SPIRITUAL GIFTS: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen,” (1 Peter 4:10-11 NIV). God does not expect Christians, as the body of Christ, to do what He has not equipped us to do. With His Word, His Holy Spirit, Prayer, and His Spiritual Gifts He sends us forth to be His servants. It is up to each individual Christian to take the equipment God gives us and enter into the harvest field of the world. But God expects the body of Christ to take what each individual has as spiritual gifts and natural talents and combine their use to minister as a completed unit in the battle of life and the battle for souls.
God has endowed each believer (Christian) with at least one spiritual gift and all have natural God-given talents. Yes, there is a difference. No believer is left off the list of endowed people so all are equipped in some way to “serve others.” God has not equipped us with His gifts so we can become “hoarders” but instead He wants us to become distributors in the sense of using what He has given us to the welfare of other believers. In that way we fulfill the directive from God to act “as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” A steward is someone who takes what others own and uses it to the owner’s benefit. In this case when we are obedient to God we use the grace gift God gives us to benefit God’s people in God’s Kingdom. And God gets the glory.
Peter reminds us that when we use the gifts God gives us, whether it is a speaking gift or a serving gift, we are to use it accurately and with His power so “that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” There are no little gifts given through God’s grace. All are important for the building up of the body (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 13) and without everyone in the body participating in the use of their gift the body of Christ suffers. This failure by the body of Christ to have so little participation in “body life” today, because everyone is so busy in the world, certainly is in part the reason for the weakness of the impact the church has on society today.
How has God equipped you in this area? What spiritual gifts do you have and how are you using them? And what about those natural abilities God has equipped you with? How are you using those for God’s glory? It has been my observation that spiritual gifts just seem to reveal themselves in peoples’ lives. After all the gifts are given by the Holy Spirit so you would expect to see the work of the Holy Spirit in someone’s life. And other people will observe these gifts in action. Whatever your gift please use it today to benefit God’s people and bring glory to God.