Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 1 Corinthians 14:7
The only difference between a small group and a house church is that a small group sees itself as a break-out group under the leadership of a larger institution while the house church sees itself as a fully functioning body under the leadership of God.
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13
Here is the whole point of this post up front. It is vital that when Jesus comes back He finds a church body where everyone is operating in all the gifts of the Holy Spirit that He gives so His bride is fully functioning under His leadership. A house church is a small group that asks the Holy Spirit to equip the people gathering in your home with the gifts of the Holy Spirit so they can build one another up together to full maturity. These gifts of the Holy Spirit are the inheritance of all who believe as prophesied by Jesus Himself, even until the last days. (Mark 16:15-20, John 7:38-39, Joel 2:28)
Since going on this road, less than a year ago, we have had people multiple people healed. We have had three people freed from demonization. We have seen God give prophetic messages that came to pass over and over. We have experienced apostolic ministry of people who have come and spoken into our community with power, strengthening us. We have been shown hospitality by complete strangers and watched as God continues to use ordinary people to build His kingdom. We are watching as God builds an underground network of disciple makers across the country. It’s not that we are hiding underground, or persecuted by our particular government (as many of our brothers and sisters), I just mean that we are under the surface and multiplying rapidly–like mustard seed. Last we counted, God is popping up baby global worship communities in at least 8 states and 7 international countries within less than a year!
As we have broken into even smaller groups and saw a new explosion of God’s gifts as we went even smaller! As the new groups found themselves devoid of the normal teachers and leaders, they asked the Holy Spirit to lead their time together at the feet of Jesus and saw Him prove Himself faithful to build His church!
Even the smallest worship communities can expect to be the place where God inhabits, where He dwells, where He moves (Psalm 46:5). Wherever two or three are gathered, there I am in the midst of you. (Matthew 18:20) In small communities, spiritual gifts have room to operate, and everyone can contribute in their own unique way to the body of believers (1 Cor. 14:1).
What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up. 1 Corinthians 14:26
Every person in the worship community needs to be keeping in step with the Holy Spirit, operate in the gifts the Holy Spirit gives, able to study scripture and listen to the voice of God for themselves and the community (John 10:27-28), to participate jointly in corporate worship, to teach, serve, and disciple one another. We take turns with this. (Colossians 3:16, I Peter 4:10)
IN MEETING SMALL, WE RECOGNIZED OUR COLLECTIVE POVERTY
Remember, the only difference between a small group and a house church is that the house church sees itself as a FULLY FUNCTIONING BODY under the leadership of Jesus. By extension, we decided early on to not import teaching. We don’t stream it. We don’t buy pre-made “plug and play” bible studies. We ask God to raise up teachers from our small groups who are taught by the Holy Spirit in their time at the feet of Jesus abiding with Him (1 John 2:27). Don’t have a bunch of teachers ready to go?
You have reached the CRUCIAL first milestone in your baby church community—you have recognized your need for God, you’ve acknowledged your spiritual poverty. Now you ask Him for His gifts honestly and in desperation. You pray as a collective body for God to pour out His gifts on your motley crew. He will give them because now you know and believe that you actually need Him and His gifts. You are now in a place to eagerly desire them (1 Cor. 14:7)
WHY SPIRITUAL GIFTS USUALLY AREN’T VISIBLE IN BIG BUILDINGS
OK. Time for a caveat…I’m NOT saying that the smaller spirit-led house church is the only way to experience the gifts of God, but I can honestly say that every time we gather I say “Wow, look what the Holy Spirit gave us today—we never could have done that without Him.”
Do you say that at the end of your church services? Larger services normally mean more human organization, more of a receptor mode in the audience (I mean congregation), and a nervousness about letting people speak to the whole group (what if they go too long, are operating in the flesh, or just a crazy person you don’t know that showed up and wants to use a microphone). On the extreme side of the spectrum, things are timed to the second in order to produce the service and make sure everyone is out by game time, by the time the childrens church volunteers are hungry and tired, or by the time the next service has to filter in. None of these issues exits in a home church. You can speak when you need to speak and trust the Holy Spirit to work all things to good, even if someone is “off” there is the whole body to lovingly correct and test. If people need to leave early, they just go. If people need to stay and pray, they stay. Giftedness can operate freely under the suggestions Jesus and the apostles give for order and authority.
