Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Devotions: A Worthy Lifestyle

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:1-3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)



Any time you see "therefore" it means the preceding verses are the reason for the following. Paul was, at this time, a prisoner in Rome, writing to the church at Ephesus to encourage and instruct them. He had just finished talking about the wonderful mystery of God's relationship with the church that is now revealed to the world. And he literally begged them to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling,” i.e. worthy of Christ. This is a plea to all Christians that we live in a way that honors God. But how are we to do that? First, we are to be humble in everything. We are to put aside pride and put others up. We are to forget ourselves and build up others. We are to give up our rights. Second, we are to be gentle in everything. Our speech, our actions and our thoughts should all be gentle. We should not be harsh, difficult or crass. Instead we should be tender, calm and patient. Third, add to that more patience (do we ever have enough?) Fourth, we are to have tolerance for fellow believers which is a reflection of humility, gentleness and patience. By tolerance he does not mean overlooking sin, but rather not holding onto an offense. 1 Corinthians 13:5 says that love does not take offenses personally. Always be ready to forgive and not hold onto what has been done to us. Lastly, we are to be very careful to maintain unity within the church. Unity and peace are evidence of God and reflect His nature. We need to be especially on guard against quarrels and divisions because those are from the enemy and make a mockery of God. Conflict needs to be handled with love, humility, gentleness and patience, and without drama or gossip. If we can do these, we will glorify God and grow in godliness.

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