World of Faith

Happy New Year 2008

January 6, 2008
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Dear Readers,

I apologize for not getting to post again in 2007. I have been extremely busy, and so I am announcing that “World of Faith” will be taking a slightly different direction in 2008. However, before I go there, I would like to impress on you all how “World of Faith” is reaching the whole wide world. Several weeks ago, I received this comment from Ammar in Iraq, in response to a series that I did a while back, on “What is Charismatic.” Ammar writes,

“Jonathan, good that I found this web site, my name is Ammar living in North of Iraq.
A friend of mine want to know more about the word Chrismatic. Please eamil me for if I need other questions I will ask you again.
My friend in from Yazedy backround (the worship angels-Satan).
Lord bless you.”

I have received correspondence before from Europe and Mexico, but we are reaching the now liberated state of Iraq, and that is significant, my friends. Please keep me in your prayers as “World of Faith” enters 2008. Very soon I will start our first series of this year, which will be the series, “Being Set Free.” Then, the second series that I have been preparing, is called “Legacy,” which will discuss the importance of your spiritual heritage. Those of you who are wanting to know my testimony will here it, and also you will understand more about my own spiritual heritage, as well. I will also discuss the importance of leaving a legacy, as well.

Also, as the year progresses, I will also be slightly chaning the format here at “World of Faith.” I will be using pieces that I have developed for other ministry outlets. For example, the first segment of “Legacy” will actually be an excerpt from something I prepared for a new initiative at my own church, called “Ignite: Faith Ministry School.” I will also be sharing other pieces for that, as well. But, “World of Faith” will continue in 2008, and we will continue to reach out and disciple others, even to the ends of the earth, even in Iraq.

God’s blessings,
Jonathan Krems
jbkrems@excite.com

P.S.: Please also e-mail me if you are interested in guest blog submissions, as well.


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More Than You Can Ever Ask or Think – A Special Post

November 6, 2007
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I’ve been preparing a new series that I alluded to last time, called “Being Set Free,” and that series will start in the next post entry here at “World of Faith.” However, last Thursday I ministered at my church’s Acts 29 Young Adult meeting, and I wanted to share that with you, my fellow readers, at the beginning of November, before we go into and launch the new series on “Being Set Free” later this month. With that being said, here is “More Than You Can Ever Ask or Think,” which I shared on last Thursday night at the Acts 29 Young Adult meeting…

A few years ago when I was at a conference for Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship, I was in a breakout session, and someone asked me what my life verse was. I responded with Eph. 3:20 (NAS), which states, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond ALL that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” I’ve heard this verse several times, and it seems to have sticked as my life verse. What I’d like to emphasize is that whenever I have faced discouragement, or uncertainty in a given situation, God has time after time directed me to this verse.

There are three different aspects of this verse that are important to note. The first aspect is that God is able. When I’ve studied this verse, I’ve always paid attention to the second part of it, but to me it is such a rich verse. The fact is that God is able — to establish us, and according to 2 Cor. 9:8, to “make all grace abound to you.” Another verse says that God has given us “everything pertaining to life and godliness.” God is very able to accomplish His will in our lives, but that is just half of the equation.

The second aspect of this verse is the other half of the equation, that God’s will is accomplished in our life through the power of God working in us. I really like how the NLT translates this part of the verse. Eph. 3:20 (NLT) says, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Notice that the verse here says “through His mighty power at work within us.” I like that a lot. That is an active statement that implies we must COOPERATE with God in order for Him to accomplish His purposes in our lives.

However, there is a third part to this verse, and it is this third part that has spoken the most to me that the entire verse has become my life verse. I really REALLY like how the Amplified says it. Eph. 3:20 (AMP) declares, “Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]…” I really like how the Amplified uses the word “superabundantly” here. We talk about the concept of “abundance” in the Scriptures, but this is “superabundance.” As the song says, “My God is more than enough.” Really, “My God is MORE THAN more than enough.” Make no mistake about it. What really hits home, and why this verse means so much to me is that God is able to accomplish far more than what we dare to ask or think God can do, i.e. far more than our prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams. In other words, we must take the limits off God so that He can take the limits off of us. After all, it is what God is accomplishing through His power working in us.

Now THAT is really good news — that is really encouraging. This is why I’ve always turned to this particular verse when I have faced discouragement or uncertainty. An example of this happened a few years ago, when I went back to St. Louis, in July 2005, to take care of some personal affairs. I was scheduled to be back in St. Louis for about two and a half weeks. At this stage in my life, I had just started attending Faith Church in Edmond (see the link at the right side of the page), and I was facing a lot of uncertainty as to the future of the music ministry in my life. Because of some unfortunate situations, I had to leave another church where I was involved with the praise and worship team, and I had also been a part of the praise and worship team, and music ministry, back at my former church in St. Louis, Rivers of Life. The head of the praise and worship department, who at that time was the pastor’s wife, had always extended me a semi-open invitation to be a part of the praise and worship team again whenever I was visiting in town… depending on the logistics and scheduling issues. But I was uncertain whether I would have this opportunity this trip. And I was uncertain as to the future of my involvement in praise and worship, and music ministry here in Oklahoma, as well.

