Ministry of Encouragement 5

The aim of this devotional study is to commit and grow into a lifestyle of encouragement.


1 Corinthians 14:1-4

1  Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.  2  For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.  3  On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.  4  The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church.


  1. According to this Scripture, what is the requirement to administer the spiritual gifts? (v1)
  2. What are the benefits of prophesy for the recipient(s)? (v3)
    1. What does that mean in practice?
  3. What would your simple definition of prophesy be?

Application and prayer

  1. Do you need encouragement from God? Ask the Lord to speak encouragement directly to your heart – either through a dream, the Bible, through people or any way He wants.
  2. Consider this description of Judas and Silas: And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words.” (Acts 15:32) Do you desire to be remembered as someone who “encourage and strengthen” people?  Ask the Lord to birth that spirit and habit in you! And commit to God to become a minister of encouragement!
  3. Before Isaiah became a prophet, he confessed “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5) and the Lord had to purify his tongue. Ask the Lord to cleanse your tongue of all complaints, criticism and other corrupt speech.
  4. When last have you asked God to give a message of encouragement to someone though you? Ask the Lord to give a word of encouragement to you for someone who needs it today.  Pray in the Spirit or wait on God until he puts someone in mind, then wait and pray and write down your thoughts.  It sometimes helps me to start affirming the person, until I can discern what the Lord says to the person.  Work on your letter until you feel this is what God says, and it is encouraging.  Then pray and send it to the person – don’t delay.

Holy Spirit 10

The aim of this devotional study if to review our relation to the Holy Spirit and the church with regards to spiritual gifts and ministry.


1 Corinthians 12:1-31

1  Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed.  2  You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led.  3  Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.

4  Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5  and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6  and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.

7  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.  8  For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,  9  to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10  to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11  All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

12  For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13  For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and all were made to drink of one Spirit. …

29  Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30  Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31  But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.


  1. What does Paul try to convey to the Corinthians in this portion? (v1)
  2. What main things do we learn from the Holy Spirit in the life of the congregation? (Hint: Verse 3 / Verses 4-11 / Verses 12-13)
  3. Why does Paul say the gifts of the Spirit is distributed in the congregation? (v7)
  4. List the gifts Paul mentions. (v7-11)
  5. Related to spiritual gifts among the congregation, what is Paul’s point regarding “one body, many parts”? (v4, 11-13, 29-30)
  6. What is the one key Paul gives for the manifestation of these gifts in an individual’s life? (hint: v 31)


  1. In reading this portion of the letter to the Corinthians, would you say that the operations of spiritual gifts was normal to the Corinthian church assembly? Why/ why not?
  2. Look at the list of spiritual gifts Paul mentions
    1. Which of these have you practiced? How and where?
    2. Which of these have you experienced as someone ministered to you? How and where?
    3. Which of these have you witnessed in person as someone ministered to another in your presence?
  3. When did you experience the operation of the Spirit most in your life? Why do you think that the Holy Spirit operated through your life the most during that time?
  4. Which gifts do you desire most to minister to others? Why?

Prayer and Application

Express your earnest desire to God to bless others with ministry through the gifts of His Holy Spirit, and tell him what you felt like as you partnered with Him in serving His people.

Now pray for a word of encouragement and/or direction for someone specifically – wait on God, write it down and send it to that person as soon as you feel you have the message right.

Then thank God for the privilege of hearing his voice and working with him

Remember to expect God to speak and minister to his people though the gifts of the Spirit every time you gather.

Salvation 12

The Aim of this devotional study is to grow in understanding and appreciation for our salvation in Jesus Christ.


Philippians 2:5-13

5  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  6  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

8  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  9  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12  Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13  for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.


  1. The gospel (according to Paul, refer 1 Cor 15) is simply the announcement of how God dealt with our separation from him (resulting in our sinful depravity and pending death) by giving his Son as a substation for our punishment and death, and subsequent victory over sin and death. Look at this text and write down what you can see about the gospel (“good news”) of our salvation.
  2. Some say that salvation is an event, other says it’s a process. What would you answer them out of this text?
  3. Some say that salvation is by faith only, other ay you have to do something. What would you answer them out of this text?
  4. Some say that God saves us, others say that we need to work with God. What would you answer them out of this text?
  5. In reference to the immediate context, what was Paul referring to “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling”?


  1. If someone asked you “how should I work out my salvation?” – what would you answer them?
  2. In a very practical, day-to-day way – how do you “work our your salvation”? And what aspect of your salvation are you working out at the moment?  (Consider also what is the Lord busy with regarding your salvation?)


Thank the Lord that He “is always at work in us, giving you the desire and ability to fulfill his will” [Phil 2:13, NIV translation].  And ask Him what is busy with in your life – pray about that.