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Today’s reading is from Ephesians 4: 1-8 :
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
7 But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive;
he gave gifts to his people.”
Today has a verse that is very powerful, and if we are going to be honest, a little convicting when we first read it. Verse 1 says that we are to live a life worthy of our calling. I have always been convicted that I don’t really do that, but as I grow older, my reason for that conviction has shifted.
I used to think that I didn’t live a life worthy of the Gospel because in my mind, I wasn’t holy enough. I wasn’t perfect enough. I made too many mistakes, I got things wrong, I failed, I wasn’t as obedient as I should be. I felt like I never measured up as I should.
Today, I know I am not perfect. But that isn’t why I feel that way now. The reason why I feel like I do no measure up to the calling that I have is not some projected upstanding of perfection, but it is what the text tells me that I should be doing. This text spells out what it looks like to live a life worthy of the Gospel. Let’s look at what it says:
All humility and gentleness
Bearing with one another in love
Making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace
Gulp. Goodness. Do I do that? Do I bear you up in love. Do I make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace? Do I really do that? Do I really do everything in my power to maintain the unity of the Body?
I think sometimes we Protestants have it deep in our DNA to fuss about things and to consider those who have a different theological perspective to not be Christian enough for us. When we read the words of Jesus in John 17 or Paul here, we see that the unity of the body is not some passing thing, but a BIG deal. Do we do this? Do we bear each other in love? Do we have humility. Patience?
I want, so very badly, to live a life worthy of the Gospel. I am thankful for God’s Word for helping me to actually understand what that looks like.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at Ephesians 4: 9-16.
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