Taking Responsibility and Ownership of God's Grace - 1 Peter 4:7-11

Taking Ownership and Responsibility for God's Grace

What is it to be a ‘steward’ of something? Is it the person who hands out drinks on the airplane? Sometimes, words can get watered down in their definition. What does the noun form, stewardship, actually mean?

Webster's definition of stewardship is the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care

So, what does God entrust to our care, and are we taking responsibility and managing it appropriately?

1 Peter 4:7-11
7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: 11 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.
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Jesus’ return is soon. The end of all things is at hand. We need to be stewards of the time and gifts we are given by God. We need to take ownership and responsibility for the grace He bestowed on all mankind.

Peter transitions here to tell us that all the significant events for salvation have been fulfilled. We are to be calm, self-controlled, and sober-minded. We need to be focusing our minds on the promise and grace of God when we approach Him in prayer. As we know, these days are worsening and the world is becoming more and more sinful. Therefore, we need more prayer than ever. We saw in 1 Peter 3:12 “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer.” Peter instructs us to present to God, humbly in serious prayer, and submit ourselves to God’s plan during these tumultuous times.  

Once we remain focused and prayerfully seek God’s wisdom and plan, we can then love others as Christ loved us. It is difficult to love if our hearts aren’t aligned with God’s. We saw in 1 Peter 3 that we need to have unity of mind with Jesus. We can then love others earnestly. The word earnestly means “with sincere and intense conviction”;  sincere and genuine love toward others. Why? Because God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for us. Christ’s love covers a multitude of sins. So, we need to demonstrate genuine and unconditional love toward our fellow believers and non-believers. Loving others allows us to forgive as Christ forgave us. Through love we can be hospitable to others. Hospitality is the act of being welcoming, friendly, inviting, and demonstrating kindness.  God calls us to pour out our hearts with compassion and love. It is our responsibility to move beyond minor offenses and hurtful feelings and demonstrate forgiveness through love.

God has blessed each of us with individual gifts. But, the most costly gift that came at the expense of His Son’s life, is His free gift of grace. There is nothing that we need to do to earn this gift but submit to Him. Since this gift is so precious and amazing, we are to be stewards. He wants us to take ownership of that gift. However, God doesn’t want us to hoard His grace, because it is a gift for all people. He entrusted this special gift to all of us who willingly accept it. He wants us to grow it, spread it, make disciples of Christ through His gift of grace, and this is through loving others and putting others above ourselves. We are to build His kingdom through the strength that only He provides, because everything we do is for the glory of God. It is His dominion and He deserves the glory…forever.

So, let us be humble and have unity of mind in Christ. Through this, we need to be good stewards of the gift of grace that God entrusted to us. We are to put others first and love them as Christ loves us, unconditionally. Let’s let our lives be a witness of Christ and be diligent in growing and creating disciples of all nations.

“that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.
To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
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