Thursday, May 31, 2012

NAIROBI











Speak out for Christ!


 (Acts 21:27-22:21)

You need the courage to speak out for Jesus. The Lord, by His Spirit gave Paul a strong heart as shown by his desire to go to Jerusalem despite all the warnings from the brethren. By the Holy Spirit, he was able to withstand the temptation to escape the sufferings that awaited him. He remembered the mandate of his commission by the Lord on the road to Damascus. He accepted the message of the Holy Spirit to Him and to others and did not in any way consider it contradictory. But he was also not just going to retain it to himself – he was going to tell others what had made a Copernican revolution in his life – Jesus Christ had transformed his life and he had to tell them because the things. The truth of the matter is, "… we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard." (Act 4:20)
The work of grace done by Christ in your life is great and just like Paul could not keep restrain himself even when false charges were laid on him, even when he was under arrest, even when the crowd was braying for his blood to kill him. Yes even when it is not conducive you cannot and you must not remain silent. You have to speak for the Lord who died on the accursed tree to free you from the law of sin and of destruction.

1.     You have to connect with your audience

Paul was seized and dragged out of the temple and the Jews beat him seeking to kill him. Then the Roman soldiers came and took him and bound him in chains. But imagine Paul was all the more eager to tell them of the gospel! You would think that he was mad. But he had a number of aces to play – he knew Greek and this stopped the solders, clearing their misunderstanding that he was an Egyptian, and providing a chance to request them for permission to speak to the unruly mob. Given the permission he took up the steps and he addressed them in Hebrew! He called them brothers and fathers and begged them to listen to his defense.
A lesson for us here is that we have to connect with people if we hope to impact them. You have to speak the language they speak, you have to do things in a manner that does not cause unnecessary offense, you might have to dress in the manner that will make it possible to reach them with the gospel. Many times I have had to speak in my vernacular to some people if only to gain their attention so that I can bring the gospel to them. If speaking in your vernacular is going to give you an advantage of speaking about your Saviour, then do it by all means. If you think wearing some clothes will give you an advantage to win some of your clothes then do it. If it is visiting them or the manner of your speaking that would make a difference then do it – for their sake because they are in need of the Saviour – whom you know or rather has known you.
But even more importantly, is because of your love for Christ that you are to become all things for all people. The love of Christ constrains us as Paul will tell you. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised (2Cor. 5:13-15). As much as possible become all things to all people to gain them for Christ, as long as it does not offend Christ.

2.      You may need to give your testimony

On the other hand you have to tell these people that you are different from them in that a great transformation has taken place – you have been bought at a price. Paul told them about himself – his background, his manner of life before transformation, of his sinfulness  - how persecuted the church, how he killed those who followed Christ, how he delivered many to prison. He told them of the great experience of his conversion on the road to Damascus. How he heard the Lord Jesus Christ Himself speak to him and commissioned him to the work that he was now doing. He told them of the miracle both of blindness and of restoration. Of the servant of Christ called Ananias and who delivered his appointment from God to become a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. (Act 22:15). And so he was baptized marking the washing away of His sins having called on the Name of Christ.
People connect with results and evidences visible. And what is the proof that Jesus saves as I proclaim to you? That He saved me and cleansed me of all my sins. On the argument of your own conversion are you to bring the message of salvation to others. As long as you are a believer in Christ and you have received the pardon of your sins because you repented and believed in Christ, because He has given you the Holy Spirit and adopted you into His family, you are well equipped to tell others of your experience of the salvation that you have received freely. Almost every time Paul spoke, he mentioned how the Lord saved him. Do the same if it true.

3.      You have to be Christ-centered

Paul in all His speaking did not say that he was a sinner and he did anything to save himself – he talked of the Saviour of sinners – Jesus Christ. He presented Jesus as the only one able to pardon sins and cleanse you from sins. The message today is the same – Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Jesus is the only one to be presented as able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to Him by faith.
However, note that preaching Christ-centered message does not guarantee that you will have sinners begging to be saved there and then. In this case we find no one saved as a result of Paul’s message. However, this does not stop us from being more zealous. We know that we are not the ones to save – it is Christ.
By all means become all things for all people, suffer for Christ, be gracious, speak about Christ as the Saviour by connecting with people, by giving your testimony, by preaching the most Christ-centered message and the Lord will bless this labour. He will bless it either in your presence or after you have done your part, he may bless it at that time or many years to come but it is for you to avail yourself to be used of the Lord to be the means of salvation for so many others.
If you will be successful in becoming all things for all people that they may know Christ, then you have to tell them of Christ as the only Savior. If you want to be saved – cry to the Lord for mercy. And don’t leave here if you have not known Him as your Saviour today.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I Need to be Fruitful in my Church



