BS1 Motivational Gifts7 – the merciful

The aim of the devotional bible study is to grow in the understanding and appreciation of motivational gift of the mercy (or compassion).

Scriptures

Luke 10:30-37

30  Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.  31  Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32  So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33  But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion.

34  He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35  And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’

36  Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37  He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

Observations

Note: in the reading of today’s Text we will focus on the generous character and motives the Good Samaritan to better understand the motivational gifts of the mercy or compassion. This is one of the seven motivational gifts (also called “the gifts of the Father” according to 1 Corinthians 12:4-6) that each person is born with which drives his/her actions throughout his/her life.

  1. Mercy / compassion motivated people generally have the following characteristics. How can you identify them in the story of the Good Samaritan?  Comment and give references from the Scripture above.
    1. They have a unique ability to sense distress or pain in others.
    2. They have the capacity to show extraordinary love (compassion) for people in need.
    3. They are gentle-hearted and put others above themselves, while remaining joyful and cheerful.
    4. They are very attentive to what others say and do, seeking to identify with them.
    5. They are very careful not to cause harm to others.
    6. They are sensitive to the motives of others, and can discern wrong motives easily.
    7. They tend to feel what is the right thing to do where others think what is the right thing to do.
  2. From the Good Samaritan’s story above, which characteristic of the mercy (or compassion) motivated person is most striking to you personally?

Reflections:

  1. Looking at the Good Samaritan as an example of a mercy-motivated person – what should a person with this motivational gift take care before taking initiative? What questions will you tell this person to ask before getting involved in other people’s lives?
  2. Considering the characteristics listed in Observation question 1 above, why do we consider mercy motivated people as “gifts from God the Father”? i.e. how do they benefit me, you and the world around us?

Application and Prayer

Note: If you have not completed the free online motivational gift test, do so now: www.gifttest.org

  1. Are you a strong mercy motivated person? Considering this example of the Good Samaritan:
    1. What are you grateful for about your gift, which you must cherish?
    2. What must you be cautious about in your interactions with others?
    3. Thank God for how he made you, and pray that he may grant you grace to grow in love, patience in dealing with others, discernment of people’s needs and intentions and wisdom to know how to help people most appropriately while taking adequate care of myself and my family.
  2. Who do you know that are strongly mercy motivated?
    1. Thank them for their good influence in your life – for their care for you and those around you, and the way they showcase God’s compassionate love and thereby teaching you how to show patient, selfless, compassionate love.
    2. Thank God for them and their good influence in your life. Pray for these people by name that God will bless them with grace to grow in love, patience in dealing with others, discernment of people’s needs and intentions and wisdom to know how to help people most appropriately, yet not to the neglect of themselves and their families.
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Motivational Gifts7 – the ruler

The aim of the devotional bible study is to grow in the understanding and appreciation of motivational gift of the ruler (or leader, administrator).

Scriptures

Nehemiah 2:8-20

8  And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.  9  Then I came to the governors of the province Beyond the River and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen.

10  But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel.

11  So I went to Jerusalem and was there three days. 12  Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. And I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. There was no animal with me but the one on which I rode. 13  I went out by night by the Valley Gate to the Dragon Spring and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire. 14  Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but there was no room for the animal that was under me to pass. 15  Then I went up in the night by the valley and inspected the wall, and I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned.

16  And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, and I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest who were to do the work. 17  Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” 18  And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work.

19  But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” 20  Then I replied to them, “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem.”

Observations

Note: in the reading of today’s Text we will focus on the generous character and motives of Nehemiah to better understand the motivational gifts of the ruler / administrator. This is one of the seven motivational gifts (also called “the gifts of the Father” according to 1 Corinthians 12:4-6) that each person is born with which drives his/her actions throughout his/her life.

