Spirit-filled Reliance

Kevin DeYoung

READ : 1 Peter 4:7-11

. . . 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. (v. 11 ESV)

Today is Pentecost, the Sunday when the church celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit as we read in Acts 2. One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to give gifts to the church. According to 1 Peter 4, there are two general kinds of gifts. There are speaking gifts (such as teaching, preaching, knowledge). And there are serving gifts (such as administration, mercy, giving).

Every Christian has spiritual gifts. But if God is to be glorified through our gifts, we must continually rely on him. This can be hard, especially when it comes to our strengths. When you lead your Bible study, do you wing it because you are intelligent and quick on your feet, or do you commit yourself to prayer and reflection because you need God’s help? When you swing a hammer in Katrina relief, is it in dependence on God for his glory or are you just another humanitarian doing a good thing for people who are hurting?

God doesn’t get the glory when we do good things on our own. He gets glory when we do good things in the strength he supplies by his Spirit.


Lord, help me use my gifts so you look impressive, not me. Amen.