A Life Bigger than Yourself
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Ephesians 4:1, "Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God."
Ephesians 4:21-24, "Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God-truly righteous and holy."
In Ephesians 4, Paul wrote and told Christians to live a life that is worthy of their calling. He told them to do so because they had been called by God.
As I read this, I realize that I need to live my life in a way that is worthy of my calling.
What has God called me to?
I've had a lot to consider about what God is calling me to. I have a tendency to want things to happen fast, so instead of living a life worthy of God's calling on my life, I like to settle and reason my way through it.
This week, I decided that it was time for me to start diving into ministry and making my life be a life that is more than just about me. I decided it was time for me to begin doing things that will make a difference in other people's lives.
As I do this, though, I am finding that I am going to have to be living my life in a way that is above reproach. As I dive into ministry, I'm finding that I will now be reaching a place of having other people look at me as a leader. To be a leader is such a gift, but it is also a great responsibility!
When I come to the realization that I will be in a leadership position, I am finding that a sloppy, all-about-me life will no longer fly. When we step out and step up, it is a great blessing, but it cannot be taken lightly.
As we read through Ephesians 4, we eventually get to verses 21-24 which talk about throwing off our sinful nature and our former way of life. That life is corrupted by lust and deception. It says to instead let the Spirit renew our thoughts and attitudes. We are told to put on our new nature... the nature that is created to be like God-truly righteous and holy.
It's easy for me to want to hold onto my old nature, but as Paul tells us in Ephesians, we MUST throw off our old sinful nature. It doesn't say to slowly rid yourself of your old sinful nature. It doesn't say to get rid of some of your sinful nature and some of your former way of life. Rather, it says to THROW OFF the old sinful nature.
Have you ever had a bandage on your skin and eventually you have to take it off? Sometimes taking that bandage off seems like it's going to hurt, but as we all know, if we slowly take it off, the pain only lasts longer, but if we would simply rip it off quick, perhaps it'll hurt for a time, but it would be much less painful than a slow tear.
The same is true with us throwing off our old nature... our sin nature. If we can simply throw off the old nature, we can then get up and get on with the rest of our lives.
Next, we are told to put on our new nature. We're supposed to let the Spirit renew our thoughts and attitudes.
Initially, the sin nature is going to want to be back in action, but after prayer and continually standing firm, eventually our thoughts and attitudes will be renewed by the Holy Spirit. We can't do this on our own, but thankfully, we can do all things through Christ Who gives us strength.
Are you ready to throw off your old nature and begin living in the new life God has waiting for you? I encourage you to start today. No looking back... only looking ahead and setting your eyes on what lies before you: Jesus and all that He has for you.
My flesh screams to hang onto my old nature, but You are calling me to live a life that is bigger than myself. In order to do so, I must throw off my old nature and begin pressing into the new nature that You have called me to live in. I pray that You will help me keep my eyes on the prize which is You and not get side-tracked with momentary pleasures of this world. Open doors You want open. Close doors You want closed. Allow me to begin walking in the new nature and never returning to the old, sinful nature. As I step into ministry, I realize that now I must be above reproach. I pray You'll help me follow You wholeheartedly and be quick to repent when I sin and fall short of You.
In Jesus' Name.
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