Prisoner for the Lord
Date: March 21, 2023
I use the BLESS method every morning for my devotional.
B - Bible Verse
L - Listen for God's Word and pray
E - Explore the History and meaning
S - Study and savor
S - Summarize and Share
You can read more about it by going to: What is a Faith Journal?
Bible Scripture Verse – Ephesians 4:1
"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received."
Listen for God’s Voice
Heavenly Father, Thank you for calling us into your family and for giving us a purpose in life. Help us to live a life worthy of that calling, by following your will and obeying your commands. May we always strive to live in unity with our fellow believers and use our spiritual gifts to build up your church. We pray for your strength and guidance as we seek to fulfill the calling you have given us. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
Explore History – Who wrote it, when and to what audience? Key people in the story?
Ephesians was written by the apostle Paul to a group of Christians living in the city of Ephesus, which was located in modern-day Turkey. It was most likely written around AD 60-62, during Paul's imprisonment in Rome as a way of encouraging and instructing them in their faith.
This book contains so many important teachings for Christians. In the first three chapters, Paul explains the spiritual blessings that believers have received in Christ and the unity that exists between Jews and Gentiles in the church. In chapters 4-6, Paul gives practical instructions for Christian living, emphasizing the importance of unity, love, and using our spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ.
And today’s verse, Ephesians 4:1 is a call to live a life that is worthy of the calling we have received as followers of Christ. It encourages us to live in a way that reflects the love and unity that exist within the body of Christ, and to use our gifts to serve and build up the church.
Study and Savor – Key Words
"Prisoner for the Lord" - Paul was in fact in prison for his faith in Christ. He saw his imprisonment as a way of serving the Lord and advancing the gospel, rather than as a hindrance to his ministry.
"Urge you" - This phrase indicates that Paul is making a strong appeal to the readers to do something. In this case, he is urging them to live a life worthy of their calling.
"Live a life" - This phrase means to conduct oneself in a particular way, to behave in a certain manner.
"Worthy" - This word means to be deserving of something. In this context, Paul is urging the readers to live in a way that is deserving of their calling as followers of Christ.
"Calling" - This word refers to the specific purpose or mission that God has given to each individual believer. Paul is emphasizing the importance of living in a way that is consistent with this calling.
Summarize and Share
Have you ever felt like you don't have anything to offer? Maybe you've looked at the people around you and thought that they seem so much more equipped, talented, or successful than you are. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that our calling is something reserved for the "special" people - the ones who have it all together and know exactly what they're doing.
But the truth is that God does not call the equipped - He equips the called. Each and every one of us has a calling, a purpose, a mission that God has given us to fulfill. And while it may look different for each person, the underlying principle is the same: we are called to serve others.
Ephesians 4:1 reminds us of this truth. Paul, who wrote this letter to the Ephesians while he was in prison, urges his readers to "live a life worthy of the calling you have received." In other words, he is encouraging them to live in a way that reflects the purpose and mission that God has given them. And what is this purpose? To serve others, to use our gifts and talents to build up the body of Christ.
The good news is that God has equipped us with everything we need to fulfill our calling. He has given us spiritual gifts, talents, and experiences that uniquely qualify us for the work He has prepared for us. But it's up to us to use these gifts and talents to serve others.
So, what is your calling? Maybe you're not sure yet. That's okay! The first step is to ask God to reveal it to you. Spend time in prayer, asking God to show you where He wants you to serve. Be open to His answer.
It might be something that you never thought you’d do, but do it anyway. You won’t regret it.
Bible Cross Reference
Colossians 1:10 - "so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God," - This verse also speaks about living a life worthy of the Lord, which is similar to the message in Ephesians 4:1.
Philippians 1:27 - "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel." - This verse also speaks about living in a manner worthy of the gospel, which is a similar message to Ephesians 4:1.
1 Thessalonians 2:12 - "encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory." - This verse also speaks about living a life worthy of God, which is similar to the message in Ephesians 4:1.
Colossians 2:6-7 - "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." - This verse encourages believers to continue living their lives in Christ, which is similar to the message in Ephesians 4:1 to walk in a manner worthy of their calling.