In our current teaching series, we are focusing on the importance of being a deeply grateful and thankful people for all the gracious, good and great things that God the Father has provided for us in and through the gift of His Son, Christ Jesus. Our loving God has lavishly poured out the riches of heaven in order to make us a redeemed, reconciled, restored and righteous people. For this, we have every reason and responsibility to pour out praise and thanksgiving that honors God and proclaims His goodness and greatness to the world.
This week, we are focusing on being grateful for God’s gifts in Christ Jesus. Through Christ Jesus, God has given gifts to men, made gifts of men, and released gifts through men that all men might discover their gifts so that the church would be edified and the kingdom would be expanded. Because of God’s great grace and goodness, we are a loved, valued and gifted people who are enabled, equipped and empowered to reach neighbors, nations and generations with the good news of Jesus Christ’s love and power.
“Father God, we are grateful for your gifts in Christ Jesus to men.” The Apostle Paul tells us that when Jesus ascended to heaven, He gave grace and gifts to men (Eph. 4:7-16). By men, we mean mankind or humankind, male and female alike. He anointed and appointed apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastors and teachers as a team of servant-leaders who would minister the fullness of His will and work in and to His church. All that Jesus had when He was on earth has been distributed to His devoted disciples for the benefit of all. Thank God for gifted men and women who minister in and through Christ Jesus to the church and the world.
“Father God, we are grateful for your gifts in Christ Jesus of men.” Through Christ, God gives gifts to men and then makes gifts of men. Ministry gifts given from heaven are just that—gifts given to minister effectively to others. Whatever spiritual things are given to us are meant to make gifts of us to others. Every gifted person is meant to be a gift of grace, love and power to every life they touch. When every redeemed person gives his or her life for the benefit of others, every life is touched and every need is met. Thank God for His perfect plan to serve the needs of His children through supernaturally-gifted and sacrificially-giving people.
“Father God, we are grateful for your gifts in Christ Jesus through men.” Apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors and teachers serve to equip Christ’s body for the work of kingdom ministry. They use their gifts to help each member of the church identify their unique and necessary role and instruct them in how to use their God-given giftedness effectively (I Pet. 4:9-11). Through their serving work, each person is enabled, equipped and empowered for ministry that builds the church and reaches the world. Thank God for His gifts of grace in Christ Jesus, given to men, that they might flow through men, in order to reach all men with the fullness of God’s great goodness.
Remember: God’s gifts given in and through Christ Jesus are to be engaged and embraced with a profound heart of gratitude and a passionate heart of servanthood as we receive God’s grace and goodness and release it to others.