Hello Church Family!

As we go deeper into our understanding of Spiritual gifts it’s important to remember that when we speak of building up the body, we are not necessarily talking about building a bigger body but using the Spiritual gifts that God has given us to help us develop a healthy body and a healthy community.

Spiritual gifts are God's way of administering His grace to others. When we exercise our gifts, we become the hands and feet of Christ, conduits of God’s Love and care to the people around us. For example, when a person in the body losses, a job, a loved one or their independence, it's comforting for that person to know that they will see their loved one again someday, find another job or endure the transition; but equally as comforting is having friends around as supports. Believers with the gift of mercy gather around to listen. Someone with the gift of administration takes care of any needed arrangements. A neighbor with the gift of hospitality invites him to spend several nights with his family, offer meals or their company. When these things happen, it is as if Christ Himself is reaching down to take care of one of His own. Through the exercise of our gifts, our hurting friend is covered over with a healthy portion of God's love and grace.

With the Spiritual gift of faith comes an “outside the box faith” not just a faith that leads to salvation, but a faith that encourages all who encounter this person to also put their trust in God regardless of the circumstance. With the gift of mercy comes an understanding and a heart for people, without judgement as a barrier, just the want to meet the need and restore one’s life back to their creator. When all our gifts are being expressed together through the members of the body, the members of the community of faith experience the love and security that God hopes for every church to experience.

When God gives someone the spiritual gift of healing God is giving that person “a capability used by God to restore others, be it physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.” (Gotquestions.org).

As the pastor I have found that the spiritual gift of healing is one of the most difficult to navigate. Not everybody experiences the healing that they hope for or that we as a body are praying for. They don’t understand that “If God can part the Red Sea, then why can’t He heal me? I have no direct answer for that, only to say that healing takes on many forms.

There are schools of thought that leave people believing that if they are not healed it's because they didn't have enough faith or because they have sinned and are unforgiven and that's why they didn't receive healing. Or they “name it and claim it” and then when the desired form of healing doesn’t happen, the person is left hurt and questioning or even worse, they separate themselves from God. I will be honest in saying, that only God does the healing, He has a person’s eternal picture in mind. God’s healing goes deeper than physical healing, this means that some won’t experience the physical healing hoped for but come to find that their journey brought them to an even deeper healing, a healing that leads to a spiritual peace and a blessed assurance that they’d never known before. I saw this frequently while in my chaplaincy position at Roswell.

I also believe that if God say’s to lay hands on a friend and ask for healing, then it is His intention to bring healing, even if that healing is temporal, but gives the person their hope of more time. God knows and wants what’s best for each person. God’s Spirit will prompt us to act on His behalf. Jesus said in John 5:19 “the Son does nothing apart from the Father.” If Jesus did nothing apart from the Father, then neither should we.

We must remember that we don't have a God who loves to cause us hurt or harm, in fact God sent Jesus to express to us His deepest love. Healing is the reason that Jesus came in the first place, we see this in Isaiah 53:1-5

“Surely, he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed”.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound,

Jesus healed many people while he was here on earth, His disciples healed many people and Jesus himself told us in John 14:12 that “we would do the things that He has done and more because He has gone to the father” (and when Jesus went to the Father, God sent His same Holy Spirit down to dwell in us).

Many commentaries say that those miracles ended with the disciples, some like raising someone from the dead have…but friends, we ourselves have experienced God’s miracles. We have seen our friends healed physically, we have seen those who asked God for more time granted their request of more time, we have seen those who were deeply and spiritually wounded, come to faith, experience soul healing and are now living transformed lives and I’m sure that each one of us has experienced God’s healing touch at some point in our life journey.

We have as a community, laid hands on those who needed healing, prayed fervently for both friend and stranger… and have seen God’s hand at work. How is it then that we can doubt the existence of the “Gift of healing”?

The person with the gift of healing is sensitive to God's Spirit and prompting within them. God gives the person with the gift of healing the words, the ability and yes sometimes even the touch that will bring healing to another’s life. Those who have this gift are compassionate toward the sick and pray over them regularly. They have great faith and trust that God can and will heal some and are not deterred when He chooses not to. They are motivated knowing that God’s revealed power will draw people to faith in Jesus. Their ultimate concern is the spiritual well-being of those being healed and their relationship with Jesus. They yearn for the day that there will be no more pain and suffering, and sin will no longer wreak havoc on the people of God. See 1 Corinthians 12:9, 28, 30, James 5:13-16.

May God’s healing Spirit be with each one of us, and may we forever be a conduit for His love!

God’s peace be with you,

Pastor Nettie

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