6. one God and Father of all, who is
above all and through all and in all.
I love how the
Apostle Paul describes himself as “a prisoner for the Lord” in the
beginning of this passage. In fact, Paul writes this letter
from a Roman prison. Amazingly, Paul does not dwell on how or
who placed him in these circumstances. Instead, he views his
predicament as exactly where God wants him to be. Paul is at
peace and therefore able to engage in meaningful
ministry. At the writing of this letter,
Paul has spent the better part of thirty years proclaiming
the Good News. His proclamation that he is a “prisoner of the
Lord” reveals his state of mind, that is, Paul’s genuine belief
that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.
What a wonderful
outlook! In our lives, we are constantly consumed with how
unfair life can be and we find ourselves seeking to blame others
whom we believe are responsible for our predicament. Paul’s
appeal to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received” is
an exhortation to us all. Our call demands that we forego our
personal baggage and take up the cross. We must deny ourselves in
order to achieve unity with God. Self-denial is a lifelong
process that we must constantly engage in.
If we recognize and
accept God is Sovereign in our life and remember that “He must
increase and I must decrease (John 3:30)” then a natural
outcome is unity with God, unity in Baptism, unity in Spirit,
unity in Faith, and unity in the Body of Christ with all fellow
Gracious Lord, help us to
recognize Your sovereignty in our lives. Inspire us to be humble,
gentle, patient, loving, and peaceful. Enable us to advance Your
Gospel in this world, not for our glory but for Yours. Amen.