As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.

1 Peter 4: 10

As a result of the many years that I have lived as a follower of Christ, there is at least one thing that I am very clear about, God is very generous. He has given me gifts that are remarkable, wonderful, and beyond measure in their scope and scale. God pours life into His people, and He grants gifts of His Spirit to us. The Lord is also the type of Father that builds a confident sort of strength into us. He lets us go and gives us space to roam this world and to explore its wonders; yet, He is never all that far away should we need advice, counsel, encouragement, or rescue. All of this generosity is founded upon one overwhelmingly great gift that was given to us in the person of Jesus Christ and that was fully unveiled upon the cross and made complete in Christ’s resurrection. Even His return to the Father in Heaven was not a loss for people on this earth, for Christ gave His Spirit to us and in the presence of the Spirit we are each granted gifts to use in service to our Lord and for the sake of His kingdom.

The work of service that we are called to perform is highly varied. It is designed by God to fit the needs of this world as it is in our time, and it is also tailored to be the perfect fit for each of us at that moment. It is important for us to remember that these gifts are not given to us in order to build us up or to create any sense of superiority on our parts. Although they are great and wonderful, and some of them seem to be more significant, important, or powerful in human terms, from God’s perspective these gifts are all of equal worth and none of them are intended to set an individual apart as greater or more valuable than other followers of Christ. The gifts that we are given are intended to be given away in full, and we are called to serve others with all that the Lord has granted to us. There is no need to hold back anything or to attempt to protect these gifts from overuse or from depletion by virtue of giving them away. These gifts and the grace that was poured out upon us by Christ in granting them to us flow out of an unquenchable fountain of blessing that God has freely opened for His people to drink from.

As we have received from God, so we are to give away all that we possess with the sure promise that we will be replenished as we need that resupply. There are times when the burden and the effort of this giving into the lives of others can become very heavy and we can become weary or worn down. These are days when we need the help and the support of other people who claim the same faith in Christ. These are times when we can lean into Christ’s body, the church, and allow others to walk with us, to grant us a safe place to rest, and to provide insight and encouragement that come directly from God’s Word and are poured into them and into us by His ever-present Spirit. Even with the Spirit within us and the gifts that God has granted to us at hand, none of us are intended by the Lord to walk through this life on our own. His design, plan, and intent for the journey that He sends each of His people on is for us to do this traveling with companions and in the gathered strength of His body of fellowship. In this setting, the grace that we require to sustain us can be found, the wisdom that is needed to assess each day is gathered together, and the opportunity to serve others as we allow them to serve us is granted full expression.  

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As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.

1 Peter 4:10

 

The ultimate response to the love that has been shown to each of us by God is to in turn love others. God gives all of us skills, abilities, special insights, and especially gifts of the Spirit that provide us with both the ability to live our own lives more fully and with the ability to affect the lives of others for earthly and eternal good. God is a giver; although, He calls upon his children to come to Him and to worship Him, I see Him coming to get me and bring me home to His love and care most of the time.

 

The Lord truly wants us to take what he gives to us and share it. He knows that there is incredible satisfaction and a substantial sense of fulfillment and of joy that is the result of showing Christ to those around us by sharing from our hearts. The forms that the sharing can take are as varied as are each of God’s children. He doesn’t force us into a mold in order to make us into singular expressions of Him Instead, God created us as individuals and He takes delight in our individuality. Then the Lord through His Spirit performs an on-going transformative work in us so that He enhances our distinctiveness through the enlightenment and the empowerment of His Spirit.

 

At that point, God asks us to take what He has given to us, turn to those around us, and with a confidence that comes from Him, love others. Christ’s gracious gifts are intended for us to use in building up others in order to point to Christ as the source of all that is good and loving in this world. We have all received grace in abundance from God who knows no limit to His love or to His generosity. We can grant that same grace to those around us in a manner that knows no limit and that seeks only to gain the praise and the recognition of Christ, Himself.