Measuring Out

A highlight of our Valentine’s Day season is going to Lowery’s candies. This year, we arrived early in the day. We hoped to avoid the crowd; still the line reached outside the building. When you purchase candy from Lowery’s, they place the selections on a small scale. The confections are measured out and you pay by weight. If there is too little on the scale, you get to pick out an additional piece. If it is too heavy . . . maybe you will have a nice attendant that will overlook the overage.

In this week’s text, Paul describes the church (each one of us) receiving gifts (charis). Our gifts are distributed by Jesus.

(Ephesians 4:7 NIV) But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.

The word translated apportioned describes a measuring out. In fact, the KJV translates it,

(Ephesians 4:7 KJV) according to the measure

The image of a storekeeper and a scale dominates the readers mind. Jesus is passing out as He determines. Last week we focused on the unity of the church, this week’s text highlights variety. We are all given distinct gifts. While one of us may be strong in a particular area, he may prove deficient in another. At the same time, another one of us is able to pick up what is lacking from his fellow church member. Jesus does not pass out gifts in an assembly line fashion. He carefully measures and distributes in His wisdom. In turn, we are called to utilize these gifts

(Ephesians 4:12 NIV) to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up

How are we handling our gifts? Are we unhappy with our allotment? Are we failing to utilize our gifts? Is the body of Christ suffering because of our failure to act on what has been given to us? As we explore Ephesians 4:7-12 on Sunday, we are each challenged to acknowledge the source of our gifts and employ them in His church.