Let’s talk about why spiritual gifts are not usually the mode of operation in large gatherings. As small gatherings like we see in the early church grow from spirit-led movements to become institutions you will have disagreements on scripture and leadership. Instead of humbly bringing up the disagreement and going to the Holy Spirit in prayer for unity, churches will split or begin new denominations and write for ourselves a very specified theology, organizational structures, bylaws, financial needs, values, and goals and projections, etc.
The business model of growth and planning trades the small reliant organic move of small, hidden things for the more reliable methods of planning and production. There is more to lose. There is reputation, money, and renown at stake. In a house church, there is nothing at stake. It can all be up to the Lord to lead—for better or worse, because the only thing at stake is His glory. But it’s always for the better when He leads!
The contemporary church plant decision to grow by “going big” is usually based on several decisions: church trends (which was the mega church—this is changing very quickly), viable numbers in the community for the financial ability to buy a building and pay salaries, theological concern for avoiding error, a central teaching figure or visionary, and sometimes an emotional or sentimental response against the idea of “splitting” or “moving out.”
So a building is obtained. Naturally, the space is larger (with accompanying pressure to fill it and pay for it), a stage is needed (with production and media capability and an unbiblical pressure to make it an “excellent” product), roles and tasks are assigned and set for ease and efficiency. What is the problem? The problem is that gifts are not needed in a big building.
In big buildings, the responsibility of the individual “member” can become minimized or relegated to menial tasks that aren’t central to the multiplication of the kingdom. These people who are volunteering for these tasks will often not know how to make disciples or feel like it is their responsibility to make disciples because they are already “doing their job.”
There begins to be a greater distance between the stage (leaders) and the congregation (led ones). The physical space between stage and congregation is there, but the spiritual distance between laypeople and leaders looms even more distinct. It is difficult for the local church attendee to feel comfortable walking up on stage with a word from the Lord or with a scripture to offer or a hymn or song to sing. Everything is already programmed. The gifts are not needed. People settle in as receivers or task-oriented workers. And growth by multiplication stops or slows drastically.
The consistent payment and sharply trained capability of several church staff (or hundreds) assigned with the task of Sunday production takes care of everything and assures that everything goes smoothly. But here is the thing. Jesus was never concerned about production. He said there was one necessary thing—to sit at His feet. This is not to say small home churches who gather as part of a larger family, in large settings together is bad! I think it is possible to still maintain a large weekly gathering, but we have to flip the model.
FLIPPING THE MODEL
Currently, in the scenario I mentioned above, the model is to plant a small church and make it grow bigger and better! This is the attractional model—nicer facilities, full-time salaries, more programming, better seats, better coffee (this last one is not a critique—I fully support coffee at church). It avoids confrontation and shock, not wanting to scare anyone off. But having a building does add extra distraction and drains resources of time and money and energy.
If small home churches can resist the urge to get a building (which I think you should), you will need to split (because homes are only so big). And if you split, you will have a new body needing to function, because the teachers can’t teach both groups (well, they could now with miracles of modern technology, but they shouldn’t—otherwise you won’t see the new teachers emerge). And the new body will be driven in desperation to the feet of Jesus asking for His gifts so they can operate in power and love and truth. People encounter confession, worship, and deep prayer in their first visit because the presence of God is the treasure that we have found and we won’t trade it in to seem more normal when really, God can defend His own glory. An apostle will help shepherd the baby churches through these young days.
What if you are already a large church? Can you embrace a small, micro-church model? Yes, if you flip the model: Large group gatherings of the smaller churches are purposed for worship, apostles’ teaching, and celebration (Spirit-led, humble, joyful, intentionally limited in production). Small groups need to then become the site of prayer, discipleship, communion, confession, and the widespread functioning of the gifts.
Normally in churches with small groups, the Sunday service is the big meeting that draws everyone together for worship and teaching. Flip the model and you might choose to meet with your home groups on Sunday morning. The reason our group decided to do that was that we needed to pull out of the Sunday tasks we were all involved in. Many in our home group are worship leaders and so we were so busy with practices and run-throughs and services (some of us in multiple services) that we needed “church” to be radically reframed for us.
Does the church have to be small to see a renewal of Spiritual gifts?
