“Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God. If anyone speaks, it should be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, it should be from the strength God provides, so that God may be gloried through Jesus Christ in everything.” (1 Peter 4:10-11, HCSB).
In Parts 1 and 2 of this meditation on grace, we learned from the Hebrews writer in Chapter 12 that God’s redemptive plan is for us to enter into fellowship with Him through a relationship or covenant based on receiving God’s grace through Christ. God didn’t intend to institute a permanent ritual sacrificial system under Old Testament law.
The Hebrews writer admonishes us to actively hold on to God’s grace when we receive it and allow it to become the source of our strength for serving God and His Kingdom. In fact, God’s sovereignty can best exert its rule and reign over our lives when Christ is manifested in our lives as a result of holding on to the grace God has shown us.
While the Hebrews writer tells us to hold on to grace to see us through all the circumstances of life, the Apostle Peter says we are also the managers of God’s grace that rules over our lives. According to Peter, God gives us grace, but it is our duty to manage it, to extend it to others!
While the Hebrews writer was speaking of the gift of God’s grace in its totality, Peter was speaking of the varied grace, the giftings, with which God’s grace endows each of us, which we call “spiritual gifts.”
So, Peter formulated two general categories of spiritual gifts: speaking and service. Although these are distinct giftings, notice that they both serve a common purpose–to glorify God.
With both speaking and serving, God is the source of strength for the practice of the gift so that Christ can be manifested and God can be glorified in our lives.
When we synthesize the Hebrews writer’s instructions to hold on to grace with Peter’s instructions for managing the grace God gives us, we begin to see that God’s grace works like a perpetual motion machine in our lives to increasingly dispense God’s grace. It’s very action perpetuates and enlarges:
God gives us grace. –>
We hold on to God’s grace as the source of strength for manifesting Christ in our lives. –>
Through the effective operation of God’s grace in our lives, we live/give glory to God. ->
And then God gives us even more grace!
God gives us grace. We live out God’s grace in our lives. We give God glory by sharing His grace with others. God gives us more grace! We share more of God’s grace with others!
In other words, God gives us gifts and we say thank-you and share our gifts with others! And then God gives us more gifts!
Is that great or what?
“For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift” (Ephesians 2:8, HCSB).