Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:1-16
“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:1-3 NLT)
Paul was chained to two rotating guards in a Roman prison. He knew what it meant to be free and he understood confinement. Unbelievers are confined by the devil’s chains of sin, but when they embrace by faith the person and work of Jesus Christ they are forever set free.
Paul considered himself a prisoner of Jesus Christ long before he became a prisoner of Rome. He pointed to his chains to draw our attention to the need for absolute surrender. Paul urges us in Ephesians 4:1-3 to follow five principles of holy living.
Humility – as Christians we are to put aside pride and haughtiness, and walk with modesty and meekness. In order to do this we will need to have the mind of Christ as set forth by Paul in Philippians 2:5-8.
Gentleness – a gentle person is mild-mannered and amiable. He is never harsh, stern, or violent. He recognizes authority, but never uses it wrongly. David treated King Saul with respect and kindness because he was the Lord’s anointed.
Patience – is the hardest path to follow. We live in an instant-mindset society where it is an inconvenience to wait more than five minutes for a meal or five seconds for a traffic light to change. If you’ve ever stood in line at an airport ticket counter, or followed a truck up a long hill, you know what I mean.
Love – is proof of a worthy walk. It is the mechanism that causes the wheels of progress to turn, and the glue that holds everything in place. There is no unity without the love of Christ flowing smoothly in the hearts of people.
Unity – the early church was vibrant and growing because everyone was in harmony. Unity is needed for spiritual growth, and a church without unity becomes stagnant and dissentious. Jesus said, “I in them and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me” (John 17:23 NKJ).
These are the principles that guide my life. I can’t say that I have always been successful in following them, but I do know that with the Spirit’s help they are achievable.
Prayer: Dear Lord, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I want to follow these principles.