Sacred suffering (1 Peter 4:10-11)

Verse 9 is our context verse. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. We are all valuable and all are here for the glory of God.

Every one of us has some gift(s) from God. Whatever we receive from God, we are to use to minister to others. If you want forgiveness, you give it. If you want understanding, you give it. If you want kindness, you give it, and so on.

1. God’s goodness to us should be a motivator to be good to others. Just looking upon God should be humbling enough to bring us to repentance. Even if the world turns on us, God is still good. Regardless of our present circumstances, God never stops being good.

We are to love and bless and sacrifice for others just as God has done for us. Sometimes we receive the goodness of God with arrogance, as though we think we deserve it, and we do not share that goodness with others.

We must be discipling people and shepherding them. Reinvest yourself in the lives of others. Every gift from God is a gift to be given to others. If you’ve been saved by the grace of God, you are to minister that gift with others who have never received the gospel. We don’t have to be theologians. We just have to share what God has done in our lives.

2. When properly understood, nothing is more humbling than the abundance of God’s grace. Grace means more than just salvation. God gives grace in every aspect of our lives. Grace literally means, “to enable.” He enables us to become children of God, and enables us to live as though we’re saved.

The world is clamoring, “We want what we deserve!” Be careful what we ask for. What we deserve is damnation. Yet we will never run out of the abundance of God’s grace. We will never be able to out-disobey the grace of our Father. Grace never says, “I told you so.” We can’t earn it or pay for it. Grace is simply God’s unmerited favor. So use it in the lives of others.

The oracles of God was the way they determined the word or authority of God before the Holy Spirit. We are gifted in certain things in order to benefit the body of Christ, not to make our employer rich or some devious endeavor. Our gifts are for God’s glory. Everyone is gifted differently. Some are gifted to teach the Bible. Some are gifted at music. We will be miserable if we try to do that which we are not gifted to do.

3. Speaking boldly results in living powerfully. Our opinions will save no one nor enable the church to grow. Only the word of God can do these things. Some of the disciples were merely fisherman, but when they were filled with the Spirit, they spoke powerfully and many were saved and added to the early church.

Jesus is the one to receive the glory. He’s not just the king of kings and lord of lords, but the conqueror of all things evil. If He had died and stayed dead, we’d all be going to Hell together. But we all have life and value and purpose because of His divinity.

4. Jesus deserves all the glory because He’s the source of all of our victory. There’s something about bringing honor and glory and praise to a God who has already won our victory. You can live in victory right now and live for Christ right now. We don’t get victory only when we die, we get it right now because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If He had stayed dead, then this message is a colossal failure and we’ve been wasting our time. But He didn’t stay dead, and so there’s something to look forward to: hope and assurance.

We can have abundant living right now. We can smile now and shout the victory right now. We don’t have this because we are good people, but because Jesus was and is the greatest of them all.

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