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Spiritual Gifts 1: Gifts to Use

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Reading: 1Peter 4:1-11
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 1Peter 4:10 (NIV)

I.   Equipped to follow our Orders

     A.  God Graciously gives gifts

           1.  Charismata (Gift) is from Charis (grace)

                 a.  A charismata is a sliver of charis (grace)

                 b.  Your spiritual gifts are portions of God’s grace given for you to distribute.

           2.  God gifts us by His grace!

                 a.  It is a gift of Grace to have a spiritual gift

                 b.  We have gifts whether we deserve them or not!

     B.  He gifts Each of us

           1.  Everyone has at least one gift of grace

                 a.  We are all gifted by God

But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. 1Cor. 7:7b (NIV)

                 b.  Discover our gifts:our gifts class, ask those who know us, personal reflection

           2.  From the least to the greatest

                 a.  Not just adults between 30 and 60!

                 b.  6 to 96! Nah, more than that!

                 c.  Gift shift over time/circumstance?

     C.  We are Under Orders to use them

           1.  A soldier with a shovel is supposed to dig!

                 a.  What happens to the soldier with a shovel who runs after the enemy?

                 b.  He doesn’t have the shovel to lean on!

                 c.  He’s supposed to dig–a trench, a fox-hole, a drainage ditch.

           2.  A soldier with a med bag isn’t supposed to!

                 a.  It’s hard to dig a fox hole with a med bag (although it can be done)

                 b.  Maybe there’s a time to do that!

                 c.  Generally speaking, a med-bag is for helping the wounded.

           3.  If you’re not sure what to do, look at your equipment.

                 a.  Your gifts, abilities, experience.

                 b.  We are made for what we are to do
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

                 c.  Do what you are.

II.  Equipped to Serve Others

     A.  We are Stewards of God’s grace (10b)

           1.  Our gifts are slivers of grace entrusted to us

                 a.  Gifts are the “various forms” of grace

                 b.  I have to respect that grace in you & me

                 c.  I have to trust His gracing of you & me!

           2.  Our job is to use them for His purposes.

                 a.  A steward is someone who manages the business matters or property of someone else.

                 b.  We are stewards of God’s grace. (10b)

     B.  We have gifts to Benefit others

           1.  “Serve” = to wait on (like a waiter!)

                 a.  We serve people by serving them

                 b.  We have gifts, not to make us great but to build up others.

                 c.  To serve is to seek to benefit someone.

           2.  “Minister” = serve/ministry=service

                 a.  Everyone has a ministry assignment.

                 b.  To be a minister is to serve.

                 c.  To be a minister is to be a servant.

III. Equipped in Word and Deed (v.11)

     A.  Speak the Oracles of God

           1.  Some translations have “oracle” for ‘words’

                 a.  Not just godly, or ‘religious’ words

                 b.  These are words that come from God

           2.  Do our words/message come from God?

                 a.  What is the message we speak?

                 b.  To have an opinion or idea is OK, but what (who’s) message do we bring?

           3.  A gift involving speaking the gift of gab!

                 a.  A gift of speaking is restricted to speaking God’s words

                 b.  We ought to be quiet most of the time!

                 c.  Some see a division of two kinds of gifts: speaking and service. (?)

     B.  Serve with the Power God provides

           1.  We don’t serve in our strength alone!

                 a.  We could, but we wouldn’t do much.

                 b.  At least not much of value.

                 c.  In our strength we could only do what’s humanly possible.

           2.  We serve in the power of God.

                 a.  We receive the gifts and the strength!

                 b.  So the weakest can serve in strength.

                 c.  So we can do what only God can do

           3.  This is the only way to do God’s stuff!

                 a.  God is at work through us.

                 b.  To do His stuff, we need gifts & strength

     C.  So God will be Praised

           1.  We don’t speak or serve to be praised.

                 a.  Whatever your gift is, we don’t use it to draw attention to ourselves!

                 b.  It’s not about being admired as a believer, or as a church.

                 c.  We don’t exercise our gifts to impress people with how good we are!

           2.  We serve selflessly so God will be praised!

                 a.  We use our equipment so our Commander in Chief gets the praise

                 b.  It’s not about the soldiers but the kingdom – The King!

           3.  We speak His words, serve in His power so that it is His stuff we do!

                 a.  Who’s stuff? His stuff!

                 b.  Got a shovel? Dig. Got a med-bag? Heal. Got a weapon? Fight.

                 c.  Whatever your gift is, use it boldly in service of God’s people & His kingdom.

The Bottom Line:

We will Faithfully use our gifts to share His Grace for His Glory.

I will respond to God today by: _______________________
________________________________________________

HOR: Am I a Soldier of the Cross? R# 411 vv 1,2 & 4

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