Page 2 - Gift - May 2017 - Truth & Tidings
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us do next? Below is a list of principles from  then use your gift for His glory. If so, then
          specific Bible passages, not a book of rules  you must prioritize the assembly where your
          from the author, that show us what we  gift is to be primarily exercised. The book of
          should do as we move through life in order  Acts makes it clear that believers who were
          to find fulfillment and joy, to answer these  added to the church were actively involved
          questions according to the will of God.  in that they “continued steadfastly in the
             Be part of a local assembly. The New   apostles’ doctrine and fellowship and in
          Testament is devoid of examples of believ­  breaking of bread and in prayers” (Acts
          ers exercising their spiritual gift appropri­  2:42). There are no examples in the New
          ately outside the fellowship of a local   Testament of spiritual believers who only at­
          church. The chapters teaching about gift   tended the breaking of bread meeting on
          (e.g. 1Cor 12, 14) show that the exercise of   Sunday, or who regularly chose not to attend
          those gifts is within the context of a local   certain meetings of the assembly. Un for­
          church as an expression of the body of   tunately, Satan has engineered modern life
          Christ. Clearly, we are not intended to be   so that it wreaks havoc on commitment to
          free agents, acting alone in the world.   the local assembly and regular meeting at­
          Apollos  tried,  and  after  joining  a  local   tendance. Whether it be homework, work
          church, had to be taken aside and instruct­  schedules, work travel, city traffic, kids’
          ed in the “way of God more perfectly” (Acts   sports teams, none of which are bad in and
          18:26). Acts 2 shows the pattern for every   of themselves, many issues will sidetrack you
          genuine believer in that “they that gladly   and your family in usefulness for God unless
          received his Word … were added” (Acts   you prioritize the assembly. To be active in
          2:41). This pattern continues throughout   the assembly, you will have to sacrifice and
          the Acts and the rest of the New Testament,   also not expect other believers to thank you
          where believers were expected to be part of   for doing so. We look for the Lord’s com­
          a local church, and only because of moral   mendation, “well done thou good and faith­
          sin (1 Cor 5) or doctrinal error (1Tim 1:20)   ful servant” (Matt 25:21).
          were found outside that regular fellowship.   Keep Short Accounts with God. David
          Being part of a local church that follows the  shared his own intensely personal prayer
          Biblical church pattern means that you are  with us when he wrote “Search me O God
          walking in obedience to the Lord, having  and know my heart: try me, and know my
          obeyed him in baptism (Matt 28:19, Act  thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way
          2:41) and in breaking bread (Luke 22:19).  in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”
          As Samuel noted to Saul, “to obey is better  (Psa 139:23). If you wish to be useful for
          than sacrifice (1Sam 15:22).” If you are not  God, sin in your life has to be dealt with first
          yet part of a local assembly of believers that  before you can be “led” related to your gift
          is following the New Testament pattern,  and place in the assembly.
          obeying the Lord by finding that spiritual   If your conscience is bothering you as
          home has to be step one before any attempt   you read this section, I challenge you to go to
          at service (i.e., “sacrifice” for him) or the   God in confession right now asking for for­
          discovery and exercise of a spiritual gift.  giveness of the specific sin you have done
             Be an active participant in the assem-  (1John  1:9)  and  the  strength  to  forsake
          bly. You want God to help you identify and  whatever it is so you can be useful to Him.

          2   TRUTH kTidings  I Our Clothing
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