While in St. Louis, or shortly before I left town, I had received news I was not going to be able to sing the first Sunday I was in town, because of scheduling issues. Of course, this magnified the uncertainty. Earlier that weekend, I was up late watching a local church program in St. Louis. They had a segment where they were featuring a young family who attends that church, and showed how every member of the family was fulfilled. The kids were fulfilled with children’s church. The father was a member of the parking team ministry. The mother was a member of the choir of the choir and praise and worship team. Seeing this God spoke to me, and showed me that there was still promise and hope for the gifts God has given me in the area of praise and worship and music ministry.

Then on that first Sunday, I got in touch with the worship leader, and she said that she needed to check the schedule for the next Sunday, to see whether I could participate, and she asked me to call her Monday night. That Monday night I was at a local Borders, and I tried calling her. I could not get through. Again, this increased the uncertainty, as I had to make plans for Tuesday night, which was a scheduled rehearsal I would need to attend. After calling her twice, I still could not get through as there was no answer at home, and her answering machine was full. Finally about an hour to an hour and a half later, I got through to her, and she checked the schedule. She was concerned and worried herself about some of the instruments not being available, but said for me to come anyways and she would work me in.

So, Tuesday night I came to rehearsal, and discovered that Chris, who normally plays guitar and sings lead on many songs was going to play bass. So, God worked it out that I would actually be doing some lead vocals for that upcoming Sunday, which was definitely “more than I could ever ask or think,” given that I just was thankful and glad to be a member of the team. Further, towards the end of the set that morning, God personally spoke to me that this was a sign that He was not finished with me in this area, and that He is faithful and just to complete in me the good work that He had started.

In closing, God really is able to do and accomplish in us more than we can ever ask or think, according to Eph. 3:20. We just have to cooperate with Him, and take the limits off God so that He can take the limits off of us. Amen.


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Fulfilling Your Calling: Part Five

October 6, 2007
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Welcome once again to “World of Faith.” Again I want to apologize for the delay of this entry. I had hoped to present this entry last weekend, but because of my busy schedule, it got delayed. This will be the fifth and final installment for the series, “Fulfilling Your Calling,” and later this month I will debut a new series, “Being Set Free.” I believe that one of the benefits of the atonement that we often forget is that we have been set free not only from sin, but also from sickness, disease, and any manner of torment, addiction, or bondage that might beset us. And so that is the next topic that I will explore here at “World of Faith.” Again, in the meantime, I’d like to encourage my readers to submit guest blog submissions. If you desire to submit a guest blog, please send it to jbkrems@excite.com, so that I can review it, and be in touch with you. Also, you can send your ideas and suggestions for future topics to that same e-mail address, and I look forward to hearing from some of you in that regard soon.

Before I get into this entry, I want to review a bit from my last entry on prayer, which is vital to fulfiling your calling. If God has shown you something in your life, then you need to pray it out, because by doing so you are effectuating God’s will in your life, praying it out. Paul wrote in Col. 1:9-12, “We have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will and with all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.” The first thing that Paul addresses here is the necessity of prayer in the will of God on your life. Similarly, Paul wrote in Eph. 1:18, “I pray that the heart of your eyes may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” The second aspect of the Colossians passage is that the effect of the knowledge of His will through prayer is that we will be able to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.” In previous installments I discussed at length the importance of developing godly character and walking in the Spirit, and so I encourage you to read all five parts of this series for greater detail. The third aspect Paul addresses in Col. 1:9-12 is that prayer is necessary to please. In fact, the Scriptures in Hebrews that both prayer and faith are necessary to please God. This is such an important aspect to fulfilling one’s calling that I am devoting this entire installment on the issue of faith. So, without further delay, let’s look at how vital faith is to fulfilling your calling.

I think the most vital Scripture that pertains to faith, as I alluded to in the paragraph above, is Heb. 11:6 (NKJV), “Without faith it is impossible to please [God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” If we are to fulfill the calling of God on our life, we must not only believe that God IS, but that also God rewards those who diligently seek Him. This is what is meant in Matt. 6:33, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things [rewards] will be added to you.” So, faith is vital to fulfilling our calling. In fact, we cannot simply have faith. Jesus said in Mark 11:22-24, “Have faith in God. For assuredly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask for when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Some versions of the Bible translate verse 22 above as “Have the God-kind of faith.” This would imply that God has faith, and that is indeed what the Scriptures teach concerning that issue. God does indeed have faith, because according to Heb. 11:2, God framed and created the worlds with the Word of God, by speaking faith-filled words. In fact, words are simply containers, and they can either contain faith, or they can contain doubt and unbelief. If we desire to fulfill the calling of God on our life, we must speak words of faith about it, and not whatever circumstance or problem that we may face. If we’re speaking the problem, or if we’re speaking the circumstance, then we’re not in faith in regards to God’s calling on our life, and that does not please God.

Another key aspect to faith, as it pertains to fulfiling one’s calling, is that faith calls things that are not, as though they actually exist. Heb. 11:1 (NKJV) states the following: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE of things not seen.” I don’t know about you, but if you’re like me, seeking God to fulfilling His calling on your life, then you have not “arrived” at the destination yet. You have not fully inherited everything that God has for you in your life. You might have received in the natural a foretaste of what is to come, but your full inheritance has not manifested yet. This is what Abraham went through according to Heb. 11:8, “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called out to go to the place where he would receive his inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” Well, God knows, and that means we have to walk by faith, and not by sight — because God knows where He is leading and taking us, and we don’t — thus we must exercise our faith in an invisible God and His plan for our life. Further, we know that Abraham called things that were not, as though they were. As regards to God’s precious promise to Abraham, Rom. 4:17-21 says, “As it is written, ‘I have made you a father of many nations,’ in the presence of Him whom he believed, God, who gives life to the dead, and CALLS THOSE THINGS THAT DO NOT EXIST AS THOUGH THEY DID; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body already dead… and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced (or assured) that what God had promised He was also able to perform.” WOW, that is a lot to unpack. The first thing we see here is that God made a promise to Abraham that he (Abraham) was called to be the father of many nations. However, the problem and circumstances said that Abraham was too old to have a child, and Sarah was also barren. But Abraham and Sarah, contrary to their circumstances, believed what God had said, and His promise. Abraham was not weak in his faith with unbelief, but because Abraham gave thanksgiving and praise to God (he glorified God), Abraham’s faith was strengthened, and thus he became fully convinced (or persuaded, or assured as in Heb. 11:1) that God would perform His word. That is exactly what God expects of us as well, if we desire to fulfill God’s calling and promise on our life. In spite of the circumstances, we must believe and have faith in what God has shown us. We must praise God for it in advance, and thank God as if we’ve already received what is promised us. This is what the Scriptures mean where it says that we inherit the promises through faith and patience. We must continue that attitude of praise and thanksgiving, so that our inheritance, which has already manifested in the spirit, will manifest in the natural. Amen.

Lastly, I must comment on how to cultivate our faith. Rom. 10:17 makes clear, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Thus, there are two steps to cultivate faith. First we must be hearing God, and second, we must be hearing God specifically in His Word, the Scriptures. What Paul is emphasizing here is that we must let the Word of God dwell in our hearts. We must get the Word in our spirits, because the Word is seed, and it will produce in our lives the calling, inheritance, and destiny that God has promised us.

Alright, that covers it. Next time, later this month, we’ll start a brand new series on being set free. If you want a foretaste, I suggest you read Psalm 103, on your own, and we’ll start there at the top of the new series. See you then. In the meantime, feel free to send your comments, thoughts, and suggestions, as well as guest blog submissions to me at jbkrems@excite.com, and I look forward to hearing from you.


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Fulfilling Your Calling: Part Four

September 15, 2007
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Welcome back to “World of Faith.” Its been too long since the last entry here, and I wish to apologize for that — I’ve been caught up in several projects, personally, and I also celebrated my 27th birthday over Labor Day weekend. But I am going to be continuing this blog, at least semi-regularly. I’ll be publishing this installment on Friday, Sept. 14th, and I hope to have the fifth and final installment published by the end of the month. In the meantime, I wish to again encourage guest submissions for my blog, “World of Faith.” If you desire to submit a guest blog, then please send it to jbkrems@excite.com, so that I can review it, and be in touch with you. Hopefully one of you my readers will contact me soon for a guest submission, because I’d like to publish one in October, after the conclusion of this series. So please send your ideas, suggestions, and your guest submissions to me personally, and I look forward to hearing from somebody soon.

In the last installment, I discussed the necessity of meditating on the Word of God in order to fulfill the call of God on your life. The Word of God provides God’s general will and direction for every Christian believer. Joshua 1:8 (NKJV) says, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” We are to mediate on the Scriptures, so that we can obey God and do what is His will for everyone. Then I discussed what “meditation” means. According to Thayer’s Lexicon, the Hebrew word for “meditate” is “hagah,” which means to “moan, growl, utter, muse (think about), devise, plot, and speak.” So, if we are meditating on the Word of God, then we are uttering about it to ourselves, thinking about it to ourselves, devising, plotting, and speaking about it, etc. We are in fact seeking to apply it to our lives daily, if we are truly meditating on God’s Word. On a practical level, this means that we can find a promise in the Scriptures, stand on it, meditate on it, and by that develop our faith for what we and God agree needs to be accomplished in our life. This is vital because Rom. 10:17 declares, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” And that is a summary of meditation, and if you would like more on that subject, then I encourage you to read Part Four in its entirety.

In this installment I am going to focus on prayer, and how vital prayer is to fulfilling the calling on your life. Prayer is directly related to meditation, but more importantly, prayer is a very necessary spiritual discipline, just as important as meditating in the Word of God, to fulfilling the call of God on your life. If God has shown you something in your life, then you need to pray it out, because by doing so you are effectuating God’s will in your life, praying it out. Paul wrote in Col. 1:9-12, “We have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will and with all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.” Wow, that is a very powerful passage to meditate on. The first thing that Paul is discussing here is the necessity of prayer in the will of God on your life. This is very similar to what Paul wrote in Eph. 1:18, “I pray that the heart of your eyes may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” The second aspect of the Colossians passage is that the effect of the knowledge of His will through prayer is that we will be able to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.” I discussed the importance of developing godly character and also walking in the Spirit, and thus those concepts are tied directly to prayer and fulfilling your calling and God’s will for your life.

The third aspect that Paul addresses here as an effect of prayer is that it is necessary in order to please God in respects. In fact, the Bible says in Hebrews, “Without faith it is impossible to please God,” and so Paul is saying prayer is necessary to strengthen one’s faith. I will develop this issue further next week, but Jesus said in regards to prayer and faith in Mark 11:22-24, “Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you PRAY and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” Thus, if God has shown you something that is related to your calling and His will for your life, then you pray in faith expecting God to perform it, because you believe it will be accomplished in your life. This is a HUGE key to prayer and faith, as it relates to fulfilling your calling in life.

