Stewards of His Gifts
Read 1 Peter 4:8-11
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
What did Peter say should be our primary motivation for serving others?
It is a sad fact that many churches struggle to find volunteers to serve. Many are willing to drop their children off at the nursery or Sunday School, but they are not interested in taking a shift caring for the children in their church. Many churchgoers feel comfortable commenting on their appreciation or dislike of the music that is selected for worship, but they are not as willing to give of their time or talents to join the praise team, band, or choir. In fact, a Barna study recently found that one in three pastors consider “declining or inconsistent volunteering” to be a major issue facing their ministry.
We know that our good deeds and works don’t save us. So why is it important to serve others? In today’s passage, Peter makes it clear that we are to serve one another to glorify God. He reminds believers that we have all been entrusted with spiritual gifts and that we are to use them well.
The phrase “varied grace” in today’s passage should encourage us! God has gifted us all differently and with a variety of gifts. You might not be called to change diapers in the nursery, but you might be gifted with the ability to lead a Bible study. You might not be able to sing a note, but you might have technology skills and would make a great sound or media tech. Maybe no one ever wants to eat anything that you prepare so you aren’t a good candidate for the meal ministry, but you are a handyman who can help those around the house who are not able to keep up or afford to hire someone. In Romans 12:6, Paul said, “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.”
Jesus Himself told His disciples that a life spent following Him is a life of service. In Mark 9:35 Jesus told the twelve, “...If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” In John 13:12-14, we see a beautiful picture of Jesus humbling Himself as a servant, washing the feet of His disciples. He told them, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (v.14).
Friend, if you are in Christ, you have been entrusted with a gift. It is intended that you use it for the glory of God and the service of others. We are all called to use what God has given us to serve, edify, and encourage the body of Christ.
God, thank You for the gifts that You have freely given to me. I want to be a trustworthy steward of Your grace. Help me identify how I can use my gifts to serve others and glorify you. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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