A week ago, as we finished a study of gifts, I read Ephesians 4:7 – 10 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.”(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)
As I read this portion, I understand the phrase, all in all. For Jesus is our all in all. But when we say that, we think of the here and now – space that we know and see. Yet, the picture of the lower earthly regions, and ascending higher than all the heavens to fill the whole universe?
Suddenly my heart swelled for Jesus is beyond what I know and feel. He fills the physical and the spiritual all in all. I remember studying the galaxies, the immense-ness of the sun, and the planets, and thinking of the light years away they are. But it was apart from knowing that Jesus has filled all of space and immense-ness with Himself. How can that be?
I thought about writing a poem about the stirring that this scripture gave me. But words cannot describe the humble love I feel for our Lord, our Savior! And that love grows, and how I can depend/trust Him, who fills our universe.
The context of this passage continues with the giving of gifts. Ephesians 4:11-13 – It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
The fact that Jesus gives His people gifts for works of service so that we can reach unity in the faith is another act of immense-ness. If Jesus fills the universe, and He does, why then does He give gifts to us, to me? I am nothing, and yet He loves me enough to give me a gift?
What is my response to the gift from Jesus Christ? I must know what it is, and develop the gift through prayer, openness to our Lord. Flexing the muscles of faith, trust and obedience to Him through Holy Living, as Ephesians 4:17-32 tells us, is another building block of a life in Christ.
It takes different personality traits to accomplish the gifts. Recently, I revisited ‘True Colors’, a way of simplifying a study of personalities in preparation for a presentation. As I read the characteristics of the four personalities (Blue, Orange, Gold and Green), I saw that the characteristics needed to be a Teacher, a Pastor/Shepherd, a Prophet and/or an Evangelist fall into the four different types of personalities.
An example of this is the gift of Mercy and Teaching from an analysis of Spiritual Gifts declares the same characteristics as the Blue Personality. Is this faulty thinking? Or did Jesus, in the process of giving gifts, also give the personality needed to carry out these gifts?
When I consider the personality of Jesus, or the disciples, I try to understand what characteristics they had. My purpose for this blog is to clarify my thinking and elicit thinking on your part.
Thank you for reading! May God bless you!