Bible In A Year | Read: Philippians 1

But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says, “When He ascended on high He led a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men” (Eph. 4:7-8)

More Missionaries > More Hierarchy

I’m the parent of two extremely gifted children (as all parents say lol).  They’re both smarter than me, but not their mom…right Johnda? Throughout today’s culture, gifted people are all around. We’re entertained by top-notch performers. We learn from teachers who clarify and impart knowledge; and our way of life is enhanced by inventive problem solvers.

What may be surprising to know is that we’re all gifted in one way or another. Do you see yourself in this way?

The priceless gift of grace was measured out to each one of us through Jesus. Many scholars believe that Psalm 68:18 is an Old Testament prophetic scripture that refers to Christ:

When you ascended on high, you led captives in your train; you received gifts from men, even from the rebellious – that you, O Lord God, might dwell there.

Jesus is the ultimate victor who conquered Satan, sin and death. In ancient times, kings would invade a territory and capture people, including the nobility of the royal households he conquered. The king would march back his captives to his land and parade them in a “train” as a display of victory for his people to see. In contrast, Christ took His own “prisoners of war,” those captives whose hearts He conquered, and gave them to His people as gifts. We see in the Apostle Paul the perfect irony of this vivid imagery. As Saul, he persecuted Jesus followers and was on his way to Damascus to arrest and take Christians back to Jerusalem as his captives. But something happened along the way and instead of capturing, Saul was captured. Jesus then gave him back to us as a gift–an apostle for the purpose of preaching to the Gentiles and building up His Church. Thereafter, in several letters to the churches he planted, Paul identified himself according to who he was in Christ: a servant of Christ Jesus; an apostle of Christ Jesus; a slave of Christ; and a prisoner for the Lord.

Well aware of whose He was, Paul fulfilled his work for the Kingdom in love and gratitude for the One who had transformed his life. He used his life as a gift and poured himself out on behalf of others. Throughout his ministry, he exhorts us to do the same.

Paul often urged people to follow his way of life, and this is a reminder of encouragement for us: In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus Himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

We’re gifted because of Christ’s grace, and when we use those gifts of service for His Kingdom, the Church grows in maturity and numbers. The Church is all the people of God on everyday mission that fills everything everywhere with the fullness of Jesus.

Thought For Today

What gifts can you identify and use to fulfill your everyday mission?

Action Steps

Bible: What is God showing me?  What am I going to do about it? 

Bless: Serve one person through word, action, or gift today.

Join us each morning as some C3ers discuss the daily readings from Made For More. – Wednesday Trent’s HOG to TAG Program.