Rousing Your Spiritual Gift from Sleep

by Cathy Baker

Sometimes they’re obvious. Sometimes not. But they’re always fueled by the Holy Spirit and burn with divine intensity.

Spiritual gifts. 

A quick testimony. For years I’ve used my spiritual gifts both inside and outside the church walls. I’m sure you have as well. 

When I recently accepted an opportunity at our awe-some church to help with communication needs, something unexpected happened. A part of me that had crawled into hibernation several years ago began to emerge with a skip to its step.

Questions arose within. Why am I feeling more fulfilled lately? What’s with this surprising spark of joy? Why do I now sense more of an ownership at Summit Church? 

Driving home from staff one day, the answer surfaced: Spiritual gifts. 

By re-engaging my gifts and creative energy, I felt a deeper sense of ownership, not only to Summit but to the Church as well. Few things rally the fulfillment felt by those who employ their God-given gifts for His glory.

If you’re struggling to feel connected in your church, or if you find yourself devoid of a spark that once burned with intensity, could it be that you’re not engaging your spiritual gift(s)?

I pray God’s whisper will rouse it from its sleep and surprise you with its joy. 

Inhale deeply
Some are front and center while others are quietly performed but every divine-empowered gift possesses the potent scent of life-giving, unifying, God-glorifying goodness. 

So, how about you? I’d love to know your spiritual gift(s). To God be the glory! 

[Note: This morning I’m having outpatient surgery so I will respond to your comments but it may be a day or two late. Thank you for sharing them!]

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 Corinthians 12:4-6


One of God’s Greatest Gifts: Repentance


Guess it goes without saying that our granddaughter is rarely in the background, and for good reason!

On those rare occasions, however, when she realizes we’re not tuned in to her every word it doesn’t take long for her attention-antenna to intercept with two words that snap me back into full attention mode: Meeee-me! Meeee-me! (i.e. Grammy)  

You would be hard-pressed to find words that so quickly melt this heart but I was reminded of another one during yesterday’s sermon on discipleship: repentance. Yes, it can be painful and heart wrenching but it is a powerful and magnificent gift made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. 

As children of God, our attention antenna need never rise because His Word assures us that we never escape His notice. When we call out to our Father, He leans in to hear His children and stands ready to forgive and cleanse those who desire to turn away from their sin. It’s not about getting our act together or becoming more religious, for both come up empty—but it is about becoming humble and real on an ongoing basis before a living, loving, active, and holy God who desires His best for His children. 

“The mark of a true disciple is joyful and regular acceptance of 
God’s gracious gift of repentance.” -Kyle Estepp

purpose of this blog is to share snippets of life and truth along the
way. To listen to our sermon series on discipleship and this week’s
sermon on repentance, please visit Summit’s site. It should be posted by Wednesday.)

True Marks of A Disciple

Sunday Snippets from Mark 8 
  • Our discipleship in Jesus Christ is essential to others coming to know Jesus. 
  • There is nothing passive about being a disciple of Jesus. 
  • Discipleship isn’t about taking a class. The cost of following Jesus: Your life. The reward of following Jesus: True life. 

Verses 34-38, Jesus says:

Deny yourself. Do we believe our issues are more important than others? Do we deny ourselves anything for the glory of God or do we bow to the god of self-centeredness?

Take up your cross. Jesus asks Are you willing to say you’re with Me? It’s in My death that you’ll find true life. 

Follow Me. Keep following me…daily. If you want to follow Me, your life will be about investing in the lives of others. Is the beauty of what God has done for you in Jesus leading you to lead a life less self-centered? 

The above snippets come nowhere close to doing Jason Malone’s sermon justice but is there one particular snippet that resonates with you this Monday morning? 

To listen to Sunday’s sermon (3/10) in its entirety, please visit Summit online.


Three Things to Remember During Your Church Search

Searching for a new church home is rarely easy, but as our ten month journey comes to a close, I discovered a few “to-do’s” that helped me stay focused and open to God’s leading:
  • Stay spiritually alert. Laziness has a way of creeping in the back window and snuggling up to our strongest spiritual pursuits when church life is turned upside down. I was hit broadside by a temptation that almost kept us from visiting the very church God led us to join. Looking back, I now see where a lack of discipline on my part unlocked the window, inviting laziness to dull my discernment.
  • Seek out community. Don’t wait for it to land in your lap. While in between churches it’s all too easy to lose contact with others. Staying connected, whether it’s over the phone or a cup of coffee, is vital. Make the effort.
  • Be grateful. The Body of Christ is a magnificent living, breathing, family. Yes, we’re all a mess but we are a beautiful mess in the eyes of our Father. While visiting churches, I encourage you to see each one as an extension of your family — and allow the spirit of gratitude to bubble up. If you’re not welcomed as expected, give grace. (Thankfully, with Sally at Summit’s doors, this is never an issue.) If you sense a pastor or person is struggling, be slow to complain and quick to pray.
We visited many wonderful churches and we thank God for those He allowed us to meet in the process. At Rocky Creek in particular, I met women who are sure to be friends regardless of where we belong. Now that’s the Body of Christ!
In the end, Brian and I felt led to become team members at Summit Church. We look forward to becoming more deeply connected through life groups, serving, and the teaching of God’s Word.
If you’re currently searching for a new church, I welcome the opportunity to pray for you. Feel free to email me or leave a comment. Blessings!

Sunday Snippets

Welcome to Sunday Snippets!

Jason Malone picked up in Galatians 4:8-11 this morning. As mentioned last week, I try to jot everything down verbatim, but it’s not always possible. To listen to the sermon in its entirety, I invite you to visit Summit’s site.

What’s your greatest desire? To be a man/woman of God? To be a godly father/mother? To see your children/grandchildren fully devoted to Jesus Christ?

  • Nothing hijacks our desires quicker than idolatry — which is anything or anyone that occupies the place that should be occupied by God alone.
Jesus + Nothing = Everything
Jesus + Anything = Nothing
  • Nobody is an unbeliever. We either believe in the one true God or we’re a slave to worshiping gods. Christ followers are not enslaved, but we are tempted to put other things in God’s place.
  • “Idols” aren’t always bad, but idolatry is. To be enslaved to – or to lust for something – is to over desire. It doesn’t mean having a normal size desire for something evil, but an over-sized desire for something that’s good. We lust after achievements, sex, money, etc. because the idol comes in saying if you have me, you’ll be fulfilled.
  • Why do we put things where God should be? Because in those moments, we choose to love something or someone more than we love Jesus. 
  • The Gospel is the motivation for all life change.
  • We all worship—so what is sitting on the throne of your life? Who or what is competing with God’s place?

Idolatry is always the reason we ever do anything wrong. 
-Martin Luther

Additional Resources:

Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters, by Tim Keller, Reviews

Jesus + Nothing = Everything, Tullian Tchividjian

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