Friday, September 2, 2011

YOU ARE A GIFTED PERSON!

YOU ARE A GIFTED PERSON!

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies--in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1Peter 4:8-11)

How many gifts of the spirit are there? How many have you received from Him? How far have you improved on them? Everyone has more than one gift! The rule is that whatever gift, ordinary or extraordinary, whatever power, ability, or capacity of doing good is given to us, we should minister, or do service, with the same one to another, accounting ourselves not masters, but only stewards of the manifold grace, or the various gifts, of God. This means that whatever ability we have of doing good we must own it to be the gift of God and ascribe it to his grace. Whatever gifts we have received, we ought to look upon them as received for the use one of another. We must not assume them to be for ourselves or for our benefit. We also must not hide, burry or sell them but use them to profit the church in the best manner we are able.
In receiving and using the manifold gifts of God we must look upon ourselves as stewards only, and act accordingly. The talents we are entrusted with are our Lord's goods, and must be employed as he directs. And it is required in a steward that he is found faithful. In this passage we have two categories of gifts and the list is not exhaustive –ministering and speaking gifts.
1.      I Possess Gifts For Ministering!

Since I possess the gift of love, therefore I should love fervently (v. 8)
The gift that you have to start with is the gift of love, And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves,” (v.8). Christians ought to love one another, which implies an affection to their persons, a desire of their welfare, and an enthusiastic endeavor to promote it. It should be fervent, sincere, strong, and lasting. And it is recommended above all things, Col.3:14. Love is greater than faith or hope, 1Cor.13:13. One excellent effect of it is that it will cover a multitude of sins. It persuades Christian believers to forgive and forget offences against themselves, to cover and conceal the sins of others, rather than to exaggerate them and spread them abroad. It teaches us to love those who are but weak, and who have been guilty of many evil things before their conversion; and it prepares for mercy at the hand of God, who hath promised to forgive those that forgive others, Mat.6:14.
This love is to be exercised first of all among Christians. You ought to practice your love with your own before you take it to others just like Rudisha will first all train in Kasarani before going to Daegu. It therefore goes without saying that there ought to be fervent charity towards one another than towards other men.
We are instructed to let it to continue, Heb.13:1. We are to do everything possible to make it flourish just like a farmer will tender and weed his maize in order to get a bumper harvest.  It is not enough for Christians not to bear hatred, nor to have common respect for one another, they must intensely and fervently love each other. Because it is the interest of love to cover a multitude of sins.
I must show hospitality (v.9)
This is free and kind treatment of strangers and travelers. The proper objects of Christian hospitality are one another. However sometimes there were those who were strangers because of relations yet brethren in Christ. These were most of the time kicked out of their countries and places by their civil authorities who were inimical to the gospel of Christ. Sometimes Christians were spoiled of all they had, and were driven away to distant countries for safety. In this case they must starve. There were many others who were strangers because they were engaged in the work of broadcasting the gospel of grace – itinerating evangelists. Therefore it was a wise and necessary rule which the apostle here laid down. It is elsewhere commanded, Heb.13:1, Heb.13:2; Rom.12:13. If their fellow-Christians would not receive them who would?
How were they to carry out this ministry? Having had the gift then they were to do it  in an easy, kind, handsome manner, without grudging or grumbling at the expense or trouble. It is clear then because of the love that compels a Christian to do good to others then, whatever a Christian does by way of charity or of hospitality, he ought to do it cheerfully, and without grudging. Freely you have received, freely give.

1.      I Possess Gifts For Speaking!
I know that many of you thinks that they do not have the gifts of tongue! Many believe that they are not able to preach – something that the Bible concurs. However, as long as you are able to communicate even those who cannot talk or hear you still ought to use it to pass the message of the gospel to others.
You know that God has given you His oracles.  If any man, whether a publically or privately minister the gospel, he should speak or teach, he must do it as the oracles of God. God has given us His Word which is able to make us wise for salvation. We know the will of God and this is what we are to pass on to others who will do the same - and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (2Timothy 2:2).
We are called to always preach, teach and speak must be the pure word and oracles of God. As to the manner of speaking, it must be with the seriousness, reverence, and solemnity, that the divine oracles deserve.
 If any man minister, either as a deacon, distributing the alms of the church and taking care of the poor, or as a private person, by charitable gifts and contributions, let him do it as of the ability which God gives
He who has received plenty and ability from God ought to minister plentifully, and according to his ability. These rules ought to be followed and practiced for this end, that God in all things, in all your gifts, ministrations, and services, may be glorified. So that others may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven (Matt.5:16), through Jesus Christ, who has procured and given these gifts to men (Eph.4:8). Through whom we and our services are accepted of God (Heb.13:15) as acceptable. To whom, Jesus Christ, be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
So you might ask what are some of the gifts of speaking?
There are those who preach
Teach/train
Rebuke/admonish
Correct/guide/counsel

So we learn that, First, It is the duty of Christians in private, as well as ministers in public, to speak to one another of the things of God, Mal.3:16; Eph.4:29; Psa.145:10-12.
Secondly, It highly concerns all preachers of the gospel to keep close to the word of God, and to treat that word as becomes the oracles of God.
Thirdly, Christians must not only do the duty of their place, but they must do it with energy and vitality, and according to the best of their abilities. The truth of the matter is that the nature of a Christian's work, which is high work and hard work is made easier by the goodness and kindness of the Master. The excellency of the reward require that our work should be serious and vigorous, and that whatever we are called to do for the honor of God and the good of others we should do it with all our might.
Fourthly, In all the duties and services of life we should aim at the glory of God as our chief end.  All other issues must be subservient to this, which would sanctify our common actions and affairs, 1Cor.10:31.
 Fifthly, God is not glorified by any thing we do if we do not offer it to him through the mediation and merits of Jesus Christ. God in all things must be glorified through Jesus Christ, who is the only way to the Father.
Sixthly, The apostle's adoration of Jesus Christ, and ascribing unlimited and everlasting praise and dominion to him, prove that Jesus Christ is the most high God, over all blessed for evermore. Amen.

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