Lastly, Paul writes one other key verse as it relates to prayer. Phil. 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” The first key in this verse is that we cannot be anxious as regards to fulfilling our calling. Instead we must pray and give thanksgiving to God in faith, as if we have already received what God has for us (see Mark 11), and by that make our requests known to God, because we know He hears us, and will answer our prayer according to His will with a yes and amen. So, Phil. 4:6 is also a great verse to meditate on in order to fulfill your calling.

Alright, that’s all for this time. Next time I will wrap this series up with an installment on faith, and in the meantime, please send your guest blog submissions to me at jbkrems@excite.com.

God’s blessings to all, Amen.


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Fulfilling Your Calling: Part Three

August 19, 2007
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This week I am continuing my blog series on “Fulfilling Your Calling,” and before I get into this week’s topic, I want to review last week’s entry. Also, I want to remind everyone that I am still accepting guest submissions, so please send them to jbkrems@excite.com if you wish me to publish one. Now, last week I discussed the importance of walking in the Spirit, in order to develop the kind of character necessary to fulfill the calling on your life. Last week I emphasized as well that walking in the Spirit is not only necessary to fulfilling your calling, but it is also necessary to living a godly, righteous life before God. It is God’s will for everyone. As a side note last week, I discussed how many people, especially in the 18-30 age bracket, question God’s will for their life. They do not know God’s will for their life, and they do not know how to discover God’s will for their life. However, God’s will and direction for EVERYONE can be found in the Word of God, which is the subject of this week’s entry.

Now, walking in the Spirit is not a vague or ambiguous concept. At least it shouldn’t be. Paul wrote in Gal. 5:16-18 (NKJV), “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” To walk in the Spirit is to be led by the Holy Spirit, and to act in accordance with the Holy Spirit. Its really very simple, and is a privilege that we have, according to the Scriptures, as children of God, because the Holy Spirit indwells and lives within us, and hopefully fills us with His power and fulness so we can serve and obey God boldly.

So, this week I am discussing the necessity to meditate on the Word of God, in order to fulfill the calling on your life. As I discussed last week, the Word of God (i.e. the Bible, the Scriptures), provides for God’s general will and direction for every Christian believer. Joshua 1:8 (NKJV) says, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” We are to mediate on the Scriptures, so that we can obey God and do what is His will for everyone. If you are searching for direction in your life, then you need to start with God’s Word, which provides general direction for all. Further, if you do this, then you will prosper and have good success. I’m not talking “prosperity” here necessarily, but whatever you put your hand to WILL prosper and succeed.

But what does it mean to meditate? I don’t know about you, but when I think of “meditation,” I think of something related to Eastern mysticism. Well, first of all it might surprise you to learn that Christianity IS an Eastern religion. It is not a religion of the West, based on Europe or America. Rather, Christianity was birthed in the MIDDLE EAST, so it IS by its nature Eastern. However, what we really need to know is what the word “meditate” means. According to Thayer’s Lexicon, “meditate,” as it is used here in Joshua 1:8, the Hebrew word for “meditate” is “hagah,” which means to “moan, growl, utter, muse (think about), devise, plot, and speak.” So, if we are meditating on the Word of God, then we are uttering about it to ourselves, thinking about it to ourselves, devising, plotting, and speaking about it, etc. We are in fact seeking to apply it to our lives daily, if we are truly meditating on God’s Word.

On a practical level, how would this work? Let’s say you are believing God for a healing in your body. Before I go any further, I want to make a disclaimer. I believe it is God’s will for you to be healed and whole in your spirit, in your soul, in your mind, in your emotions, AND in your body. Some people are going to disagree with that, but you can feel free to post a comment in which I will discuss that. But — I believe there are promises in the Scriptures that provide for healing in our bodies. Some Scriptures that immediately come to mind that announce this promise are Psalm 103:1-3, which states, “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who HEALS ALL YOUR DISEASES,” and also Matt. 8:16-17, “When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and HEALED ALL WHO WERE SICK, that it might be fulfilled that which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘He Himself took our infirmities and BORE OUR DISEASES.'” So, these passages clearly indicate a promise in the Word of God for healing in our bodies, and I personally believe this promise is included in the atonement, just like salvation from our sins is. In fact, I was discussing these various passages on another blog this past week, in order to encourage in the Word of God the blogger concerning his son who has a mental disorder. The point is we can stand on the promises in the Word of God, meditate on them, and thereby develop our faith for what we and God agree needs to be accomplished in our life, in this case, a healing. This is vital to developing our faith because Paul wrote in Romans 10:17, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

So, that summarizes meditating on the Word of God, which is essential to fulfilling your calling. Next week I will continue this discussing, focusing on prayer, and then in part five, faith, without which it is impossible to please God. Amen.


