As a prisoner of 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. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
It is believed that Paul penned these words while he was a prisoner in Rome. He was writing to the church in Ephesus, and this was probably a circular letter intended for other churches as well. Perhaps Paul was reflecting on his own life. Had he led a life worthy of the calling? He knew that the life of the church was dependent on believers fulfilling their calling with humility and love towards one another. He knew that it would take effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Christians needed to bear with one another, exhibiting patience and humility. Why was this so important to Paul? As a missionary he had worked with believers. He had seen the intensity, pressure and opposition against those who sought to spread the gospel. He knew first hand the abuse suffered on account of his sharing the gospel in hostile places. But he also had seen the church united, the church fighting for God’s kingdom to come and for His will to be done.
He knew that a church united would stand and a church divided would fall. It is interesting to note that Paul follows up in this same passage in Ephesians with a description of individuals using their gifts for God in order to prepare God’s people for works of service: It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up…(Ephesians 4:11-12)
God is still calling us to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit. He is calling us to be patient and humble and to use the gifts He has apportioned to us to build up the body of believers in preparation for service.
Are you living a life worthy of the calling you have received? Seek to be patient and gentle, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit.
God will meet you daily as you join with others as one body seeking to grow His kingdom.
Heavenly Father, I recognize that I have made very little effort to be patient and work with others to keep the unity of the Spirit. Help me to bear with one another and to be willing to exercise my gifts in order to build up the body of Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen