DATE POSTED Thursday, 2022-10-20
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: Ephesians 4:11-13; 16;
TRANSLATION: GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
BIBLE TEXT: 11 He also gave apostles, prophets, missionaries, as well as pastors and teachers as gifts ⌞to his church⌟. 12 Their purpose is to prepare God’s people to serve and to build up the body of Christ. 13 This is to continue until all of us are united in our faith and in our knowledge about God’s Son, until we become mature, until we measure up to Christ, who is the standard.
16 He makes the whole body fit together and unites it through the support of every joint. As each and every part does its job, he makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
APPLICATION: I believe that many people look at ‘gifts’ based on their own life-experiences and their expectations in life. Often people seem to recognize and appreciate those gifts that have an unexpected financial benefit to them and/or their family. But what about God’s children, what do we consider to be an unexpected, or undeserved gift from God? Let’s break for a minute to reflect on the greatest gift given by God to the world – His Son. Is this something anyone of that day ever expected? I don’t think so, but I do know that God saw how impossible it was for mankind to become, and stay, righteous like His is. So, we are introduced to ‘grace’ through this gift – for it was something we needed, but totally didn’t deserve. In today’s Scripture we recognize additional ‘gifts’ that God gave to us, but even for those who attend church, you not have ever looked at church officials as ‘gifts from God’? Many look down on pastors, because Satan plants it in your mind that they are only doing the job because they could find nothing else to do, or they are unqualified for anything else, or they are in the ministry for the money that Christians give in the offering plate each time the church doors are opened. But friends, even though opinions are many, and they are varied, yet we find in the Scriptures today that God told us through His servant Paul, that Pastors, Apostles, Prophets, Missionaries, and Teachers are ‘gifts’ to the church for very specific reasons, and I believe these reasons are still very valid today for our churches. Here are the reasons mentioned:
-*- To prepare God’s people to serve – attending church is not a spectator sport, it’s a time we come together for corporate worship to the one true God. Each member of God’s army must be trained to share what God has shared with them. Respect, promote and faithfully attend training sessions by your church leaders, for it’s their job to prepare you for serving!
-*- To build up the church – Throughout the week we go to work, and often interact with many people of the world. I believe God wants us to see how different He is than anything we could encounter in the world, so as we enter His house and commune with Him, I believe that we refill our heart, spirit and mind with the spiritual food necessary to go on.
-*- To be persistent in their work until certain guidelines are met– I can’t imagine this, but God’s ways are different to our ways, and the Scripture says our church leaders are required to continue their work until there is unity in the faith. There are hundreds of denominations and more churches than we can imagine. This happened because of differences of opinion and preference in leadership. I believe that one day God will tear down those walls and see His children come together as one people – His Children! Oh that we could see that here on earth, long before we get to the one heaven with the one God that we know and love.
Friends, God’s promises are true, and He said that these gifts will continue until His church is united in love and fellowship, and able to get along as THE body of Christ. This will not only result in unity of the body, but also facilitate each part of the body working together. From where I’m standing, this could take a very long time, and it will take the powerful hand of our awesome God to help us put aside our difference as men and women, so that we might prove to the world that we are indeed ‘Children of the one true God’. So let me encourage you to use this reminder to help you look much differently on your church leaders and be responsible as individuals to thank God every day for His ‘gifts’ that He poured out to His church.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: I can’t imagine, but anxiously await, the unification of God’s people, and that they be lifted up in love. Perhaps then the unsaved will see Jesus at work and want a part of that unity!
PRAYER: Lord, it seems like what we see here on earth is so different to what You want for us, Your people, as declared in Your Word. Faith is all that matters, for we are reminded in Your Word that: You can do all things; Your ways and thoughts are different to ours; You will honor Your promises to Your faithful children; and You want us to be perfect and holy, just as You are perfect and holy. Lord, there are so many that need a Savior, and so many that refuse to hear Your Word. Please impress upon Your workers the importance of respecting and obeying those who You have sent as ‘gifts’ to us. Draw us close each and every day, for we want to be just like You, Lord. Please bless Your church, Your workers and Your children today so that we might be a blessing to others as we serve. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!