As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. – Ephesians 4:1
The Apostle Paul was an extraordinary figure in the early life of the church. His teaching and leadership helped to start faithful Christian communities all around the Mediterranean world. Paul took at least three missionary journeys where he established churches in places like Corinth and Ephesus. He also wrote extensively to many churches, helping people deepen their understanding of the Christian faith and encouraging them to live a life reflecting their faith. Paul’s letters make up a good portion of the New Testament.
One of the letters Paul wrote in the New Testament is the letter to the church in Ephesus. This letter is known as Ephesians. Paul writes this letter from prison in Rome. Paul seeks to bring great clarity of the amazing work of grace that God has performed through His Son. Paul makes it clear that, “Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” (2:4) Paul’s writing was intended to help the church become, “rooted and established in love.” (3:17)
While reading the letters of the Apostle Paul, it is easy to see Paul found great strength and encouragement in the knowledge that God’s love and mercy were at work in the world. Even while in prison, facing an unknown future, Paul boldly proclaimed the love of God. The Romans had stopped Paul’s travel, but they could not stop his faithful response to God’s great love.
As I read Paul’s letters, almost 2,000 years later, I cannot help but find great encouragement in his writings. Although I do not face imprisonment for my faith, I often find myself in need of being reminded of just how great God’s love is for the world. When I experience failures and setbacks, I am reminded that no matter how big the problem is in front of me, God’s grace is bigger still. It is the encouragement I often need to continue to, “Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”
“Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgression.” In light of this amazing grace, let us push on to live a life worthy of God’s grace, mercy, and love!
Rev. Keith King, Online Campus Pastor