Are There Tags Still Hanging On Your Gift?

“The grace of God means something like: Here is your life.  You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you.”  ~ Frederick Buechner

Ephesians pic 1Every now and then I reorganize the drawers of my dresser.  This is usually done when something is missing or when I cannot close the drawers because they are overflowing with items.  Reorganizing is a nice way to say that I am going on a drawer adventure to see what mysteries lurk in the corners, to bring order to the dresser universe, and apparently…to find forgotten items.

There it was.  A beautiful jeweled purse, still filled with the manufacturers obligatory tissue paper, still with its tags, still in the same perfect condition as when I received it as a gift, and still…unused.

It was a great gift, a beautiful gift, and a gift hand picked for me by a loving friend.  And unused.

“But to each one of us grace has been given…. 

Grace gifts.

I do not create them.  There is no performance on my part that will procure it.  No dues to pay, no hustle to wrangle, and no employment that could gainfully make it mine.

They can only be given, and I can only receive.

Amazing gifts.  How sweet.

…as Christ apportioned it.”  Eph 4:7

Yet to each one of us individually, the Lord freely extends Himself.

To each one of us!

And His favorable disposition is according to what He has.  Not just a portion of it…but the distribution is proportionate to Christ Himself.  Amazing!  This gift is as large as the riches of Christ; the scope and expanse of His generosity is the scope and expanse of His riches.

How do we measure such a gift?

Paul measures it against the sacrifice of the one giving it.

“’When He ascended on high,

He led captives in his train

And gave gifts to men.’

What does ‘he ascended’ mean except the he also descended to the lower, earthly region.  He who descended is the very one who ascended higher that all the heavens in order to fill the whole universe.”

Eph 4:7-11

Scholars debate this passage. Profusely. There is much disagreement over how to interpret this.  But there is a point that is not debated. That in order to go up, Christ had to come down.  That death precedes resurrection.  That do ascend, you must first descend.

The King of Glory cloaked Himself in flesh.  He paid a great price in order to conquer death and His victory includes the right to distribute gifts. There was a sacrifice made and a price paid.

What did it cost Him to give me a gift?

And what have I done with it?

Does it still have the tags on it?

Has it been put away forgotten?

He graced some to be apostles.

Some to be prophets.

Some to evangelist.

Some to be pastors.

Some to be teachers.

He graced us so that His people would be prepared for work.  That we would serve.  So that the Body of Christ would be built up, and we would grow up, and we would stand up in unity and be like Him.

It cost God a mighty price for us to be diverse.

It cost God a mighty price for us to have our gifts.

It cost God a mighty price.

How sad then for us to not use our gift. Or to look at our gift and think we received it in error.  Or to fuss about who got what gift and wallow in gift envy.

Or to leave a gift unused.  Forgotten.  In a corner of the drawers of our soul.  Buried and hidden under excess.

What gift packages have we left unopened?

What destinies have been unexplored?

What poverty have we embraced because the jewels were disdained?

What treasure chests have been undiscovered because we didn’t look where X marked the spot?

How sad.

Or…we could have a party!

We could open our gifts and exclaim “wow” in wonder of the love that picked just the perfect gift for us!

We can dance and sing and celebrate!

We can put our gifts on and use them, knowing they will fit better and better the longer they are worn!

We can bless our friend with our gift as they bless us with theirs.  We can rejoice in each others gifts!

We can!!!!

Part 14 of “Echoes of Encouragement from Ephesians.” See Also: Stand By Me.

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About ccragamuffin

Christina C. is a woman energized by encouraging others. She never wants to forget that she is a ragamuffin...a broken earthen vessel, heavy laden, bedraggled, and weary until grace changed her life. She now holds a treasure in a cracked earthen vessel. Anything bright or beautiful is the treasure shining through the cracks.
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15 Responses to Are There Tags Still Hanging On Your Gift?

  1. Pingback: Asking The Right Questions | Resting in His Grace

  2. Great thoughts CC! Thanks.

  3. April says:

    LOVED this post!!

  4. gospelofbarney says:

    They are out of the box, but still being explored, played with and used! Much time needs spent with the Users Manual (Scripture)!

    • ccragamuffin says:

      LOVE that word picture…”users manual”!!! It is a good reminder that there are instructions available on how to use our gifts. Thank you. I will be smiling over that thought for a long time because I tend to only give a cursory glance to instructions that accompany physical packages…I don’t want to do,the same with spiritual ones. 🙂

  5. Wonderful thoughts. I posted an article last month about when I realized that God had saved my life for a reason, and that I needed to find what that reason was and not waste the gift He had given me. It was a sobering, humbling experience to think that the Creator of the universe would decide to save me from a childhood injury that should have cost me my life; and to know that there was something He wanted me to do with my life. What a gift! One that ought not be wasted! Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. God bless.

  6. Reblogged this on Stumbling into Grace and commented:
    Beautiful Encouragement

  7. Jason McGensy says:

    We’re in the middle of a month long stewardship campaign at our church, focusing on time, talent, and treasure, and this is talent week. Perfect timing, coming across this post; I’m going to share it with our young adult bible study group; they love attending, but we’re trying to move them beyond attendance and into service.

    • ccragamuffin says:

      Thank you Jason for letting me know that this will help with a Bible study lesson. What a gift!!! Teaching is my favorite way to “take the tag off my gift”. I am stopping to pray for you right now, that you will be graced with a special way of illustrating the truth that we are each gifted with a precious and costly gift, and that these gifts are meant to be used. What a wonderful opportunity you have to host a gift opening party!! Wa-Hoo!!! Praying for you, cc.

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