“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
Ephesians 4:1-6 NKJV
On Easter Sunday, or Resurrection Sunday, 1998, I ceased to be my own. As a slave I was transferred from one master to Another, from a slave of sin to bondservant of one Jesus Christ, who paid my price with His blood. I also entered a new family, tied not by human genes, but by the Holy Spirit.
All of the differences were swept away, as I became one with other believers, united in the calling in the inheritance of God and sharing the good news of the Gospel. Unlike my human family, I was joined with people of vastly different backgrounds, life experience, races, economic status, and even countries. We all came to the cross on even ground, and were being transformed into the image of Christ.
Such an undertaking is impossible in the flesh, as we are creatures driven by pride. We desire that our identities stand alone. I came with such an attitude that the Lord began to deal with, slowly and gently at first, but with greater urgency as He had use for me. My heart went from closed off to open and loving.
I am one who prayed for the heart of God. I wanted to see as He did and love as He did. I have learned that loving the Jesus way is painful. I love, I am often rejected, but still I love. I mourn over our tendency to be evil and indifferent to each other. I have learned what it means to be long suffering, to endure the blows of people I only wish to love. In the midst of all of it, I have the joy of knowing that God is for me. He reminds me of His love, which is deeper and more sustaining than the fickle love of people.
God’s love is essential in the body of Christ as we are unified by it. It is the tie that binds, it is the peace that reigns in the hearts of disparate people who have called on the name of Jesus for salvation.
There is strife in our world. We are people separated from one another, divided and conquered by sin. There is strife in our churches. Too often, we are sitting in pews, in the same building, but in opposition, as one family is against another. We are also separated as the world is, as we believers live resisting the call of the Lord to be unified.
It is time to surrender all that is us, or them, to the we, one in Jesus. We are one faith, spirit, one baptism, one God who is in all of us. We are slaves to the King of Glory, and are to be united.
Believers, be lowly today. Seek the common ground, reach out to others with a humble heart. Use the vision of God to see your brothers and sisters. Use that same vision to see others, not by who they appear to be now, but who they could be in Christ.
I have many nonbelievers that I am praying for. I am praying for them to come to the Lord and be the people of God that they can be. I am also praying for God to make me over into the person that can reach them.
I surrender my comfort, my rights, my own autonomy to be remolded into the image that reflects Jesus to a world that is sorely in need.
It is a constant effort to lay aside who I am, be whose I am. All the things I counted as my great attributes are cast away for the cause of Christ.
“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;”
Philippians 3:8-10 NASB
In all things, I surrender. Even in those situations where I would seek justice, I surrender. Our Lord Jesus went to the rugged cross facing the ultimate injustice, one dying for the sins of the world as one completely innocent. There were no protests, no riots, but at the moment the debt was paid, the graves were opened and the dead spoke, proclaiming the victory!
Believers in the Most High, let’s rise up and bow down. It is time for the high to become low, the low to be exalted in Christ. We must lead.
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!