I was asked to speak on the gift of exhortation this Friday, here are my notes so far.
Remembering the beginning…
When I think back on when I realized I had the gift of exhortation I can’t really remember not having it but I do remember learning how to use it through trial and error properly.
I would say there are more times often then not when I am given this supernatural ability without even knowing it.
#1.Why we use the gift…(Putting the Word of God into action)
The primary use for me of the gift of exhortation is encouraging the body to put the Word of God into action, it is the motivation to rise to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and sometimes it is needed to address an issue that is not so comfortable.
#2.How to use the gift…( Encourage growth)
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is he head, into Christ, Ephesians 4:15
Breakdown…(Exhortation is crucial for growth)
Paul said we are to “speak the truth in love” to each other as Christians. (Ephesians 4:15) He goes on to say that when we do that, the church grows up. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that is exactly what the church needs - to grow up!
#3.Being faithful to use the gift…(Be faithful to use the gift)
We must be faithful to say what the Lord presses upon our hearts even if we may not be the most popular or liked person. The Lord will then give you courage to encourage in a way that pushes growth deeper in the Lord.
#4.Exhortation with Love…(Exhortation must be used with love or it becomes manipulation)
That being said…..
When the Lord gives me a situation which calls for exhortation it will almost always be followed with the gift of love and encouragement. Going back to the verse speaking the truth in love.
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Galatians 6
The most recent time I used the gift of exhortation or so the time I recall, was last week talking to a friend, who is a Pastor, he was getting burned out of energy, love and having the heart of ministry, Satan was using his #1 tool, discouragement, as we were talking my heart began to ache for my brother and the lies that the enemy was feeding him.
I just couldn’t watch the enemy get the strong hold of this godly man, he began to doubt and say that he just didn’t feel the Lord any more, that he just didn’t know what to do, if he even should continue on.
He began to say that he just needed to understand what was going on, he just needed to understand what the Lord was doing, I felt the Lord say to me, “He doesn’t need to understand, that is not what I am asking of him, I want him to trust in me, I am asking him to be faithful.”
Knowing the Truth…
Most of the time when I have exhorted someone they already know what the right thing to do is, they just need that extra motivation, a reiteration of what the Holy Spirit has been trying to tell them all along.
“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people” (Jeremiah 31:33 NIV).