Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
This week I am concluding this series on living a life worthy or our calling, based on 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.”
We have considered four reasons why this is so important: 1) To live this way is to become more like Jesus; 2) It authenticates or witness for Christ; 3) Life is better for everyone when people live this way; and 4) This allows for healthy relationships and an atmosphere of love within the church.
But how can we grow in these areas of our character? Of course, it takes intentional effort on our part. We must keep these qualities in mind as we go about our day and interact with others, and deliberately try to nurture these Christ-like traits.
But our own efforts are not enough. We all need the working of the Holy Spirit within us if these traits are to really be a part of us. And that means we must pray, and we must pray regularly and often, asking that by the Spirit’s empowering we would grow in more consistent Christ-like character. In this regard, it is helpful to use this and other passages in our prayers. We can pray specific passages of Scripture – not just repeating words but really making them the cry of our heart.
For instance, we can pray this passage from Eph. 4:1-2, and say to God, “Lord, please help by to live a life worthy of the calling You have given me. Help me to be humble and gentle, patient, bearing with others in love.”
We can do the same with other passages of Scripture that speak of our character. We can pray Gal. 5:22-23 and ask God, “Lord, I pray that the fruit of the Spirit will mature in my life. May love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control be more and more a part of me.”
We can pray Col. 3:12 and ask God, “Lord, please help me to clothe myself with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.”
Those are God-honoring prayers – when we truly pray them from our heart. And we can be sure that God will help us in this because clearly those prayers are in keeping with His will for our lives. We can begin our day with prayers such as these, and then throughout the day, when we encounter situations or individuals who challenge us in these areas, we pray these prayers again.
So by God’s grace, let us live a life worthy of our calling.
Grace and peace,