Today’s Reading: Ephesians 4:1-16
God has a plan for my life and He has a plan for your life – He calls us to a specific purpose and to a way of life that is worthy of His creation. Let’s look at Ephesians 4 to see what God is calling us to.
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all. – Ephesians 4:1-5
It is an honor to belong to our Creator.
It is a privilege to be loved by Him.
It is a gift to be saved by Him.
It is a responsibility to be called by Him. He calls us because He has a purpose for our lives and He equips us with His Spirit so that we can live the kind of life He is calling us to. This is what I hear God saying in this passage:
You have been called by God.
Be humble – do not think too much of yourself.
Be gentle – in actions and in words.
Be patient with each other – Go out of your way to show love and notice the needs of those around you.
Love others enough to allow them to be imperfect, just as you are imperfect. You do NOT have the right to an opinion about someone else – to think it or to speak it.
Be united and live in peace for there is only one body and one Spirit and one future to which we are called. We serve the same Lord, have been given the same faith, and have experienced the same baptism.
So why do we allow ourselves to get irritated with each other? Why do we form opinions about our sisters in Christ? Why do we choose to be a friend to one brother in Christ and turn our nose up to another? This is not God’s plan. He has given us a higher calling. Our natural tendency is to form opinions about other people but God wants us to die to our sinful nature and grow in the Spirit.
Growth – God’s plan for our lives is to grow! The Spirit-filled life described above doesn’t happen overnight. We need to grow in our walk so that day by day the Spirit does a work in our hearts. God has given us special gifts to help us grow, which Paul talks about in the next few verses of Ephesians chapter 4.
However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ…
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, GROWING in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. – Ephesians 4:7,11-16
Thank you, Jesus, for loving us enough to leave Heaven and come to earth in order to fill the universe with your glorious presence. Thank you for the gift of the many people you send into our lives to teach us and to help us grow. Thank you for our pastors – bless them and give them wisdom to speak the truth in love. Prepare our hearts so that those you have sent into our lives to teach us can equip us to do your work. Bring us to a place of maturity and understanding, growing in every way to be more and more like You!
Help me today, dear Lord, to be worthy of the life to which you have called me. Fill me with your Spirit and give me new eyes to see the world around me. Fill me with your Spirit and give me a new heart to love those you love. Lord, today I take myself off the throne of opinions and allow you to be GOD – to be over all and in all and living through all! Amen.