DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-07-17
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: Ephesians 4:1-6
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)
BIBLE TEXT: As a prisoner of the Lord, I beg you to live in a way that is worthy of the people God has chosen to be his own. 2 Always be humble and gentle. Patiently put up with each other and love each other. 3 Try your best to let God’s Spirit keep your hearts united. Do this by living at peace. 4 All of you are part of the same body. There is only one Spirit of God, just as you were given one hope when you were chosen to be God’s people. 5 We have only one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. 6 There is one God who is the Father of all people. Not only is God above all others, but he works by using all of us, and he lives in all of us.
OBSERVATION: If I was asked to live like an ‘Algreen’, I would probably evaluate often if I am living out the lessons and character traits taught To me by my parents, and I would hope that others might see enough of those characteristics in me that they may even recognize me as an Algreen! I wonder, is that the way it is in our Christian walk? That’s something for us to think about as we meditate on these verses, and on the advice that Paul gave to the Ephesian church.
APPLICATION: In raising kids, it seems like it would take daily repeating ourselves to embed the character traits and advice that we wanted implanted in our kids, so that they could not only grow up to be like us, but to be respected in the community, and among their friends. Of course, this could only be achieved or worthwhile if we ourselves are perfect. But ‘perfect’ in your eyes, might be different to ‘perfect’ in my opinion. That’s why we need a plum line – something/someone that is truly perfect, and I believe that might be the explanation on why Paul chose to tell the church how God would have them, and us, live, especially among other people. So let’s examine the characteristics that Paul gave to us:
~ Be Humble and Gentle – I believe that a humble person is one who respects and appreciates the strengths of another person, and could love them in spite of the overwhelming strengths recognized in them. To be gentle, is having the ability to deal with others without giving them the impression that you’re a ‘know-it-all’ and that you are superior to them. No one appreciates an overpowering, know-it-all type of person, and we try to stay our distance from them, to avoid getting upset or mad at them. Being Humble and Gentle means that you will be deliberate about seeing the strengths of another person, while laying aside your own;
~ Patiently put up with each other and love them – so often we see so much wrong with others, that we tend to overlook what our own weaknesses and wrongs are. Some Bible translations say that we are to be tolerant with others. Friends, I believe that Paul was really trying to say that when one imperfect individual tries to meet and evaluate another imperfect individual, we will find flaws. But think about this: if each person has one thing in common, the Lord Jesus – the only perfect One, then how dare us credit ourselves with anything else than ‘servant of the Most High God’? So as we meet others, yes even with their flaws, let’s remember that we too have more than our share of flaws. So you will have to be overlooked for your weaknesses, just as much as I would have to be for mine! Let’s remember that everyone is equal at the foot of the cross – sinners saved by God’s grace, alone;
~ Let God’s Spirit keep us united – Paul gives us the source of our strength to accomplish this characteristic – the Holy Spirit, and Paul tells us how to accomplish this – through peace. Know that although we may often go to meet with someone and be ready for battle, God wants us to be ready for, and determined to be ready for, peace?
Friends, our Scripture reminds us that God called us to be His own. This means that He wanted us to be His very own. We are also reminded that Jesus practiced unity, love, forgiveness, humility and peace in every aspect of His life while here on earth. So we should never question if it’s possible for us to do so, Jesus already proved to us that it is! Most importantly, I believe that God shared these words with us through His servant Paul, because He wanted the world to see that with the power of God inside of us, we can do even those things that seem impossible to mere man. For with God, all things are possible!
PRAYER: Dear God, Your Word is so precious, for it shows us the error of our ways, the weaknesses of our minds and the unfortunate power that we allow the evil one to have in our lives. Praise God, Your Word also shows us that with the power of the Holy Spirit inside of us, we could be more than conquerors, and therefore depend on You to help us live our lives like children who have been called by the God of this universe, to walk, talk, and love those that might be just like us, or even worse. We obviously need You today and everyday to help us live just like You and in every respect like You taught us in Your Word. May You rule in the lives of my readers and myself today and everyday, for Your glory, honor and praise. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!