Serving God for His glory alone
If anyone speaks, let it be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, let it be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11 CSB
Within the church as John Calvin, one of the Reformers rightly said, “no one is to be content with one thing and with his own gifts, but everyone has need of the help and aid of his brother.” Everyone ought to strive to be a good steward of the talents God has given him. In short, the church is an authentic storehouse of gifts and talents—never locked but always open for service. From the text, anyone who has the gift of communicating the gospel can testify to the words Jesus spoke to His disciples who would even risk arrest: “But when they hand you over, don’t worry about how or what you are to speak. For you will be given what to say at that hour, because it isn’t you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father is speaking through you” (Matthew 10:19–20; also see Luke 12:11–12). The power of the Holy Spirit is at work in anyone who speaks the very words of God to edify others. The one who is gifted to speak cannot and will not substitute his own thoughts and opinions for he “speaks…God’s words.” He must be faithful in delivering His words for “they were entrusted with the very words of God” (Romans 3:2). Anyone who faithfully administers God’s grace by serving others using the gifts God has given him will rely “from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything.” The Christian worker is completely dependent on “the strength God provides.” In the Greek, the verb “provides” points to someone who covers the expenses of something, it has the meaning to supply lavishly. God, then, abundantly supplies the Christian worker with the necessary strength to accomplish the task. Because it is God who supplies every need, His name receives the praise in all things, “through Jesus Christ.” Paul teaches this doctrine when he concludes his doxology in praise of God with these words: “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36). All Christians must be faithful stewards who, by continually extending the benefit of these gifts to others, function as channels of God’s grace. All of us in the body of Christ, therefore, ought to serve one another so that we can mutually benefit from the variety of riches God has granted His people.
Isaac De Guzman