Therefore it says, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men." (In saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Eph. 4:8-16)

Many will say that they attend church regularly, give a large portion of their income regularly, and that they pray and read their bible constantly. Do you think this is sufficient service to the Lord? In these activities you do, what spiritual gift are these? What ministry do you do and what sphere do you practice these gifts? What have you accomplished for the Lord in the past that you think you are unable to do now? Is it because of age? Or your new family or job-related commitments? Do you wish for the good old days? Anything that may hinder you from serving the Lord more than you did serve Him in the past should be treated like an idol, because they have claimed God’s place in your life.
What part of your Christian life are you most proud of? What is it that if the Lord came now you would want to tell Him about? Is it the way you have been evangelizing or the way you have been making disciples? Is it the way you have been faithful in your duties or the way you have delighted in the Lord?
How would you account for your time before the Lord? Would you, with a good conscience say, that you have looked carefully how you have been walking, not as unwise but as wise, and that you have been making the best use your time? Eph 5:15-16

Each one of us has a responsibility in the church as long as he has been saved by the Lord and placed in a local church. It is for us to ask ourselves, what is it that we are doing in service to the Master? We should not be content in being spectators in the church. Eric Wright a long serving missionary in Pakistan wrote a book that he called, ‘Church – No Spectator Sport’ and it is an appeal to return to the priesthood of all believers. He says that every member ministry is biblically normative because when the Lord was ascending, He never proposed that His church become a congregation of spectators, rather, when He ascended He gave gifts to men that all may participate in ministry (Eph. 4:8).
How would you discover your gifts?
1.      Taking an inventory of providential preparation
Natural abilities, our education and training, our ministry and work experiences, along with any skills we have acquired, will furnish us with a glimpse of the Spirit’s work in endowing us with gifts. Find out all the jobs, education, jobs, hobbies, interests or talents you that could in any way be used of God in the ministry. First think of yourself outside of your church – in your home, at work the way you spend your leisure time.


2.      Taking inventory of our sense of need
Christians are people who meet needs. Take a moment and consider what greatest concern that you have for the church that you are constantly praying or thinking about as not met as you may want. Then ponder some of the ways that you think you can help. You can as well ask, what is it that I may want improved (removed, added to or something different) in this church? What can I do to help in improving this need? What lacking in the life of my church? We are supposed to pursue this line of reasoning because there is a possibility of repressing some spiritual gifts to the detriment of the church. Unmet needs in the church cry out for ministry. As we obey the Lord as Christians we discover our gifts. For example as we help the needy, fill up for people, we discover that we have been gifted in those areas as time goes.
3.      Taking an inventory of effectiveness
Needs that are met show that there is a spiritually gifted person present. When there is ineffectiveness in the church in particular ministries it shows that there is someone who is not exercising his spiritual gift. People led by the Spirit exercise their gifts inevitably produce spiritual fruit. Think over your own life. In what areas can you recognize some degree of some spiritual effectiveness? Whom have you helped through witnessing, teaching, encouragement, mercy, giving, etc.? do others seek you to talk over your problems? Are there practical things you do like witnessing to your neighbors with other church members, taking food and the gospel to those in prison, counseling young people for marriage etc? Where are you most effective in serving Christ? Where do you see fruit from your labours?
4.      Taking an inventory of enjoyment and fulfillment
God did not create us for misery. When we glorify God we find a deep sense of fulfillment, joy and satisfaction. As much as Christian life calls for suffering and self-denial there is a lot of joy and fulfillment for those Christians who suffer for their faith. Paul was bitten up severally in his endevours to evangelize to the Gentile world and yet He was very happy in Christ. Our desires and aspirations are vital in finding out what one can do for the Lord. You can ask yourself,  if I could be assured of success , what I would most likely want to contribute to my church fellowship? What would you really love to do if you could? As a rule God , God prepares us to find satisfying niche of ministry where we can use our gifts. Are there moments when we find that our minds are a fountain of ideas and methods about how to engage in a certain project or service? Our potential gifts must yield a certain measure of enthusiasm. As much as every ministry must have its share of sacrifices those who find ministry in the areas of their giftedness find great satisfaction.
5.      Taking an inventory in other people’s counsel
Wise Christians always welcome the counsel of others. When we face difficulty or important decisions that require subjective choices we would be wise to seek counsel from others. In a healthy church pastors and deacons ought to be readily available for counsel. Therefore you should be apt in seeking counsel from the leaders in order to develop your gift. Look at the example of Paul to Timothy who realizing Timothy’s timidity gave him wise counsel in order to make sure that he was helped. He urged him to stir up his gift (1 Tim. 4:11-14). I do not think I would have become a pastor where it not for an overseer who appointed me to the position even without my approval!
6.      Taking adequate time to discover your gifts
Gifts develop in a climate of prayer and submission, obedience and love. Spurgeon demonstrated powerful preaching gifts at an early stage which was an exceptional, though God can do it again. Usually considerable time elapses before many Christians know their spiritual gifts. Time produces the necessary humility, and love so essential in service. Time also helps us to experience a broader range of Christian activities so that we are also able to work with others in the service.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Holding firm to the trustworthy word


