The Gifts God has Given to His Church, Part 3 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #227)
A series of homilies on Ephesians.
A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”
I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.
TEXT: Ephesians 4:7-8:
7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
Art Katz said, “A church with apostolic foundations is that body of people whose central impulse and principle of life, being, and service is one thing only, namely, a radical and total jealousy for the glory of God.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “The surest thing in the world is not death and taxes, it’s death and eternity. Yet, we’re so unconcerned.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “At the end of the Revolutionary War, only 40,000 settlers were located in the hills of western North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and the area called the Appalachian Region. But within fifty years more than a million people moved West, seeking free lands, a new life, and freedom. These people needed structure and civilization, but most of all they needed God. The Methodist circuit preachers organized themselves into societies and brought the frontier to God. Eventually, the camp meeting became popular there. It offered a break from hard, backbreaking work, monotonous days, and lonely separation from civilization.”
Notice today the manner in which God grants spiritual gifts to His children. Paul says He gives “according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Some Christians spend their time worrying about why they don’t have this gift or that gift. Some worry about why their ministry is not as big as somebody else’s ministry. Some believe that they are not as spiritually “gifted” as somebody else. Well, Paul is telling us in this verse that the spiritual gifts were given out according to the measure of Christ. In other words, you have exactly the amount of spiritual giftedness that Jesus wants you to have. Jesus is the one who doled out the gifts and said give this to him, give this to her, etc.
John MacArthur said the term “measure” tells us that the “specific portion given is by sovereign design from the Head of the church. The Lord has measured out the exact proportion of each believer’s gift. The exact proportion of enabling grace on the part of God is linked with the exact proportion of enacting faith on the part of each believer; and God is the source of both. The sum of this is that God gives both the grace and the faith to energize whatever gift He gives to the full intent of His purpose. In light of the truth just stated, it is clear that since they are sovereignly given, no gifts should be sought; that since they are essential elements in God’s plan, no gifts should be unused; and that since they come from the Lord, no gifts should be exalted.”
If you have the gift of evangelism, that doesn’t mean you have to be the next Billy Graham. Jesus gave you the measure of the gift that He intended for you to have. That might mean you become the Billy Graham of your state, or the Billy Graham of your city, or the Billy Graham of your neighborhood. Jesus needs faithful workers at every level of service. You should not show disdain for your own gift just because it appears to be small. If you are constantly wondering why you haven’t “blown up” yet, you need to consider whether or not it is in God’s’ plan for you to blow up or if you just want to blow up to feed your pride and satisfy your ego.
Kittie Suffield wrote:
In the harvest field now ripened
There’s a work for all to do;
Hark! the voice of God is calling
To the harvest calling you.
Does the place you’re called to labor
Seem too small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
And He’ll not forget His own.
Little is much when God is in it,
Labor not for wealth or fame;
There’s a crown, and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ name.