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Fulfilling Your Calling: Part Two

August 12, 2007
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This week I am continuing my blog series on “Fulfilling Your Calling,” but before I do that, I want to apologize and then make one other comment. First I want to apologize for the delay in this series. I have been lately very busy in my personal life, and that is why I have requested my readers to submit guest blogs. It is the past few weeks where I have desired to publish guest blogs — because I get busy — but I still want to continue this blog, and the thoughts that God has led me to publish on my own — yet I wish to also publish the like-minded views of others. So, I do apologize for not writing the past few weeks. However, I also want to encourage my readers to seriously consider sending a guest blog submission for editorial review. For those who might be new to “World of Faith,” the policies for a guest submission are in Part One of “Fulfilling Your Calling.” Please send your submission to jbkrems@excite.com, and I will review it, and then notify you personally about whether I will approve or disapprove your submission. If your submission is approved, I will also notify you when it will be scheduled for being published. And all editorial decisions will be final. For more information on this process, please read Part One of “Fulfilling Your Calling.”

So, back in July, I began this series on “Fulfilling Your Calling.” Everyone in the Body of Christ has a unique calling or calling(s) on their life, and one of the keys to fulfilling your calling is obedience, and walking the call out. In Part One, I thus emphasized the call of God in general, and addressed the need for solid, biblical, godly character as necessary to fulfill your calling. I specifically shared seven character qualities, which are found in 2 Pet. 1:4-8, and I explored them in depth in Part One. The final character quality I addressed was love, which is also a fruit of the Holy Spirit according to Galatians 5. Further, Eph. 3:16 says that we are to be “rooted and grounded in love.” The key is that if we demonstrate the seven character qualities of 2 Pet. 1:4-8, concluding in love, then we will not only exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, but we will ALSO be spiritually grounded. Even more important, we will be empowered to walk in the Spirit, which is the topic of this week’s entry.

Walking in the Spirit is VERY essential to fulfilling your calling, but even more broadly, it is essential to living a godly, righteous life before God, which is God’s calling… God’s will… for everyone. So many people in life question God’s will for their life. Just talk to most anyone in the 18-30 age bracket. This is a side note, but August 31st of this year, which is just 19 days away from today, I will turn 27 years old. Yes, if you are reading this, you are reading the blog of a 26-year-old born-again Christian in Edmond, Oklahoma. But most of my friends are in the 18-30 age group. Some are older than I am, and some are younger. But one thing I see, which very much concerns me, is the lack of direction in the age group of these people’s lives. In fact, the sad indictment is that I know more Christians in this age group who lack direction for their life than non-Christians. Earlier this week, I spoke with a friend of mine who lives in Fairfax, Virginia. We went to college together at George Mason University, and we had not talked together in several months. I learned that although she is 28 years old (surprisingly), she has spent the last several months over the summer “figuring out her life.” This is just one example of many people — who have either just graduated high school, and are taking time off before college — or those presently in college — or those who have recently graduated from college — all of which are in the same position, in that they lack direction for their life. And sadly, this is more true among Christians that I know, compared with non-Christians. But, the good news is that we CAN have direction for our life, and that direction is found in the Word of God. I am going to address this even further in the next entry for my blog, but for now please understand there are certain items that are God’s will and direction for EVERYONE’s life, no matter who they are, or what their calling(s) might be.

One key concept that is essential for EVERYONE is to walk in the Spirit. When I was first introduced to this concept, back when I lived in St. Louis, it sounded kind of mysterious to me. I knew I needed to pray (which I will discuss in the future), and I knew I needed to read the Word of God (which I will discuss next week), but when “walking in the Spirit” was discussed, the concept seemed so ambiguous and vague — and mystical, too. It was like a mystery that was hard for me to fathom. Well, over the years I’ve gained some understanding of walking in the Spirit, because that very subject is discussed in the Word of God. But before we go to the Scriptures, a key ingredient to walking in the Spirit is to develop godly character. I would encourage my readers to re-read and review Part One, where I discussed that issue, because having godly character and walking in love is essential to walking in the Spirit.

Now, what DO the Scriptures say about walking in the Spirit? First, in the context of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (as well as the deeds of the flesh), Paul wrote in Gal. 5:16-18 (NKJV), “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” So, this is the will of God for everyone. We need to walk in the Spirit, which means we need to be led by the Holy Spirit in all that we do. The parallel Scripture passage that explores this concept in further detail is Romans 8:1-14 (NKJV). Paul begins in Rom. 8:1-2, “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” What Paul is saying here is that if you are saved, if the Holy Spirit has come to live inside you, and you are born again, then you are not condemned — you are set free from the penalty of death for your sins — and the “proof” of that is that if this life transformation has happened to you, then you WILL walk according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh. This is because the law of the Spirit has set you free from the law of sin and death. Before you were saved, you were under condemnation because of the law of sin and death. The law of sin and death basically says that if you sin, the penalty is death (Rom. 6:23), but there is a GREATER law for those who are in Christ Jesus — for those who have made Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior — and that law is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus — it is the law of love, which sets us free from the law of sin and death.

Paul continues then in Rom. 8:3-4, “For what the law (of sin and death) could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Thus, the law that we are speaking of here is really the way in which God dealt with man under the Law of Moses. The fact is as Christians we live under a new and better covenant, which is based on grace and faith, and not on a works-based righteousness. The Scriptures speaks of this law as a “tutor” that leads us to grace, by showing our need for Jesus as our Lord and Savior. God the Father sent Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and God in the flesh, so that He (Jesus) could fulfill the righteous requirement on our behalf. Righteousness would then no longer be based on works as it was under the law of sin and death (the law of Moses, the Old Covenant, etc.) This is the promise of the Word of God, for every believer, who applies the Word of God by walking in the Spirit rather than the flesh. Make sense?

