Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31, 2011 … What Matters Most?

Passage of the Day: Ephesians 4: 1 – 6As 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. 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.

My Journal for Today: So, here on the last day of January, let’s take a moment to review our beginning for this year, with John MacArthur as my devotional guide from his book, Strength for Today; from which we’ve dissected Paul’s admonition for Christian saints to walk worthy of our calling in Christ in Ephesians 4: 1 – 6. And as we’ve seen, this walk toward Christlikeness begins with humility and meekness by knowing our sinfulness (i.e., acknowledging our sin nature) and recognizing God’s greatness. I often say that this is letting God be God because WE ARE NOT!

Humility, which is always our choice, is the forerunner for meekness (or gentleness), which we’ve seen is power (or Godliness) under control. And developing these Christlilke attitudes (see Phil. 2: 5 -linked) allow us to be the witnesses for Christ we can be in/for Him (see Acts 1: 8) …

SCRIPTURE: Acts 1: 8 [Peter] [Jesus speaking] … “But you [disciples] will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Now, further in our Eph. 4 passage, we see that meekness matures as a fruit of the Spirit (see Gal. 5: 22, 23); and as it develops in the Christian, it provides for the power of patience, where Christ’s disciple gains self-control, by surrendering to God’s power (i.e., from obediently following His will), given the circumstances of life; and then, patience produces forebearing love, the selfless and Christlike “agape” love, that gives birth to the unity of the Body of Christ.

Collectively, Christians, walking a worthy walk in Christ, will have ONE Lord, ONE hope, ONE baptism, in ONE Spirit, ONE faith, ONE Body, and all in ONE Heavenly Father, Who is most certainly worthy of our walk with Him in Christ … truly one unified people who have a powerful, effective testimony/witness of God’s love in the world [see John 13: 34-35].

However, this outcome rests on the reality that each of us, as Christians, must first walk a fruit-filled walk of faith in Christ, Who desires that we die to self, take up our cross daily, and follow Him (see Luke 9: 23). And this will activate God’s grace from the chain of surrender described above. So, I can – and should - personalize this, as should you who read this, to say that the unity of the Body of Christ rests on my willingness to surrender in humility to my God, Who has saved me for my glorious walk down the aisle of life as the Bride of Christ. And when Christians walk together down that aisle, each carrying the candle of His Spirit burning within us, we become a glowing light which shines into the darkness of this world for all to see … for all to see Christ.

My Prayer Today: Lord, help me to walk worthy of You! Amen

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