We are given gifts — who will those gifts serve most today?
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
1 Peter 4:10-11 NLT
Life Application Study Bible
Some people, well aware of their abilities, believe that they have the right to use their abilities as they please. Others feel that they have no special talents at all. Peter addresses both groups in these verses. Everyone has some gifts; find yours and use them. All our abilities should be used in serving others; none are for our own exclusive enjoyment. Peter mentions speaking and serving.
Matthew Henry Commentary on 1 Peter 4
The work of a Christian is twofold-doing the will of God and suffering his pleasure. This chapter directs us in both. The duties we are here exhorted to employ ourselves in are the mortification of sin, living to God, sobriety, prayer, charity, hospitality, and the best improvement of our talents, which the apostle presses upon Christians from the consideration of the time they have lost in their sins, and the approaching end of all things (v. 1-11). The directions for sufferings are that we should not be surprised at them, but rejoice in them, only take care not to suffer as evil-doers. He intimates that their trials were near at hand, that their souls were in danger as well as their bodies, and that the best way to preserve their souls is to commit them to God in well-doing (v. 12-19).
- 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. Learn,
- [1.] Whatever ability we have of doing good we must own it to be the gift of God and ascribe it to his grace.
- [2.] 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 ourselves, nor hide them in a napkin, but do service with them one to another in the best manner we are able.
- [3.] 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 be found faithful.
- (2.) The apostle exemplifies his direction about gifts in two particulars-speaking and ministering, concerning which he gives these rules:-
- [1.] If any man, whether a minister in public or a Christian in private conference, speak or teach, he must do it as the oracles of God, which direct us as to the matter of our speech. What Christians in private, or ministers in public, 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 become those holy and divine oracles.
- [2.] 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 giveth. 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 practised for this end, that God in all things, in all your gifts, ministrations, and services, may be glorified, that others may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven (Mt. 5:16), through Jesus Christ, who has procured and given these gifts to men (Eph. 4:8), and through whom alone we and our services are accepted of God (Heb. 13:15), to whom, Jesus Christ, be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Learn,
- 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; Ps. 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 vigour, and according to the best of their abilities. The nature of a Christian’s work, which is high work and hard work, the goodness and kindness of the Master, and the excellency of the reward, all require that our endeavours should be serious and vigorous, and that whatever we are called to do for the honour 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 views must be subservient to this, which would sanctify our common actions and affairs, 1 Co. 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.