The Ball is in Your Court
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (3)
At the NBA playoffs players challenge each other to rise up and simply, step up and be better. Coaches encourage their players to work harder, play more aggressive defense, attack the basket, and never to give up! Here, we see Paul, Christ’s very own MVP (Most Valiant Preacher), challenging us to do the same.
Our Character: Paul is reminding us, Christ's chosen, that there are parts of our lives we need to improve on in order to accomplish what God has entrusted us with. Paul is not just asking us to be humble, gentle, patient, and bearing with one another. He is asking us to be COMPLETELY humble, gentle, patient, and bearing with one another! Paul is challenging you and me to live a life worthy of the calling we have received. He is letting us know that God expects more from us! Paul uses the title "Prisoner for The Lord" as if it is something he is proud of something that we should all aim for. It's very tough to be all of these things all the time, but are we, God's chosen, even attempting to meet this challenge? What are you a prisoner for in your life? Are you really giving it your all? Step up... Be Better.
Our Unity: We as Christians seem to be driven by the motto: "My way is the only way!" Living this principle is usually the cause for most arguments, fights, and divisions. Being open and tolerant of the thoughts of others is the responsibility of every Christian believer. We decide to rely solely on ourselves, when God has given us teammates to help us along the way. Instead of working together, we fight for our own selfish reasons and gains and even drag God into the issue, to justify OUR OWN cause! We are a people who readily use God for our own glory instead of allowing Him to use us for His purpose. Knowing this, Paul urges us to strive to maintain unity. This means not just listening to what others have to say, but understanding why and most importantly, what impact it will have on God's will. Now this doesn't mean accepting everything that we hear, but, that we work together as one body to seek and find His plan. Do your actions bring unity or promote division? Step Up... Be Better.
Our Contribution: Every player on a unified team has value. Paul writes in verse 7, each one of us has been given grace as Christ apportioned it. This means that each one of us has something to offer for God's kingdom. Many times we may feel that what we have to give is small and insignificant. However, no matter how small it may be, God's plan is incomplete without our part. We as Christians have to remember to encourage each other that we all play a vital role in God's ultimate plan. Do you feel as if your role is meaningless in God's plan? Do you help others to see how important they are to God? Step up...Be better.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to a Prisoner for you. Help me to be completely humble, gentle, patient, and bearing with my brothers and sisters. Help me to avoid fighting for my own will and start fighting for unity. Help me to step up and be better and really live a life worthy of the amazing calling you have given to me. AMEN!
Thought for the day: Step up...Be better.
Gracious John, St Andrew’s MTC, NY.