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10 January 2019
In our fourth post in this series based on Ephesians, we join Paul to pray for growth, both as individuals and in unity in the church.
Today’s post is the fourth in a series of five posts. Follow our blog this week and pray along:
- Day 1: Overwhelming blessing
- Day 2: Available power
- Day 3: Supernatural unity
- Day 4: Prepared for growth
- Day 5: No no-go areas
Prepared for growth | Ephesians 4:1–16
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:1–6)
The foundation for the growth of the church is our unity in Jesus. So first, we need to live 'a life worthy of our calling‘, which means wanting to live like Jesus in humility, gentleness, patience, and love. And second, we need to remember the gospel we all believe in: we have so much in common because we trust in Jesus! So we should pray that we will ’make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit'. Let’s pray that we will do exactly that. As you look at verses 1–6 again, why not begin like this?
Father, please help me to do these two things this year…
Time to read more?
• Read Ephesians 4:7–13 in your Bible
We all have the same faith in Jesus, and yet we’re all different: Jesus has given gifts to each of us that we can use to help the church can grow. These include apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers. So it makes sense to ask the Lord to show us the gifts each of us can use so that the church becomes ‘mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ’. With verses 7–13 in front of you, turn these things into prayer. Start like this:
Father, thank you for the gifts you’ve given me…
Please show me more of my gifts and help me to use them this year for you and your glory…
• Read Ephesians 4:14–16 in your Bible
Now Paul paints an enticing picture of what a mature church can be. As we keep ‘speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ’. This is Jesus’s ambition for the church, and it should be ours too! Let’s tell the Lord that we want to be part of a church ‘that grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work’. Why not begin like this:
Lord Jesus, please let Above Bar Church grow more and more into maturity this year. Please help me to live like this…