Live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. . . So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 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. 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. 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. 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. Ephesians 4:1-16 NIV
Context: Written during his imprisonment in Rome; a letter to the church at Ephesus
Connect the Dots: As women and moms, it can feel like we hold the weight of the world in our hands every single day. Taking care of our families, homes, communities – not to mention those hurting, near and far, we desire to help. It’s often too much to carry.
In our family Advent reading today, we’re studying a man who probably felt the same way as he was called by God to be the one who would lead his people out of captivity in Egypt.
Upon receiving the call to go, Moses challenged God with questions of doubt and insecurity.
What if they don’t believe me?
What if they don’t listen?
Isn’t someone else more qualified?
Words I’m sure we’ve all uttered ourselves. God reminded Moses that he would not go alone. He gave him signs and wonders and the promise. . .“I will help you.” (Exodus 3-4)
And we know how that story turned out. Miracle after miracle God strengthened Moses and never left his side as he helped carry out God’s early rescue plan.
This Christmas season I am reminded that just like he called a doubtful and insecure Moses to rescue his people from captivity, he calls us to be a part of the Plan that would rescue all people from life and eternity apart from him.
Paul implores the people of Ephesus to “live a life worthy of the calling” which can feel daunting. But he goes on to share how we can do this simply. . .with love. . .through peace. . .staying in our own lane, operating only in the giftings graciously given to us by our Creator God.
God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 (NIV)
There’s been so much division in the Church this year through election season and other news separating Christians through theological shifts and debates. This is nothing new to God’s people. If it were, it would not have been addressed so plainly in our sacred texts written many years ago. God knows the propensity of human beings. Our behavior was never how he intended it but it is the very reason he sent his son to live and die among us. His great Rescue Plan was to offer new life through Jesus and as we celebrate his birth, we can be reminded of our call to spread this Good News with those we come in contact with.
This call doesn’t have to feel like too much. Because if we live and operate like Paul instructs us in Ephesians 4, we’ll find our place in the Body, and we’ll be strengthened by the God who never leaves us.
- What aspects of my life feel like too much right now?
- What can I remove to free up my heart to answer God’s call?
- In what areas do I need to be reminded of the strength of God’s presence?
Dear God, Thank you that you are always by our side, strengthening us with your presence. Please show us things we need to remove from our lives so we can be freed up to answer your call to take our place in the Body; to love in unity + peace and to spread the Good News of the new life you offer in Christ. Remind us daily what it means to live a life worthy of this calling. Replace any pressure we feel with clear vision for the assignments you have for us and the weightless grace of your love. Amen.
Your Turn. . .
How did Ephesians 4:1-16 speak to your heart as you read it today?