Daily Devotional Ephesians 4:1–6
I was 21 when I went on my first overseas mission trip to Europe. We worshiped with a wide variety of congregations—from American military families in Germany to Romanians in tiny villages. It was eye opening and life-changing to experience the Christian bond that crosses cultural, language, and economic boundaries.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called.
In Ephesians 4, Paul turns his attention from the overtly theological (chapters 1–3) to the ethical and practical (chapters 4–6), reminding his readers of his imprisonment “for the Lord” (v. 1). Paul practiced what he preached, even in dire circumstances. With an attitude of humility, he issued the following appeals.
The first was to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (v. 1). The NIV translation loses the power of the Greek, which includes a double emphasis on calling retained in the ESV: “[I] urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling [klesis] to which you have been called [kaleo].” Paul highlighted why we should live according to the truths he had already articulated. Because of all that Christ did on our behalf, Paul implores us to live rightly.
Beginning in verse 2, he lists qualities we are to live out. “Humility” involves a right thinking about the self, a meekness of mind. “Gentleness” speaks of the mild demeanor of a true friend. “Patience” is “the exercise of a largeness of soul that can endure annoyances and difficulties over a period of time.” “Bearing with one another in love” values the other person above ourselves.
“Make every effort” (v. 3) describes a diligence to preserve in “the unity of the Spirit” and “the bond of peace.” Their connection with one another was not ultimately up to them, although Paul called his readers to do their part. It was the work of the Spirit that resulted in peace.
>> Today’s reading provides a wonderful prayer. Personalize it and pray this prayer, asking God to develop these qualities in your heart. Ask Him to help you live a life worthy of your calling.
Pray with Us
Lord, enable us to live lives worthy of the calling we have received from You. Grant us humility, gentleness, patience, and loving forbearance. We are one body, united in the Spirit through the bond of Your peace.