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IN ALL THINGS

1 PETER 4:11

“Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

The previous verse in 1 Peter 4 states that all believers have been given a special gift. That’s wonderful. But Peter goes on in this verse to emphasize why. Look at the third part of this verse. Peter says, “so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” This is why we have our gifts – to give Him glory.

Why does Peter say this? I think it is because some people can begin to get proud of their gift. It happens quickly. Others start praising you for what you are doing. Soon you begin to think your gift is better than other gifts. You begin to see yourself as better than others. After all, God you the best gift. No! That is not how it works. Focus on Him! He is the reason for the gift.

APPLICATION

Children can get boastful pretty quickly, can’t they? As they discover their gift in Christ, make sure they understand why they have been given that gift. It is not to bring attention to themselves. It is not to gain praise from others. It is simply to bring glory to God. He will exalt the humble.

And we parents can be the guilty ones. We can brag on our kids too much. I believe in praising our children. They need that. However, too much praise can give our kids the bighead. There’s a balance needed. Always point them to Jesus. Tell them how pleased their Heavenly Father must be of them for being obedient in their gift.

Are you giving all the glory to God all the time? As He gives you the opportunities to exercise your gift, praise Him. As He uses your gift to bless others, praise Him. Whatever it is He has you to do, praise Him. Let all your praise be directed to Him and not to yourself. Praise be to God “to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

I will praise You, Father. You deserve all the glory and honor! You have gifted me with Your gift to use to glorify You. That is what I will do.

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GIFTED

1 PETER 4:10

“As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

As believers we are all gifted. Isn’t that great? If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, He has gifted you with “a special gift.” You are special. He thought enough about you to give you something to use to glorify Him. That’s what that gift is for. It’s not for you to squirrel away and not use. It’s for Him.

Do you even know what your gift is? You should. Now, your gift is not necessarily your talent or passion. It may be tied to that. You need to find out what it is He has for you to do for Him. Take a spiritual gift test. There are dozens of them online you can take. And then when you find out what it is, put it to work for Him.

APPLICATION

You know, your saved children have gifts too. These gifts don’t just emerge at adulthood. I have seen lots of kids using their spiritual gifts in service to others. I have seen them enjoying glorifying the Lord with their gifts. Don’t stifle them. Encourage them to use those gifts for Jesus.

Maybe your child has the gift of service. Find ways they can use that at church. Maybe they have an astute understanding of the Word. Get them some more resources to encourage that. Help them grow in those gifts. There is nothing much better than to watch your kids being used by God.

I pray you are using your gift. Don’t tell me you don’t have one. If you are a believer, you’ve got one. The Lord has great plans for you. He wants to use your gifts alongside other people’s gifts to fully advance His kingdom. So, exercise your gift today.

I am thankful for the gift(s) You have given me. I will use them today to glorify You.

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INNER BEAUTY

1 PETER 3:3

“Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;”

You have probably heard that beauty is only skin deep. If Peter had heard that expression, he may have used it right here in today’s verse. It’s interesting that the word “adornment” is the Greek word kosmos which means worldly affairs, the world, the universe. We get our word “cosmetics” from this root word.

Now, I am not saying that all cosmetics are worldly. I am glad we have them. I just think we need to heed Peter’s words here. Beauty isn’t about the external, whether that be cosmetics, fixing your hair or wearing the latest fashions. Real beauty comes from the inside. And real, real beauty is only given by God.

APPLICATION

So, how do we apply this verse to our children? Easy, don’t let your little girls wear makeup, lol. Just kidding. But we should teach our boys and girls that the external isn’t as important as the internal. How you look is important, but it shouldn’t be what drives us. In other words, there is no reason to spend hours and hours in the bathroom getting ready.

Now, I am sure I will get cards and letters about this blog. That’s okay. I am just looking at what Peter said. The external is just not as important as the internal. God makes you beautiful, not Maybelline. All the cosmetics in the world can’t cover an ugly heart. Amen?

How’s your inner beauty? Are you allowing God to adorn you? He will. He will exercise the fruits of the Spirit in and through you today. Nothing is more beautiful than kindness, gentleness and self-control. Let Him work through you this day.

I am beautiful only because of You. Adorn me today with Your glory so others will see You in me.

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GETTING MORE THAN YOU ASK FOR

ACTS 3:6

“But Peter said, ‘I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!’”

I love this story in Acts 3. If you read verses 1-10, you will get the full picture of what happens here. A lame beggar is lying outside the Temple asking for money from anyone entering the Temple. He sees Peter and John and asks them for some. All he is expecting is a few coins to perhaps buy some bread or other food for the day. What he gets surprises him.

Peter and John look at him as he hollers at them passing by. Peter, being led of the Spirit, offers him healing instead of money. Notice he heals him in the name of Jesus, not himself. Peter knows where the healing comes from and wanted this beggar and anyone else listening to know also. This beggar got so much more than money. He got his legs for the first time.

APPLICATION

Have you ever given your child more than they asked for? I bet you have. They asked for something simple for Christmas, but you blessed them with the newest game system. Isn’t it just as exciting for you? You can’t wait for them to open up that gift under the tree.

