1 Peter 4:10

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

This is a big responsibility because it calls on all of us, not just professionals, to really participate in God’s work in the church. It says that ministering to one another through our gifts is good stewardship, and by extension we can assume that NOT using it is BAD stewardship. It also explains that the ultimate purpose in us sharing our gifts with one another is the glory of God, to whom glory belongs!

  1. What are your gifts?
  2. Are you using them to minister to one another?
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About Dan Allen

Just some guy trying to figure stuff out... View all posts by Dan Allen

11 responses to “1 Peter 4:10

  • Alan Knox

    I taught 1 Corinthians to church leaders in Ethiopia last week, so we talked alot about spiritual gifts. In one sense, as Peter writes in the passage that you quote, the specific gift(s) is not as important as the manner in which we use them. We can speak according to God’s words, or our own. We can serve in God’s strength, or our own. If we speak according to God’s will and serve in God’s strength, then He will use our speaking/serving as He desires.

    On the other hand, it is beneficial to know how God typically uses you. I say “typically” because I believe that at any particular moment God may choose to use you or me to exercise any spiritual gift. However, I also think God typically works through individuals using one or more specific gifts. Thus, the person who is a “teacher” is the one through whom God typically teaches.

    I talked with Danny alot about this last week. I think my specific gifts range from teaching to encouragement. I don’t know if I can be more specific than that. It is my desire to serve people through those gifts whenever possible. Sometimes, I probably fail use teach/encourage when I should. Other times, I probably speak when I should not. But, God is gracious and he continues to teach me how to serve him by serving others.

    -Alan

  • Dan Allen

    Alan,

    Thanks for the comment. You hit on something I completely overlooked: that the proper use of our gifts are “in God” as opposed to our own strength! It is not just through the expression of our gifts that God is glorified (like if you teach, its not just what you teach that glorifies God), but in the very use of those gifts through his strength he is glorified.

    I also appreciate your thoughts on being used in different ways. I just read a post the other day about how some people feel they are not gifted to evangelize so they don’t. That is probably not a good idea. We should probably stay open to being used however God leads us (and in that particular case he calls us all to share the good news).

    I really can’t say what I’m gifted in, because I feel like through the past everything I have done has been so muddied by self-righteousness and self-glorification that I don’t know who’s strength I was doing what I was doing in. I am anxious to see how God will use me though and look forward to being used by him! I am glad that I can do so in His strength, not mine.

    Glad to see you back and active in the blogging world!

    -Dan

  • Alan Knox

    Dan,

    I think you’ve hit on a few keys to understanding spiritual gifts. First, gifts and talents are not the same thing. Second, we do not serve/speak in a certain way because we are gifted. This is easy to see in gifts such as service, and helps, and giving, and encouraging, etc. All are supposed to do those things. But, I think all are also supposed to teach, evangelize, prophesy, etc. So, functioning in a certain way is not dependent upon being gifted in that manner.

    -Alan

  • Dan Allen

    Alan

    What do you think makes someone who is gifted in a given area, like teaching, different from everyone else who is supposed to be doing that thing? What I mean by this is, do they have a different responsibility? Why are some gifted when all are supposed to function in those roles?

    -Dan
    by the way this is not a “leading” type question, I really have been trying to understand this.

  • Alan Knox

    Dan,

    As far as I can tell from Scripture, the difference is in how and when God chooses to work through a certain person in a certain way (i.e. gift). For example, all are to give, but it is only through some that God chooses to work through the spiritual gift of giving often and consistently. I think the same would be true of any spiritual gift.

    -Alan

  • Dan Allen

    Alan,

    That’s kind of what I thought, but didn’t really know why other than the fact that it made sense to me. when you say “from Scripture” are you referring to examples from Scripture or actual teachings in Scripture on this issue?

    -Dan

  • norma hill

    It’s a relief to read the comments and realize that I’m not the only one unsure exactly what my “gift(s)” might be. For so many years, we were told we must find our gift, and we were told to list all our life experiences, skills, talents – oh yes, and take on-line quizzes, of course, to “discover” our gifts. The more I followed that advice, the more unsure I became, and found myself withdrawing from things that I was passionate about and that I knew God was in, because they didn’t turn up at the top of the lists generated by those procedures!

    Oh… and now I am also hesitant because I also get confused about what is truly “serving God” and what is “program/ system” stuff… And I don’t want to be dragged back into that….

    Thanks for this conversation!

  • norma hill

    Do you think Father gives us different gifts at different times/places in the journey?

    What needs more focus: gifts, or fruit of the Spirit? I guess they work together, eh…

  • Dan Allen

    Norma,

    Thanks for the comments.

    I have a tenancy to make things theoretical. I want to understand how gifts work and what makes them gifts and blah, blah, blah… but you make a great point in explaining the ridiculous way in which we typically try to “figure out” our gifts. Who cares, right?!?! Just be willing to be used by God. Like Alan explains in his comments (and like Peter explains in this passage) it’s all about God and nothing to do with us!

    I appreciate and have learned a lot through the comments on this post!

    -Dan

  • Alan Knox

    Dan,

    “From Scripture” would include both examples and actual teachings. For example, consider these two passages and the gift of prophecy and the act of prophesying:

    Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? (1 Corinthians 12:29 ESV) (The expected answer here is, “No.”)

    For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged… (1 Corinthians 14:31 ESV)

    So, all are not “prophets,” but all can prophesy.

    -Alan

  • Dan Allen

    Thanks Alan!

    This comment thread has been very helpful to me.

    -Dan

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