“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
~ Romans 12:11
Hi James and Ellen,
Your grandmaa and grandpaa one day – when they lived in Guelph, Ontario – in Canada, where your grandpaa was the Canadian South America Mission’s Executive Director, as they were driving around the area around Guelph came across a Christian bookstore in one of Guelph’s neighboring towns. Your grandmaa and grandpaa sometime read books together. As your grandmaa and grandpaa were looking at different books in the Christian bookstore that they had come across in one of Guelph’s neighboring towns, your grandmaa picked up a book that had been written by Don and Katie Fortune that is titled Discover Your God-Given Gifts. As your grandmaa was about ready to put the book Discover Your God-Given Gifts back on the shelf after she had looked through it, a guy walked up your grandmaa where she was standing. The guy told your grandmaa that she would really like the book if she bought it. Your grandmaa and grandpaa really believe that the guy was an angel as there was no one – except for the gal at checkout counter, in the store just seconds later after your grandmaa called your grandpaa over for his thoughts on buying the book. Your grandmaa and grandpaa bought the book. The book Discover Your God-Given Gifts enables a guy or gal to discover which one of the seven gifts that Paul mentions in his Romans Book – in Romans 12, that God has purposively and specifically in a personalized way hardwired in him or her as the motivational driver to insure that he or she will do precisely what He has preprogrammed what he or she is to do through his or her life for His kingdom’s sake on planet Earth. The seven motivational gifts that are recorded are prophesy, serving, teaching, encouraging/exhorting, leadership/administration, giving and mercy. As your grandmaa and grandpaa were going through each one of the motivational gifts, they learning a lot about themselves and about each other that have been really helpful in understanding how God has uniquely hardwired each other. After your grandmaa and grandpaa realized how helpful that the book Discover Your God-Given Gifts had been to them, your grandmaa and grandpaa had your dad, ma, Aunt Lynn and Uncle Chris go through the book with them over the next Christmas holiday. When your grandmaa and grandpaa in October of 1996 joined the OC International missionary team that is in Guatemala, your grandmaa took the collage age guys and gals who went to Guatemala through OC International’s seven plus week summer team program which your grandmaa and grandpaa administrated and led in Guatemala through the Discover Your God-Given Gifts book. After helping to translate Discover Your God-Given Gifts into Spanish, your grandmaa would go through the book with MIES participants. MIES is an Equipo SEPAL – which is what OC International is known as in South and Central America, field team ministry in Guatemala. MIES gives an opportunity for a young guy or gal to have an in-country, cross-cultural, hands-on experience. Your grandmaa and grandpaa twice co-taught P.E.B. (Bible Education Program) two week modules in Guatemala. P.E.B. is another one of Equipo SEPAL’s field team ministries in Guatemala. Your grandmaa over the ten days that a thirty hour module course is taught would teach for about an hour and a half from the book Discover Your God-Given Gifts while your grandpaa would teach from another book over the rest of the time each day.
The Bible is the optimal teaching tool. A book – such as Discover Your God-Given Gifts, compliments what the Living Word – the Bible, is enlightening God’s especially elected guys, gals and kids about what God has done. Have you heard God – as God the Spirit, audibly instructing you from the edited, canonized book – the Bible, that He – as God the Spirit, over centuries and centuries breathed on different guys to scribe? Have you distinctly heard God – as God the Spirit, telling you to give Him your bodies as living sacrifices for Him to use for His sake in His earthly kingdom? When you give your bodies back to God – as a living sacrifice, for Him to use for His sake in His earthly kingdom, you are obeying what God – as God the Spirit, has asked you to do. Have you discernably heard God – as God the Spirit, telling you to no longer be conformed to the world that you are living in but to instead be transformed – by having your minds renewed, to do all that you can do to live your lives in God’s perfect and holy will? When you ask God to transform your minds– by renewing them, you are doing what God has asked you to do. Do you like to please your dad and ma? Do you like to please your friends? Do you like to please your teachers? Do you expect your dad and ma to please you? Do you expect your friends to please you? Do you expect your teachers to please you? There is absolutely no comparison to pleasing your dad and ma, teachers or friends versus expecting your dad and ma, friends or teachers to please you. Pleasing your dad and ma, friends and teachers will fulfill you; expecting your dad and ma, friends and teacher to please you will just leave you with a hollow feeling. Having God glorify Himself through you back to Himself and to others is why God has you on planet Earth.
God has given each one of His specially elected guys, gals and kids a primary motivation gift and an exclusive combination of gifts in order that each guy, gal and kid will serve Him – and serve others, in His ordered way. God does not expect each guy, gal and kid who He specially elected to live his or her life on the defense always trying to push back on the evil that is always in play; what God expects is that each guy, gal and kid who He specially elected to live his or her life the way that verse 11 says, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” Your grandpaa thinks that this chapter is the Bible’s best guide for a guy or gal to live a Christ-follower life.
Romans 12 (616)