DIFFERING GIFTS

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:7-10

“But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says: ‘When He ascended on high He led a host of captives, and gave gifts to men.'” (Ephesians 4:7,8)

Paul emphasized the unity among Christians — “There is one body and one spirit — just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call” (v. 4). While there is unity within the body of Christ, there is also diversity. We are not all alike. We have different gifts and abilities. These gifts come from Christ and they are His gifts to the church. He is the giver of the gifts that we have. These gifts are the results of His grace. We did nothing to deserve them. He gave them to us freely. Therefore, we are to be good stewards of the gifts that have been given to us.

The parenthesis in the passage is important — “In saying, ‘He ascended,’ what does it mean but that He had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things” (vs. 9,10). This is referring to the work of Jesus. Jesus descended from heaven, even to the lower parts of the earth. He came to earth, where He suffered and died for us. He descended into hell when He bore the punishment for our sins. He defeated death when He was raised to life. Then, after 40 days, He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. From this exalted position, Jesus Christ gives gifts to men and women to serve His church.

We all have different gifts and abilities that are to be used together for the building of God’s Kingdom here on earth. It is our responsibility to identify these gifts and to use them in ministry.

Lord Jesus, thank You for what You have done for me. You descended from heaven, even to the lower parts of the earth. You suffered and died for me and bore the punishment for my sins. Then You were raised from the dead and ascended into heaven where You are seated at the right hand of Your Father. Thank You for giving me gifts. Let me be a faithful steward of the gifts that You have entrusted to me.

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