As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
— 1 Peter 4:10
On August 2, we talked about the “grace-given gifts” that have been divinely imparted to each one of us by God Himself. Today I’d like to take that discussion a step further to help you get started today in activating the giftings on the inside of you on a daily basis so you can fulfill your part in God’s great plan of revealing His love to man.
Here is a key to releasing your God-given grace gifts: It is something you can do on purpose. You don’t have to wait around for the elusive “perfect moment.”
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Often people wait and wait for the “perfect time” to launch their business, their ministry, or their big dream in life. But the truth is, very few successful people began the pursuit of their call with that kind of an ideal moment. In fact, what most people would refer to as spectacular success stories actually began very “unspectacularly.” If you study the lives of individuals who have made a significant contribution to this world, you’ll find that often their journey began with just a simple decision to get started.
Certainly you can choose to wait around and wish for a “perfect moment” to come when the skies part, lightning bolts strike, and beams of glory land all around your feet to signal that your moment has arrived. But if this is what you’re waiting for, I want to tell you that you will probably be waiting a very long time! That just isn’t the way God does things in the vast majority of cases.
When I was a young man, I daydreamed of the time when my ministry would begin and I could start using the gifts and talents I had received from the Lord. I would lie in bed at night and envision the day when I would finally step up to the plate and begin my ministry. Then one day as I was praying, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. He told me that it was time to quit fantasizing and get started ! I had always thought I was waiting for that perfect moment to take the first step. But all the while, God was waiting for me to get up and start doing something with the gifts He had placed in my life!
I knew I had a gift to teach the Bible — and since that was what God had equipped me to do, I decided to use my gift! I invited my friends to a Bible study that I would lead on the university campus where I was studying. I knocked on doors, handed out leaflets, and started to intensely prepare to teach my very first public, verse-by-verse study in the New Testament. Today I still have the notes I prepared for the first series I ever taught, and I treasure those notes. They are memories from those early days when I was just getting started in the ministry. My beginning was small, so small it was almost unnoticeable, but it was a beginning.
Everyone has to have a beginning — including you! If you know what God has gifted you to do, don’t wait around and lose precious time as you wait for a hypothetical, fantasy-like “perfect moment” to get started. Instead, why not put your hand to the plow and begin to use your gifts right now? Once you take that step of faith, God will have something to bless. But as long as you do nothing, you’re not giving Him anything to prosper!
This is precisely why Peter wrote, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10). Today I want us to look deeply into this powerful verse.
First, I want you to notice that Peter said, “As every man hath received the gift….” The words “every man” are translated from the Greek word hekastos, which is an all-inclusive word that liter- ally means every single person, no one excluded. This undeniably means that every person who has been born of the Spirit and who declares that Jesus is Lord has been supernaturally endowed with gifts from God. Because the word hekastos is used, it emphatically means that no one is excluded from these God-given gifts. Even the person with the lowest self-esteem is mightily gifted by the Spirit of God but simply unaware of the powerful gifts that reside inside him.
If you think that you are not gifted, you are wrong! The usage of the word hekastos in First Peter 4:10 clearly means that you, too, are endowed with magnificent, God-given gifts.
Peter went on to say, “As every man hath received the gift….” Pay careful attention to the word “received” in this verse. It comes from the Greek word lambano, which is used 258 times in the New Testament. It means to receive into one’s possession or to take into one’s own control and ownership. It carries the idea of taking hold of something; grasping onto something; or embracing something so tightly that it becomes your very own. When used in connection with God-given gifts, as Peter uses it in this verse, it portrays God as the Giver of gifts and us as the receivers. Then once we receive the gift of God, He sees it as our responsibility to accept and take ownership of that gift as our own.
Then Peter wrote, “As every man hath received the gift.…” The word “gift” in this verse is the word charisma, derived from the word charis, the Greek word for grace. But when the word charis becomes charisma, it speaks of grace-given gifts. In other words, these are not gifts earned or deserved; rather, these are gifts imparted supernaturally and divinely by God’s grace.
