’s a new environment, with different skills/tasks he has to learn. I decided to work a little more hands on and really help make him feel welcome. Since then, I’ve noticed a steady improvement in all aspects of his work. It just took a little time and patience from me.

With that said, I still have a long way to go with patience. I am one who usually wants instant gratification and need to realize things that take time are always worth waiting for.

21 03 2008
Jodi Kade

As I read everything above…I realized that I definitely struggle in a few of these areas. I struggle with patients and self-control…I’m quick to speak and slow to listen, often loosing my temper over stupid things. I’m constantly working on and praying about this area of my life. I have gotten much better over the years, but still struggle with it.
Recently, I think I discovered an underlying cause. I realize that I’m not often at peace. I let everything and anything take away my peace, which I think, in turn causes me to struggle with the patients and self-control. I’m constantly battling being anxious. I had a number of years where I had such bad anxiety and panic attacks that I almost always stayed at home. I relied on the Lord to give me His constant strength to get through each day. One day I realized how much He had helped me, the panic attacks were almost completely gone and I was able to function normally again. It wasn’t until recently that they’ve come back. I’m not sure what’s causing them, but I’m back to feeling very little peace in my life. I’m often anxious, and have occasional panic attacks, (It seems to happen while I’m running screens…bad timing).
Anyway, I’m not sure what God’s plan is for me, but I want to find the underlying cause of this anxiousness. I want to be at peace. I’m going to go find a study on the fruits of the spirit (that one by Beth Moore sounds great), and hopefully I will discover how to practice peace in my life.

26 03 2008
Tim Kade

I think you are right on to look underneath the surface. I know when I am impatient, 90% of the time it’s because there is something I’m not at peace with and it comes out in my words to others. Take some time to ask God…what am I anxious really about? What area of my life am I not trusting Him with? What do I need to surrender over to His control?

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