  1. Ruler / administrator motivated people generally have the following characteristics. How can you identify them in these two events from Nehemiah?  Comment and give references from the Scripture above.
    1. They have the ability to assess the situation and visualize the whole
    2. Can clearly communicate ideas and organization.
    3. They are very determined individuals, not sensitive to criticism.
    4. They motivate workers with approval and correction.
  2. From the text above, what aspect of Nehemiah’s leadership stands out most for you? What can you learn from? [hint: when you have some time read the book again from that perspective]

Reflections:

  1. Looking at Nehemiah as an example of a ruler-motivated person – what should a person with this motivational gift take care to do well when taking initiative?
  2. Considering the characteristics listed in Observation question 1 above, why do we consider ruler motivated people as “gifts from God the Father”? i.e. how do they benefit me, you and the world around us?

Application and Prayer

Note: If you have not completed the free online motivational gift test, do so now: www.gifttest.org

  1. Are you a strong ruler motivated person? Considering this example of David:
    1. What are you grateful for about your gift, which you must cherish?
    2. What must you be cautious about in your interactions with others?
    3. Thank God for how he made you, and pray that he may grant you a sensitivity to the leading of His Spirit, gentleness and love when engaging people, creativity and wisdom in communicating the purpose and power to endure to the end.
  2. Who do you know that are strongly ruler motivated?
    1. Thank them for their good influence in your life – for their bold initiative and perseverance to see a project through, and the ability to pull people together for a just cause.
    2. Thank God for them and their good influence in your life. Pray for these people by name that God will bless them with a sensitivity to the leading of His Spirit, gentleness and love when engaging people, creativity and wisdom in communicating the purpose and power to endure to the end.

Motivational Gifts 6 – the giver

The aim of the devotional bible study is to grow in the understanding and appreciation of motivational gift of the giver (or philanthropist).

If you have 5 minutes look at this good example of a giver at work: (www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaWA2GbcnJU)

Scriptures

2 Samuel 24:18-25

18  And Gad came that day to David and said to him, “Go up, raise an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19  So David went up at Gad’s word, as the LORD commanded. 20  And when Araunah looked down, he saw the king and his servants coming on toward him. And Araunah went out and paid homage to the king with his face to the ground.

21  And Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the LORD, that the plague may be averted from the people.” 22  Then Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him. Here are the oxen for the burnt offering and the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23  All this, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the LORD your God accept you.”

24  But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25  And David built there an altar to the LORD and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD responded to the plea for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel.

1 Chronicles 29:1-9

1  And David the king said to all the assembly, “Solomon my son, whom alone God has chosen, is young and inexperienced, and the work is great, for the palace will not be for man but for the LORD God. 2  So I have provided for the house of my God, so far as I was able, the gold for the things of gold, the silver for the things of silver, and the bronze for the things of bronze, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood, besides great quantities of onyx and stones for setting, antimony, colored stones, all sorts of precious stones and marble. 3  Moreover, in addition to all that I have provided for the holy house, I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, and because of my devotion to the house of my God I give it to the house of my God: 4  3,000 talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and 7,000 talents of refined silver, for overlaying the walls of the house, 5  and for all the work to be done by craftsmen, gold for the things of gold and silver for the things of silver. Who then will offer willingly, consecrating himself today to the LORD?”

6  Then the leaders of fathers’ houses made their freewill offerings, as did also the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and the officers over the king’s work. 7  They gave for the service of the house of God 5,000 talents and 10,000 darics of gold, 10,000 talents of silver, 18,000 talents of bronze and 100,000 talents of iron. 8  And whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the LORD, in the care of Jehiel the Gershonite. 9  Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the LORD. David the king also rejoiced greatly.

Observations

Note: in the reading of today’s Text we will focus on the generous character and motives of King David to better understand the motivational gifts of the giver. This is one of the seven motivational gifts (also called “the gifts of the Father” according to 1 Corinthians 12:4-6) that each person is born with which drives his/her actions throughout his/her life.

