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|Posted on October 10, 2016 at 1:20 PM||comments (0)|
Session 7 – 1 Peter 4:10-11 – Equipped to Live – Day 5
1 Peter 4:10 Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, it should be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, it should be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To Him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
The Holy Spirit bestows gift(s) on each believer. These are to be used to glorify God and edify the body of Christ.
Paul addressed this same thing in his letter to the church in Rome, naming some of the specific gifts.
Romans 12:1-8 (HCSB) For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one. 4 Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, 5 in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. 6 According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts:
use it according to the standard of one’s faith;
7 if service, in service;
if teaching, in teaching;
8 if exhorting, in exhortation;
giving, with generosity;
leading, with diligence;
showing mercy, with cheerfulness.
God gives us spiritual gifts to manage. The purpose of the gifts is to edify, build up other believers, and to glorify, magnify the Lord God. The gifts are not natural attributes that have been magnified but are abilities and attitudes the Holy Spirit gives when we trust in Jesus. God works in and through us to do His will.
Philippians 2:13 (KJV) For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
I cannot take credit for my spiritual gift because it is God working through me to minister to others. All glory must go to God and God alone, not ourselves. Remember our purpose on this earth – to reflect and glorify God, to enjoy intimacy with Jesus, and to build the only treasures that will translate with us to Heaven – relationships with other believers.
2 Corinthians 4:6-7 (KJV) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
When we exercise our God-given gift(s), the Light of Jesus is shining through us to others. Any time we excel, it is God working through us. The glory belongs to the Lord.
Question: Are you aware of your spiritual gift(s)? If not, ask godly friends what gift(s) they see in you. There are also surveys you can fill out to help you recognize your gift. God bestows the gifts, but we must exercise them, develop them, and use them to His glory. We must nourish them by feasting on God’s word, exercise them by being involved in the local body of believers, and employ them to build others up and glorify God.
|Posted on September 9, 2016 at 11:45 AM||comments (0)|
Session 3 - 1 Peter 2:1-3 – Building Our Faith – Day 1
1 Peter 2:1 (HCSB) So rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander.
I think we need to define malice , deceit , hypocrisy , envy , and slander . I have put the numbers for the Greek words from The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible in brackets for you. We have looked those words up for you, but hope this demonstrates another tool you can use whether you access it the old fashioned way (in a book) as we do or you look them up online.
2549 – kakia – evil, malice, maliciousness, naughtiness, wickedness
1388 – dŏlŏs – a trick, bait, wile, craft, deceit, guile, subtlety
5272 – hupŏkrises – acting under a feigned part, deceit, hypocrisy, condemnation, dissimulation (being a poser – think Pharisees)
5355 – phthŏnŏs - ill-will (as detraction), i.e. jealousy (spite), envy
2636 – katalalia – defamation, back-biting, evil speaking
Get rid of all these behaviors in your relationships with each other. Holiness is not just how we interact with God. It is very much how we relate with other people. Do we have some of these problems even within our church congregations? Yes. Have you ever heard someone gossiping? That’s back-biting. What should we do if someone tries to gossip in our presence? We should identify it and gently explain that it is inappropriate. If the gossip persists, we may need to walk away from that conversation. We need to realize, however, that if we point the finger at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at us. You mean, we need to remove the log from our own eye before we can see to remove someone else’s speck (Mathew 7:3-5)? Exactly. Is there such a thing as a church without a single hypocrite? Absolutely not, but I don’t want to be a person who could be defined as a hypocrite.
Now for the big question…how do we rid OURSELVES of all these things? Note: we are not called to cull them out of OTHERS. We need to think before we speak. Inappropriate speech usually comes out when one is in the heat of the moment. That usually happens when we don’t look at ourselves circumspectly and pause before speaking. I think that is why James admonishes us thusly:
James 1:19-20 (NIV) My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
There is a little poem we had first graders memorize at Glenview Christian School that explains that God gave us two ears and only one mouth because we needed to listen more than we talked. (OUCH!)
What role does prayer play in keeping ourselves from these sinful attitudes and actions? Prayer is crucial because when we give our conversation with the Father priority, and we give our speech over to His control, laying it at the cross, He is faithful to guard our tongues. Our walk with the Lord is a daily surrendering of our will, our attitudes, to the control of the Holy Spirit. Tapping into His power is the only way we can rid ourselves of “all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander.”
One last reminder on this subject:
Psalm 34:13 (NIV) keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.
1 Peter 2:2 Like newborn infants, desire the pure spiritual milk, so that you may grow by it for your salvation, 3 since you have tasted that the Lord is good.
How do newborns express their desire to nurse? By crying, and sometimes they make sucking motions with their mouth. What happens if they are not fed in a timely manner? They keep crying louder and longer until their hunger is satisfied. They also need to be fed several times a day. Imagine what would happen if a baby were only fed once a week. I get it – you’re saying we should hunger for God’s word daily, even moment by moment, not just on Sunday, if we wish to grow up to be strong in the Lord. We do not want to be spiritually mal-nourished. The only way to satisfy that hunger is to read or listen to the Bible! We need to be continuously feeding on God’s word. The pure word – not just books about the word – but the actual word of God. You can purchase the entire Bible on CD’s or I believe download it to your Ipod or whatever device. So if you cannot stop to read, at least you can listen.
Job 23:12 (NASB) I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.
Jesus spoke of this spiritual food:
John 4:32 (NASB) But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”
Milk causes babies to grow. These believers were already saved, so what did Peter mean by saying they would “grow by it to their salvation?” The believer matures toward the ultimate fulfillment of salvation – Christ-likeness and Heaven – as he/she studies the word of God.
Many of the people Peter was addressing in this letter were relatively new believers and needed milk. The writer of Hebrews addressed believers who had known the Lord for quite some time and should have been progressing to meat.
Hebrews 5:12-13 (ESV) For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.
As we grow, we should be more and more into studying our Bibles, capable of being a teacher rather than a student. We do not only teach in formal settings. If you are a parent, you have the responsibility to teach your children about the Lord. In order to be prepared, you need to be an avid student of the word yourself. Does a person ever get to the point that they no longer need to be immersed in the word of God? Absolutely not! You’re right. I have been teaching senior adults, many of whom have been in Sunday School for over 80 years, but they are still learning new things as they read and re-read the Bible. My sister’s father-in-law at 88 years young is still eagerly teaching a Bible Study class at his church.
Psalm 34:8 (ESV) Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Peter said they had tasted that the Lord is good. The people Peter was teaching had experienced the Lord’s goodness personally. They had trusted Jesus and received the gift of eternal life, but they still needed to grow and mature, as do we.
Challenge: If you are not already doing so, read a bit of God’s word every day this next week. Oh – you can do that right here! Go beyond just reading. Really contemplate what God is saying. Meditate on it (chew on it all day). Look for ways to apply the truths you learn to your daily life.
Application: Pray each morning asking the Lord to guard your tongue and your attitudes and to rid you of all those things listed in 1 Peter 2:1, those attitudes that do not reflect the character of God since we are His children. Slow down your mouth long enough to engage your brain before speaking.