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graduation December 13 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: Ephesians 4, 5, 6

Live a Worthy Life

Every parent wants his child or children to live a worthy life. He wants him to do well and graduate from high school, go on to trade school or college, succeed in finding a good job, get married to a good person, raise good kids, and prosper materially. What makes a life valuable? Is it money, fame, prestige or possessions? Is our net worth calculated by adding up our assets or our contributions to society? Our world measures success and worth in these ways but God does not.

The Apostle Paul addressed the Ephesian believers by letter from his incarceration in Rome: “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received,” (Ephesians 4:1, NIV). What did he mean; what was the calling the Ephesian believers received? If we look in the previous chapters, we can see Paul is talking about living a life worthy of the call to the salvation they had received. It was a gracious call; there was nothing they did to deserve it. It was an inclusive call; both Jews and non-Jews (Gentiles) were included as they expressed their faith in Christ for salvation.

How do believers live lives worthy of the salvation they have received? From today's Bible reading here is a summary of seven Lessons to live by given by the Apostle Paul:

1. “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace,” (Ephesians 4:2-3, NIV). We all have differences. We have differences of nationality, culture, personality, talent and ability. We must respect each other’s differences and strive for unity and mutual edification as one body of believers in Christ. Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) are included in the body of Christ by our common faith in Him for our salvatioin.

2. “Be imitators of God and walk in love just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us,” (Ephesians 5:1, NIV). Practice living a pure life, be kind and good, act with justice and mercy, and love others sacrificially.

3. Live like children of the light. Don’t return to previous hedonistic and heathen lifestyles from which you have been saved (Ephesians 4:17-32; Ephesians 5:3-7). Don't live in the darkness of sin.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them, (Ephesians 5:8-11, NIV).

4. “Be very careful, then, how you live-- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil,” (Ephesians 5:15-16, NIV). Every day should be lived for the glory of the LORD. We have only one life on this earth so we should make the most of it. We never know when our freedoms or health, which we enjoy today, may be taken away.

5. Submit to one another in love: husbands to Christ, wives to husbands, children to parents, slaves to masters (Ephesians 5-6:9). (Note: In our American society slavery is almost non-existent so we might correlate the slave - master relationship of Paul’s day with the employee - employer relationship of today’s world). Continuing on, Paul said fathers are to not exasperate their children, and masters (or employers) are to treat their slaves (employees) fairly.

6. “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is,” (Ephesians 5:17, NIV). Understanding the will of God comes from reading, meditating, and practicing the Word of God.

7. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes,” (Ephesians 6:10-11, NIV). The devil will attack you and try to ruin you and your testimony. Be wary and ready for him by putting on the full armor of God. If you do not know what this is, read Ephesians 6:10-18

Following these seven principles will lead to a worthy life, a life that has worth in the eyes of God, doing things that are well pleasing in his sight, the one who chose you to be his child. Are you his child? (more...)

Today’s memory verse: Ephesians 4:1b “live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (NIV)

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