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  • Writer's pictureTim Hemingway

Gifts for Others


"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

This verse forms part of Peter’s argument about the way Christians should live in light of the fact that the end of all things is near. He seems to be saying that God wants us to live differently from the culture we inhabit, particularly by serving those around us.

The world‘s mentality is, life is short so get as much out of it for yourself as you can. But the mentality of the Christian should be, eternity is long so give as much of your life away to others as you can. Peter tells us that the way we should do that is by exercising what we have been given and by exercising it with strength that we will be given. In other words, we give our lives to others with gifts received in the past and by the power of gifts yet to be received.

The gift already received is what verse 10 is referring to. These are the unique gifts of the Holy Spirit imparted to each individual believer, which are specially designed to serve the specific needs of those around us. Peter says, take those gifts and use them; press them into service for the good of fellow believers and unbelievers alike.

The gift yet to be received, which is the power by which the gifts already received are exercised, is nothing less than heavenly strength (v.11) - ‘If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides’. So God has given us unique gifts to exercise - gifts we should faithfully seek to exercise for the good of others. That faithfulness (v.10) looks like asking God to (future tense) supply us with the strength we need to exercise them. If we do that, not serving in our own strength, but in God’s strength, which he will mostly gladly give us, then the result will be that instead of us getting the glory, he will get the glory. That’s what verse 11 says, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be glory for and power for ever and ever. Amen’.

God is the one who gives us gifts of the Holy Spirt and He’s the one who gives us strength to exercise those gifts as he has told us to, faithfully for the good of others, that he may be glorified in our lives and in those around us, before this age has run it’s course.



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