In case you are new to this blog, on July 20 we did a “Hot Seat” Sunday, where people texted in questions for me to answer on the spot. (Yes, that seat did get hot!)
Here are some of the questions we didn’t have time to answer on July 20:
- What about tongues, is it a gift today?
Yes, absolutely. I’m convinced that ALL of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (there’s a list in 1Cor. 12 that may not be exhaustive) are still available today. If the Apostles who walked with Jesus for 3.5 years needed the power of the Spirit’s gifts in their lives and ministry, SURELY we do too!
There’s only one passage in the entire Bible that some people think teaches that tongues are no longer available today, but a careful reading of 1Cor. 13:8-12 clearly shows those Spiritual gifts (including tongues) will not disappear until we’re in heaven with the Lord, when we will “see face to face” and “know as we are known”. Until then, every believer can and should use their “prayer language” to obtain the wonderful personal benefits it offers – see 1Cor. 14
- Gifts of the spirit vs spiritual fruit ?
Since I’m not sure what the question is, I’ll just give a quick summary of the two:
The gifts of the Spirit are listed in 1Cor. 12:4-11. Each one is supernatural in its operation – not just human ability. The purpose of each one is to enable us to help someone else, and the Holy Spirit chooses which gift(s) each of us is to receive. They are ‘gifts’ so we don’t earn them and they can be received in a moment of time after we are filled with the Spirit.
The fruit of the Spirit is listed in Galatians 5:22-23. These 9 qualities are produced by the Holy Spirit in our lives as we walk and grow in the Lord. It takes time for fruit to grow, and since they are products of the Holy Spirit, we do have a role to play in prayer, receiving the Word, etc. Together, they represent the character of Jesus – HE walked in each one of those qualities.
- What do you do when trouble and chaos constantly come knocking at your door but others seem to skate through life unscathed?
Personally, I usually cry and whine a bit. But that never does any good, so let me quit trying to be funny and give you a more helpful answer. First, I suspect the enemy has been lying to you about all of this, because “trouble and chaos” are not constantly given to God’s children – instead, they are occasional attacks from the enemy. (Remember from the story of Job we learn that Satan cannot attack a child of God without first getting God’s permission, and we know that God is good and will never allow us to be tested beyond what we can endure. (see 1Cor. 10:13)
Secondly, I also think the enemy is lying to you about others – because no one skates through life unscathed. EVERY child of God experiences some times of testing or trial, and the Bible clearly shows us that the rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. Some of the bad things that happen in your life are not a result of God testing you or the devil attacking you; it’s just part of living in an imperfect world as a result of the Fall of man in the Garden!
So my advice is to hold on to God’s promises – HE is faithful to His Word, and you can trust Him! Refuse the lies of the enemy and allow God to bring you out victoriously!
- My son will be graduating college this year with a degree as an electrical engineer. How do I get over the fear of him going out into the world?
Congratulations! He should have a great career ahead of him, especially if he applies what he’s learned and works hard!
As to your fear, REBUKE it! It definitely did not come from God (2Tim. 1:7), so it must either be a thought planted by the devil, or just your human nature (flesh) causing you to worry needlessly. I suggest you read Matthew 6:34 in the Message translation. Instead of being anxious or fearful, give those concerns to God in prayer and watch your son prosper!
Hope this helps! NOW, what would YOU like to Ask the Pastor?