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1 Peter 4:10

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

As every man hath received the gift - The word rendered “the gift” ( χάρισμα charismain the Greek, without the article, means “endowment” of any kind, but especially that conferred by the Holy Spirit. Here it seems to refer to every kind of endowment by which we can do good to others; especially every kind of qualification furnished by religion by which we can help others. It does not refer here particularly to the ministry of the word - though it is applicable to that, and includes that - but to all the gifts and graces by which we can contribute to the welfare of others. All this is regarded as a gift, or charisma, of God. It is not owing to ourselves, but is to be traced to him. See the word explained in the notes at 1 Timothy 4:14.

Even so minister the same one to another - In anything by which you can benefit another. Regard What you have and they have not as a gift bestowed upon you by God for the common good, and be ready to impart it as the needs of ethers require. The word “minister” here ( διακονοῦντες diakonountes) would refer to any kind of ministering, whether by counsel, by advice, by the supply of the needs of the poor, or by preaching. It has here no reference to any one of these exclusively; but means, that in whatever God has favored us more than others, we should be ready to minister to their needs. See 2 Timothy 1:18; 2 Corinthians 3:8; 2 Corinthians 8:19-20.

As good stewards - Regarding yourselves as the mere stewards of God; that is, as appointed by him to do this work for him, and entrusted by him with what is needful to benefit others. He intends to do them good, but he means to do it through your instrumentality, and has entrusted to you as a steward what he designed to confer on them. This is the true idea, in respect to any special endowments of talent, property, or grace, which we may have received from God. Compare the 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 notes; Luke 16:1-2, Luke 16:8 notes.

Of the manifold grace of God - The grace or favor of God evinced in many ways, or by a variety of gifts. His favors are not confined to one single thing; as, for example, to talent for doing good by preaching; but are extended to a great many things by which we may do good to others - influence, property, reputation, wisdom, experience. All these are to be regarded as his gifts; all to be employed in doing good to others as we have opportunity.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The destruction of the Jewish church and nation, foretold by our Saviour, was very near. And the speedy approach of death and judgment concerns all, to which these words naturally lead our minds. Our approaching end, is a powerful argument to make us sober in all worldly matters, and earnest in religion. There are so many things amiss in all, that unless love covers, excuses, and forgives in others, the mistakes and faults for which every one needs the forbearance of others, Satan will prevail to stir up divisions and discords. But we are not to suppose that charity will cover or make amends for the sins of those who exercise it, so as to induce God to forgive them. The nature of a Christian's work, which is high work and hard work, the goodness of the Master, and the excellence of the reward, all require that our endeavours should be serious and earnest. And in all the duties and services of life, we should aim at the glory of God as our chief end. He is a miserable, unsettled wretch, who cleaves to himself, and forgets God; is only perplexed about his credit, and gain, and base ends, which are often broken, and which, when he attains, both he and they must shortly perish together. But he who has given up himself and his all to God, may say confidently that the Lord is his portion; and nothing but glory through Christ Jesus, is solid and lasting; that abideth for ever.
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Hath received the gift - Χαρισμα· A gift; any blessing of providence or grace. I cannot think that the word means here the Holy Ghost, or any of his supernatural gifts or influences; it may include those, but it signifies any thing given by the mere mercy and bounty of God: but perhaps in this place it may signify some or any office in the Church; and this sense, indeed, the connection seems to require.

Stewards of the manifold grace - Whatever gifts or endowments any man may possess, they are properly speaking, not his own; they are the Lord's property, and to be employed in his work, and to promote his glory.

Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 2, 124

When we accepted Christ as our Redeemer, we accepted the condition of becoming laborers together with God. We made a covenant with Him to be wholly for the Lord; as faithful stewards of the grace of Christ, to labor for the upbuilding of His kingdom in the world. Every follower of Christ stands pledged to dedicate all his powers of mind and soul and body to Him who has paid the ransom money for our souls. We engaged to be soldiers, to enter into active service, to endure trials, shame, reproach, to fight the fight of faith, following the Captain of our salvation. 2SM 124.1

In your connection with worldly societies are you keeping your covenant with God? Do these associations tend to direct your own mind or that of others to God, or are they diverting the interest and attention from Him? Do they strengthen your connection with the divine agencies, or turn your mind to the human in place of the divine? 2SM 124.2

Are you serving, honoring, and magnifying God, or are you dishonoring Him and sinning against Him? Are you gathering with Christ or scattering abroad? All the thought and plan and earnest interest devoted to these organizations has been purchased by the precious blood of Christ; but are you doing service for Him when uniting yourselves with atheists and infidels, men who profane the name of God, tipplers, drunkards, tobacco devotees? 2SM 124.3

