< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Live a Life Worthy of Your Calling

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Live a Life Worthy of Your Calling

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.
7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says:
“When 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 Christ.
14 Then 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.

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