1 Timothy 4 Lesson

Encouraging One Another To Use Our Spiritual Gifts

In chapter 4, Timothy receives what amounts to a “pep talk” from Paul.  

Paul instructs Timothy to do four things:

  1. To show himself as an example to those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity,
  2. To give attention to the public reading of scripture (especially until Paul comes),
  3. To exhort and teach,
  4. To neglect the spiritual gift that has been bestowed upon him.

The basic message that Paul has for Timothy is this:

  • “Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you.” – 1 Timothy 4:14.

These words were exactly the encouraging message that the young preacher needed to hear, and the wisdom found in them still applies to us today.   Whatever spiritual gifts God has blessed us with, we are commanded to put them to work for the Lord.   That does not mean that we use our gifts for selfish gain.   On the contrary, we are to use our gifts for two purposes:

  1. To glorify God.
  2. To build one another up.  

In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul discussed the different types of spiritual gifts:  

  • “To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines." – 1 Corinthians 12:8-11.

As we consider how to apply this scripture to our own lives, it is important to ask ourselves the following two questions:

  1. What spiritual gifts has God blessed me with? Answering this question cannot be done without taking the time to pray before taking our spiritual inventory.
  2. Am I using my spiritual gifts to glorify God and to build others up?

If the answer to the second question is, “No,” we need to reevaluate our priorities.  

Just as Paul encouraged Timothy, we are to encourage one another so that we all can reach our potential and go to heaven.   The Bible has a lot to say about the importance of encouragement. Consider the following three scriptures:

  1. "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:11.
  2. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” - Hebrews 10:23-25.
  3. “But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” - Hebrews 3:13.

We will conclude today’s lesson with two encouraging scriptures:

  1. “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” - James 1:12.
  2. "Let us not become discouraged in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not become weary." - Galatians 6:9.


Joe R

These words are simple yet powerful. I think that it is important to continuously re-evaluate the idea of whether we are using our spiritual gifts to give glory to God and build each other up or using our spiritual gifts for our own personal gain. In my own personal experience, I find that it can be difficult to differentiate these things at times. I work in the helping professions and I find a deep spiritual connection with my work and I also take personal satisfaction in the work itself. Therefore, I find that it is important for me to recognize opportunities to give thanks to God rather than take credit when clients express their appreciation for the work I do. Admittedly, this can be difficult at times. Thus, I think it is important to recognize the gifts we have been blessed with, seek to give glory to God as we build each other up, and remain vigilant regarding doing the work for public recognition versus doing the work for the sake of giving glory to God. I ask for discernment to help me to grow closer to God by utilizing the gifts I have been blessed with while maintaining awareness that it is for His glory. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dan W

May God help us all to remember the blessings of endurance.


Receive God's gifts with an attitude of gratitude. Amen!