ESOCS Devotional 22 August 2023 – Just One Goal
MEMORY VERSE: “…till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13
TEXT: EPHESIANS 4:1-15 (KJV)
therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
In Hebrews 5:12-14, the Scripture admonishes Christians that do not make efforts to grow in the word of God in order that they may become mature in living a practical Christian life; it says: “You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to be teaching you again the basic things a beginner must learn about the Scriptures” NLT. It would be very odd for a child that is twelve years to need to feed on breast milk. We would not grow to Christian maturity if we do not make the conscious efforts to live our lives by the word of God. We need to watch out for the things we say or do and ensure that we do not offend God or fellow men or women.
When we fail to grow in the word and ways of God over a period, it means we have wasted the time and opportunities that we had. We should be ready at all times to show the fruit of our repentance. Matthew 3:8 says we should “bear fruit worthy of repentance.” In other words, we have to prove that we have turned our backs against the world by embracing Christ completely. We can show this proof only through our lifestyle: the kind of life we live. God wants us to show Him evidence when we say we are His people or that His Son is our Lord. Therefore, if we say in faith that God is our God and Father or that Jesus is our Lord; our way of life should show that what we say is true; and that is, by obeying Him. We should always do what Jesus says; otherwise, He is not our Lord. He says, “But why do you call me Lord, Lord, and not do the things which I say?” When we obey Him, we confirm to the Father that His is truly the Lord of our lives.
There is one major goal of the teaching of God’s word: that we may grow to become perfect, just like our Lord Jesus. We are to grow and become mature to the extent that we have the fullness of Christ in us. He is the standard that God has set for us. No other standard is acceptable to Him. He counselled us to learn from Him (Matt. 11:29). We are in partnership with God in the business of trying to make us become His saints. It is the most important business we can ever indulge ourselves. We have an important role to play in other to achieve that goal. Our part is to focus on living a holy lifestyle. We are to protect our hearts from taking in anything that is sinful. When we do this, there would be nothing sinful for our minds to meditate. Proverbs 4:23 says: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects what you do.” Our hearts are like a storehouse; and our minds are like the kitchen or brewery. What we store in our hearts is what we meditate; and what we meditate is what we do. Let us store up in our hearts only things that are holy and righteous. That way, we would always think or meditate on only things that are holy and righteous before God. Remember that the goal is for us, and for our sake; and that it is worth achieving.
- What would you do to prevent yourself from storing up the wrong things in your heart?
- Pray the Holy Spirit to help you remain conscious of the need to protect your heart.
FURTHER READING: Joel 1:14-end; Zechariah 7:1-7; Luke 12:22-31; 1 Corinthians 6:1-11
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ESOCS Devotional 22 August 2023