June 12, 2016
Ephesians 4: 1-3
Paul encouraged the believers at Ephesus to live a life worthy of their calling they received from the Lord Jesus Christ. If you were to examine your progress this past week would you say you are making progress or moving in the wrong direction. God is totally committed to us in order to see spiritual development in our lives continually. What would it take for you to be encouraged to become stronger in the Lord?
1 Moving Forward
Once we have been born again, we should begin a life of progressive growth toward Christlikeness. We should seek to be changed into the likeness of Christ in character, conversation, and conduct. (Romans 12: 1-2) We should also progress by allowing Christ to live out His life and will through us. (Ephesians 4:1) We are called to be completely humble, gentle, patient, and bearing with one another in love. We are to bring forth unity in the Body of Christ and to show evidence of the peace of God that passes the understanding of man. I was doing a funeral not long ago and a woman said to me at the graveside, “You are at peace, aren’t you?” The answer to her question was yes, by the grace of God, but another thought entered my mind that she might not be at peace. It is only through salvation in Christ that we can receive the peace of God. If one is moving forward in the Lord peace will be experienced!
Are you humble, gentle, patient, loving, and at peace?
2 Moving Backward
Of course, as Christians, we will all stumble and fall at times. However, as we understand more truth and apply it in our lives, we will be better equipped to avoid the enemy’s fiery darts. You may need to call a timeout in your life and examine your spiritual growth and progress. Have you increased in Biblical knowledge since your salvation? Are you experiencing new levels of intimacy and communion with God? If not, begin moving forward today, away from complacency and toward maturity in Christ. What cause you to stumble and be discouraged in your daily walk? Once you identify your problem, commit it to prayer and see what God can and will do in your life.
What is the cause of backsliding and discouragement?
How can one reverse the moving away from the Lord?
Could it be we need Christian friends that will hold us accountable?
If you are moving away from the Lord today, stop and seek His Holy presence and power!
3 End Of Construction
In her book, Footprints of a Pilgrim, Ruth Bell Graham provided a suggested epitaph for herself: “End of construction. Thank you for your patience.” Her expression is based in truth. In Philippians 1:6, Paul said, “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” This process of construction in our lives began with salvation. Sanctification means to be set apart for the purposes of Christ in your life. From our salvation until our death on this earth, we are set apart for God’s good works and development to continually progress in our lives until the construction period is complete. It is this period of progression between these two events that requires our full attention. We are all under construction and will only be complete when we go home to be with the Lord forever. Lord help us to be willing participants in the process until that glorious day comes!