Read His Words Before Ours!
“I’m curious. How did you save your marriage? I need to know so I can try to save mine,” my friend inquired.
I knew she was looking for a magic bullet. I didn’t have one for her, though. “We prayed individually. We went to our Bibles and discovered what marriage is supposed to look like. We read Christian marriage books.
“And at the end of the day, we just decided to love each other like Jesus loves us.” It wasn’t the easy answer she was looking for, but it was the truth.
When I said my marriage vows, I was called to be a wife. As Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:1, I needed to live worthy of that calling, just as my husband needed to live worthy of his calling as a husband. But most importantly, we needed to walk worthy of being called by Christ.
Marriage is an earthly reflection of God’s relationship with us, His bride; so, Sister, regardless of your marital status, if Jesus lives in your heart, Paul’s exhortation to walk worthy of God’s calling is for you.
When Paul started Ephesians 4:1 with the word “therefore,” he reminded us of Ephesians 1 through 3. In those chapters, we find that by knowing God and accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we receive
spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3),
grace (Ephesians 1:7),
salvation (Ephesians 2:5-6),
power (Ephesians 3:16-17)
and unity (Ephesians 2:11-22).
These wonderful gifts are freely given to us.
And we honor God when we use them to reflect Him to others.
Focusing on God enables us to live worthy of the gifts of salvation and the Holy Spirit.
If you’ve been in church, you’ve probably heard prayer is how we “conversate” with God. In these ongoing conversations with our Father, it’s helpful to dedicate space to listening, so we can also hear from Him. And finally, sometimes He answers me while I’m doing mundane things, too! He can speak to me at any moment, from driving in my car to preparing a meal!
Reading and studying the Bible are also important. We read not just to learn God’s instructions, but also to know His character. Again, human interactions mirror our relationship with God. Just as we grow closer to people as we spend together and learn their character, we can know God is loving, just, merciful, patient and faithful by reading His Word.
God’s character and heart for us are revealed all throughout Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation. For example, in Deuteronomy 6, we learn what it means to fear God (Deuteronomy 6:2). This does NOT mean we ought to be afraid of God, but rather, we ought to live in respectful awe of God’s character and the greatness of His power and might.
And when we fear Him, we try to walk in obedience to His commands, which He gives us in the Bible. See how it’s all connected?
Finally, when we meet in community, we gain others’ perspectives about and experiences with understanding and applying Scripture. We can also be encouraged and challenged by other believers. Just like children learn life skills from older siblings, we can learn from those who are more spiritually mature. Consider Titus 2:2-8, which exhorts both men and women to teach those younger than them, both in physical age and spiritual maturity.
As we pray, read, and study the Bible, meet in community and revere Him, we come to know and love Him more, “with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)
Then, in a natural outpouring of this love, we begin to reflect Him to others around us. In doing so, we display His heart and character to those in our spheres of influence who may not know Him.
For instance, my friend was not a believer.
But she watched my husband and I work through an extremely difficult period in our marriage.
She watched me change attitudes and behaviors.
She watched my husband transform as he studied.
Thus, we were able to show her Jesus through our daily actions.
But when our lives do not align with the Bible, we can turn people away from the gospel. If our lives look more like the list from Galatians 5:19-21 than the one in Galatians 5:22-23, who would want that Jesus? I wouldn’t, would you?
And finally, Scripture urges us to remain consistent in our obedience and resulting godly behavior. We cannot live double lives. Even Peter falls prey to this trap of duplicity and is corrected by Paul in Galatians 2:11-14. May we never cause others to regard the Church as hypocritical.
In this Gracefully Truthful Community, we read and study the Bible. We learn about God’s character. We share authentically with each other. In this is place, we can grow in spiritual maturity. We are helping each other learn to live worthy of our calling!
I’m so glad I took those baby steps years ago. Because I, because we, chose to live worthy of the commitment to which God called us, my husband and I will celebrate 28 years of marriage this December.
So ladies, I declare with confidence, if the Spirit of God lives within you, then you CAN walk and live worthy of your calling.
Go show the world.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!