Well, Paul explains further in Rom. 8:5-8, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Paul is clearly discussing two groups of people here, those who live according to the flesh, and those who live according to Spirit. If you walk according to the Spirit, you will live according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh, their mind is carnal and fleshly, and that is enmity, which means to be hostile, towards God. The carnal, un-renewed mind (Rom. 12:1-2) is not subject to the will of God, and is totally depraved (it cannot be subject to God’s ways). Thus, those who are in the flesh cannot please God — they are not in faith according to Heb. 11 (without faith it is impossible to please God). However — the good news is for those who live according to the Spirit — they walk in the Spirit, they are spiritually minded, and they have life and peace, praise God!

Then Paul encourages us in Rom. 8:9-11, “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” So, if you are Christian, which means you have received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and have thus received the indwelling Holy Spirit, then your flesh is dead to sin, and alive to Christ because God has imputed His righteousness in you, and you have life through the Holy Spirit indwelling your spirit.

Finally, Paul says in Rom. 8:12-14, “Therefore, brethern, we are debtors — not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; for if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.” What Paul is saying here is that we as Christians are debtors to God for what He did for us. He paid a debt we could not pay, so we are in debted to Christ. Paul is very clear here, as he is in Rom. 6:23, that the penalty for sin is death. Not just physical death, but eternal death and separation from God. However, the GOOD NEWS is that as a Christian, you can be empowered by the Holy Spirit to put to death the deeds of the body (see Gal. 5 for the deeds of the flesh), and thereby live by and be led by the Spirit, because you ARE a child, a son of God.

And so, that is walking in the Spirit. It is God’s will for everyone. It is God’s calling for every believer, to be LED by the Holy Spirit, to LIVE according to the Spirit, and put to death the deeds of the body, or of the flesh, which are listed in Gal. 5, and you can reference that chapter for more information.

Next time I will move into another key to fulfilling your calling, and that is meditating in the Word of God, the Scriptures. After that, we will discuss prayer, and then faith and obedience, and I believe that will wrap up this five-part series on “Fulfilling Your Calling.” Again, a reminder to send me your guest blog submissions at jbkrems@excite.com, for my review. I look forward to publishing some of those this fall. Until next time, may God richly bless you. Amen.


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Fulfilling Your Calling: Part One

July 22, 2007
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Today I am starting a new series here on my blog, but before I go in there, I want to make two announcements. First, I apologize for not blogging last week. I’ve had a busy schedule, and it is a lot to keep up with. Second, I am announcing a unique opportunity for my readers. I would like to open up “World of Faith” for guest blogging. This will allow me to post the submission of others in between the different posts that I make. So, if you are interested in a guest blog submission, these are the policies concerning your post:

(1) Please send your guest blog submission to my personal e-mail at jbkrems@excite.com, so that I may review your content. Your content does not necessarily need to be a part of the current series, but it does need to be Christian and spiritual in nature.

(2) I will review ALL submissions, and then I will either approve or disapprove your submission. If your submission is approved, I will e-mail you back and let you know when your submission will be posted. If your submission is not approved, I will e-mail you back and let you know that, as well as the reasons why your submission was not approved. Please know that all editorial submissions are final.

(3) I will personally post any approved submission, and moderate any comments. If you wish to respond to commenters on your post, you will need to submit your comments by posting them in the normal way, like you if it was a regular post and not a guest blog.

If you have any questions about these policies, or you would like any other information about how your posts might be screened; OR — if you would like to suggest a topic for a new series or a new post, then please contact me at jbkrems@excite.com, and I will be happy to discuss that with you.

Alright, I am beginning a new series today which will take us into August, and this series is entitled “Fulfilling Your Calling.” Everyone in the Body of Christ has a calling or calling(s) on their life — a unique plan, if you will, that God has designed for their life. One of the keys to fulfilling that plan is obedience, and walking that call out. We have a responsibility towards that end, and so for the next several weeks, I am going to be discussing that topic.

Dear reader, I believe that your calling is a holy and precious thing unto the Lord. 2 Tim. 1:8-9 (NAS) says, “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord… join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a HOLY CALLING, not according to our own works, but according to His own purpose and grace which which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.” Our calling as the Body of Christ, both corporately and individually is a holy calling. Further, Paul wrote in Romans 11:29 that
“the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable,” or in some translations “without repentance.” That means that once God has gifted and called a person, or a group of people, then God does not change his mind (or repent) and revoke such gifting and calling — not only is your calling holy and precious unto the Lord, but it is a permanent aspect of your walk with God, and thus in order for God to protect the holy and precious calling, we need to treat it as such as well.

For Paul also wrote in 1 Cor. 1:26 (NAS) that we should “consider [our] calling,” and in Eph. 4:1, Paul wrote, “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.” So, the first prerequisite for fulfilling our calling is possessing godly character. 2 Pet. 1:10 (NAS) exhorts us, “Therefore, brethern, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble.” What are these things that we are to practice, in order to fulfill our calling? Let’s backtrack in 2 Peter 1, up to verses 4-8, “He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.” In other words, if we possess these character qualities, we will be spiritually rooted and grounded, and we will be useful and fruitful in the Kingdom of God. In fact, according to Psalm 92:12-14 (NKJV), “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall STILL bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing.” Amen, this is a precious promise pertaining to life and godliness for those who choose to walk in righteousness, as 2 Pet. 1:4-8 and 10 exhorts us to do.