  1. Giving motivated people generally have the following characteristics. How can you identify them in these two events from King David?  Comment and give references from the Scripture above.
    1. They have the ability to acquire resources but rarely use it for selfish purposes.
    2. They have the ability to anticipate future needs.
    3. Givers feel comfortable handling large sums of money.
    4. They are naturally gifted with wisdom in the area of business / acquiring wealth.
    5. They can see needs and practically meet it (not only financially).
    6. They see their own resources as “God’s temporary warehouse” where things are entrusted to them to steward, not own.
    7. They experience great delight in giving with great generosity.
    8. They give wisely and for just causes – not necessarily to everyone who asks.
    9. Their generosity frequently motivate others to give as well.
  2. From these two texts above, what of David’s giving stands out most for you?

Reflections:

Note: The gift of the giver is frequently called “the secretive gift” because their giving is often secretive, so people would view them as servants or some other motivational gifted person.

  1. Looking at David as an example of a giving motivated person – what should a person with this motivational gift be cautious of in engaging other people?
  2. Considering the characteristics listed in Observation question 1 above, why do we consider giving motivated people as “gifts from God the Father”? i.e. how do they benefit me, you and the world around us?

Application and Prayer

Note: If you have not completed the free online motivational gift test, do so now: www.gifttest.org

  1. Are you a strong giver motivated person? Considering this example of David:
    1. What are you grateful for about your gift, which you must cherish?
    2. What must you be cautious about in your interactions with others?
    3. Thank God for how he made you, and pray that he would bless you greatly and grace you with wisdom to steward well and generosity to give freely where he leads.
  2. Who do you know that are strongly giver motivated?
    1. Thank them for their good influence in your life – for their liberal giving to you and to just causes, as well as their inspiration to live and give generously.
    2. Thank God for them and their good influence in your life. Pray for these people by name that God will bless them with even greater wealth with the wisdom to make it grow and the generosity to give it freely as the Lord wills it. Pray that their giving will inspire greater generosity in your life and the people around you so that we may be rightly known as children of the Generous God.

Motivational Gifts 5 – the encourager

The aim of the devotional bible study is to grow in the understanding and appreciation of motivational gift of the encourager (or exhorter).

If you have 5 minutes look at this good example of an encourager at work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sUKoKQlEC4

Scriptures

[Today we need five short portions from the Book of Acts to have a view of the life of Barnabas the encourager]

Acts 4:36-37

36  Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37  sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

Acts 9:26-28

26  And when Paul had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. 27  But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. 28  So he went in and out among them at Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord.

Acts 11:19-26

19  Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. 20  But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21  And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. 22  The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23  When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, 24  for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.

25  So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26  and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.

Acts 13:1-3

1  Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.  2  While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”  3  Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off [on the first mission to the Gentiles].

Acts 15:36-40

36  And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” 37  Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark.  38  But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work.  39  And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, 40  but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.

Observations

Note: in the reading of today’s Text we will focus on the character and motives of the Apostle Barnabas to better understand the motivational gifts of the encourager / exhorter. This is one of the seven motivational gifts (also called “the gifts of the Father” according to 1 Corinthians 12:4-6) that each person is born with which drives his/her actions throughout his/her life.

  1. Encourager / exhorter motivated people generally have the following characteristics. How can you identify them in these portions highlighting the life of the Apostle Barnabas?  Comment and give references from the Scripture above.
    1. They accept people without prejudice and judgment.
    2. They see potential in people, and tend to be very loving and forgiving.
    3. They discern easily when someone is going through hardship.
    4. They view hardships as opportunities for growth and encourage people to press on, prescribing practical steps.
    5. They tend to be spiritual cheer-leaders and are good communicators.
    6. They are optimistic about life and inspire hope in people.
  2. Looking at the four portions of Scripture above, summarize what significant events Barnabas “the encourager” had key involvement in. What does that suggest of the need for and importance of encouragement during uncertain and difficult times?

Reflections:

  1. Looking at Barnabas as an example of an encourager gifted person – what should a person with this motivational gift be cautious of in engaging other people? [hint: consider the conflict with arose between Barnabas and Paul over John Mark – is it possible Paul had good reason to not take Mark with him on the trip?]
  2. Considering the characteristics listed in Observation question 1 above, why do we consider encourager motivated people as “gifts from God the Father”? i.e. how do they benefit me, you and the world around us?