Holding firm to the trustworthy word

He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. (Titus 1:9)

There is no question that the greatest problem that the church has to contend with is the problem of heretics who bring in untruths as if it is the truth. And therefore for those of us who are preaching the gospel particularly the pastors have the specific work to guard the flock against false teachers. Brethren, it is obvious that much has been committed to us as pastors in charge of the souls of men and the Word of God. Therefore much is required. The Lord was categorical that “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required ...” (Luke 12:48)
But this has to begin with you to ‘Hold firm to the trustworthy word’ as taught…’ Why are there so many false teachers today? It would be either because they who are teachers have not been taught. It could as well be that that they are have been taught so that they twist the truth that they already know as they have been taught. But the question that I would like us to consider is, “Are we faithfully holding firm to the trustworthy word? But why are we to hold firm to the trustworthy Word?”
It is very easy to criticize others especially the charismatics. But are faithful with what was committed to us? Are we sure that what was taught us was trustworthy? It could have been trustworthy if it was based on the word of truth, not philosophy, not feelings or emotion or dreams or visions or what people call prophecy but the trustworthy word of truth.
Every believer has responsibilities in the church – that is why the Lord placed such a person in His church. Men has specific duties to discharge in the church for the Lord has ordained that His church is to be lead particularly by men in the two offices – pastors (not pastor-esses) and deacons not deaconesses. Women have their roles to play in the church – that of teaching younger women and children.
Paul instructing Titus of who are qualified to be pastors, he gave a long list to do with his character – personal, family and public. He also has to be apt to teach
As to doctrine
Man who would be called into the ministry of the gospel is expected to “Hold fast the faithful word, as he has been taught, keeping close to the doctrine of Christ, the word of his grace, adhering thereto according to the instructions he has received - holding it fast in his own belief and profession, and in teaching others (Matthew Henry’s Commentary). Those who are to lead the church of Christ must know what He has said about how His church is to be governed. There is a constant exhortation for brothers to ‘stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter. (2Thess. 2:15). What is being encouraged here is a consistency in what a pastor believes and teaches.
In the right context of these words, this is part of the pastoral qualifications for those who are to minister the Word of God. We read in 1Timothy 3:2 that such must be apt to teach for the pastors and for the deacons, “They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.”(1Tim 3:9).  Surely every Christian must be able to teach others privately so that He may present Christ as the One and only Saviour but much more those who are called into the vocation of preaching the word? How much more are we required to know, to believe, to teach and to live the trustworthy word entrusted to us? How much more should we hold firm to the gospel, the power of God for salvation to all who believe? How much are we to hold the word that is trustworthy because it is from God? How much shall we contend for the faith?
To show how important this one is, consider how much Paul rejoicing for the Romans response to the faith, ‘But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, (Rom 6:17)
Why are we to hold firm to the trustworthy word?
It is obedience not only to be transformed by the Word of God but also to have a commitment to teach it to others. This is what all men are called to do to learn with the purpose of committing it to other faithful men who would be able to teach it to others (2Tim. 2:2). The cycle is not complete until what you hear is heard by your friends and relatives whenever the Lord gives you the opportunity.
1.      So that we may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine
They are to teach that which is true and it is the Word of which is truth and so able to sanctify men (John 17:17). That he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort, and to convince, both to teach and refute those who teach untruth – that He may build the church of Church as well as tear down the kingdom of darkness.  The Word of God, revealed in the scripture, is a true and infallible Word. The Word of Him that is the Amen, the true and faithful witness. The Bible is the product of a spiritual superintendence for those who committed it to the paper were guided the Holy Spirit - Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2Peter 1:21).
2.      So that we may be able to rebuke those who contradict it
Brethren, We are privileged that we have the Word of God committed to us. We are to rejoice in this wonderful truth. That although lives were lost and so much suffering by such men as John Wycliffe and William Tyndale yet we have copies of Bibles in languages we can understand. Praise the Lord that He has given us His Word so faithfully preserved for us. Although, we do not have the original manuscripts, yet we can rejoice that God by the superintendence of the Spirit has kept His Word pure and even though there are so many manuscripts, the points of disagreement are so minimal that the truth is always retained by vast majority of the translations.
May I also challenge you to give yourselves first of all to study the Word more than you would study for an examination? Give specific times to the Word of God. Look back and compare the time you gave to make it to the position that you have or the time you are investing to boost your opportunities of employment and the time you invest in the Word of God that is able to make you wise for salvation; the Word that is from God for you to know Him so that you will be in all eternity with Him. Imagine God has so much revealed Himself to us! Paul said of Himself that I had kept the faith… (2Tim._4:7),  because he knew it so that he was able to declare the whole counsel of God (Act_20:27).
Finally what would you is what you have done with all that you have been reading and hearing here? Have you been a faithful witness? Have you committed it to others who are to the same? I know of a number of Christians who are very good scientists of world standard and good Christians for that matter. If you were called for an interview by a TV stations would you even remember to say anything about your faith?