Let’s unpack this rich passage of Scripture in 2 Pet. 1:4-8. There are seven key character qualities that we should possess in order to fulfill our calling. The first of these is to supply moral excellence in our faith. What is “moral excellence” – ? The King James Version calls “moral excellence” virtue, which Thayer’s Lexicon defines as a virtuous (or moral) course of thought, feeling, and action. It is moral goodness, and specific examples given are modesty and purity. We need to exhibit godly modesty and purity in our lives, and not just purity in what we do, but purity in our thought life and emotional/feeling life as well. Our hearts need to be pure before God in His holiness and purity. The second character quality we need to have is knowledge. Thayer’s Lexicon provides four different definitions for “knowledge,” and in my opinion, the editor(s) of Thayer’s gave the best definition last, “moral wisdom, such as is seen in right living.” That is really what Peter is after in saying “knowledge,” and that is basically applied moral wisdom that leads to right decision making and holy and righteous living before God. The third character quality we need to have is self-control. Galatians 5 lists self-control as a fruit of the Holy Spirit. If we walk in the Spirit (which is next week’s topic), then we will NOT fulfill the lusts of the flesh, and instead exhibit many character qualities, including self-control. The fourth character quality we need to have is perseverance. This really speaks of endurance in our walk and journey with God. Heb. 10:36 (NAS) says, “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.” Paul wrote concerning this very subject in Rom. 2:4-8 (NAS), “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: to those by PERSEVERANCE in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.” Now, I am not saying by this passage that your deeds determine whether you will be saved and inherit eternal life. However, it is very clear in James that faith without works is dead, and we are to demonstrate our faith by good deeds, which come as a natural result of our faith.

The fifth character quality we need to possess in order to fulfill our calling, according to 2 Pet. 1:4-8 (NAS) is godliness. Now, this is a different character quality than “moral excellence” or virtue, which was listed first, and therefore is pre-eminent and from which the remainder of these character qualities flow. Here, “godliness” I believe deals with our self-image. We were created as human beings in the image of God. Thus, we are to exhibit godly qualities in our lives. And that is what “godliness” means — having a godly self-image that is based on modeling and patterning our lives after God’s ways, and not man’s ways. The sixth character quality we need to possess is “brotherly kindness.” Rom. 12:10 (NAS), in discussing spiritual gifts, which has been a previous and recent topic, says, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.” We are to prefer one another. Paul wrote in Phil. 2:3, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.” If we exhibit that quality, then we truly will become selfless, preferring one another over ourselves.

The final character quality we need to possess is love, which is also a fruit of the Spirit according to Galatians 5. According to Eph. 3:16, we are to be “rooted and grounded in love.” If we have all these seven character qualities down, then we will exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, and we will be spiritually grounded. We will also be walking in the Spirit. That is the topic I will take up next week, because not only is walking in the Spirit essential to fulfilling your calling, but it is essential to living a godly, righteous life before God, which is God’s calling for everyone. Amen.


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Leadership and Influence: Part Four

July 8, 2007
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This post will be the fourth and final installment of the series on “Leadership and Influence” here at World of Faith. Next week I will begin a new series on “Fulfilling your Calling.” I believe it is crucial, if we desire to be people of destiny, to do what we need to be doing in order to fulfill the call of God on one’s life, and so I will spend several weeks addressing that.

Last week, in Part Three, I discussed how leadership and influence tie into spiritual gifts, specifically the ascension gifts of Eph. 4:11-16 (NKJV), which says, “And He (Jesus) Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ – from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” The first point I made was that the purpose of these five gifts (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) are to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. This is ONE kind of leadership and influence. But, the kind of ministry implied in this passage, which the ascension gifts are to facilitate and help grow and develop, is ALSO a kind of leadership, because leadership IS influence, and if you are serving in the church, then you are influencing and leading others, rather you like it or not.

I also shared that the concept of “every part does its share” is also found in 1 Cor. 12:28 (NKJV), which says, “And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.” There is a direct correlation between “every part does its share” and the gift of helps. This gift is not really a gift at all, and is more of a ministry, and is available for all to serve in it. Thus, anyone who is serving, and in the ministry of helps in a local church setting, are in fact influencing others and leading, at least by example, and if not in some more direct way.

The other gift-ministry that is mentioned in 1 Cor. 12:28, and that is directly related to the concepts in Eph. 4:11-16 is the gift of administration, or “kubernesis” in the Greek, which is essentially the same as eldership in the local church, or pastoral ministry. This is the other kind of leadership in Christ’s body.

Now, this week, I am going to discuss the result of godly influence and leadership, and that is a transformed world. Jesus said in Matthew 28:18-20 (the Great Commission), “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” They key phrase here is that we are to “make disciples.” What does this mean? Well, a parallel verse that is significant is Acts 1:8 (NAS), where Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” So, given this passage and others, one aspect of being a disciple is being a witness of the Gospel, that we are to testify of the things that God has done in our life through the power of the Holy Spirit.

But there is another aspect of being a disciple. The KJV uses the phrase “teach all nations” rather than “make disciples of all nations.” The Greek verb used for “teach” here is “matheteuo.” According to Thayer’s Lexicon, this word means to make a disciple, to teach and instruct. So, by being an example, and by tapping into our godly leadership and influence, we can literally transform nations and disciple the inhabitants therein, and that is the result of godly leadership and influence.

