Good morning my friends. I wish all my Canadian friends a wonderful Thanksgiving Monday. May it be filled with food, family, friends and praise. Let your thankfulness turn into shouts of praise as we continue to honour the one who has enriched our lives well beyond our imagining. We are turning to Ephesians 4 this morning.
I don't know if you can remember the blog from Saturday but I want to pick up from there as we head into Ephesians 4:1. Those of you who were there on Sunday will have better understanding of this. If you will recall I was writing about how we are not asking for enough or allowing ourselves to dream big enough. It came from this verse in Ephesians 3:
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
I concentrated on two parts of this; "who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask and imagine"; and, "according to his power that is at work within us". I had said that we really are not honouring him with our lives because instead of allowing him to reveal himself through us we are limiting our Father with our limitations. To follow up on this we read Ephesians 4:1;
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Ephesians 4:1
I wanted to isolate this verse from the rest of the passage before it gets swallowed up by the idea of a united Body because there is something to consider here before we move on. It is a simple thing to consider: How will you live your life today to allow him to receive glory and honour through you? Will you be willing to allow him to do "God things" through you today? Will you allow the world to see through your choices and actions today that God is real and he is present and he is powerful and he is love? Are we living a life worthy of the calling we have received?
There should be no such thing as ordinary in the vocabulary of a Christian. Oh, it may or may not be miraculous stuff; you may or may not raise the dead today; you may or may not walk on water today; you may or may not feed 10,000 people with your lunch today but you can still live an extraordinary day just by allowing God to be God through you. For a change today don't think according to the best you can do; don't act according to your wants and desires; don't respond to people with your hates and prejudices. Instead allow the Father to fill your mind with his thoughts, to fill your hands with his actions, to respond to people with his love through you.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:1-2
So many people read this and think it depends on us, our ability , our effort. They miss what Paul wrote earlier, "according to his power that is at work within us". Our effort amounts to nothing. Our imagining can't even come close to what he can do through us. We have to live an extraordinary life by giving up that life, dying to ourselves and allowing the Father's will to be our will. It is only then that we see the fruit of the Spirit produced in us, humble, gentle, patient, loving, as Paul named a few in this passage. It is as we are surrendered that God does great things and we are awestruck. This is not for highlighted moments of our life, it is for every day living. Stop limiting God. Stop being overwhelmed by what you think you can't do. Stop allowing our world to dictate your limits. Start trusting. Start living a daring life. Be bold. Be strong. Be courageous. Allow his perfect love to drive out any fear you have of living a life that will bring him honour and praise today. Look for the opportunities and take them. Don't miss any of them. According to his resurrection power in you.
I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.