The context of 1 Peter 4:7-10 is what should be done in times of suffering. Loving (8), showing hospitality (9), and serving one another (10) are necessities for followers of Jesus. For the next few moments, focus with me on verse 10.

Peter writes that we must use God's gifts to serve one another. We must minister to one another. Whatever gift you have received, use it to care for one another.

Consider this: we have all been blessed with a gift. Peter gives us a couple of examples in verse 11, but the possibilities are endless. If you have a place to live, you can invite others for fellowship. If you're good with cars, you can help fix others'. If you have a talent for cutting hair, you can use it to help those who can't afford a beautician. Your gift, whatever it may be, is a valuable contribution to the community.

These Christians to whom Peter was writing were outcasts of society. They could not go to the marketplace. But they were also stewards because those talents they had weren't theirs. They were given to them by God. So they needed to use them to serve his church: their brothers and sisters. Whatever gift we have is not ours. God gave it to us. That means He intended us to use it. Every gift should be thought of as a divine trust. And we ought to use those gifts to serve one another.

One of the challenges in ministry and leadership is helping others recognize their gifts. We must work together to help each other realize our unique talents and how we can use them to serve each other and the Lord. By doing so, we strengthen our community and our ability to serve.

At times, we may find it difficult to identify our gifts. We may struggle and feel like we don't have a talent, especially when we compare ourselves to others. But remember, you are not alone in this journey. Look at the things you do: your job, your hobbies, your interests. These can often reveal your gifts. And remember, we are here to help each other find ways to serve one another.

Peter's point is not so much to focus on the gift as to the fact that we all have one, and we need to use it to serve. So what is your gift? How can you use it to serve, to open opportunities to show God's love, and to glorify Him? I would love to help you in your service to the Lord because I love you, and God does, too!!!

Corey Sawyers is the preaching minister for the Martin Church of Christ and an adjunct instructor for Bear Valley Bible Institute. He is Melody's husband and Daddy to Garrett (& Bailey), Gordon, and Gannon. And Lauren Kelly will be added to the family this Saturday when she weds Gordon! Congratulations to the happy couple!