Our bible study today is 1 Peter 4:10: As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
We have all heard the old saying that a gift is worth nothing until it is given away. And most of us are very aware of how true this is. Right now you may have some gifts stashed away in your closet just waiting to be given. The new blouse will not be used or appreciated until you give it away; the teddy bear will not light up a child’s eyes until he receives it. This is the whole idea of gift giving. We gather our gifts together and give them to the ones we love and care about most.
In 1 Peter we are assured that we have all received the gift to minister to each other. What does this mean?
Perhaps it is easier to first mention what it does not mean. It does not mean that we must go to seminary or that we need to preach to a congregation. We do not have to write sermons or liturgies. We need no special vestments. We will not be given a home or a housing allowance, and we will not receive any form of pay.
It is our calling, as children of God, to minister to others. We can do this because we have received the gift to do so from God. This gift, like so many others in our lives, means little if it is not given away. If we keep all our potential to do good and all our ability to practice kindness and justice hidden within us, it benefits no one. If it is given away, someone is far richer for having received it, just as we become far richer for having given it.
Think about the gifts you can give to one another each day. It may be as simple as a smile or a friendly greeting, a word of encouragement, a helping hand, or a moment to listen. Occasionally it may be sharing in prayer, giving one a shoulder to lean on, providing someone with a safe place to fall, or setting the difficult path straighter with words of wisdom.
These wonderful gifts that have been given to us by God are free and are meant to be freely given away. Let us always be are of out potential and of the manifold gifts within our hearts that we have been given by our loving Father. And let us give to one another, often, easily, freely, and without regard for self. We will make someone else’s life brighter in the process and will enrich our own as well. May God’s riches pass through us as gifts of the loving spirit of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus.
References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock, The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur and Concise Bible Commentary, David S. Dockery, General Editor
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