Saturday, March 24, 2018

Life Worthy of the Calling

Today's Reading:
1 Chronicles 22:1-23:32
Ephesians 4:1-16
Psalm 108:6-13
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Focus Verses: Ephesians 4:1-6
1 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.

Paul urged the Ephesian Christians to live up to their calling in Christ. He reminded them that God was not only over all, but through all, and in all. The life of the person who answers Christ's call is a life empowered and filled by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, love, and unity are all the fruit of God's transforming work in the believer's life—his authority (over), his power (through), and his indwelling presence (in).

Response and Action:
To live a life worthy of the calling I have received, I must live out my salvation as fully as possible. Paul urged the Ephesians to take hold of God's grace and power for all its worth. I want to take hold of all God has in store for me. Half-heartedness and apathy are opposed to living a life worthy of the call of Christ.

Jesus calls me to more than belief and more than forgiveness. He calls me to transformation and the fullness of God. By the strength and guidance of the Holy Spirit who indwells my mortal body, I can and must grow into likeness of Christ. When I am taking hold of all God offers to me (taking hold for all its worth), I will grow in humility, patience, endurance, tolerance, love, and concern for others.

O God, help me to live for you and through you in thought, word, and deed. Help me to turn away from what is wrong and do what is right. Help me to love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. By the power and grace of your Holy Spirit, lead, teach, transform, shape, and strengthen me, that I might delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your name. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: Colossians 1:9b-13
9b We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

The Life You've Always Wanted
by John Ortberg

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