Ephesians 4:1-16 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you
to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be
completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the
Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There
is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were
called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one
baptism; 6 one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.
to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This
is why it says:
he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave
gifts to his people.
9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also
descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very
one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole
universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave
the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so
that the body of Christ may be built up 13
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
we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown
here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of
people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in
love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the
head, that is, Christ. 16 From him
the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows
and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
These verses show us what our conduct should be like as
members of the church. Applying them to our lives will make us more like
Christ. We should live lives worthy of our calling! Always striving to keep the
peace. Being patient with others. He stresses the unity of the church. And
there are seven things that unite us – one body, one spirit, one hope, one Lord,
one faith, one baptism and one God.
And we use our gifts “for the equipment of the saints, for
the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ.”
We are working toward maturity, to knowing Christ better and
to have an answer why we believe what we do.
The powerful message we carry works in harmony with a
practical demonstration of God’s love. In a devotional I’m reading, the author
wrote, “God created us for a purpose. That purpose is to love. To lay down our
lives for love. He is the primary
focus of our love. As we press into Him day after day, hour by hour, He fills
us with His love. Then He places in front of us person after person who needs a
touch from Him and we love them with His love. That is our calling, our
destiny. It is the cost of love.”
After we encounter the goodness and love of God, the first
thing we need to learn to do is give it away. Being laid-down lovers of Jesus
means forsaking ourselves and our small desires in order to exalt and promote
Him. In laying down your life, you truly find it. In surrendering yourself to
God, you find your true identity and thrive on it.
Through the act of giving up your small desires, you receive
God-given dreams that far surpass anything you had dreamed of previously.
Love God, Love others. That’s the essence of the Christian
life. It doesn’t matter how many people we touch in life; it’s about how we touch them. Those who are touched
by genuine love and compassion will remember it. But without love, all our
efforts profit us nothing. We won’t win passionate lovers to the cause of
Christ with empty words. We will win
them with a demonstration of the tangible love of God.
God’s plan for His Will to be done, His Kingdom to come, is
to be done through His church. As flawed as we are. He intends for us to be the tangible expression of
Christ’s presence in our community. When unbelievers see a catastrophe – a
school shooting – a Katrina – whatever – and they ask, “Where was God in that
situation?” – the answer needs to be: He’s in the Christians who came forward
to help, to pray, to serve, to give money!
This is us as a body
and each of us an individual!
As we engage together to live a life that
centers on loving Christ and loving others, we begin to accomplish God’s
mission of bringing healing and wholeness to a suffering world. We have to engage in our church.
Labels: Christian's calling, The church