July 15


"But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: 'When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men' " (Ephesians 4:7, 8, NIV).

Christ's generosity is matchless. Leaving heaven's splendor, He came to earth, took our nature, and gave Himself for the salvation of the human race. In giving Himself, He gave us heaven's best.

Driven by infinite love, Jesus "gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering" (Ephesians 5:2, NIV). Upon completion of His earthly mission, He promised the gift of the Holy Spirit as His representative (see John 16:7). This promised gift arrived as promised with a spectacular display of divine power at Pentecost (see Acts 2:1-6). The gift of the Holy Spirit became Christ's guarantee that spiritual gifts would follow for the edification, corporate unity, and growth of the church.

With the gift of the Holy-Spirit came a diversity of spiritual gifts for the edification and ultimate perfection of the body of Christ. The bestowal of gifts became one of the prerogatives of the ascended Lord. A catalogue of these gifts is found in Ephesians 4:11-13. And so the gift goes on. Christ gave Himself for our redemption, the Holy Spirit for our confirmation, and spiritual gifts for our edification. As though these gifts were not sufficient, Christ keeps on giving us the gifts of grace, wisdom, power--and finally the eternal inheritance that He has reserved for us. "The gifts are already ours in Christ, but their actual possession depends upon our reception of the Spirit of God."--Christ's Object Lessons, p. 327.

My Prayer Today: Lord, in Your generosity, You have given me all things pertaining to my salvation. Thank You for all Your precious gifts. Amen.