Thus, there is no room for boasting or self-glory in the possession of these magnificent gifts, for these are not natural talents developed by one’s own ability. These are supernatural graces that are divinely imparted by the Spirit of God. According to this verse, God has graced every child of God with miraculous gifts that are beyond his or her own natural ability. Once released and activated, these gifts bring the life-changing power of God into manifestation to meet and answer human need.
Yes, even you have these powerful gifts inside — just waiting for you to take ownership of them and use them!
Peter continued, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another.…” This word “minister” comes from the Greek word diakoneo.
This Greek word portrays a servant whose primary responsibility is to serve food and wait on tables. It presents a picture of a waiter or waitress who painstakingly attends to the needs, wishes, and desires of his client. It is this servant’s supreme task to please clients; therefore, he serves honorably, pleasurably, and in a fashion that makes the people he waits on feel as if they are nobility. This is a committed, professional server who is fanatically dedicated to doing his job on the highest level possible.
By choosing this Greek word diakoneo, Peter alerted us to the fact that God expects us to be radically, passionately committed to using the gifts He has given us in such a way that pleases Him and meets the needs of others. That is why Peter continued by saying, “As every man hath received the gift, so let him minister the same one to another.…” God intends for us to use our gifts to minister to one another. These gifts are not given for self-glory or self-promotion, but for the benefit of the larger Christian community and the world around us.
What about you? Are you using your grace-given gifts to minister to the needs of those around you?
Peter concluded this verse by saying, “As every man hath received the gift, so let him minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” The word “steward” is from the Greek word oikonomos and was specifically used to describe the household manager for an upper-class, wealthy home (see August 2).
By using the word oikonomos in this verse, Peter shows us that God has indeed made us the stewards of His own personal treasures and He expects us to give Him glory by using our gifts wisely and on time to meet the needs of those around us.
Taking all these Greek words into consideration, we could paraphrase this verse to read:
“Every single one of you without exception has received a grace-given gift from God. Embrace what God has placed inside you. Take ownership of it, and do your best to use that special gift to meet the needs of one another. God has entrusted a lot to you by placing those special gifts in your life, and He is depending on you to be faithful with this great responsibility.”
God gives you gifts and talents, and then He expects you to use them, regardless of their size. As you do, He will begin to bless the work of your hands. However, if you choose to wait for the “perfect moment” to develop before you ever do anything with your gifts, you’ll probably never get started! Don’t waste any more time — it’s time for you to start making the most of divine equipment inside you that’s just waiting to be released!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, I want to thank You for placing spiritual gifts in my life. These gifts were given by You, and my heart’s desire is to use them as You intend for them to be used. Forgive me for the time I’ve wasted waiting for the perfect moment before I got started. Help me now as I step out in faith to start using these gifts in ways that will benefit those around me. I know that Your gifts have power, so as I release these precious treasures, I ask that Your power will also be released to meet the needs of the people whose lives I touch. Today I willfully recognize the gifts You have placed inside me, and I make the choice to let these gifts begin to operate through me!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that God’s grace works mightily in my life and those mighty gifts have been placed in my life through this divine grace. Although in the past I have put myself down and lightly esteemed my value in the Body of Christ, I have made the decision to recognize, embrace, and take ownership of the marvelous gifts inside me! God expects me to be responsible in my stewardship of these gifts, so I will be meticulous and faithful in the way I allow these gifts to operate through me!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Do you know which gifts God has graced you with? What are those gifts that He wants to operate in your life? Have you ever made a list of the ways you believe God wants His grace to flow through your life to others? If not, it would be a good idea for you to do this so you can affirm the gifts, imparted by the grace of God, that reside in you!
- What results have you observed from the times you allowed your God-given gifts to operate in your life? How have these gifts benefited and helped others? What impact did those gifts have on others when you allowed them to freely operate through you?
- Can you think of people who have been waiting a long time for the “perfect moment” to come so they can get started in life? Are they still waiting?