June 2, 2013 – Pastor Tim – “Amazing Grace”
1 Peter 4:10, As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
“Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” The only reason we can “give” grace to anyone is because God has already given it to us. We can only pass on what we have received from God.
1 Corinthians 15:1-11 (NLT), Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. 2 It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.
3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. 5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. 9 For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church.
10 But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. 11 So it makes no difference whether I preach or they preach, for we all preach the same message you have already believed.
Good stewards look for opportunity to pass along to others what we have received from the Lord. It should be an inherent fault of ours to always want to be sharing what God has shown us. I think even to the point of annoying others. I somewhat say that in jest, the trick is knowing when to share. We must trust the leading of the Holy Spirit. But, if we do not test the “waters of annoyance,” do we even have an oar in the water? Are we doing enough.
The word “steward” originally referred to the manager of a household or estate. And then in a broader sense denoted an administrator. Let’s look at a couple of verses: 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 (NLT), So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God’s mysteries. 2 Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. And Titus 1:7-9 (NLT), An elder is a manager of God’s household, so he must live a blameless life. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker, violent, or dishonest with money.
8 Rather, he must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must love what is good. He must live wisely and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life. 9 He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong. These two passages refer to a Christian minister, although it is good advice for all of us. We each have been given something of great value, and this gift of truth must be shared, the truth of Jesus Christ, this “Amazing Grace.”
Now, our opening passage, 1 Peter 4:10-11 (NKJV) refers to all of us, As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (And now I will add verse 11, (NLT)) 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.
This applies to all Christians in general, using the gifts entrusted to us by the Lord for the strengthening and encouragement of fellow believers.
John 3:29-30 (NKJV) “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.” This was John the Baptist’s answer to a question between his ministry and the ministry of Christ.
A delicate mission, because its not about you or me or John. Our purpose is to bring attention to Him (the Bridegroom, Christ) we are involved in the activities of the wedding, but the attention of the crowd should never be drawn toward us. As we serve our Lord it is about Him and not us…
Conclusion: When we know God’s grace, we’ll want to show God’s grace.
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