God’s Gifts; November 30, 2020

Ephesians 3:2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you.

What follows this verse is something that was shocking to Jews and perhaps surprising to Gentiles, that, as it says in verse 6, Gentiles are heirs together with Jews of the promises of God. What jumped out at me about this verse, however, is that the work of communicating this gracious truth was given to Paul for the sake of his readers. This is something that has come to me again and again as I have read the Bible: God’s gifts, whether they be material or spiritual, are never just for the immediate recipient. Paul was given a revelation and the job of communicating it, not just for his own sake but for the sake of those who received his message. He too benefited greatly, receiving purpose and direction for his life, which many desire and can’t seem to find. However, he was not the end recipient. I am reminded of musical gifting. I know from experience that such gifts are of great pleasure and satisfaction to the immediate recipient, but if others never get to hear the music, the whole process is stunted. We often get very confused, even deceived, about this. We think, “This is mine, it was given to me,” and fail to receive the fuller blessing of sharing whatever it is with others. That’s particularly true of material blessings, but it can trip us up in any area. God loves us individually and immensely, but (or and) He desires to bless others through us. The more we allow His blessings to flow through us, the more of them we receive. The more we cling to them as ours, the less good they do us, not to mention anyone else.

This is something I have grown to understand, but I can’t really say when it started to get through to me. I have been blessed with a wide variety of gifts. Some of them I have exercised for the benefit of others, and they have grown. Some I have largely neglected, and they have withered. I have long delighted in my daily devotional times with the Lord, but I feel even they have gotten deeper since I started sharing the results with others through my blog. Even the good health and healing God has provided are to enable me to be active in ministry of all sorts. Going even further, the trials God allows me to experience aren’t just to grow and strengthen me, they are to equip and enable me to comfort and strengthen others as they go through similar circumstances. (2 Corinthians 1:4) God is both intensely personal and totally general. Since we can’t be that way naturally, we have trouble grasping that God is like that. Since I’ve been given that understanding, I need to share it!

Father, thank You indeed for this Word. I pray that I would indeed be effective in sharing it, not just through the blog but in many other ways as well, so that Your children may grow as instruments of Your grace, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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