Be filled with the fruit of righteousness


Be filled with the fruit of righteousness
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11
What does it mean to be filled with the fruit of righteousness – it is to overflow with fruitfulness in the righteousness that we have obtained from Christ.
Every true believer will and must bear fruit in his Christian life. Why did God appoint you? Why have you been chosen of God if indeed you have been chosen? What made God elect you for salvation if you are in salvation? It is that you can bear much fruit! (John 15:16).
This is what our confession of faith states:
All saints that are united to Jesus Christ, their head, by His Spirit, and faith, although they are not made thereby one person with Him, have fellowship in His graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory;[ I John 1:3, 16; Phil. 3:10; Rom. 6:5-6] and, being united to one another in love, they have communion in each other’s gifts and graces,[Eph. 4:15-16; I Cor. 12:7; 3:21-23] and are obliged to the performance of such duties, public and private, in an orderly way, as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man.[I Thess. 5:11, 14; Rom. 1:12; I John 3:17-18; Gal. 6:10]
Psalm 1: 1-6; John 15:1-8
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. John 15:1-8

Look trees do not bear fruit for themselves. They bear fruit for others to feed on it! You ought to bear fruit in your children; your relatives and friends etc. You don’t bear fruits for your own glory it is for God’s glory! You should bear
The discipleship is not a mechanical enterprise it is organic and flows from the
Do you wonder why you have had so many trials in your life? It is God’s providential mechanism so that you can bear fruit. Having communion with Jesus Christ and this you do by being very close to the Lord.  That you are not bearing fruit is clear evidence that you might not be in Christthe greatest sign that you are in Christ is that you bear fruit. Every true believer will bring fruit to the kingdom of God. What fruit are you bringing in the kingdom of God? Those who are Christ depend on Christ and are strongly in need of Christ.

