October 1

Ephesians 4:1-3 1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Paul was imprisoned for preaching, "Jesus is Lord." Of his own volition, he was also a prisoner to the will of God. He found that being a prisoner of God's will was a far greater freedom than any "freedom" he could find in the world. He was freed from the subtle control of evil. Since his life exemplified surrender to God, he could ask his converts to do the same. It is a matter of living a life worthy of the great calling we have received.

As Christians, you have a calling that is greater than any secular calling. You are to represent the nature of God to the world you encounter. You are called to be a priest to the world that does not know or understand what God is like. Every word you speak and every action you make as a Christian is interpreted by unbelievers as a representation of what a child of God looks like. That is why Paul urges us to live a life that measures up to the calling.

That life should look like Jesus, completely humble and gentle, patient, bearing with one another in love. When unbelievers see Christians act like the world, they conclude that their message is not authentic. When they see us fight among ourselves, split up our fellowship, refuse to humble ourselves and take the lowest place, they certainly do not see anything representative of our Savior. We keep telling them that He will make a difference in their lives, but they won't believe it until they see it in us.

Paul emphasized this expression of Christ's likeness in our relationship with other believers. We have the same Lord, the same faith, the same baptism, so why are we arguing over the trivial issues? It's pride! We insist on being the one who is right. The humility and gentleness of Christ is the last thing we are willing to exhibit. Consider how many things around Jesus He refused to address because they were not essential.

Remember: Bear with one another in love.