But it is interesting that the early church had a naturally limiting factor—because they were persecuted, they met in homes. When a home became too big, they had to split the group logistically. We see evidence for public teaching but not church buildings. The church met primarily in homes (1 Cor. 16:19, Col 4:15). We do not know for sure, but it’s likely that the first non-home church building was not built until the after persecution died down with Constantine’s Edict of Milan in 313AD.
Meeting in our homes on Sunday felt strange but served to flip the model enough to start us asking the right questions. What does God really want? What did the early church do? Why?
Normally the way that the “life group” or “small group” models work is that a leader facilitates a plan that has been given to them by leadership or sometimes the group leader will teach or guide the gathering. But Wait!
Resist the urge to control these meetings from the top down!!!
Instead, make listening prayer your focus. You are meeting together at His feet—ONE THING NECESSARY. Focus on His presence. Confess sin and remember Jesus through communion. Be the Bride together and be led by Him. It is His responsibility to lead you by His Spirit. He promised. When the group insists on the leadership of God, they will be Spirit-led, people can expect to encounter the power of God through the unifying gifts of the Spirit at work in each believer in the community (even in their children, who meet with the grown-ups usually!).
You can trust the leadership of God in your large and small contexts. Expect Him to make your small groups a fully functioning body. We think too little of ourselves, our small groups, and of the Holy Spirit. Instead of planning everything out to give what you strategize as the best chance of success, teach your people the first five principles in this series, to learn what God wants, to insist on His leadership, to do the one thing necessary by sitting at His feet, resolving to only build His Kingdom, and being good soil for the Word. Then current pastors of large congregations will be able to operate as apostles and the number of shepherds and teachers and prophets and evangelists will multiply like wildfire. The church will grow and be adorned like a bride. (Revelation 21:2)
“HOUSE CHURCHES WON’T WORK HERE”
I have had a lot of people say that house churches would not work in a North American context. Here is why I disagree. We already have small groups functioning within larger church models. This shows me that people are hospitable and eager to connect in a more intimate setting. You would just have to get used to a few things:
- decentralized church structure that depends on God’s leadership
- multi-generational gatherings with children involved
- reliance on the Holy Spirit to a level that may make some uncomfortable (increase of silence/waiting)
- renewal of spiritual gifts that many thought died out a long time ago
I truly believe there is a correlation to the widespread gifts of the Holy Spirit becoming evident again when the church becomes smaller, not bigger! Here’s the core reason why. It’s not the size of the community that matters, but reliance on and desperation for the leadership of God.
With a rise in numbers often comes a felt need for organization and structure and order and keeping up appearances that happens. Disciple-making disciples are not made in big high-production meetings. You might see steady personal spiritual growth from good teaching, but you will not see multiplied organic natural growth until your people are motivated by love for Jesus to obey Him by making disciples under the leadership and power of the Spirit. When human order takes over the role of Spirit leadership, we fall into the trap of preferring human leadership over the leadership of God (see Principle #2: Insisting on the Leadership of God).
LEADERSHIP FOCUS MOVES BACK TO GOD
The leadership of our house church is intentionally not based around a particular structural model or a key human personality or main teacher. It’s built around an Ephesians 4 framework that the Holy Spirit is giving gifts to ALL OF US. Because of this, the whole body should yield the fruit of the Holy Spirit and receive and operate in these gifts, including at least prophetic, evangelistic, shepherding, and teaching gifts. Apostles will be needed as new church groups multiply.
When your people are on fire with the passion of the Holy Spirit, they become concerned with those who do not know this freedom and love and abundant life. This life lived in God’s constant presence automatically moves the site of apostleship, prophecy, evangelism, discipleship and teaching “out of the building”—not by streaming. I am talking about live, contextualized, personal and in small groups or even better, one-on-one. Not because you are telling them to, or because it is the new strategy of the church but because they are actually moved by love to obeying Jesus in making disciples!
LOVE FOR GOD DRIVES EVERYTHING
I have already made this point in previous posts, but this is really important. If love for and from God is not at the center of His church, we have missed the whole point. We abide with Him in community, we trust His leadership completely, we wait for Him to move before we move. And when we love Him we will obey Him. We will do what He commanded. And He commanded us to make disciples out of love for both Him and people. When we love God greatly, nothing is embarrassing anymore compared to your love for Him. You’d do anything to make Him happy. You would even leave the comfort of your church building to make His name known among the nations. You might even open your home.
