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October 20, 2021

A Life Worthy of the Calling (Part 3)

“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”  -Ephesians 4:1

Fortunately, Paul doesn’t leave us hanging.  He doesn’t expect us to know what “living a life worthy of the calling” looks like.  He gets there in the next two verses.  It’s a good thing because all kinds of thoughts come to my mind when I try to imagine what this would look like in my own life.  Last week I shared how I originally read this verse in a William Wallace voice that would pump me up like a soldier going into battle.  I can also hear a football coach giving his players a motivational halftime speech.  The coach is urging his players to dig deep!  Play hard for 30 more minutes!  Leave it all out on the field!  Give 110%!  And other cliches.  Live a life worthy of the jersey you wear.

The problem with the William Wallace voice and the coach’s voice is that they pump me up in the wrong way.  As I picture myself charging into battle or onto the football field, I do so with a lot of masculine strength and energy, ready to PROVE myself.

I fell into this trap as a young believer in college.  I wanted to prove that I was worthy of Jesus’ sacrifice.  Living that way made it all about me and what I was trying to do to EARN the title of “worthy.”  I knew that I was saved by grace, but I did not live as if I was.  The truth is I’m not worthy of Jesus’ sacrifice.  No one is.  I’ll never be able to earn his love, grace or mercy.  These are beautiful and amazing GIFTS.

Sadly, I felt constant pressure to do something BIG for God.  I thought that would prove my worthiness.  But nothing ever felt big enough, and I was jealous of the things I saw others “doing” for God.

That’s why the following two verses are so refreshing.  I wish I had heeded them sooner, recognizing that this is what Paul was urging me towards if my life was to reflect the calling that I had received.

 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” -Ephesians 4:2-3

These three things didn’t seem big enough in my immature faith when I wanted to make a splash for Jesus.

Initially, I had planned to look at these three commands more closely in this particular post.  But as I spent more time meditating on them, I was reminded of my desire in college to prove myself worthy to the Lord with my zeal and service in His name.  It’s an easy trap to fall into, and if I did, I’m sure some of you have too.  Maybe some of you are in that place right now.  I still feel this misdirected desire rear its ugly head in my life sometimes.

What Paul urges us to do has nothing to do with earning points with God or impressing Him with our acts of service. What Paul urges us to do is quite the opposite, and we’ll look at these three commands next week.

Do you find yourself trying to EARN God’s love, acceptance, grace, mercy, etc., with how you live?   If so, what does this look like? 

 Are you trying to PROVE your worthiness to Jesus?  If so, how can you quit this faulty thinking? 

 ……

 Pickleball This Saturday

We’re playing pickleball this Saturday at Rolling Hills Church.  They have a few courts in the basement and they are letting us use them from 3:30-5:30pm.

New to the sport?  No problem!  The first half hour is for newbies who want to learn.  Several experienced players will be there to teach the fundamentals.

Rolling Hills has paddles but bring your own if you want.

Let me know if you are coming by emailing me at mike@riverwest.org

Enter on the left side of the church under the stairs.  These doors lead directly into the basement where the pickleball courts are. They also request that we wear soft soled shoes, preferably not with a black or dark sole.

Living Lionhearted

It’s not too late to join the Living Lionhearted study for men!  We meet on Saturday mornings.  Info+ Registration

4th Quarter | Senior Men’s Ministry

For more information on this ministry designed for our senior saints, contact Don Lewis at lewisdkl@comcast.net

 

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One Response to “A Life Worthy of the Calling (Part 3)”
  1. Paul M Roemer says:

    Thanks, Mike. I think the Catch-22 in living a life worthy of the calling is that if you think you are worthy, you probably are not. None of the writers of the Bible held themselves in high regard. It is one thing to think of yourself as humble. It is another thing entirely to have someone else think of you as humble.

    Today we tend to idolize people who have achieved things we have not. We use a scorecard that reflects what they own and what they have achieved. That scorecard rarely has anything to do with who they are as a person.

    Many of Paul’s letters were written from prison. His letters are part of the foundation of our faith. I dare to think that none of us would pay a minute of attention to anyone who sent us an email from prison, let alone think of it in a way that would tell us how we should live our lives.

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