Application and Prayer

Note: If you have not completed the free online motivational gift test, do so now: www.gifttest.org

  1. Are you a strong encourager motivated person? Considering this example of Barnabas:
    1. What are you grateful for about your gift, which you must cherish?
    2. What must you be cautious about in your interactions with others? [hint: although we seek the good in all, we must not be blind to the character flaws…]
    3. Thank God for how he made you, and pray that he may open your eyes to see what he has placed and is doing in those around you; pray that he may fill you with hope and joy and that it may overflow to encourage everyone you encounter; and pray that he may entrust his words of prophesy to you to speak life into the hearts that are heavy, to strengthen hands that hang low and steady knees that wobble under pressure.
  2. Who do you know that are strongly encourager motivated?
    1. Thank them for their good influence in your life – for the encouragement and joy they bring, as well as their life of hopeful trust in God and seeing the good in everyone, including yourself.
    2. Thank God for them and their good influence in your life. Pray by name that God will bless them with even greater joy and hope, and that God would grant them greater skill to encourage and strengthen people who cross their pass, fixing the eyes of everyone on God and his faithfulness, as well as the good plans he has prepared for all who love him.

Motivational Gifts 4 – the teacher

The aim of the devotional bible study is to grow in the understanding and appreciation of motivational gift of the teacher.

Scripture

Ezra 7:1-11, 25-26

1  Now after this, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah… 6  this Ezra went up from Babylonia. He was a scribe skilled in the Law of Moses that the LORD, the God of Israel, had given, and the king granted him all that he asked, for the hand of the LORD his God was on him.

7  And there went up also to Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king, some of the people of Israel, and some of the priests and Levites, the singers and gatekeepers, and the temple servants.

8  And Ezra came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king… 10  For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.

11  This is a copy of the letter that King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scribe, a man learned in matters of the commandments of the LORD and his statutes for Israel:

12  “Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, the scribe of the Law of the God of heaven. Peace…

25  “And you, Ezra, according to the wisdom of your God that is in your hand, appoint magistrates and judges who may judge all the people in the province Beyond the River, all such as know the laws of your God. And those who do not know them, you shall teach.  26  Whoever will not obey the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be strictly executed on him, whether for death or for banishment or for confiscation of his goods or for imprisonment.”

 

Observations

Note: in the reading of today’s Text we will focus on the character and motives of Ezra the priest to better understand the motivational gifts of the teacher. This is one of the seven motivational gifts (also called “the gifts of the Father” according to 1 Corinthians 12:4-6) that each person is born with which drives his/her actions throughout his/her life.

  1. Teacher motivated people generally have the following characteristics. How can you identify them in this example of Ezra the priest?  Comment and give verse references from the Scripture above.
    1. A deep reverence and respect for right and holy things.
    2. Puts emphasis on Scripture as the source of truth and key to success.
    3. They are known for being diligent, thorough and disciplined.
    4. The have a “black-or-white” / “right-or-wrong” view of the world.
    5. They delight in teaching what they have learned in a clear manner.
    6. The study and teach with patience.
    7. They speak with authority based on a confidence in the truth they have learned.
  2. The context of this account is of the Jewish exiles returning to their desolate homeland after 70 years in Babylonian exile. Who is the leader sent by imperial authority to rebuild the nation? Why do you think God commissioned a teacher motivated person with such authority in this critical time of the Jewish nation?

Reflections:

  1. Looking at Ezra as an example of a teacher gifted person – what should a person with this motivational gift be cautious of in engaging other people? [hint: how can this person be perceived in a conflict situation?]
  2. Considering the characteristics listed in Observation question 1 above, why do we consider teacher motivated people as “gifts from God the Father”? i.e. how do they benefit me, you and the world around us?

