Using What God Gave You

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Read 1 Peter 4:10–11 “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
Many of you guys this past week received grands and report cards this week.
If you feel bad about what you got, raise your hand!
If you feel mid about what you got, raise your hand!
If you feel good about what you got, raise your hand! Why?
Grading periods, are a great time to reflect on how we did, and what improvements we need to make.
And as Christians, we also need to reflect, on how we have been using our time, money, and power.
Now, living in such a rich country like the US, it becomes easy to get lost and confused on what to do with what we have because we have so much of it!
What do we do with all this time, money, and skill?
Some people use these things foolishly, and end up on the streets homeless.
So today, we are going to learn about Using What God Gave You, so that we don’t waste what we have, and instead become successful with what He has given us.

1. God gave you ____ (v.7-9)

1. God gave you time (v.7-9)

Before we get into the Word, we need to understand what this letter is about.
You see Peter, who wrote this letter, wrote this to Christians who were being persecuted.
They were being made fun of for what they believed in.
And they lost friends for what they believed in.
They were seen as outcasts, weird people.
A few years later, they became targets of literal murder and killings, as Emperor Nero decided to hang Christians on poles and burn them to be lamps on the street.
While we are thankfully not at that stage of being killed for what we believe in, we are in the earlier stages of being harassed and disliked.
And so just like back then, with the constant pressures we face today, sometimes we just wanna give up.
But Peter writes this to encourage them and us, to not give up, reminding them that their hope is in heaven with God.
That the church is our heavenly family especially when we feel alone in this world.
So don’t give up.
You are not alone because God is with you.
Keep following Jesus, being different, and living holy lives.
The reason?
Jesus is coming back.
But the end of all things is at hand’, Peter writes.
Time is running out!’
The clock is ticking! Peter is saying!
God has given us time but we don’t have much of it!
What we’re about to talk about here is Christian time management.
Growing up as a teen and even in college, time management was a struggle for me!
Studying for a test overnight, practicing for football, and hanging out with friends and family was just a myriad of things for me to juggle.
And I know many of you are struggling with the same things!
And obviously we need to make priorities in our time in order to not waste time, that’s obvious.
But I think the key part that’s often missing is the lack of urgency, that you don’t have a lot of time left!
He’s saying that the end is near because Jesus is coming soon!
How many of you guys have seen what’s going on in Israel? Raise your hand.
It’s horrible right?
Do you ever wonder, what if that war and brutality in Israel happened here at home?
New wars are constantly coming up out of nowhere.
And we can’t help but think that it could even happen to us.
That’s because we are living in the end times.
Now this doesn’t mean that we know the exact day or time that Jesus is coming back.
But what Peter is saying is that we live in the very last chapter of God’s plan for the world.
Ever since Jesus rose from the dead, we have been living in the end times.
It’s like seasons of a TV show.
You know its the final season of a show, and that it’s about to end.
But you don’t know exactly which episode its over.
We are in God’s final chapter, God’s final season for His world.
And so how can we waste the time that God has given us when we know that wars are constantly coming out of nowhere, and that we are in the final chapter?
We can’t.
And so here are some things that we must do with the limited time we have left.
Peter writes, ‘therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.’
Aren’t we surrounded by the ocean of distractions and constant pressure from people to compromise in what we believe in?
Don’t we want to escape from the cruel world we live in?
It’s the distractions and this wanting to escape from this world that hinder us from prayer.
But you don’t have time to be distracted and to compromise.
Ephesians 5:15–16 (ESV)
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
You need to make wise decisions in your life.
You can’t say yes to everything, there are things you must say no to, or cut out, even if those things are not sinful.
Because we live in a time where evil is increasing, and people need to know about Jesus.
When you cut out distractions from your life and not waste time, you will be able to pray deeply and stay in tune with God’s plan for this world.
You will be able to be consistent in praying for your friends who don’t know Jesus to come to Him.
Use the time God has given you to pray.
Next, use the time God has given you to love.
This is v.8,and above all have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.’
Another way to say fervent love is, have an outstretched love for one another.
Jesus metaphorically and literally stretched His love for us.
When He was mocked, spat on, and whipped, He loved His enemies and stretched out His arms on the cross for us.
We need to do the same because time is running out.
We need to love our enemies, because that very person giving you a hard time who doesn’t know Jesus, may one day leave this earth to be punished for eternity.
And we don’t want to regret having not share Jesus with them.
And we need to show this love even to fellow Christians, to not be bitter or hold grudges.
Even if people have hurt us or have some mean things to you, you must remember how Jesus loved and forgave His enemies, and loved and forgave you.
Use the time God gave you to love.
And the last way you must use the time God has given you is to be hospitable,
That’s what Peter writes in v.9- ‘be hospitable to one another without grumbling.’
Being hospitable as we talked about before, really means to be real with one another.
To be transparent and not fake with one another.
And it’s most shown when we are open with our belongings and home to one another.
And what Peter is saying is that we need to do it without complaining.
That if someone is asking you for help and you are able to do it, you do it without complaining.
Because students, we have little time left.
We are in the last chapter where Jesus will return soon and bring justice and end the old world and begin a new one of eternal life.
The clock is ticking.
Use the time God has given you to pray, to love one another, and to help each other without complaining.

