The King James translation of 1 Peter 4:10 declares that every believer has received “the gift”. The one gift that we all have received is called elsewhere in scripture, “The gift of God”. What is the gift of God? It’s God Himself. The God who is spirit has given Himself to us. His Spirit dwells with our spirit.
And this gift that we have in common is uncommonly powerful. In fact, Ephesians 3:20 declares that “the power that works within us” is even “able to do abundantly beyond all that we ask or think”.
In 1 Peter 4:10; we are referred to as “ministers” who are “stewards of the manifold grace of God”. Or put another way, God has given us various gifts to oversee which are to be used in service for others. Yet, we are only stewards of these gifts, they are not ours. So we should gain no glory in the giving, and we will only bring shame if we withhold.
A teacher writes with white chalk on a blackboard. The contrast is what shows the details of the lesson. We are the blackboard on which “The Teacher” is writing His lesson. He is writing heavenly words upon earthly men. When we follow the leading of His indwelling Spirit, by the limitless power He supplies, the lesson is clearly spelled out.
What is the lesson? “Repent and believe the good news” (Mark 1:15). That is the message we proclaim when we give the various gifts He has placed in our hands, displayed in the daily deeds of repentant sinners. Love where there once was no love.
The gifts are as varied as we are, and each of us is supplied with many. These gifts are both supernatural and natural. For when we call on a friend in need, help a stranger, prophesy, heal, teach -you fill in the blank; these are all gifts of God.
Whenever, whatever we give, and especially when we forgive. When we do it in His name and do it by His power, we demonstrate His love. It’s all the fruit of “the incorruptible seed” (1 Peter 1:23) that He’s buried in common vessels made of dirt (2 Corinthians 4:7) -like you and me. It’s His Spirit within, branching out into the garden He has given us to tend -our life. We are reaching out, bearing the fruit of “the tree of life” (Genesis 3:24, Revelation 22:2). We are calling out to the dying, “Come. Eat. Live.”
My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. (John 15:8)
Therefore, brothers and sisters,
Freely you received, freely give. (Matthew 10:8)
Ken Klein (April 2016)