Ephesians 4:1 – 2 “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.”
Do you ever read the end of a book first? I must confess. I am guilty. Actually, I usually read the first few chapters. Then, when the suspense is just too much for me, I flip to the back of the book, read the last few pages, and then go back and finish the book. At a leisurely pace. After all, what’s the hurry? I already know the ending. But sometimes, I don’t like the ending, and then the book is spoiled for me, altogether.
In the Bible, we have a chance to read the end of the story for the Ephesians. But the great thing is, as with everything in God’s Word, we can learn from the ending. We don’t have to make the same mistakes the Ephesians made. Let’s skip ahead, shall we? Don’t worry – I won’t tell anyone you did it.
To the church in Ephesus:
Revelation 2:2 – 4 “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.”
Now, let’s go back. Paul was urging these faithful Christians to live lives worthy of their calling – the calling to live for Jesus Christ. So how were they supposed to do that? How do any of us live lives worthy of that calling? By being completely humble and gentle; being patient, bearing with one another in love.
Friends, it doesn’t matter how many great things we do for Christ. We can raise money for third world countries. We can build mega-churches with million dollar budgets. Or, we can spend our lives work-work-working in small churches, teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir, and organizing the potluck suppers. But none of that will matter if we are bickering and squabbling and gossiping and slandering and backbiting.
Jesus is all about love. Someday, we may be recognized for all of our hard work. But oh! If I stand before my Savior, at the end of it all, and He says, “Renae, you have forsaken me. You have forsaken your first love,” it will break my heart! Imagine how it must break His heart when we forsake Him so often, by forgetting who we are in Him.
Friends, I urge you now as I urge my own heart within me: let us live lives worthy of our calling, by being humble, gentle, patient, and loving to each other.
Dear Father, Help me to live a life worthy of the calling You have given me.