2. God gave you _____ (v.10)

2. God gave you possessions (v.10)

This is what we see when Peter writes, ‘as each one has received a gift’.
Every Christian has a unique blend of gifts that no other Christian has to help the church.
And what you are to do with it is not use it to make people like you.
But to serve one another, that’s why Peter writes, ‘minister it to one another’ which simply means, use your gift to serve one another.
Everyone is different.
That’s why some of you like to help with set up, and some like to do music, and others like to help with the sound and computer.
Whatever really interests you is a good way to explore what God has gifted you to serve His church.
But there is a reason as to why Peter tells us to use our gift.
And that reason he writes, ‘as good stewards of the manifold grace of God’.

What is a steward?

A steward is simply a manager of something that does not belong to them.
And what this entire message is really about is stewardship.
And stewardship begins with the truth, that God owns everything, not us.
Psalm 50:10–12 (ESV)
For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine. “If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine.
Even after God stating the He owns everything, He gives things to us for us to steward:
Genesis 1:28 (ESV)
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Bearing fruit and multiplying doesn’t just mean have children, but it means to use what God has given you to be productive and helpful to others.
And that’s what stewardship means, it means using what God has given you honorably.
So that means, that the time, money and power, that you have all belong to God.
They’re not yours.
It’s just like a manager at a store, or even your parents.
I got my first job while I was a junior in high school as a Starbucks barista.
And I had a manager.
And my manager had to manage me and the other employees, and the tens of thousands of dollars of equipment and space to make the business grow.
She didn’t own any of it but it was given to her to manage and to make it grow.
Likewise God has given you the things that you own, so that you can also bless others, and make the business of God, the kingdom of God grow.

What kind of possessions has God given us?

God has given us clothes, your smartphone, computer, money just to name a few.
We must remember that these things don’t belong to us, but God has given it to us to advance His kingdom, and to help others know Jesus.
When you give to God, you are advancing his Kingdom, and God will promise to provide for you.
After the church gave to the Lord, Paul promised, Philippians 4:19
Philippians 4:19 ESV
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Another powerful way you guys can use your smartphone is to post things about Jesus on your social media.
Now more than ever, your fellow teens are coming to Jesus through social media.
So how can you use social media to advance God’s kingdom?
Students use the possessions God has given you honorably.
Steward it, take care of it.

3. God has given you ____ (v.11)

3. God has given you power (v.11)

This is the final thing Peter writes in v.11, ‘if anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies’.
What Peter is doing here is making two categories of gifts: speaking and serving.
But these are two big categories.
There are many forms of speaking gifts: preaching, teaching, evangelism, saying encouraging things to people.
And there are also many forms of serving gifts: set up, crafts, music, making food, just to name a few!
And some of you might even have both!
This is power.
God has given you a unique power to help your fellow Christians.
So do it!
Peter is saying if you have a speaking gift, use it!
If you have a serving gift, use it!
Because using your gift, is using what God has made you to do on this Earth.
There is no greater satisfaction in using your gift to serve God, because that’s what He made you to do!
That’s why Jesus said in Acts 20:35
Acts 20:35 (ESV)
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
As cheesy as it is, it’s true: with great power comes great responsibility.
God has given you great power to help others and make a difference in this world.
So don’t sit around doing nothing, use it!
Last night you guys use the power God gave you to serve picture
And there’s going to be an opportunity for you in 1 month at our parents night out service.
Where we are spending time with the children in children’s ministry so their parents can enjoy a night out!
I want to see you there on Dec 1st!
So that you can use the power that God has given you!
But when you use your power for God, don’t forget to pray to Him and give Him glory, as Peter concludes, ‘that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.’
Remember that God owns your time, possessions, and power.
Use it for His glory and for His kingdom.
But if you are listening today, and you don’t know Jesus.
You are missing out on what your life’s purpose is.
And if you continue to reject Jesus, you will remain lost for eternity.
But I want to give you hope and good news, that Jesus died on the cross and rose again so that you can have eternal life today.
Just put your faith in Him, not your works, and not only will you begin a new life today, but also a life filled with purpose, serving Him, and fulling what you were created to do, to bear fruit and multiply!
Let’s pray!
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