Those who have no fruits to bear are as good as in the fire. If you had a shamba and you find out that the orange, mango and pawpaw trees you planted are all fruitless after 5 years – would you continue tending them. No! they must be fruitful and their fruits must be useful – you know that because of the poor politics of this country most of the coffee farmers cut them down.
You are not just required to bear fruit but to much fruit – the weakest Christian bears 30% and it is possible to bear 100%! A genuine Christian is far more fruitful than he recognizes. Look at your life, your family, your friends your colleagues and ask what difference have you made in their lives.
We must abide in Christ's word by a regard to it, and it in us as a light to our feet. We must abide in Christ's merit as our righteousness and plea. We must realize that it in us as our support and comfort to be fruitful. The knot of the branch abides in the vine, and the sap of the vine abides in the branch, and so there is a constant communication between them. You see you are not depending on yourself to bear fruit – you are only a branch attached to the very source of life and so bearing fruit is natural. If you abide in me and my words abide in you then you would be  fruitful. How can you be fruitful? – By feeding in Christ’s Words and being in close communion with Christ in prayer then you would be fruitful.
You have to fight to love and you have to fight to have joy and to love and to read your Bible. Self control comes only by the way of practicing and living it. Trials that come your way are to help you to develop and mature such fruits as love, joy, peace, faith, patience, self-control, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness etc. Gal 5:22-23
What are you doing for the Lord?
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Therefore it says, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men." (In saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Eph 4:8-16
Many will say that they attend church regularly, give a large portion of their income regularly, and that they pray and read their bible constantly. Do you think this is sufficient service to the Lord? In these activities you do, what spiritual gift are these? What ministry do you do and what sphere do you practice these gifts? What have you accomplished for the Lord in the past that you think you are unable to do now? Is it because of age? Or your new family or job-related commitments? Do you wish for the good old days? Anything that may hinder you from serving the Lord more than you did serve Him in the past should be treated like an idol, because they have claimed God’s place in your life.
What part of your Christian life are you most proud of? What is it that if the Lord came now you would want to tell Him about? Is it the way you have been evangelizing or the way you have been making disciples? Is it the way you have been faithful in your duties or the way you have delighted in the Lord?
How would you account for your time before the Lord? Would you, with a good conscience say, that you have looked carefully how you have been walking, not as unwise but as wise, and that you have been making the best use your time? Eph 5:15-16

Each one of us has a responsibility in the church as long as he has been saved by the Lord and placed in a local church. It is for us to ask ourselves, what is it that we are doing in service to the Master? We should not be content in being spectators in the church. Eric Wright a long serving missionary in Pakistan wrote a book that he called, ‘Church – No Spectator Sport’ and it is an appeal to return to the priesthood of all believers. He says that every member ministry is biblically normative because when the Lord was ascending, He never proposed that His church become a congregation of spectators, rather, when He ascended He gave gifts to men that all may participate in ministry (Eph. 4:8).
How would you discover your gifts?
1.       Taking an inventory of providential preparation
Natural abilities, our education and training, our ministry and work experiences, along with any skills we have acquired, will furnish us with a glimpse of the Spirit’s work in endowing us with gifts. Find out all the jobs, education, jobs, hobbies, interests or talents you that could in any way be used of God in the ministry. First think of yourself outside of your church – in your home, at work the way you spend your leisure time.
2.       Taking inventory of our sense of need
Christians are people who meet needs. Take a moment and consider what greatest concern that you have for the church that you are constantly praying or thinking about as not met as you may want. Then ponder some of the ways that you think you can help. You can as well ask, what is it that I may want improved (removed, added to or something different) in this church? What can I do to help in improving this need? What lacking in the life of my church? We are supposed to pursue this line of reasoning because there is a possibility of repressing some spiritual gifts to the detriment of the church. Unmet needs in the church cry out for ministry.
3.       Taking an inventory of effectiveness
Needs that are met show that there is a spiritually gifted person present. When there is ineffectiveness in the church in particular ministries it shows that there is someone who is not exercising his spiritual gift. People led by the Spirit exercise their gifts inevitably produce spiritual fruit. Think over your own life. In what areas can you recognize some degree of some spiritual effectiveness? Whom have you helped through witnessing, teaching, encouragement, mercy, giving, etc.? do others seek you to talk over your problems? Are there practical things you do like witnessing to your neighbors with other church members, taking food and the gospel to those in prison, counseling young people for marriage etc? Where are you most effective in serving Christ? Where do you see fruit from your labours?
4.      Taking an inventory of enjoyment and fulfillment
God did not create us for misery. When we glorify God we find a deep sense of fulfillment, joy and satisfaction. As much as Christian life calls for suffering and self-denial there is a lot of joy and fulfillment for those Christians who suffer for their faith. Paul was bitten up severally in his endevours to evangelize to the Gentile world and yet He was very happy in Christ. Our desires and aspirations are vital in finding out what one can do for the Lord. You can ask yourself,  if I could be assured of success , what I would most likely want to contribute to my church fellowship? What would you really love to do if you could? As a rule God , God prepares us to find satisfying niche of ministry where we can use our gifts. Are there moments when we find that our minds are a fountain of ideas and methods about how to engage in a certain project or service? Our potential gifts must yield a certain measure of enthusiasm. As much as every ministry must have its share of sacrifices those who find ministry in the areas of their giftedness find great satisfaction.
5.      Taking an inventory in other people’s counsel

6.      Taking adequate time to discover your gifts