It’s Time To Use Your God-Given GiftsFebruary 16, 2015
Before I begin my teaching letter this month, I want to remind you that Denise’s book Who Stole Cinderella? The Art of ‘Happily Ever After’ has been released, and I am SO EXCITED about this book! If you haven’t already purchased it for yourself or a loved one, the enclosed flyer will give you information on how to order your copy. This month when so many celebrate Valentine’s Day, I can’t think of a better way to share the truth about love and marriage than to give people God’s perspective on the subject — and that is what Denise has done so beautifully in her book. God created the institution of marriage; He knows how to help you enjoy a husband-and-wife relationship that is “Heaven on earth”!
In December’s teaching letter, I shared with you what I’ve been studying on the God-given gifts each one of us possesses in Christ. Whether we realize it or not or want to agree with that statement or not, it’s true that every person has been bestowed with grace-given gifts that were not earned, but rather divinely imparted by God’s grace. These are not gifts for the purpose of boasting — they are given and released and activated to reveal God to man and to answer human need. And YOU have these powerful gifts inside you ¾ just waiting for you to take ownership of them and use them!
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)
After Peter explicitly declares that every person has received a gift, he goes on to say, “…even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
This month, I want to look at that word “stewards” as it pertains to the grace of God and these “grace gifts” that we have received from Him.
The word “steward” in First Peter 4:10 is from the Greek word oikonomos ¾ a compound of the words oikos and nomos. The word oikos is the Greek word for a house, and nomos refers to the rule of law, such as laws that govern a nation or the law of God in the Old Testament.
These two words used together literally mean the rule of the house. But in Greek culture, the word oikonomos was specifically used to describe the household manager of a wealthy, upper-class home. This oikonomos, or household manager, was responsible for keeping law and order in the house. The owners of the house had found this person faithful and therefore elevated him to the powerful ruling position of chief manager over their personal property and private affairs.
In Greek culture, this chief manager was accountable for overseeing the house itself, the gardens surrounding the house, the contents inside the home, and the assets and treasures of the family. He was also in charge of distributing wages faithfully and on time to the other servants and employees who worked in the house. For the master of the house to give this much responsibility to one person was a great trust ¾ and the master demanded that his household manager faithfully perform according to his expectations.
By using the word oikonomos in this verse, Peter profoundly declares that when God placed His grace-given gifts inside each of us, He was making us the stewards of His own personal treasures. Because of this, He expects us to be faithful managers of the gifts He has entrusted to our care. We are to use our gifts as God intended when He bequeathed them to us. In other words, He expects us to use our gifts faithfully and on time to meet the needs of those around us and to do it in such a way that He receives all the glory.
Taking all the Greek words into consideration that are contained in this verse, First Peter 4:10 carries the idea that every single one of us, without exception, has received grace-given gifts from God. We must embrace what God has placed inside us, taking ownership of it and doing our best to use our gifts to meet the needs of others. God has entrusted us with so much by placing these special gifts in our lives, and He is depending on us to be faithful with this great responsibility.
If you’ve believed and acted like so many others, just sitting around waiting for the perfect moment when you could begin using your God-given talents ¾ now you know that you’ve been using the wrong approach! It’s time for you to recognize what God has placed inside you and to begin using those gifts as God expects you to do. You’ve been waiting on God to do something special, but He already did it when He placed those gifts in your life. It’s up to you to start releasing them now for the benefit of those around you!
I can tell you this from my own experience and from my experience with others over the course of my ministry: Those who wait for some fantasy-like moment to occur so they can step out and use their gifts usually end up very frustrated. They wait and wait — seemingly endlessly — when God, who gave the gifts, has already given them permission to use those talents for Him. In fact, He has commanded them as stewards of His grace to get about the task of managing those grace-gifts and using them to meet the needs of others.
So I encourage you, if you’ve been waiting on a special moment to step out and use your grace-gifts for God — don’t waste any more time! It’s time for you to get started making the most of divine equipment inside you that’s just waiting to be released!
Denise and I and our team pray for you and all of our partners every day. But we are so thrilled when you let us know how we can specifically pray for you about the things that are closest to your heart. Please communicate with us how you’d like us to be praying, and we will immediately begin adding our faith to yours concerning your request.
We love you and thank God for you!
We are your brother and sister, friends, and partners in Jesus Christ,
Rick and Denise Renner
along with Paul, Philip, and Joel and their families