A FEW OF THE MAIN GIFTS
There are many spiritual gifts: evangelism, prophecy, discipleship, teaching, apostleship (Ephesians 4:11), word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, miracles, kinds of healings, helping, administration, distinguishing between spirits (discernment), tongues/interpretation of tongues, giving, leadership, mercy, serving (Romans 12:5-8, 1 Corinthians 12:8-30).
For now, let me explain five of these gifts from Ephesians 4: evangelism, prophecy, teaching, shepherding, apostleship (Ephesians 4:11) in a way that the early church most likely knew these things and the way our community knows them. It’s not scary or intimidating. It’s beautiful AND these are for you as God gives them to your community:
By evangelism, I do not mean cold-selling Christ by knocking on doors, handing out tracks, and leading people in a prayer giving their lives to God. Some of these strategies have been useful, but I am actually talking about doing what everyone who was healed by Jesus naturally wanted to do—tell people what He did for them! For those of us who have truly seen His mercy and love and healing, we can scarcely keep it in. It is the Living Water of the Holy Spirit flowing out of us and into the lives of people. I am talking about the fruit of our lips. I am talking about just telling people actual good news of what Jesus is doing in your life! This is not complicated. It takes a little while to be comfortable telling your story, but once you start, it is very, very addictive because you see God change lives through Christ’s blood and your testimony! That’s evangelism. You preach the good news of Jesus (evangelisomai (εὐαγγελίσωμαι)) in your life and your community! We are miserable if we are not! (1 Corinthians 9:16) You get their phone number and you start discipling them, even if they have not received Christ yet!
TEACHING AND DISCIPLESHIP
Discipleship is a general call to all believers. By discipleship, I am not talking about formal processes of training or formal mentorships or discipleship classes that culminate in a graduation of rite of passage of some kind. I am simply talking about loving people at the deep level Jesus modeled with His twelve disciples and the other people He called to follow. We invite people into our homes. And though this seems a little countercultural and strange to us, we follow the model of Jesus by winsomely invite ourselves into their lives and homes too (Luke 19:5).
Yep. Invite yourself over. Christianity is countercultural sometimes. While you are together, you do genuinely fun things (Jesus went to weddings and fished and took naps while his friends fished) but also you do not neglect to look at their hearts. Discipleship is asking the people ALREADY in your lives something like these two question in a way that feels natural to you:
- How is your heart?
- How has your time with Jesus been going?
HOW IS YOUR HEART? gets at the core of a person’s emotions and deeper places. If it’s not great and they don’t know Jesus, offer to pray with them and LISTEN for what the Holy Spirit is saying to you FOR them. Ask them if they want to be restored to relationship with God so they can talk to Him—tell them what Jesus did for you and allow them to confess faith in Jesus! If they know Jesus, you should also ask something like—
HOW HAS YOUR TIME WITH JESUS BEEN GOING? which will either be an iron sharpening iron discipleship conversation for both of you OR will reveal that they are not spending time with Jesus, which allows you to just have the conversation about what Jesus is teaching you!
That’s evangelism and discipleship…genuine two-way vulnerable conversations about loving and obeying God, led by the Spirit. That’s it.
Teaching is a part of discipleship but teaching is also a spiritual gift. In other words, some people will be more able to see connections in scripture and convey them in a way that people easily understand and internalize. These people will feel supernaturally compelled to tell others what they have been learning and will do it in a clear way.
Prophecy is perceiving God’s thoughts for your community, your friend, or your own life. We are told to eagerly desire this gift specifically, because prophecy builds up the church, either by correction or encouragement.
Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 1 Corinthians 14:7
We abide in Him and learn to hear His voice. When we pray, we listen first, and we ask God what the person needs and how to lead them back to His heart. Which leads us to shepherding, which should be a prophetic role as well.
Shepherds are those who really see people. Out of love for them, we go after them. That’s why it’s difficult to shepherd an impossibly large group. We notice if even one sheep goes missing. We track down the missing sheep in love and we bring them back to community. We see the sheep who no one else sees and pay attention to them. We identify the injured sheep and we tend their wounds under the guidance of Jesus and His Spirit. We carry the lame until they are healed and can walk again. We fight off wolves and thieves. We stay awake and sober and watchful. Since we shepherd under the great shepherd, there is no pressure here. All we do is take the sheep back to the feet of Jesus. But shepherds see the sheep.
