June 7, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." Romans 12:3
Proper spiritual appraisal is the quality of meekness that should be found in every believer. True meekness is not weakness. Meekness measures us against God; it has nothing to do with measuring ourselves against man. Moses was known for his meekness, which brought him low before men, but God considered it of great usefulness in his leadership of Israel. Our inability when joined with His all sufficiency accomplishes what man sees as impossible. God never engages a believer to do a task without equipping him to accomplish it.
Paul says, "Be not wise in your own conceit." There is no room for pride in a believer's life. Whatever good we have has come from God. We did not initiate it, so we have nothing to boast of. God bestows His gifts according to the measure of faith. "Without faith it is impossible to please God." God gives gifts to whomever He pleases. Each gift is to complement the other and glorify God. Paul's admonition to Timothy was, "Neglect not the gift that is in thee." We should be concerned with stirring up the gift that is within us, rather than being concerned with how great or small our gift may be, and should use our gift in submission to the Holy Spirit. Look how God empowered His chosen ones. God gave Moses a "rod" to use before Pharaoh. He gave David a "sling and five smooth stones" to slay Goliath. He gave Paul a "thorn in the flesh" to keep him humble and submissive to the Holy Spirit. By faith, as they used the gifts God gave them, God empowered them in a unique and effective way for His glory. We have all been given a gift or gifts. We have a sobering responsibility to use our gifts in His strength and for His glory. We are not to take pride in what God has given us, but to glory in the GIVER and take our place as a "chosen channel" through which the Holy Spirit can flow fully and freely.
The late Dr. Raymond Edman, former President and Chancellor of Wheaton College, told the story of a young man who appeared before a missionary board in England to apply for service. He looked so inadequate, rough, and commonplace that they decided he would never make it as a missionary. Because he was so zealous, they asked him if he would be willing to be a "servant." He replied, "I will be willing to do anything so that I may be in the work of the Lord." He "seized his gift," and possessing that quality of meekness that recognized his inability, he appropriated the "all sufficiency of Christ" as his portion, and went to China under the anointing of God. Dr. Milne became one of the great missionaries to China and was the founder and principal of the Anglo-American College at Malacca. If you have but one gift, improve it for God that He may say, "He has done what he could by God's strength and power." Don't fix your eyes on the gift, great or small. It's not the gift that counts. It is your yielding of the gift to the GIVER! He will empower you and magnify Himself through your gift for His glory. Fix your eyes upon HIM!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-06-07
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