Category: Using Your Gifts

Using Our Gifts to Edify

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” I Peter 4:10.

As believers, we are to live with Christ’s imminent return in full view. We are called to be vigilant, watchful, and always ready for the Lord when He comes. For us, Jesus should not return as a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2), but our lamps should be ready, filled with oil, matches in hand, and prepared to join the parade of our Bridegroom (Matthew 25:6, 7). While we await His return, the Apostle Peter admonishes us to be serious and watchful in prayers with a goal of using our gifts to edify our Christian brothers and sisters (1 Peter 4:8-11).

Every Christian should have a fervent love for Christ. Then, that love continues its flow from the Throne of Grace through us and onto our brethren with ample supply to cover a multitude of sins.  The Bible addresses the need for church discipline concerning reprehensible sins in a Christian’s life. However, that thing we see in a brother or sister’s life, which is minor or petty, the apostle encourages us to let our love for one another cover the trivial matter (v 8).

His edification does not stop with love alone. We are encouraged to be hospitable, a great virtue. Peter presses in, instructing us to be hospitable and to demonstrate hospitality without grumbling. My dad often said, “Guests, like fish, stink after three days.” Dad had many clever sayings but contextually he would be in error. We are called to open our hearts to those who are in need, regardless of the duration. Even if we are seemingly exploited, we are not to grumble as we care for them (v 9).

Equipped with love, purveying hospitality, we should steward the gifts given us by God, for the edification of Church. No Christian is exempt. We are all called to the ministry of our gifts, empowered by the Holy Spirit. We normally think of stewardship in the context of finances. Finances have their rightful place in stewardship, but in this text, Pastor Peter has a grander view. He instructs believers to actively steward God’s abundant grace for the building-up of the church (v 10).

The author closes this paragraph on edifying gifts by reminding us that one of our greatest gifts is God’s Word, which informs our minds and sets our hearts ablaze. In the same way let us be zealous to use our gifts to God’s Glory, as He supplies the strength (v 11).

  • Selby Brannon

Growing The Gifts We Are Given

As Christmas approaches I am sure all parents can remember a gift that you gave your kids that unfortunately our children weren’t quite ready for. The drone in a tree, or the cell phone that caused a data overage or other issue.

Our Heavenly Father is the giver of perfect gifts but it is amazing how often I can mess His gifts up. For me this typically looks like one of two things:

The gift received that my pride uses to paint myself in a better light than others. This not only kills any productive use of His gift to serve others but holds me back in growing that gift. Also it potentially holds me back from the greater gifts God may desire to equip me with to serve Him. Luke 16:10-11 talks about those being faithful with the little, being entrusted with more.

The second is the gift that I don’t put to use to serve the body. This can happen for several reasons, my distraction with lesser things, or my fear that I am not that gifted to do something. Paul encourages Timothy to fan into a flame the gift he was given (2 Timothy 1:6). Many of the gifts given by God we are called to use in small but faithful ways and watch Him expand and grow that gift within us as we rest in the fact that this is a gift that God has given me to serve the body.

There are many who encourage me in my faith at Leroy by how faithful they are with the gifts God has given them. I think of people in our child care and kid’s church areas that serve often unseen but allow parents to relax and know their children are being taken care of, giving them the freedom to sit in a service and hear God’s Word. The list of people using their gifts at Leroy is long and they encourage us in our faith and use of the gifts God has given us.

  • Steve Selle

Using Your Gifts in Giving

Tis (almost) the season for giving … giving thanks, and then giving gifts. Of course, we ought always to be thankful (1 Thessalonians 5:18), and always be giving gifts (Romans 12:6). So, let me help us think a little deeper about the kind of gifts we give to honor the Lord and bless one another.

Gifts of Sacrifice

It doesn’t matter what you have, how much or how little. What matters is what you do with what you have. Do you consume it on yourself? Do you hoard resources, preparing the back-up to the back-up? Do you do the least to get by? Or does your heart overflow with a desire to put yourself in a place where you have to rely on God to give to you because you have given to others? It comes so easy to think about how to have our own needs met, and rationalize how we need what we’ve been given for ourselves. Don’t think “big”, just think “sacrificial”.

Gifts of Self

It’s nice to get stuff, it’s nicer to “get” connection with the person who did the giving of the stuff. Think about who God uniquely created you and how to give some of that away to others. Use words, use creativity, use thoughtfulness, use purpose, and use a heart that knows what God has done IN you is the most important thing about you. Share that!

Using your gifts is more than serving in a church ministry, volunteering in the community, or wrapping a present to share with another. Using your gifts is more about cherishing the greatest gift that was given to you. That then makes you a person who can regularly look outside of your own little world, be thoughtful about what truly blesses another human, and give gifts that fit the Gospel gift of grace you’ve been given. Pray for me in this, and I will pray for you this holiday season!

  • Mark Spansel