Christ Has Given Grace to You Individually

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.

Ephesians 4:7

As we have seen, the opening verses of Ephesians 4 emphasize the unity of God's people, a unity founded on the very nature of God and on the core elements of Christian faith. There can be no doubt that God cares deeply about the church and will use the church in his restoring of all things in Christ.

But this does not mean that God overlooks you as an individual. Though God prizes the community of his people, he is not caught up in some kind of groupthink. Rather, God cares for each person. God gives gifts to each Christian. God enlists each and every one of us in his cosmic work.

Ephesians 4:7 stands in sharp contrast to the previous verses, though it continues to use the key word "one." Yet now the emphasis is on each singular individual, rather than that which all Christians share in common. Thus we read, "But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it." The Greek sentence emphasizes the word "one," now with the meaning "each one of us as an individual."

We're told that Christ has given his grace to each one of us. The precise referent of this truth isn't yet clear. We might be inclined to think Paul is talking about the grace that saved us as individuals when we put our faith in Christ. Or, we might remember Paul's explanation in chapter 3 that he "became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace. . . [T]his grace was given to me: to preach to the Gentiles. . ." (3:7-8). As we'll see when we read further in Ephesians 4, it is this second expression of grace that Paul underscores in verse 7. He's not talking about grace that saves us so much as grace that empowers us for Christian service.

As we continue on in Ephesians, we'll see just how much God values the church and empowers it for his purposes. But, today, we focus on the fact that God's grace is not handed out only in mass quantities to masses of people. Rather, through Christ, God gives grace to each individual. Even as God knows you as a distinct person, he also empowers you in your uniqueness to serve him in the world.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Do you believe that God has given his grace to you individually? Do you live with this thought in mind? Do you believe that you matter to God, and that God has chosen you for his purposes?

PRAYER: Thank you, Gracious God, for the gift of your grace. Thank you for giving this grace, not just to your people as a group, but also to each one of us individually. Thank you for giving me the grace to put my trust in you. Thank you for giving me the grace to serve you in the world.

May I be filled with gratitude when I consider the grace you have given me. And may I be a faithful steward of this grace as I serve others for your glory. Amen.

Image courtesy of Laity Lodge, one of our sister programs in the Foundations for Laity Renewal.