Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Priscilla - pulling together
Let's look again at Priscilla, a wonderful lady found in the New Testament.
First, we see that Priscilla and her husband had a combination of spiritual gifts. Our gifts are blessings from the Lord, and help us in our efforts, great or small, to increase His kingdom.
Let's look at their gifts, and look at how they used them . . .
First of all, they had the gift of exhortation. When we dig into the root of the word, that literally means to "come alongside someone to admonish, to encourage, or instruct."
They were encouragers!
That's a God-given ability, and is oh, so important. People who have this gift are able to speak from the heart, to the heart of other believers. They always seem to have just the words that someone needs to hear, no matter what the situation. They help people find solutions to the obstacles facing them. And they encourage them to never, ever give up.
Priscilla must have had this gift. She worked daily with her husband (and then with Paul, too) at their craft. She encouraged them when business was slow, that God would provide for them. She worked all the harder and encouraged them again, when business picked up, and it seemed they might never get out of the mountain of orders for tents and other canvas items.
The next gift that they shared was the gift of discernment. If we have this gift, we can distinguish, or judge, the things of God and the things of Satan. We can easily filter through the confusion to say what is right, and what is wrong. These folks even have a gift for telling what is good, better, and best! We see an example of this in Priscilla and Aquila's dealings with Apollos, who was teaching from a pure heart, but did not have the full story of Christ. They were able to take him aside quietly and instruct him, and he went on to accomplish great things for God.
Priscilla especially had the gift of ministry -- serving others. Joyfully. Lovingly. Not carping or complaining. (Ouch, just hit my own toes there a little bit.) The gift of ministry, of service, is given us by the Father, so that we can serve others. It's like a built-in sensor that "pings" when we find someone who needs our help; and we are truly happiest when we are helping others. People with these gifts prefer to serve behind the scenes; put them in the spotlight and they are not comfortable!
Hmmm. It's not really enough to have the gifts, is it? We need to use them.
Priscilla and her husband were fully engaged in the service of God. They were pulling together with Paul and the other believers. They were part of the team.
You know, there are only two married couples in the book of Acts. One couple served the Lord, and God greatly blessed them. The other couple served self, and so God dealt with them in His way.
If we are married, or if we are single, we need to prayerfully consider our gifts and decide where we can serve the Lord. We can serve as a married couple, or as a single, or as a family, or as a church class. Using our gifts will strengthen our faith and keep us happier!
We'll finish up with Priscilla tomorrow.