Apostles are shepherds in nature but shepherd multiple groups of people not just one small group. They check on the different groups and help correct, encourage, and mentor the shepherds/pastors. They plant new churches wherever God leads. They are evangelists at heart and also move prophetically in response to the Spirit. They have the big picture of God’s global glory in mind and they keep the vision of the Kingdom and the Bride mentality at the forefront of all the smaller church bodies. While they may have mass mediated messages, they will be most effective by traveling around personally and visiting their people. These are often people from the local churches who feel called to go out to plant churches. Those churches they plant need local shepherd, teachers, prophets, evangelists, and apostles. So apostles may find themselves broadly gifted in several areas with one or two main gifts.
SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE USUALLY NOT NATURAL GIFTS
There are things that need to be done in every gathering of the church—plenty of ways to serve in your natural preferences and proclivities. But remember, spiritual gifts are not tasks. Tasks keep people busy. Natural gifts make you arrogant and useless. Spiritual gifts keep people dependent on God. We have to know the difference.
For those who view themselves as naturally gifted, you need to empty out all your natural gifts and let God fill you with His gifts from His Spirit in a way that you will know that He alone is the source. He may use you in your strengths, but from what I have seen, that is the exception to the rule. God loves to show His glory in us. Not by how good we are at things, not by our own polished excellence, but by our yielding all our rights and kingdoms to His reign and rule. Becoming servants. Becoming slaves to Christ.
For those who view themselves as being “gift-less,” your spiritual gifting is not washing dishes, cooking, or holding babies. Those are ways to serve and show love, but you have spiritual gifts waiting for you. You are not a maid in the presence of god. You are a daughter or son. You can expect God to bless you so that you can see His glory in you. So that you get the privilege of serving out of your weakness, not your strength. Stop allowing tasks to fill this desire to serve through Spiritual Gifts. He has that for you!
Most of the time, God will spiritually gift someone in their weak areas. So for example, instead of taking someone who is organized and a naturally gifted speaker to teach or evangelize, he may use someone who is insecure about their shyness, their ability to understand or speak in public (think Moses). Instead of someone who seems naturally dominant and like an alpha leader, you will see shepherding/pastoring gifts emerge among the meek. You see God’s delight in using people in their weakness. And it does become a delight even for the person operating in the spiritual gift, because God truly does get all the glory. And we find ourselves rightly related to God, as His servants, His obedient children, His devoted bride. He becomes the center of our world, for real this time, because we need and want Him to be.
TESTING FOR GIFTS BY DISCERNMENT IN THE SPIRIT, NOT A TEST
Having you ever taken a spiritual gift test? Here is the interesting thing. You can’t really trust spiritual gift tests. They tend to actually show you what you are naturally gifted in, but spiritual gifts are actually gifts that show up when the Holy Spirit is allowed to take over your life. Here’s what we have found.
Once we recognize our need to be able to function fully as a complete body in a small group, you will become aware of your poverty and begin to ask God for gifts. Those already functioning as apostles, shepherds, and prophets with the gifts of discernment, words of wisdom, or knowledge, will start to notice the Holy Spirit gently highlighting these gifts as you worship God together under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. They will notice teaching gifts as people organically and simply share what God is teaching them.
We may start to notice prophetic gifts because people will look like they are listening to someone else while the group is praying and they will look up suddenly or seem confused at first. When you ask them what happened later, they will say, I think God just told me something—to which you say, “well let’s see!” someone more mature in the gift of prophecy may want to filter it first for beginners for their benefit and then you encourage them to say it if it seems to build up the body, either by correction or encouragement.
We notice apostles because they will be interested in other communities and how God could link you to outside groups. You will notice evangelists because they are always talking about how good God is and what He has been doing in their lives. You will notice other shepherds because they pay attention to people. Teachers are always taking notes and asking questions and teaching even as they are learning by the way they participate in the group. To notice a gifting, you have to have God’s vision for people at the heart level. This is how Jesus saw people, and it is only possible by the Holy Spirit. This is how David was chosen from all his stronger, older brothers.