While there may be in these societies much that appears to be good, there is, mingled with this, very much that makes the good of no effect, and renders these associations detrimental to the interests of the soul. We have another life than that which is sustained by temporal food. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have no life in you” (John 6:53). Jesus said, “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life” (John 6:54). Our bodies are built up from what we eat and drink. And as in the natural, so in the spiritual economy; it is that which our minds dwell upon which sustains the spiritual nature. Our Saviour said, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). Spiritual life must be sustained by communion with Christ through His Word. The mind must dwell upon it, the heart must be filled with it. The Word of God laid up in the heart and sacredly cherished and obeyed, through the power of the grace of Christ can make man right, and keep him right; but every human influence, every earthly invention, is powerless to give strength and wisdom to man. It cannot restrain passion, or correct deformity of character. Unless the truth of God controls the heart, the conscience will be warped. But in these worldly societies the mind is turned away from the Word of God. Men are not led to make it the study and the guide of life. 2SM 124.4

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Ellen G. White
Evangelism, 158

He will become acquainted with the parents and children in his congregation, and will speak kind, earnest words to them.—The Review and Herald, January 21, 1902. Ev 158.1

Get Into the Families—Come close to the people; get into the families when you can; do not wait for the people to hunt up the shepherd. Bear with you the confidence and assurance of faith which evidences that you are not trusting in idle tales but in a plain “Thus saith the Lord.”—Letter 8, 1895. Ev 158.2

Contacts at Public Meetings—When Christ was teaching on earth, He watched the countenances of His hearers, and the kindling eye, the animated expression, told Him in a moment when one assented to the truth. Even so should the teachers of the people now study the countenances of their hearers. Ev 158.3

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 213

The youth especially should feel that they must train their minds, and take every opportunity to become intelligent, that they may render acceptable service to Him who has given His precious life for them. And let no one make the mistake of regarding himself as so well educated as to have no more need of studying books or nature. Let everyone improve every opportunity with which in the providence of God he is favored, to acquire all that is possible in revelation or science. We should learn to place the proper estimate on the powers that God has given us. If a youth has to begin at the lowest round of the ladder, he should not be discouraged, but be determined to climb round after round until he shall hear the voice of Christ saying, “Child, come up higher. Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” FE 213.1

We are to compare our characters with the infallible standard of God's law. In order to do this, we must search the Scriptures, measuring our attainments by the word of God. Through the grace of Christ, the highest attainments in character are possible; for every soul who comes under the molding influence of the Spirit of God, may be transformed in mind and heart. In order to understand your condition, it is necessary to study the Bible, and to watch unto prayer. The apostle says, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” Let not those who are ignorant remain in ignorance. They cannot remain in ignorance, and meet the mind of God. They are to look to the cross of Calvary, and estimate the soul by the value of the offering there made. Jesus says to all believers, “Ye are My witnesses.” “Ye are laborers together with God.” This being true, how earnestly should each one strive to make use of every power to improve every opportunity for becoming efficient that he may be “not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” FE 214.1

Every talent that has been given to men is to be exercised that it may increase in value, and all the improvement must be rendered back to God. If you are defective in manner, in voice, in education, you need not always remain in this condition. You must continually strive that you may reach a higher standard both in education and in religious experience, that you may become teachers of good things. As servants of the great King, you should individually realize that you are under obligation to improve yourselves by observation, study, and by communion with God. The word of God is able to make you wise, to guide and make you perfect in Christ. The blessed Saviour was a faultless pattern for all His followers to imitate. It is the privilege of the child of God to understand spiritual things, to be able wisely to manage that which may be intrusted to his charge. God does not provide a way whereby any one may have an excuse for doing slipshod work; and yet a great deal of this kind of work has been offered to Him by those who work in His cause, but it is not acceptable unto Him. FE 214.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, 245

They think that if they only had the five talents to handle, they could do much better than the one to whom these talents were entrusted. But the Master knew better than they. None need mourn that they cannot glorify God by talents He never gave them and for which they are not responsible. They need not say: “If I were in another's position in life I would do a great amount of good with my capital.” God requires no more of them than to improve upon what they have, as stewards of His grace. 2T 245.1

The one talent, the humblest service, if wholly consecrated, and exercised to promote the glory of God, will be as acceptable as the improvement of the weightiest talent. The varied trusts are proportioned to our varied capabilities. To every man is given according to his ability. None should slight his work, considering it so small that he need not be particular to do it well. If he does this he trifles with his moral responsibilities and despises the day of small things. Heaven apportions to all their work, and it should be their ambition to do this work well, according to their capabilities. God requires that all, the weakest as well as the strongest, fulfill their appointed work. The interest expected will be in proportion to the amount entrusted. 2T 245.2

Each should diligently and interestedly attend to his own work, leaving others to their own Master, to stand or fall. There are too many busybodies in -----, too many who are interested in watching their brethren, and for this reason are constantly weak. They will bear testimony in meeting, and because they have not Jesus in their hearts to confess, they will try to impress upon their brethren their duty. These poor souls do not know their own duty, and yet they take the responsibility of enlightening others in regard to their duty. If such would attend to their own work, and obtain the grace of God in their hearts, there would be a power in the church which is now lacking. 2T 245.3

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