Application and Prayer

Note: If you have not completed the free online motivational gift test, do so now: www.gifttest.org

  1. Are you a strong teacher motivated person? Considering this example of Ezra:
    1. What are you grateful for about your gift, which you must cherish?
    2. What must you be cautious about in your interactions with others?
    3. Thank God for how he made you, and pray that he may open your eyes and heart to see and love the truth, that he may grant you endurance to diligently study the Scriptures and give you wisdom, loving patience, authority and creative skillfulness to teach others well.
  2. Who do you know that are strongly teacher motivated?
    1. Thank them for their good influence in your life – for their teaching and input as well as their example of diligent study of the things of God.
    2. Thank God for them and their good influence in your life. Pray that God will bless with even greater diligence, patience and revelation, as well as wisdom and love to judge right and inspire others to seek to know God and his will for their lives.

Motivational Gifts 3 – the servant

The aim of the devotional bible study is to grow in the understanding and appreciation of motivational gift of the servant (also called “helper”).

Scripture

Luke 10:38-42

38  Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house.  39  And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.  40  But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”

41  But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42  but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Observations

Note: in the reading of today’s Text we will focus on the character and motives of Martha the sister of Lazarus to better understand the motivational gifts of the servant / helper. This is one of the seven motivational gifts (also called “the gifts of the Father” according to 1 Corinthians 12:4-6) that each person is born with which drives his/her actions throughout his/her life.

  1. Servant/ helper motivated people generally have the following characteristics. Can you recognize them in this example of Martha?  Comment and give verse references from the Scripture above.
    1. They demonstrate love by meeting practical needs.
    2. The can easily identify what needs to be done to make things work.
    3. They find fulfilment in working with their hands.
    4. They enjoy showing hospitality.
    5. They thrive in short term tasks such as meetings or events.
    6. Servers prefer completing tasks by themselves rather than delegating it to others.
    7. They are good followers of leaders and good supporters of a vision.
    8. They are selfless and will adapt their schedules to better serve someone.

2. In this account Martha was frustrated with her sister (and even with the Lord himself) – why?  What does that suggest of a potential weakness in server motivated people?

Reflections:

  1. Looking at Martha as an example of a server / helper gifted person – what should a person with this motivational gift be cautious of before taking on another serving opportunity? What would you counsel such a person on a regular basis?
  2. Considering the characteristics listed in Observation question 1 above, why do we consider servant motivated people as “gifts from God the Father”? i.e. how do they benefit me, you and the world around us?

Application and Prayer

Note: If you have not completed the free online motivational gift test, do so now: www.gifttest.org

  1. Are you a strong server/ helper motivated person? Considering this example of Martha:
    1. What are you grateful for about your gift, which you must cherish?
    2. What must you be cautious about in your interactions with others? [hint: have you learned to say “no”?]
    3. Thank God for how he made you, and pray that you may not grow weary in doing good, that he would strengthen and remind you to do what you do joyfully, and that he will help you to maintain your priorities and not live as a man-pleaser seeking applause, but one who serves Christ expecting his reward.
  2. Who do you know that are strongly servant / helper motivated?
    1. Thank them for their good influence in your life – for their selfless service and hospitality, challenging you to be more like Christ.
    2. Thank God for them and their influence for the good in your life. Pray that God will bless with even greater humility and endurance to serve well, and that God will build a hedge around them and their family and devotional times so that they may not be burned out in their serving.

Motivational Gifts 2 – the perceiver

The aim of the devotional bible study is to grow in the understanding and appreciation of motivational gift of the perceiver (also called “prophet”).

Scripture

Luke 3:1-20

1  …the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3  And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

4  As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5  Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, 6  and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'”

7  He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8  Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 9  Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”  10  And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?”  11  And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”

12  Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?”  13  And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.”

14  Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

15  As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, 16  John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17  His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 18  So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people.

19  But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, 20  added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison.

Observations

Note: in the reading of today’s Text we will focus on the character and motives of John the Baptist to better understand the motivational gifts of the perceiver / prophet. This is one of the seven motivational gifts (also called “the gifts of the Father” according to 1 Corinthians 12:4-6) each person is born with which drives his/her actions.

