Our elections did not go as some have prayed, but God’s will was done. Do not worry or be fearful because difficult times is the sign that the end is near. 2Timothy 3:1 states, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.” Please do not dwell on the troubling things you cannot control; you will only become depressed. Instead, dwell on God’s faithfulness to sustain you and provide for you when you fear Him (read Psalm 34 and 103.) Stay in the race, keeping your focus on Jesus, do what God’s will is for your life, and remain firm in your faith.
I have been writing a series of posts on what we should do during the difficult times in these last days. I pray that everyone who reads this post will seek God’s help to endure to the end. It will be worth it. I just finished reading Revelations, and I am so excited to live in expectation of eternity in heaven. To help us, God has given us gifts and talents to serve others as faithful stewards of His grace. 1Peter 4:10 states, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Instead of worrying about what will become of our country, use your gifts to help make someone’s life better.
In Part One, I explained why the New Testament writers thought the end was close. In Part Two, I describe how the Apostle Peter thought we are to suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ and how to complete our life’s race in victory. Part Three clarifies why you are to stay alert and sober-minded for the purpose of prayer until Christ’s return. I explain in Part Four why love identifies a real Child of God and how love covers many sins. Part Five explains how showing hospitality is keeping the Bible’s prophecies by doing what God instructs. This post will explore the gifts God gives and how to be a faithful steward of God’s grace.
What are God’s gifts?
Romans 12:6-8 states, “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts (encourages), in his exhortation; the one who contributes (gives), in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”
Prophesy is to make inspired declarations of what is coming or speak as a mediator between God and humankind or in God’s stead.
If you have the prophesy gift, you feel compelled to warn people of what they should do to prepare for judgment or of sin’s consequences. 1Corinthians 14:1 states, “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.”
Service is a helpful activity or aid.
If you have the gift of serving, you willingly help meet a need in the community or church. The Bible says a lot about serving. Matthew 20:28 states, “Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Romans 15:27 states, “For they were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings.” 2Corinthians 9:12 states, “For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.” Ephesians 6:7 states, “Rendering service with goodwill as to the Lord and not to man,”
Teaching is to impart knowledge or skill by giving instruction.
Someone with the gift of teaching loves to tell others about Bible truths and how to apply it to their lives. James 3:1 states, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” Luke 20:21 states, “So they asked him, ‘Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God.’” Hebrews 5:12 states, “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.”
Exhorting is to urge, advise, or caution earnestly; admonish urgently.
A person who has the gift of exhortation is ready to advise those making a poor decision and encourage others to do God’s will. Hebrews 3:13 states, “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
Contributing is not just giving of your money, but also of your time, knowledge, and assistance.
Matthew 19:21 states, “Jesus said to him, ‘If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’” Luke 6:3 states, “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” 2Corinthians 9:7 states, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Leading is guiding and showing the way, especially the way God’s word says to go.
You are to lead with zeal. Zeal is enthusiastic and diligent. Luke 6:39 states, “He also told them a parable: ‘Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?’” Make sure you lead with a zeal to please God and obey His will, so you don’t lead people into a pit. Luke 22:26 states, “But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest and the leader as one who serves.” Are you willing to lead by example? Hebrews 13:7 states, “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” Hebrews 13:17 states, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” As a leader you will have to give an account for how you lead so lead with compassion and be an example for people to follow.
Mercy is being compassionate or showing kindness toward an offender, an enemy, or other people in one’s power.
The merciful person has compassion for people and is quick to forgive. Matthew 5:7 states, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Hebrews 4:16 states, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” James 2:13 states, “For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” Though mercy is a gift, we all should show mercy and not judge.
What are spiritual gifts?
1Corinthians 12:7-11 states, “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8) For to one is given through the Spirit
–the utterance of wisdom, and to another
–the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another
—faith by the same Spirit, to another
—gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another
–the working of miracles, to another
— prophecy, to another
–the ability to distinguish between spirits, to others
—various kinds of tongues, to another
–the interpretation of tongues.
All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.” There are many good books that describe these spiritual gifts, and I encourage you to learn about them. I have heard some preachers say that the spiritual gifts are not for today, but that is like saying, salvation is not for today.
What does it mean to be a faithful steward of God’s grace?
A steward is someone who controls something for another person. In this case, we are stewards of God’s grace as we serve others with the gifts He gives us. Someone faithful is strict or thorough in their performance and is dependable. 1Corinthians 4:2 states, “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” So a faithful steward is a person who thoroughly serves others with grace, as they would serve God. When you serve with grace, you serve willingly and freely. Colossians 3:23-24 states, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
We cannot control what happens in our country or what people do. We can only control ourselves and what we do. Will you use your gifts to serve others as a faithful steward of God’s grace, knowing He will reward you for the good you do. Let us focus on loving others better and making our part of the world a better, happier place.
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P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having the right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).