God has given gifts to each of you from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God's generosity can flow through you.
1 Peter 4:10
When you put your faith in God, He does not only save you from something; He saves you to do something. That something is to serve within the church and to make Jesus Christ known. God calls each of us to make a difference in this way. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God has given you special abilities to make a difference. We learned these special abilities are spiritual gifts. Maybe God has gifted you with the gift of service, evangelism, hospitality, compassion, mercy, encouragement, craftsmanship, or one of the various other gifts of the Spirit.
It is important that we are never content with just knowing that we have spiritual gifts. Instead, Peter encouraged the early church to "manage them well." A good manager is one who sees the bigger picture of the organization and knows how to respond at the right time to each situation. They care for the overall success of the business. The managing that we do with our spiritual gifts is to seek out opportunities to let God work through us, no matter how we have been gifted. When you discover and use your gift, you will feel fully alive. There is no greater satisfaction than when we are faithful to use the gifts God has given us, and then watch God work in ways we never could have imagined.
Remember, don't think too much or too little of your gift. If God has gifted you to teach, then teach so you can honor God. If He has gifted you to clean, then clean out of gratitude for what Jesus did on the cross for you. No gift is greater than any other, and no gift is beneath any other. A bad teacher and a bad cleaner may both cause people to never come back and miss out on hearing the good news of Jesus. We are all members of one body, and each member is essential. Each of us must work together, whatever our gift, so that God's generosity may flow through us. When we do this, the church will flourish, and the world will see the goodness of God on display.
Did the Holy Spirit nudge you this weekend? Did any of the gifts we talked about stand out to you? Take the "pie test." Ask other believers around you what your gifts are. Take a step of faith by joining one of the teams at the church to see if that is how you are gifted. Do this because God has created you and put priceless things deep inside of you. Take time to discover how God has gifted you, and then use those gifts. When you do, it can make all the difference to you, to your church, and to the world.
Read 1 Peter 4:1-11 (NLT)
So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.
Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. But remember that they will have to face God, who stands ready to judge everyone, both the living and the dead. That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead—so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit.
The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
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