All Followers Are gifted From Christ, as He sees Fit, To Build Up (Ephesians 4:7-16)

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Ephesians 4:7-16

We are Gifted By Christ to do Various Things:

All are gifted, by Jesus to do various things within the church.   Yet, over time we become timid to try new things and convince ourselves we can’t do many things. Jake Kircher in his sermon “Giving” quotes Mike Yacnelli of youth specialties:

Yaconelli, talked about this in a message of his once. He said, “You can see this just by asking questions to a kindergarten class.” You ask them, how many of you guys can sing? Almost all the hands go up. What can you sing? ANYTHING! What if you don’t know the words? We’ll make ‘em up! Ask them how many of you can draw? Again, almost all the hands go up. What can you draw? ANYTHING! How about a dinosaur, riding a skateboard, down the Hover Dam? YES, how big do you want it! Ask how many can dance? Again, hands everywhere. – https://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/we-are-all-gifted-jake-kircher-sermon-on-giving-general-86734  (2/22/19)

If we were to ask most older teens and adults those questions no one would volunteer, or at least very few of us would respond positively to try something new.

Paul is reminding us in this passage that all of our talents and gifts are given from Jesus Christ.  They come right from heaven, and so God is equipping each of us in our talents.

One one hand this should keep any of us from feeling superior to others.  After all the talents we have are given from Christ, as He sees fit.  So no one can really take pride in what we have.  The opposite is true as well, no one should feel their gift is inferior or less.  After all the talent and gifts we are given are not by random chance, but God has chosen through Jesus to bless you and I with those talents.

The question that really matters is, are we willing to be used and useful to God’s plans?  Todd Wilson of Calvary Memorial Church gave a great example of this in his sermon “Glorifying God with our Talents” :

There’s nothing worse than finding something laying around the house that’s broken or no longer serves the purpose for which it was created. A rubber band that’s lost its elasticity; or a razor that’s become to dull to shave with; or a banana that’s gone all brown and mushy. Yet that’s what we’re like when we fail to glorify God. We’re not doing what we were made to do; we’re not being who we were created to be. And that in fact puts us in a worse position than a rubber band without elasticity, or a razor that’s too dull to shave with, or a banana that’s all brown and mushy.  — http://www.calvarymemorial.com/sermons/glorifying-god-with-our-talents/   (2/20/19)

This may sting a bit, but it is worth pondering for a few moments.  Are you being a useful part of God’s work in the world?  Have you allowed yourself to be in a less than useful position of serving God?

Gifts are Given to Bless & Build Up the Body of Christ (the Church), as well as witness to the world

How are you doing about being the hands and feet of Christ to one another in the church?   How about to the world around you?

Many times we are not shining the hope of Christ, but instead allow ourselves to get caught up in selfishness and shortsighted ways.  Our witness, along with many Followers of Christ is tainted and others have a hard time seeing it.  R.H. DeHan wrote in an Our Daily Bread once of a new Christian’s view of the church:

A new Christian was reading through the Gospels. After she finished, she told a friend she wanted to read a book on church history. When her friend asked why, the woman replied, “I’m curious. I’ve been wondering when Christians started to become so unlike Christ.” –https://www.preceptaustin.org/ephesians_sermon_illustrations_4  (2/22/19)

Ouch!  This really hurts.  However, it is often all too true.  We are not using our gifts and talents to encourage one another or to witness of the hope we have in Jesus Christ.  Instead we are selfish, or hide our gifts and so the light of Jesus is dimmed to the world around us.

Challenges:

Do you understand your gifts & talents?  Do you understand your how your gifts are a blessing in and to the body of Christ (the church)?

How can I help? 

Begin to pray and ask God to help you today.  If I can help direct you in any way reach out and I will try.  If you are part of a fellowship of believers then seek your Pastor or spiritual mentor to help you discover how you can better serve and help Christ in his mission.

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