Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
I am continuing this short series of messages on living a life worthy of our calling from Eph. 4:1-2, where Paul writes, “As a prisoner for 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.”
Two weeks ago, I mentioned two reasons why it is so important that we be growing in these aspects of character. First, these qualities marked the life of Jesus, and as His followers we should strive to be more and more like Him. Second, living this way gives an added sense of authenticity to the works we do for Jesus, for it reveals that the things we do for Jesus spring from a heart devoted to Jesus and not from selfish motives or legalistic duty.
Another reason we should be marked by these traits is that life is better for everyone when we live this way. When people exhibit humility instead of selfish pride, gentleness instead of aggressiveness, patience instead of impatience, and loving forbearance instead of mean spiritedness, life is better for everyone and community thrives.
Related to that, in writing this Paul knew how important it is for the church to live this out, and how often the church falls short. Division, strife, and people simply not getting along have been part of the church from the beginning. But that is not how it is supposed to be. The church is to be a place where love reigns, where Christians demonstrate humility, gentleness, and patience in their relationships. What a healthy community that makes to be a part of, and what a witness that is to the world of what the presence, power, and love of God can do in our lives.
So let us strive, with the empowering of the Holy Spirit, to make these character traits central to our individual lives, and to our life together as a church. As we do, we will feel better about who we are, our witness for Christ will be enhanced, and our corporate church life will be uplifting.
Next week I will conclude this series by sharing how we can grow in these aspects of character.
Grace and peace,