I bet Peter and John were just as excited to see this man jump up and walk as the man was. This is Peter’s first recorded miracle. Let your children think about that for a second. How would they have reacted to the beggar by the Temple? Ignore him? Step around him? Tell him to be quiet? Not Peter. In the boldness of his newly indwelt Spirit, he commands healing.

Do you realize that the same Spirit that indwelt Peter indwells us? We have the same power. Do you believe that? God wants to use you to do great things for Him today. God’s miracle working power is still present in today’s world. The problem is we don’t believe He can do those things today. Let God work through you as He desires.

I want to be used by You to do things that can only be explained as coming from You. I vow to give You all the credit and point others to You.

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UNDESERVED GIFTS

1 PETER 2:22

“WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH;”

Yesterday was Easter. What a perfect verse we have today to remind us of Christ’s innocence. He didn’t deserve to die. He had done no wrong. But He took on Himself my sin and your sin in order to give to us something we did not deserve – His righteousness. Wow! What a gift!

Have you ever gotten a gift you didn’t deserve? I have had friends bless me with gifts. During my recent illness I had several friends who blessed us financially. They wanted to help ease the burden of traveling back and forth to the hospital and the month and a half stay away from home. We didn’t deserve this, but they gave anyway. Jesus gave His all when we didn’t deserve it.

APPLICATION

Surprise your children with a gift. They may have been terrible yesterday and disobeyed you all day long. Perfect! Give them a gift they are not expecting. When they ask you why you are giving them such a gift, explain to them the gift that Jesus gave you when you didn’t deserve it. Let them know that Jesus loves us that much. He doesn’t wait for us to get better to save us. He saves us just like we are.

Ask your children if they know what innocent means. You may have to explain that to them. Tell them that Jesus had never done anything wrong, even when He was a little boy. Every action He took reflected His Father in heaven. And despite His innocence, He took on the guilt of the world. Why? To give us this undeserved gift of salvation.

Have you thanked the Lord today for your undeserved gift of salvation? Do that right now. I’ll wait…. Now, don’t you feel better? It’s always good to thank someone for the gifts we have been given, especially those undeserved gifts. Do that daily, as He continues to bless you.

Dear Lord, I thank You for blessing me. I only deserve hell, but You have chosen me to be Your child and have given me a gift which I could never repay. I love You, Lord.

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IT’S NOT GOING ANYWHERE

I PETER 1:4

“to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,”

Great news! If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you are an heir of the King! And that inheritance isn’t going anywhere. Peter makes a point to emphasize that in this verse. He, first of all, say it is “imperishable.” That Greek word means indestructible or immortal. Then he calls it “undefiled.” You could translate it as unstained. It’s perfect. Third, he says your inheritance “will not fade away.” That Greek word is only used here and means it won’t wither.

But then, after all these descriptions, he says, “reserved in heaven for you.” It’s being kept in the Fort Knox of Glory. No one or nothing can get to it. It’s promised and perpetual. No one can sneak in and destroy it or steal it. Why? Because He promised it and what He promises cannot change. Our inheritance in Christ is a sure thing.

APPLICATION

Do you have something right now you are planning on leaving as an inheritance to your children? It may be a piece of jewelry or maybe a house. It could be money. Guess what? That’s not a sure thing. Your life and their life could drastically change before that inheritance is claimed. And you have to die to leave that to them. You are probably not in a hurry to do that.

Things inherited can also lose their value. Your house can depreciate. That piece of jewelry can tarnish or be lost. What do you have that is really secure enough to pass on to your child? Your faith. Give them that. Make sure they have it BEFORE you die. There is no greater inheritance we can pass on to future generations than our love for Christ. This will last for eternity.

Are you hanging on to possessions just to pass them on? You might want to check with your children. They may have no desire for the things you hold precious. Ask them what they do value. I bet it won’t be stuff. I bet it will be time and love. Those things you can give freely. Make the investment in your inheritance to your children by preparing what God values most.

I am an heir of the King, and for that I am thankful. I know my future inheritance awaits me in Glory. But I also know I am already owner of all that’s Yours.

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CROWN ME

2 TIMOTHY 4:8

“in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

Do you like to play checkers? That was the first thing I thought of when I read this verse. I know, call me weird, lol, But in checkers when you reach the opponents back row with one of your checkers, they have to crown you with another checker they have taken from you, giving that checker special power from that time forward in the game.

As believers, we don’t have to wait on the righteousness to come with the crown. If we are walking and talking like Jesus, we are living righteously. The crown is simply a recognition of who we are in Him. The crown belongs to Him because we have no ability for righteousness outside of Him. It is His righteousness that makes us righteous.

APPLICATION

So, how do we explain righteousness to our children? How do we get them to understand how to live that way? Let’s tell them what the word means. It simply means doing what is approved of by God, by His judicial approval, what is right in His eyes. Now, that weeds out a lot of nonsense, doesn’t it?

I explain it this way. It’s being right (salvation), knowing right (studying His Word) and doing right (walking daily according to His Word). If our children can do that, they are living righteously. If they understand that, they will receive that crown which they will turn right around and lay at His feet.

Where’s your crown? Do you have that coming? Remember, it’s His righteousness, not yours, that earns you that crown as a believer. Let me encourage you today to be, know and do right in God’s eyes. That is His definition of righteousness. If I am pleasing the Father, if you are pleasing the Father, that’s all that matters.

I will live to please You today, O God. Righteous living is godly living. Righteous living will be rewarded and for that I am grateful.

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ENTRUSTED

2 TIMOTHY 1:14 

Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you. 

What does that mean – entrusted? It means to assign something for safekeeping. What kind of things do you entrust to someone? I bet not much. We tend to hold on to our special stuff. But God gives us the most precious of gifts to hold for Him AND use it for His glory. His Gospel.  

Once we have received the Lord through the understanding and knowledge of the word, we are entrusted with it to care for it. It’s a special gift given only to those who have bowed their knees to the Father. God doesn’t entrust stuff to those whom He knows won’t keep it safe. 

APPLICATION 

We pass things down to our kids, don’t we? I passed down a knife my dad gave to me at twelve-years-old to my son when he turned twelve. I didn’t just give it to him. I took it and had it cleaned, sharpened and shined. It had a bone handle and german steel. I hope he still has it to pass on to his child one day.  

But that is trivial. The more important thing to pass on, to entrust to your children is your faith. You teach your children about your Lord with the hopes they will embrace that faith and make it their own. That special treasure of knowing the Lord as your Savior is something they can hold on to and pass along.  That’s truly a treasure worth finding, protecting, entrusting and sharing. 

Are you holding on to your own treasures of the gospel without sharing them with others? The beauty of this treasure is the more your share it, the more it grows. The more it grows, the more special it become. Don’t be a treasure hoarder. Entrust this special gift to all your come in contact with today. 

My treasure is in You, Lord. There is no other item in the world that means as much to me as knowing You and sharing You with others. Thank You for giving Yourself for me and to me. 

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FIRE IT UP

2 TIMOTHY 1:6 

For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 

We have a great Greek word in today’s verse. It’s only used right here in this verse and comes from the combination of three Greek words – ana, zoon and purNow hold on and don’t glaze over on me. This is cool.  

Ana means upward, zoon means a living creature/beast, and pur means fire or flame. So, to kindle means to light up a flame or fire as if it is living. Isn’t that neat? Paul is telling Timothy to get fired up about his giftedness in Christ. Shouldn’t we all? 

APPPLICATION 

Moms and dads, we need to nurture and help develop our children’s natural gifts and abilities. You know their passions and desires. But those are not the gifts Paul is talking about. Once your child accepts Christ as their Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit indwells them and gives them spiritual gifts to use in the kingdom. Those are the gifts we must nurture. 

Whether your child accepts Christ at age five or fifteen, those gifts are given for their lifetime. They now have a part in the kingdom of God, and He wants them to utilize those gifts to bring others to Christ. So, your job as parents is help them find ways to develop those gifts to do just that. You aren’t the gift giver, but you are the gift builder. 

How are you doing with that? Are you just happy that your child gets saved? There is so much more to it! It is such a joy to watch your children start to use their gifts of encouragement or service. When you see that, jump on the chance to help them. As a you help build their opportunities to exercise their gifts you help build their faith for years to come. 

Thank You Lord for giving us gifts to benefit the kingdom. Help me to guide my children to use their gifts as they grow in their walk with Christ.

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MY SUPPLIER

1 TIMOTHY 6:17

Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.”

God is our only real and trusted source for everything. I love the way Paul wrote this to Timothy. He says God is the one “who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.” The word “supplies” does not mean that God just gives us stuff. No! It means He gives or offers in a up close and personal way.

And the Lord gives it for us “to enjoy.” Wow! We are actually supposed to enjoy what He blesses us with. Do you enjoy God’s blessings? Do you feel guilty for what He has given you? Don’t! We are supposed to appreciate and enjoy them. Do you see this clearly? God wants us to be blessed and enjoy everything He carefully and personally gives us.

APPLICATION

Don’t you just love giving your children things? The next time you have the occasion to bless your children with a special gift (birthday, Christmas, special achievement), read them this verse. Talk about how you picked out this gift especially for them. Since you know them so well, you knew they would love this gift. You knew they would enjoy this gift.

Ask them how they would have felt if you had given them something that they didn’t like. What if you had given your son, who loves baseball, a hockey stick? What if you had given your daughter, who loves to cook, a set of barbells? Just like you know their desires, God knows them as well. He provides richly all things for them to enjoy. Don’t let them forget that.

Are you aware of just how much the Lord enjoys blessing you? Remember, each gift He gives has been hand-picked by Him especially for you. He knows the perfect gift for you. He knows just exactly what will meet your needs. Accept it and enjoy it.

You are the supplier of all my needs, Lord. I praise You that You know my deepest desires and needs. I will continually thank You.

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