Wow! I honestly didn’t see the conviction coming!! It was like walking along the tracks and failing to hear the train rapidly approaching! I was so busy trying to point out to all that the Lord has called ALL of us to do the work of the ministry, that I failed to see our responsibility to “diligently preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” and all that entails!
I failed to understand that God expects us to not only pray for the fallen and wayward ones, but go after them speaking the truth in love in an effort to bring restoration and reconciliation, not only between God and the saint, but to the whole body, for God ordained that the whole body will suffer when just one is not walking in the manner worthy of his call.
To be honest, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shrugged my shoulders of indifference, or turned a callous heart away from a believer who continues to struggle and I can’t begin to imagine if my Lord had done that to me! Wow! I can’t believe I’m only just now seeing this, but I do pray seeing this now, will make all the difference in another’s life one day soon! Let’s pray:
O Father, We humbly call on and bow our wills to the One who descended to the lower parts of the earth and suffered terribly in order to free a host of captives. Who also ascended once more far above all the heavens so that He might fill all things and gave gifts to men for the equipping of all the saints for the work of service. In order to build up His body, until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, and the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
We ask that we will no longer be tossed here and there by waves as children, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by men’s craftiness and deceitful scheming, but that You will equip us to speak the truth in love, so that we will all grow up in all aspects into Christ Jesus our Lord, who is the head, and from Whom the whole body is being fitted and held together in Your love.
Father we beg you to help us walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which You have called each of us, with all humility and gentleness, showing patience to one another in love. Forgive us for the times we’ve been indifferent and turned callously away from other members of the body who are clearly struggling, and cause us to be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, and to pray for and seek after our brothers and sisters that have fallen away and are still wrestling with their own sin. For we know that there is one body and one Spirit, just as there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all and when just one member suffers, it effects us all.
Thank You once more for this book of Ephesians and for Paul’s imprisonment that forced him to write it. Thank You for Your Spirit, who continues to reveal these truths and convictions to us and thank You for the One who is able to keep us from stumbling and to present us blameless before You with great joy, to our Savior Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, for all time, now and forever more. Amen.