Use The Gift You Have Received

1 Peter 4-10 imageThe YouTruth in 1 Peter 4:10

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

What are your gifts? Are you good at working with young children? Are you musically inclined? Are you good with tools and building projects? Do you feel like you don’t have any true gifts? I can assure you, that in God’s economy, everyone has gifts and in those gifts, however small or insignificant they may seem at times, there is a great and glorious purpose.

There are some important things to remember about your gifts: you did not earn them and they do not belong to you! They are gifts, entrusted to you, and they belong to God. Adopting this understanding about your gifts goes a long way to understanding how to use them. Their use should be directed towards others and not just used for self-serving purposes.

Another thing to remember is that your gifts, and the countless gifts of others, are all various expressions of God’s grace. God’s grace and your gifts are wrapped up together in a great, big care package He has freely given to you. When you use your “grace gifts” to share God’s love with others, you become part of God’s wonderful grace delivery system.

So, be a grace gift deliverer today! Use whatever gift you have received to serve others.

You Are a Living Stone

1 Peter 2-4-5 image

The YouTruth in 1 Peter 2:4-5

“As you come to Him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to Him — you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

The image of the cornerstone of the Temple in Jerusalem had been used for hundreds of years to describe the coming Messiah. When a builder in antiquity began a building project, the first task was to select the very best stone to be laid down first, around which, the rest of the building would rest. The quality of this first stone determined the quality of the rest of the building. If the building in question was to be the Temple, the house of God, particular care would be taken in the cornerstone’s selection. This was a very important building!

When God decided to build His true spiritual house, the family of believers saved by grace, He chose Jesus as His cornerstone. In order for God’s house to be eternally perfect, He had to start with a perfect first stone. Jesus is it. God could now add the other stones that would make up the walls, floors, and the roof. That’s where you come in!
God invites you to be built into His eternal home. It is not an inanimate structure built of rock and mortar. God’s Home is built of living stones, eternally resting on the Living Stone that is Jesus. Once a part of such a living structure, what you can offer is pure, pleasing, and acceptable to God.

Be a living stone today, for you rest on the perfect foundation of Jesus!

Cast All Your Anxiety on God

Worry. It’s one of those things we do that God wishes we didn’t do.

Care. It’s one of those things God does that He wishes we understood better, because if we fully understood the depth of His care, we’d stop worrying.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”

1 Peter 5:7 (NASB)

Anxiety. Worry. Uneasiness. Stress. Ouch!

These are words we are all too familiar with.  God wishes that they were as unfamiliar to us as nuclear physics is to an infant. And yet there they are, all too present in most lives. Peter encouraged the readers of his letter to rid themselves of all their anxieties and taught them how to do it. By great faith? Indelible hope? Perseverance? Steadfastness? Well partly yes, but there’s an underlying method that doesn’t usually come to mind—humility. The opposite of humility, human pride, is what gets the whole ‘anxiety ball’ rolling. And oh how it can roll, like a snowball, gaining mass and momentum until it is too big for us to deal with. Let’s look at the relationship between pride and anxiety and discover what God wishes for each of us – life without worries.

Pride and Anxiety

Let’s start by asking the question “Will God meet our needs?”

The answer to this question for people of faith is a resounding “Yes!” Jesus taught us to consider the birds of the air and the lilies of the field (see Matthew 6:25-34). Their every need is met by God. And check this out – they don’t even have the capacity to worry. So, God provides for every need absent of even one ounce of worry of their part.  Thus Jesus concluded that worry accomplishes absolutely nothing! (see Matthew 6:27). And yet we all do it. Why?!


By humbling ourselves, we set aside our own plans for God’s plans and submit ourselves to them completely. Peter implored his readers to ‘humble [themselves] under the mighty hand of God (1 Peter 5:6).’ When we fail to do this we experience worry and anxiety. Why? Because, we begin to expect that our ‘wants,’ the children that are born of our own prideful plans, will be met instead of our ‘needs.’ We further delude ourselves with the notion that God’s promise for provision extends to those things we want. It doesn’t—He clearly promises only to meet our needs. Once ‘wants’ get introduced into the equation, uncertainty quickly enters in as well. Jesus guaranteed us that our needs, whether earthly material needs or eternal, heavenly needs, would be abundantly provided for. There’s no room for worry in this equation. Oh, but start to introduce things that we want, now we’ve got reason to worry. Our wants are quite uncertain. In fact our wants, since they are born of pride, often  directly oppose God’s will for us (see 1 Peter 5:5, Proverbs 3:34).

