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Our Witness to the World
What do you desire your life to say about you?

I’d like you to think about this for a few moments….  

The question is not so much for you to answer to me, as to think about for yourself.

I will use Scripture from the Amplified Bible (copyright - The Lockman Foundation) for this study.

We will be looking into the 1st epistle of Peter for our study today, please open your bibles to this passage if you have them available.

Let us begin by reading 1Peter 1:1-2

1Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect sojourners of the Dispersion of Pontus, of Galatia, of Cappadocia, of Asia, and of Bithynia, 

1Peter 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the 
  Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace 
  be multiplied to you.

Who Peter is writing to, in this epistle?  

Do you see it?

Peter refers to those who have been sanctified of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.

Peter is writing to Believers!! Are you a believer? Then this message is for you!

Okay, let’s go on!!

Our Scripture text will be in 1 Peter 4, starting with verse 7, through verse 11, as follows:

1Peter 4:7 But the end of all things has now come near; keep sound minded and self-restrained and alert therefore for the practice of prayer. 

1Peter 4:8 And above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins (forgives and disregards the offenses of others). 

1Peter 4:9 Practice hospitality to one another (those of the household of faith). And do it ungrudgingly (graciously, without complaining but as representing Him). 

1Peter 4:10 As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as good trustees of God’s many-sided grace.  

1Peter 4:11 Whoever speaks, let him do it as one who utters oracles of God; whoever renders service, let him do it as with the strength which God furnishes abundantly, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 

In this passage, Peter is giving us direction about how to live. In verse 10, Peter says each Believer has received a gift, doesn’t he? (Don’t forget it is GOD, Himself who inspires all Scripture and is giving this direction to us through Peter.) 

2 Tim 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, 
  for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 

2 Tim 3:17 that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good 

My question to you is this:

Do you know your spiritual gift?  

We see here in 1 Peter, that we need to use that gift we were given.

Can anyone tell me where to find the Spiritual Gifts listed in the Bible?

There some are in Romans 12:4-8

The spiritual gifts listed here are:
1. Prophecy
2. Practical service/Ministry
3. Teaching
4. Exhortation/Encouragement
5. Giving
6. Administration
7. Mercy

There are some more gifts listed in 1Corinthians 12:1-10

The spiritual gifts listed here are:
1. Word of Wisdom
2. Word of Knowledge/Understanding
3. Wonder working Faith
4. Healing
5. Working of Miracles
6. Prophetic insight of Divine will & purpose
7. Discernment of spirits
8. Tongues
9. Interpretation of tongues

There is one more list of Spiritual Gifts in Ephesians 4:7-11

The spiritual gifts listed here are:
1. Apostle – special messenger
2. Prophet – inspired preacher & expounder
3. Evangelist – preachers of the Gospel
4. Pastor
5. Teacher

The goal today, is to make sure you know what the Spiritual Gifts are & where to find them.  

Now that we know where to find them, we desire you to discover your spiritual gift and to use it for the benefit of the Body of Christ and for the glory of GOD.

Your spiritual gift is not a talent that you are able to use in your own strength, but rather the awesome dynamic power of GOD working through you, as you submit to and yield to GOD’s Holy Spirit.

Today, many people are searching for something. Searching for evidence of power. Because many Christians today do not know about their own spiritual gift, the Church seems dull and lifeless to these searching people. Instead of turning to the Body of Christ for hope and life, many people are deceived and are joining cults. The definition of cults as I use it here, would be any false religion.

I ask you: If Believers would effectively use the Spiritual Gifts for the good of the Body of Christ (and not selfishly), will not the people of the world be amazed and be drawn to the Lord Jesus Christ? Jesus did not leave us powerless when He ascended, He promised power from on high. Here, in the book of Acts, we see the record of this:

Acts 1:1 Truly, O Theophilus, I made the first report as to all things that Jesus began both to do and teach 

Acts 1:2 until the day He was taken up, having given directions to the apostles whom He chose, through the Holy Spirit; 

Acts 1:3 to whom He also presented Himself living after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them through forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. 

Acts 1:4 And having met with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to await the promise of the Father which you heard from Me. 

Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now. 

Acts 1:6 Then, indeed, these coming together, they asked Him, saying, Lord, do You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? 

Acts 1:7 And He said to them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in His own authority. 

Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power, the Holy Spirit coming upon you. And you shall be witnesses to Me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the end of the earth. 

Acts 1:9 And saying these things, as they watched, He was taken up. And a cloud received Him out of their sight. 

So, you can see that Jesus wanted… no wait, He expected His disciples to be equipped with power from on high.

Is not the reverse also true? If Believers do NOT use the spiritual gifts GOD has given to them, will the power of GOD today in His Church be evident at all?

Jesus Christ shared a Parable about this very thing. It is called the Parable of the Talent. You can find it in Matthew 25:14-30. Perhaps we will study this passage of Scripture at another time. But, please read it for yourself tonight, will you?

I challenge you each to pray about what we have shared today. Seek and desire the spiritual gift given to you. Yield daily to the Holy Spirit and allow your spiritual gift to be active and powerful for Christ Jesus.

1 Corinthians 12:31 But earnestly desire and zealously cultivate the greatest and best 
  gifts and graces. And yet I will show you a still more excellent way – love.

Please remember that the use of the spiritual gifts must be with the motive of love. People can sense when our love is genuine. Let our love be a real and sincere thing.

Our witness to those around us can be a mighty one. God has empowered us to carry out His work in a troubled time. Do you know people who are seeking hope today? Let your life bring hope to them. We begin by submitting/yielding ourselves to GOD... allowing HIM to bring about changes in us that HE wants to make… and then serving HIM by putting to use the spiritual gift we have been given. These spiritual gifts are to be used for the good of the Body of Christ... in love. Put the needs of others first.  

What would you have your life say about you?

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service. 

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God. 

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to every one who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think. But set your mind to be right-minded, even as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith. 

I would like to remind you all, that the Word of GOD is powerful and changes lives today. There is power in GOD’s WORD. We are still here on this earth because GOD has work for us to do. Let me encourage you by this last Scripture verse:

1Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm (steadfast), immovable, 
  always abounding in the work of the Lord [always being superior, excelling, doing 
  more than enough in the service of the Lord], knowing and being continually aware 
  that your labor in the Lord is not futile [it is never wasted or to no purpose].

May I close in prayer:

Dear Father in heaven, as we strive to seek Your will and understand Your Word, we ask Your guidance and blessing. Please give us the desire to learn more about the spiritual gifts You have bestowed on each of us as we put our trust in Jesus Christ. Help us to have the courage to submit to Your Holy Spirit and to be led by Him. Help us to share freely the love You have given us, with everyone we come in contact with. Father, may we be a witness to this world by the living of our lives in a manner that pleases You & lifts up the holy name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. It is in Jesus’ matchless and holy name I pray. Amen

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