He Gave Gifts to Men
December 22, 2005
He Gave Gifts to Men
Christmas is a season that reminds us of God’s greatest gift – Jesus. God’s inherent generosity is a trait He wants us to adopt. Sometimes we worry about this season being compromised by commercial materialism. Christmas is really an opportunity to be generous and reflect the true nature of Jesus.
In fact, the rest of eternity is like a Christmas season… and you’re the gift.
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.” Eph 4:7-8
You have gifts
– Ministry gifts usually remind us the 5-fold ministry and the fact that we’re blessed and matured by apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to equip the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph 4:11-12). We esteem those gifts in the church… emulate them, learn from them, and reproduce them… all a very healthy process. It often works so well and gets so comfortable that we forget the larger plan of God to Bless the nations; through the little people like you and me.
The Little People
– When we read Mt 16:18, “I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” we often think in terms of our local churches multiplying, flourishing, filling the earth and being led by great pastors. My prayer is that local churches will multiply throughout the earth. However, we often have too much brick and mortar in our definition of “church”. Ekklesia means “called out ones” like you. God’s real plan is to build you! Sure, he needs 5-fold ministries inside some brick and mortar churches to do that; just don’t miss the bigger plan to equip and use you on the other 6 days. Here’s God’s strategy, “He’s transitioning the grasshopper identity (little people) to Kings”. He gets glory when His people are built up to expand his Kingdom and defeat the enemy. He loves us and wants to expand His Kingdom by working with us.
Where and When
– When we get saved and filled with His Spirit we naturally gravitate toward ministry. It’s a boatload of fun to heal the sick, set the captives free, and help people find their area of favor and prosperity.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19
So we naturally start looking to do that inside our brick and mortar churches. Problem – those slots are largely filled and you’ll get frustrated if you try to find all of your ministry expression inside the church. God designed your Kingly ministry to flourish outside the church in the marketplace. Once equipped, your assignment is to go take some new land and connect your spiritual and vocational callings. You are called to full-time marketplace ministry and it’s your destiny to find financial prosperity there as well.
– Notice how positive the good news is. Jesus primarily came to bring Life, not just forgive sins. Our message is the good news of resurrection life and our focus is on the living Jesus. (see prior newsletter on how God is shifting our emphasis to a good news Gospel). “Now” is the year of the Lord’s favor on His people.
– There’s an ongoing stream of Kings the Lord is unveiling to expand the Kingdom. Here are two recent examples.
– Tara is a 26 yr-old entrepreneur that started the The Godly Business Women’s Network. The easiest way to get the flavor of her business acumen is to check out her resources for businesses. God is doing a wonderful thing among women in the marketplace right now. They are finding out they can tap into the kingly anointing as well and Tara is a great example of the next generation God is positioning to launch. Tara’s interview can be seen on our interview page.
Mike Nelson (Red Rock Energy)
– We interviewed Mike and Dan several months ago. They own an oil and gas drilling company and they are great examples of Kings. Their industry has really taken off since prices have gone up. One of the complications is that drilling rigs are so busy they have trouble scheduling new wells. The solution – Buy your own drilling rig. When Mike emailed me about this news, I asked for permission to put it on our web. They use Christian investors and this opportunity has a 40% payback. The details about this Red Rock Investment are exciting; low risk by comparison to a well investment and, on average, just as profitable. If you’re interested contact Mike directly. The Red Rock website is also interesting because they show the monthly income on every well their investors support. They also show the ministries they support through Red Rock.
– We’re letting you know about people like Mike and Tara because we believe in networking Kings. Our goals are:
1.help you understand God’s intention to put favor on your life (the theology),
2.help you connect with real examples and opportunities to make it happen (the practice), and
3.help you find ministry opportunities to expand the Kingdom and make a difference (the generosity).
In 2006 we’re going to multiply
all three. Merry Christmas. You are a precious gift bought with a high price, and held up by the Lord as a trophy of His grace. Be all that God has called you to be and possess all the land Jesus put in your inheritance.
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Gen 12:2-3
Life is an adventure. People are a blessing. God is amazing. We’re winning.
John & Harold
– Our goal in Releasing Kings was to articulate theological basis for Marketplace ministry such that people naturally mature toward being more entrepreneurial and more generous. Harold has continued that theme in a new book that I really enjoyed. This book is a brief explanation of Resurrection-based Christianity entitled Jesus Came Out of the Tomb, So Can You. It also appears on our Recommendations Page. There are four other books that tie closely to the chapters in Part 2 of Releasing Kings that are all worth while.
– The Last trip to the Netherlands was a real eye-opener! I greatly underestimated the value of our book, the impact of the message on individual lives, and the value of live conferences. I witnessed the power of God being unleashed in the hearts of men and women by simply explaining the theology and experience behind releasing their heart’s desire to expand the Kingdom. Seeing the lights come up in the hearts of God’s people feels like sponsoring a jailbreak. One of my goals is to equip others to help us share the message in conference formats before we get overwhelmed with the momentum of what God is about to do. If your church or organization is ready, we can help you start a fire… a big one!
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Newsletters associated with chapter 12 relate to this week’s theme
Progress – Kingly Bio’s are Up
We’ve completed the first round of interviews with Kings. These are real people that have been blessed by God in the Market Place and have hearts for ministry. Check it out at http://www.releasing-kings.com/Interviewing-Kings.html. If you have a success story, we’d like to post it by giving you a web page on our site.
Progress – A Teacher’s Guide
We’ve completed the first version of a study guide that targets those teaching the material in Releasing Kings. It includes a page of notes on each chapter, all the graphics suitable to make overheads, and a PDF file of the book with the key points highlighted that includes marginal notes, comments, and questions. This material is available for purchase on the teacher’s guide page of the web.
Harold and I have both been hesitant to “market” this book… sounds self-serving. Here’s the “grassroots” reality. God has given us a great tool to communicate a message that sets people free in an amazing, contagious, life-changing way. If you haven’t read it – get it. If you have read it – give it.http://www.releasing-kings.com/Ordernow.html
We’ve gotten a ton of positive feedback on the newsletter too… get it, give it. Reloading Seniors was powerful. Pass the link on.http://www.releasing-kings.com/Newsletter.html
PS: don’t forget to look at the free reports – show your pastor the article on marketplace ministry from the pastor’s perspective. You can simply email him this link or print a copy to give him. http://releasing-kings.com/pastors-perspective.html