God’s Care for Us and His ‘Casting Method’

When one cares for another, he provides something that the other cannot provide for themselves. Doctors provide health care for patients that cannot heal themselves on their own. Nursing home workers provide care for the elderly who can no longer care for themselves. So it is with God’s care for us. When it comes to the Kingdom of God, we can do nothing to provide it for ourselves. It takes the free gift of God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ to secure it. Therefore we must approach Him humbly in order to receive it. Pride focuses us on things that distract us from the true riches of abundant life and the Kingdom of God and there is nothing that God wants less for us than to be distracted from His true rewards!  Herein lies God’s method to casting your worries on Him—make the Kingdom your primary concern (Matthew 6:33). It’s guaranteed. It’s a done deal. And it requires humility. So chase out the nasty twins of pride and anxiety and ‘seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).’ Our needs will be so overwhelmingly, abundantly provided for, you will see anxiety and worry for the completely ineffective, useless, activities they are. That’s the truth.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness. If you will do this, He will provide for you all the things you need in great abundance! If you will do this, He will exalt you at the proper time. If you will do this, all your anxiety will be cast on Him. God wants this for you because He cares deeply for you.

That’s the YouTruth – Cast All Your Anxiety on Him.

God Is Keeping an Inheritance for You

When we think of receiving an inheritance, we think of someone dying and leaving things to us. When God promises an inheritance to us, it’s a different ball game. Yes, Jesus died for our sins and through that death an inheritance can be passed to us. But, that’s where the comparison stops. Jesus’ resurrection changed everything else about our eternal inheritance.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade, kept in heaven for you”

1 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV)

The process of passing down an inheritance was very important in biblical times. Fathers owned the family’s assets and passed them down as an inheritance to his surviving family as specifically directed by the God’s Law when he died. Land was most precious as it was the means for making a living, for grazing animals or raising crops. Similarly, and even more importantly, God, our heavenly father, has an inheritance to pass on to us. Let’s look at our passage from 1 Peter where we will encounter all of the very basic conditions for an inheritance to be passed. Along the way let’s be sure to understand who’s responsible for each part, and what God’s inheritance looks like. The first condition, of course, is a death; in order for an inheritance to be left, someone has to die…

The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

God came down to the earth in the human form of Jesus for a singular, glorious purpose—to live a sinless life and pay the death penalty for the sins of humankind. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, His death initiated the eternal process by which His inheritance could be passed to us, but that’s as far as God goes. We have to do the rest.  Which brings us to the next fundamental condition—surviving family.

New Birth into a Living Hope

In order for an inheritance to be passed down, there must be living family members to pass it to. This sounds ridiculously obvious, but there’s more than meets the average worldly eye going on here. You see, being born of a human mother, qualifies us for neither being alive nor being a member of God’s family. We are not born into God’s family, we are re-born into it. When, and only when, we accept God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord do we become eternally alive. Before we accept the gift of God’s grace, we are dead, living in the state of sin that separates us from God and keeps us from eternal life. Until we address the matter of our sinful nature, we are not eligible to receive the inheritance God has for us, because we have not fulfilled the very basic qualification—being alive.

Upon fulfilling the requirement of being alive, God’s grace does its further work by making us family. By His grace, we are adopted into the family of God, making us co-heirs with Jesus for His inheritance (Romans 8:15-17).

So, what is the inheritance that eternal life qualifies us for?

Well, eternal life.

Eternal life achieves both establishing us as living children of God, eligible to receive His inheritance and being the inheritance itself. It is the means and the reward all rolled up into one—a God-given, two-for-one deal!  Jesus’ resurrection from the dead assures us that the inheritance to be handed down would be significantly different from the inheritance handed down from earthly fathers to earthly surviving children. Let’s explore this some more.

Eternal life is kept in heaven for you (1 Peter 1:4)

Unlike earthly inheritances, it is certain. If a father on earth squanders all of his assets, the family may not receive any inheritance. As long as the father is alive, the inheritance is uncertain. Your God-given inheritance is certain. He’s already died and proven that eternal life is available through Him. Nothing can take that inheritance from you. It is kept in heaven for you! It’s a done deal.

Eternal life takes place in the Kingdom (Matthew 25:34)

God prepared the Kingdom of heaven for you before the foundation of the world. It’s always been there, it will always be there, and one day, His Kingdom will be returned to earth (Revelation 21:1-2). Those who are of His family, that have received His inheritance, will be administrators of His Kingdom. It will be a great responsibility filled with great purpose and joy! Can you imagine the joy of administering a Kingdom in which no death, mourning, crying, or pain exists (Revelation 21:4)?!

We can add to the riches of eternal life while here on earth (Matthew 6:19-21)

Jesus taught that when we focus our heart on things of eternal value, we lay ‘treasure in heaven.’ Our heart is a conduit, a channel or pathway through which the eternally valuable things we do here on earth are deposited into our ‘inheritance account’ in heaven.

God’s already done His part to guarantee that the inheritance will be there for us. We’ve got to do our part and then add to our inheritance each and every day. That’s the truth.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has given you a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, securing an inheritance for you that can never perish, spoil or fade. Where your heart is, there the treasure of this inheritance will be, kept in heaven for you.

That’s the YouTruth – God is Keeping an Inheritance for You.