  1. Perceiver / prophetically motivated people generally have the following characteristics. How can you identify them in the personality and ministry of John the Baptist?  Comment and give verse references from the Scripture above.
    1. Honesty and truth is central to their life.
    2. They have a strong sense of justice and have a strong sense of conviction.
    3. They are driven by obedience, and seek to move others towards it.
    4. They crave sincerity and despise hypocrisy – they want to see change in others.
    5. Their life radiates moral excellence and goodness, and inspire that in others.
    6. They are generally confident people who speak up for the truth even if it hurts.
  2. Where did John the Baptist spend most of his time? What does that suggest of the relationships of the perceiver motivated person?
  3. Considering the imprisonment and later execution of John the Baptist (Luke 9:7-9), what honorable characteristic do we see in perceiver motivated people? [hint: why was he locked up and later killed?]

Reflections:

  1. Looking at John the Baptist as an example of a perceiver / prophetically gifted person – what should a person with this motivational gift be cautious of when confronting people? [hint: how can they be easily misunderstood in terms of their behavior?]
  2. Considering the characteristics listed in Observation question 1 above, why do we consider perceiver motivated people as “gifts from God the Father”? i.e. how do they benefit me, you and the world around us?

Application and Prayer

Note: If you have not completed the free online motivational gift test, do so now: www.gifttest.org

  1. Are you a strong perceiver / prophet motivated person? Considering the life example of John the Baptist:
    1. What are you grateful for about your gift, which you must cherish?
    2. What must you be cautious about in your interactions with others?
    3. What must you cherish with all your heart and guard with all your strength? [hint: if you betray this you betray yourself and your witness falls apart]
    4. Thank God for how he made you, and pray that you may grow in a love for the truth, a sensitivity to His Spirit, for confidence and humility to speak the truth in love, and lastly for grace to walk in integrity all your days.
  2. Who do you know that are strongly perceiver / prophet motivated?
    1. Thank them for their good influence in your life – be specific about what they have challenged you with and how that helped you walk in righteousness and the fear of God.
    2. Thank God for them and their influence for the good in your life. Pray that God will bless with a greater love for the truth, sensitivity to His Spirit, greater boldness and humility to speak the truth in love, and that they may live true to their God-given conscience.

Motivational Gifts 1

The aim of the devotional bible study is to grow in the understanding and appreciation of the various motivational gifts God had created each one of us with.

This short humoristic video will greatly enhance today’s reading [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWZmeSwqRqw]:

Scripture

Romans 12:3-8

3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.  4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

6  Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them:

if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;

7  if service, in our serving;

the one who teaches, in his teaching;

8  the one who exhorts, in his exhortation;

the one who contributes, in generosity;

the one who leads, with zeal;

the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Observations

Note: The gifts mentioned here are seven motivational gifts (also called “the gifts of the Father” according to 1 Corinthians 12:4-6). Each person is born with a certain set of these motivators which drives his/her actions.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.”

  1. Why and how would you say this list of motivational gifts from God the Father (mentioned in Romans 12:6-8) is different from the Holy Spirit’s manifestation gifts (mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11) and the Lord’s ministry gifts (mentioned in Ephesians 4:7-14).
  2. Looking the Romans 12:3-8 above, why would it be right to say that each person has received gifts from God to serve others with? (Give verse references in your answer).
  3. Give one or two words to summarize the relationship we have of one another in church (Romans 12:4-5), taking into account our unique motivational gifts.
  4. Look at the following table by James C. Wright in which he describes the various motivational gifts and identifies the resulting fruit of these gifts working though people. What are your thoughts in his observations from the Text and people? Can you see why and how he makes the observations?

motivational-gifts1-table

Application:

  1. Do the quick yet helpful motivational gift test by Reagent University (gifttest.org) and record your results – share it with your home group and discuss your findings and opinions!
  2. Considering your test:
    1. Do you understand why certain tasks are cumbersome to you, while others are effortless?
    2. Do you understand why you have conflict with certain types of people?
    3. What type of function are you most fit to fullfil in your local church?

Prayer

Thank God the Father for making you the way he did, and ask him to grow in appreciation and understanding of who you are, and for which good works he prepared for you today , and what purposes he has in mind for you.  Then pray that God will help you have grace and honour for people that are made differently from you.