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About-Him.Com Devotional 03-10-2007
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We concluded last week's devotion with the on the Seven Unities of Ephesians 4:4-6 with this statement. "God is one and His plans and purposes were set in place before Creation. We, as diverse as we are, are all members of His one body. God's One Spirit dwells in us because we have believed the One faith and submitted to the One baptism (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38,8:12, 10:48; Romans 6:14; Colossians 2:12; I Corinthians 12:13) Because of this, Almighty God is pleased to dwell with us all."
We Each Are Given Gifts to Edify the Body of Christ
He not only dwells in us, but He works through us that we might enhance His kingdom.
Ephesians 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
Going on to verse 7, we see that God has a use for each and every one of us. Nobody gets to sit on the sidelines. Every one of us has a gift that enhances the kingdom of God. First of all we have the gift of the Holy Ghost, that Jesus said was available to all believers (Matthew 7:11; Luke 11:13; John 7:38). We each have been given grace, which in this usage means divine enablement, to function in the spiritual realm.
Each of us, without exception has a gift, according to the measure of Christ's gift. Well, how big is Christ's gift? Bigger than we will ever comprehend until we see Him face to face. So then, the gifts that He has given us are no small thing either.
The teachings on the various gifts of the Spirit are presented in Romans 12:4-11 and I Corinthians 12. Romans 12:7 tells us that the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man so that he might profit. We do not all have the same gifts nor do we all have the same measure of gifts. These were placed in the body at the Lord’s discretion, as it pleases Him (I Corinthians 12:18).
Remember the parables of the pounds and talents? The Master entrusted differing amounts of His goods to various servants according to their abilities (Matthew 25:15), and He most definitely expects a return when He comes again.
Seemingly, the most sought after gifts are those that are vocal and visible. However, we can't all be the preacher, can we? Chances are that the preacher will never meet most of those with whom we come in contact. If my neighbor is hurting, a measure of God's grace will be present at the opportune time that will enable me to help him. We can that word in season for the weary one (Isaiah 50:4). The anointing that Jesus claimed in Luke 4:18-19 is at our disposal. Remember the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 10:42 and Mark 9:41? Those who had simply given a cup of water in the Lord’s name received a reward.
Likewise, we may hate our jobs, but perhaps we were placed there for a purpose. A coworker who may never come to our church or hear a prophet or teacher may be hurting. The Spirit will give you divine enablement to meet the challenge.
Helps (I Corinthians 12:28), giving and mercy (Romans 12:8) are also listed as gifts. Not so highly sought after, but vitally necessary all the same.
In verse 8 Paul quotes Psalms 68:18
Ephesians 4:8 Therefore He says: “ When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.”
9 (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
I like that phrase in verse 10 "That He might fill all things." We don't even know the size of our universe, but Jesus is bigger. There is not a star in any far off galaxy where the Spirit of the Lord isn't (Psalms 139:8). Jesus, after His resurrection, claimed all power of heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18) and it pleased the Father that all the fullness of the Deity dwell in Him bodily (Colossians 1:19, 2:9). I've heard it preached that He wrestled the devil in hell and snatched the keys of hell and death from him. I don't know about the wrestling part but I do know that He said "I have the keys to death and hell" (Revelation 1:18).
So what is our gift? It may well be the obvious thing that we take for granted. God gave us gifts as He saw fit and He will give us the divine enablement to fully utilize that gift.
"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."
One year at an air show, in a crowd of many close-by people, his daughter looked up at him and said, "Dad, what do you do out here?"
He answered with a smile,"I pay the bills."
She looked at him in obvious dismay, looked around, looked back at him, and announced (to the delight of all around),"No wonder we're so poor!"
Keep Looking Up!
Don and Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries
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