Using What God Gives Us…
As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (1Peter 4:10-11)
GOD GIVES GIFTS TO INDIVIDUALS. Some have an unusual I.Q. Many natural gifts are given at birth. But, in today’s text, the natural birth gifts are not the subject. Peter is addressing the gifts given by the Holy Spirit when a person is saved or even after a person is saved. Some of the gifts listed in the Bible were temporary and some will continue until the saints are perfected. Here are some references you may like to look up and mark in your Bible. 1Corinthhians 12:8-11, 1Corinthians 12:28; Romans 12:4-6; Ephesians 4:4; Hebrews 2:4; 1Peter 4:10
THE BEST SUMMARY STATEMENT IN SCRIPTURE ABOUT GIFTS. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Ephesians 4:8) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (Ephesians 4:11-12)
THE GIFTS ARE GIVEN FOR PERFECTING THE SAINTS and for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ.
THE LIST OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS in 1Corinthians 12 do not completely match the list in Ephesians 4. This means that some of the authentic gifts are missing from each list. That fact leads some to wonder if there are other authentic gifts that may not be listed in the combined lists. The water gets deep at this point and I will go no further. There could be great danger in assuming there are other gifts not listed in Scripture.
Abuse can come from that assumption. Some big names have put videos online of people “laughing in the Spirit,” “telling jokes in the Spirit,” etc. Yes, I’ve seen some of that. It’s satanic.
PETER DRAWS ATTENTION TO THE TWO GIFTS of “speaking” and “ministering.” Those gifts occupied his attention as he wrote. He gave attention to why any gifts of Spirit would show up in the lives of the saints. The purpose is to glorify God. That’s it! The gifts are not for our entertainment and pleasure, not a fun thing. Whatever gift we have is to be exercised as good stewards of what God has given us. Don’t be a show-off. Don’t exercise your gift to draw attention to yourself to draw the admiration of people. That’s a bad thing and we should avoid it altogether.
SOMETIMES I WONDER IF GOD CAN GIVE US ANY GIFT WITHOUT IT RUINING US. Our pride is such a wretched thing. Sing to glory of God? Yes. But watch out about thinking to yourself: “I’m a pretty good singer, certainly better than ol’ so-and-so who can’t sing as good as I can.” Giving God the glory in the exercise of our gifts from Him can be difficult if we don’t deal with it quickly. We must humble ourselves before God and stay humble before Him.
When I was a boy, not over ten, I heard someone say: “There go I except for the grace of God.” It was referring to people who are bound by their sins and habits and are helpless to wrest themselves free from them. Many times, I have thanked God for not being bound by some of the things we see around us and for being born in America. I could have been born in Africa or Iraq or the heart of China. Are you ever choked up with a sob in your throat that you were born where you were born? That you are free from the chains that bind so many? Be careful about going further and looking down on others.
AND HOW ABOUT THE GIFT YOU MAY HAVE FROM GOD in the context of our text for today? I think I know what my gifts are, and I want to exercise them to the glory of God as He gives me the ability. That’s what Peter says to do: “as of the ability which God giveth.” We can’t be proud as peacocks for displaying what God has put in our hands, and we can’t be sad because we can’t do it like someone else.
I do enjoy good preaching and singing. I enjoy good “piano pickin’” by artists who can play ten times better than me. When we get to Heaven, I know there will be great music there. Meantime, I enjoy my little pickin’ and peckin’ on the keyboard. I don’t know how much preaching (if any) will go on in Heaven. We know there will be much praising God and it will be done with the ability God gives us. Whatever God has put in your hands, use it as He gives you the ability; use it for His glory and use it much!
USE YOUR GIFT TO BENEFIT OTHERS. That’s very important. Peter says: “one to another.” There’s nothing that will develop your character like thinking about others. Someone has said that “A man wrapped up in himself, makes a very small package.” I don’t know of many handicaps that are as bad as thinking that the whole world revolves around me. Forget about me. Think of others. Do for others. Get your mind off yourself and work to bring a smile on the faces of others. It’s contagious.
If you find it hard to make grumpy ol’ adults smile, forget it and try working with children. I knew a man in Florida who ran a church bus route. He visited the children on the route on Saturday. His secret weapon on them was to carry a pocket of candy and gum. It was such a pleasant experience for him, that he began carrying candy all the time and wherever he would find children he automatically gave them candy or a stick of gum. Not only did it rot their teeth, it also put a smile on their faces. He loved it. He was addicted to it.
EVERY SATURDAY HE WENT DOWN TO THE WHOLESALE HOUSE and bought a box or two of candy and gum. He owned a service station and he was always looking for children to talk to. He also gave them children’s gospel tracts. He did it ‘till the day of his death. His name was Ed Matthews. I think that behind the candy and gum was the love of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Spirit. …the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:5)
THE LAST THING IN OUR TEXT TODAY IS: “every man.” As every man hath received the gift. I don’t know what your gift its, but if you are saved and walking with God, you have some kind of gift from the Holy Spirit that He wants you to exercise to others, especially those of the household of faith.
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. (1Corinthians 12:28) Some of these gifts, like “apostles” and “prophets” have passed away.
BUT, WHAT ABOUT: "HELPS?" In the Old Testament, we find these words: And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone. (Numbers 11:17)
“Helps” is not a very showy kind of gift from God. Nevertheless, it is a gift from God. Being a help in what others are doing. You mean, “That’s a gift from God?” That’s what the Bible says. A helping spirit. These people love to help others. It’s just in them to do it. My! What a blessing these people are. They don’t need to be patted on the back or be in the limelight. They are happy and content to help others because God has given them this special gift.Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
APRIL 13, 2018 – FRIDAY
A.M. 1 Samuel 13-14 P.M. Luke 14:1-24
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Please note: If you are behind in your reading, you may want to link in today and go back to where you have been reading. This will help you to eventually catch up. I read here on Bible Gateway and read YouVersion on my iPhone.
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. (Jeremiah 33:3)
Song for Today:
Lord, I’m Coming Home (4:01) – (Donnie Sumner & Gaither Group)
Over a million people have listened to this moving invitation hymn. Beautiful and sincere.
You may have to adjust the volume or delete an ad.