Next week I will begin the new series on “Fulfilling Your Calling.” Have a blessed week!


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Leadership and Influence: Part Three

July 1, 2007
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Before I begin the third installment of this series on “Leadership and Influence,” I need to apologize to you, my readers, for not releasing the third installment last week. Again, I’ve had some computer problems, and I have been rather busy, so hopefully now I will be releasing a new installment every 7-10 days.

Now, last time, I continued the current series on “Leadership and Influence,” and specifically addressed the concept that true leaders influence by serving, and not just that, but that they are “role models” in modern-day culture. There is nothing more significant than someone leading by example, showing others and influencing others how to think, act, and be a Christian.

This week, as promised, I am going to explore how leadership and influence tie into spiritual gifts, specifically the ascension gifts of Eph. 4:11. Lets start with looking at a key Scripture verse, which has been discussed here before at “World of Faith, ” and that is Eph. 4:11-16 (NKJV), which says, “And He (Jesus) Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ – from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Well, that’s a lot to digest. But, here are some key points. First, the purpose of these five gifts (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) are to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. Rather than going into each of these gifts specifically (and if you want more information, read Part Three of my recent series on “Spiritual Gifts”), I’ll note that each of these gifts have an overall purpose of equipping people like you and me for their ministry. This is ONE kind of leadership and influence. But, the kind of ministry implied in this passage, which the ascension gifts are to facilitate and help grow and develop, is ALSO a kind of leadership, because leadership IS influence, and if you are serving in the church, then you are influencing and leading others, rather you like it or not.

The other key part of this passage is found in verse 16, “according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” The same concept of “every part does its share” is found in another related passage, 1 Cor. 12:28 (NKJV), “And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.” I strongly believe that there is a direct relationship between “every part does its share” and the gift of helps, mentioned in 1 Cor. 12:28. The Greek word that Paul uses for the gift of helps is “antilepsis,” which according to Thayer’s means “to aid or help.” Specifically, Thayer’s mentions as an example “the ministrations of deacons, who have care of the poor and the sick.” As I shared in the “Spiritual Gifts” series, this gift is really a gift at all. To me, “helps” is a ministry, and not a gift, and the “gift of helps” is a gift available to all, except those who are ascension gift ministers (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers). This is because another definition that Thayer’s offers for “helps” in 1 Cor. 12:28 is “a laying hold of, apprehension, perception, objection of a disputant.” Those who serve in the ministry of helps are to lay hold of, apprehend, and perceive in order to solve a dispute, or a problem, as to effectively render aid to those who are senior church leaders. Thus, anyone who is serving, and in the ministry of helps in a local church setting, are in fact influencing others and leading, at least by example, and if not in some more direct way.

Now, the other gift-ministry that is mentioned in 1 Cor. 12:28, and that is directly related to the concepts in Eph. 4:11-16 is the gift of administration, or “kubernesis” in the Greek. Thayer’s defines this gift-ministry as “governing, government, rendering wise counsel, to steer a ship.” I believe the gift of “kubernesis,” or “governments,” or “administrations,” is essentially the same as eldership in the local church, or pastoral ministry. This is the other kind of leadership in Christ’s body.

So, essentially, every believer should be engaged in at least one of these levels of leadership and influence… either serving and influencing others, which is leadership, or five-fold ministry, which is also leadership.

Next week I’ll wrap this series up with a discussion of the result of godly influence and leadership, and that is a transformed world.


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Leadership and Influence: Part Two

June 15, 2007
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Last week I began a new series on “Leadership and Influence,” here at World of Faith. As a foundation, I explained the purpose of this series is to explore the connection of leadership and influence, because leadership IS influence.

For example, at my church we have staff, which consists of either ordained leaders and/or department heads, and then there is leadership, which is anyone serving in any capacity with influence. Thus, personally, as I am a member of my church’s worship team, I am considered part of leadership.

Last week I also discussed some reasons why some people do not understand or agree with the concept that leadership is influence. One reason I gave is that many are afraid of the responsibility and commitment required in leadership. The other reason that I gave was that of false humility, which is really a topic for another day.

Finally, last week, I explained that true leadership, according to Prophet Jeff Tadlock, is essentially influence, and especially in the church environment, influencing people by serving them. And that’s where we pick it up for this week.

Jesus said in Mark 9:35 (NAS), “If anyone wants to be first (the leader), he shall be last of all, and servant of all.” Likewise, Jesus said in Matt. 20:26 (NAS), “Whoever wishes to become great (a leader) among you shall be your servant.” Similarly, in Matt. 23:11 and Mark 10:43, Jesus made the same comment. The point is that true leaders influence by serving.

This is why Paul exhorted his spiritual son Timothy in 1 Tim. 4:12 (NAS), “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, show yourself an EXAMPLE of those who believe.” Similarly, Paul exhorted his other spiritual son Titus in Tit. 2:7, “In all things show yourself to be an EXAMPLE of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified.” The point here is that not only do true leaders influence others by serving, but that leaders are to be examples and what we would call “role models” in modern-day culture. There is nothing more significant than someone leading by example, showing others and influencing others how to think, act, and be a Christian.

That’s all for this week. Next week, I will discuss how leadership ties into spiritual gifts, especially ascension gift ministers of Eph. 4:11.


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