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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Feelin' Good About Your Gifts

Developing our God-given gifts, 3 ways to develop your skills
These insights build on the Study "Feelin' Good."  

You can do the study first or work through these insights independent of the study. The original study is in black. 

From my vantage point in life (62 years old), I can see many ways God developed my gifts and abilities. 

For example: I never thought I'd be writing a devotional blog at this stage in my life but I can see how God used things from my childhood, high school years and later in life to prepare me for this ministry.

And He did the same in other areas of my life.

God is using the big and small details in your life too, preparing you for His purposes.

My thoughts and suggestions:

1. Try new Things! 
Don't limit yourself, especially during the first 40-50 years of your life. Doing a variety of things, even things out of your comfort zone, can teach you important lessons. 

2. Learn from those with more experience.
They can help you avoid mistakes or help you determine what  your true gifts and abilities are. Be sure to humbly listen to their correction.

3. Never stop learning.
As the editor of a contributor blog, I learned that many people who feel they are called to write aren't doing anything to improve their skills.
See Colossians 3:23
And these 1-minute devotions:  Waste or Invest and How, Not What

Despite the popular saying that we can do whatever we set our minds to do, we can't. We don't have gifts and abilities for all things. We should set our minds to do whatever God has called us to do.
See 1 Peter 4:10-11

Bible Study
1. Do you realize God has specifically prepared things for you to do?
If you are unaware of this part of your walk with the Lord, take time to pray about it and ask God to give you wisdom and direction. 
Ephesians 2:10: For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 

What an encouraging thing to know that we each have meaningful purposes to fulfill in this life!

2. These verses tell us how to discern God's plans and purposes:
What are some practical ways you can obey this command?
Romans 12:1-2: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

A few practical ways to fulfill this command:

1. Be more discriminating about your entertainment choices. Choose things that conform you to godly values, not worldly values. See these related 1-Minute Bible Love Notes:
What Can We Do About Bad TV?
My Name is Inigo Montoya 

2. Avoid unnecessary influences from ungodly friends or co-workers. Instead, take your cues from mature Christians. 
See 1 Corinthians 15:33.
See these 1-Minute devotions:
Peer Mentors
Off Line

3. Think of ways to make your time in God's Word and prayer more "doable." I wrote about this in these 1-Minute Bible Love Notes:
Spice It Up
Not a Minute to Spare

3. An element of renewing our minds:  
2 Timothy 2:15: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 

Always, always, always, our hearts are renewed by regular reading of God's Word because it reveals His character and defines genuine faith. Perhaps these 1-Minute Bible Love Notes will encourage you in this area:
Never Enough (about our need for repetition)
8 x 8 (a plan for dwelling on God's Word) 

I'd love to know how you feel about the new format with the insights being meatier, more like part 2 of the study and coming out the following week instead of on Saturday.

copyright Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com
All Scripture NIV unless otherwise noted

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