What’s the biggest change that you’ve made in your life?
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.
It’s pretty radical that Paul was a prisoner for the Lord. His life changed from being the one who was persecuting Christians, putting them in prison and sometimes even killing them, to he himself becoming a prisoner as a Christian. Paul is in prison, writing this letter – calling the Ephesians to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received”. After 3 chapter beforehand unpacking the depths of the Gospel of Jesus, we get to this point of reading about what it means for us specifically.
It is so clear here to me that the reason why we live as faithful, obedient disciples is out of a response to hearing the salvation and grace found in Jesus and the work of the Spirit inside of us. As Christians, we don’t live out a life that is worthy so that God will love us (because we ultimately cannot attain this) but we live out this life because He loves us. We naturally want to serve and obey Him out of gratitude and thanksgiving. And for Paul, this meant even in prison. I wonder if the way Paul responded to being placed in prison was of similar characteristics to the ones he mentions in verses 2 and 3 (humility, gentleness, patience, love, unity, peace etc).
What does life look like for you if you are living “a life worthy of the calling you have received”? Do people notice that there is something different about the way you approach life or the way you respond to a situation? It is something to ponder – that if Paul went to prison because of the radical response he had to the Gospel, what are you willing to give up/sacrifice/change because of the saving grace of Jesus?
You are so merciful and gracious. We are not worthy to be called your sons and daughters, yet you shower your grace upon us again and again. Lord, help us to live out our lives worthy of what you have called us to. By your Spirit, would you be guiding us and giving us strength to be radically changed by your grace. We thank you for Jesus and all that he did in dying on the cross for us.
A song to listen to: How Deep the Fathers Love Austin Stone Worship
Living Church – Creek Road