Man looks at the outward appearance. God looks at the heart. When God reveals someone’s spiritual gifting/s, you should ask the Lord and then bring it up to the person and ask the person to pray about it. Then you encourage the person to function. Give them space to try. Give them room to grow and make mistakes. Small groups allow for this kind of merciful, humble environment. There’s nothing at risk in a place where you feel safe in your vulnerability. Love rules there. To make this work you need ground rules for your community. 1) Do everything out of love and generosity 2) Speak the truth in love 3) Let love cast out fear 4) Be kind and compassionate, forgiving each other.
Your small group will begin to notice the gifts explode in your home group. You will start to read the Bible and see yourself in the pages of Acts. You will read the gospels and realize that you don’t have to make excuses for the hard sayings of Jesus, because you have surrendered to the Way of the Kingdom. You don’t hoard money or food or time because you have nothing to protect anymore. You have resolved yourself to a dangerous vulnerability that is painful and joyful all at the same time. You start to participate in the rejection of men and the sufferings of Christ. And it is a glorious death to self.
SPIRITUAL GIFTS SHOW UP AFTER FULL SURRENDER
Here’s the thing—spiritual gifts only emerge after someone has fully surrendered their lives to God, their good and bad traits, trading them for “God traits” but especially their natural gifts and strengths. We have to count ourselves as truly poor and having nothing. Let me tell you how this worked for me. I had to trade in my anxiety, pride, lust, greed, manipulation, worry, deceit, laziness, and control to Him. I was happy to give those away. I begged Him to take those things. But I was not as ready to part with the things I considered my assets. But I realized that instead of my ambition and drive, He wanted me to learn to wait for Him and follow His lead so He could show His power.
Instead of my initiative, which I always considered a good thing, He wanted me to follow!
Instead of my ability to teach and communicate, He wanted me to listen and follow and teach other people to just listen and follow.
Instead of planning and strategizing, He wanted me to trust and rest and follow radically, insisting on His leadership, riding on the wind of His Spirit.
Instead of casting my vision and ideas, He wanted me to perceive and yield to His vision, which is usually only given step by step for those of us who are natural visionaries. Because that way, He gets ALL the attention, focus, and glory.
What is this process like? First, we make the initial decision out of our love and obedience to Him that we will and must surrender EVERYTHING because that’s what He wants. That may be your initial conversion to Christ but it may also need to happen in “Christians” who have been trying to follow Jesus for a long time. After this decision, a longer, more terrible, more beautiful process starts.
As we go lower into humility and resolve to do the ONE THING NECESSARY, to sit at His feet and resolve to just let Him lead us into a life of full surrender, He starts taking us on a tour of our hearts, where he shines a light on all that is not Him in us. And He clears out the soil of our hearts—all the thorns, rocks and hardness (Mark 4). Christ is planted in us and begins to root down into us. We lose our ability to function without Him, we actually return to rest, quietness and trust (Isaiah 30:15), because we need Him. Then He grows the kingdom out from us. My effort does not produce His fruit and I can do literally, absolutely, nothing without Him (John 15:5). My attention, obedience, and yielding to Him in love is the thing that makes the kingdom grow. Imagine if we as the whole church returned to actually needing God’s Spirit for growth?
Welcome to the kingdom! Are you ready to go lower—to move underground like mustard seed, to pour into others one on one—in small groups or big—to embrace the glorious inefficiency of the kingdom? Be the soil. Host the seed of Christ. Be watered by the Holy Spirit, and Jesus, the Word, the Way Truth and Life, will multiply out of you. His fruit (not yours) will grow in you. Are you ready to just spill out His life through the fruit of your lips, where nothing belongs to you and you resolve to know nothing but Christ? His Spirit will flow from your heart by His gifts to build up the church building of living stones and draw all men to Him. In this way, His church body, His Kingdom will grow.
Wake up Bride of Christ! You have a king who is demanding your surrender—and to those who yield to Him, to those who choose His way of love and death to self, He has given us the kingdom and the gifts stored up for us!
I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus. 5 Through him, God has enriched your church in every way—with all of your eloquent words and all of your knowledge. 6 This confirms that what I told you about Christ is true. 7 Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 9 God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:4-9
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:6-8
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11
…I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.30 I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 31 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. Joel 2:28-31