Time Alone With God Daily Devotional

Monday, November 7

Time Alone With God Daily Devotional

Written by Pastor Phil Stout, JAXNAZ Church

Read: Ephesians 4:1-3

Ephesians 4:1-3
New International Version (NIV)

Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ
4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Start

Consider: Our circumstances can distract us and keep us from seeing life in its proper perspective. Our awareness of God’s love and presence can get sidetracked by the affairs of life. All of us experience and contend with this on a daily basis. (That is one of the reasons it is so important for each of us to make time to be alone with God each day.)

But difficult life circumstances can also be used by God to give us a renewed perspective—a new, true focus. That is also a reality we have all experienced. We’ve received crushing news about a loved one and immediately we knew what was important and what was trivial. We put our minds to prayer to combat our fear of the future and we saw God change our ideas about what kind of future we should want. In great conflict we yearned for peace and then began to discover what real peace is. Yes, our God of amazing grace keeps loving us, teaching us and drawing us to him in the middle of life.

I think the perspective that pain can bring was at the heart of Paul’s words about unity in the Body of Christ. As he wrote to the Ephesian believers about unity, he began by saying…

“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (4:1)

What we call the Book of Ephesians is one of Paul’s letters written from prison. Sometimes Paul found himself under house arrest. Other times he was bound in chains and thrown in a dungeon. Paul knew suffering and pain. And because he allowed God to shape his response, prison gave him a clear perspective about what was important for Christ’s church and what simply did not matter.

So from that place in which Paul could see what was really important, he wrote…

“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.” (4:2-3)

Sometimes we make unity in the Body of Christ a secondary issue. Our needs, our opinions, our preferences, our irritations can become so important to us that we think we are helping the church by pressing those issues. But from prison Paul told us to “be completely humble” and to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit” (4:3). That’s a perspective that you and I must bring to the Church of Jesus Christ.

Pray: “Forgive me, Lord, when I have forgotten how precious your church—your bride—is to you. When I have wanted the church to serve me more than I wanted to serve the church, I lost perspective. Humble me. Humble us. Teach us to be your body and not simply a collection of body parts.”

Leave a Reply


seven × = 35

Categories
Links: