“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called” (Ephesians 4:1, NKJV)
As a prisoner of Rome, the apostle Paul could not move freely about to continue ministering to the believers. He could, however, strengthen and encourage the churches in the various cities in which he’d ministered by writing letters (epistles). At least four New Testament books (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon) are letters Paul wrote from prison. He wanted the believers to thrive in their walk with God. His words still speak to us today.
Called to Discipleship
When Paul tells us to “walk worthy of the calling,” we may ask ourselves “Am I worthy?” or even “Am I called?” What is Paul really asking us to do? Another translation says, “to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.” God called us to become His disciples. As one who is called, He now desires that we live our lives in a way that honors Him. When Paul wrote to the church at Philippi, he gave them a similar admonition: “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27, NKJV).
Let me ask you a question. If you were to list the qualities you think the Lord wants to see in our lives, what would you put on the list? How would you describe conduct worthy of the gospel? How does God want us to act toward our neighbor? Our employer? The clerk in our local grocery store? What characteristics portray true Christianity within our homes as a witness to our spouse and children?
As we start comparing God’s expectations against our actions, we may discover some areas in which we need to change. And that is a good thing! Like the psalmist, let’s ask God to, “Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart” (Psalm 26:2, NKJV).
Representing Him Well
I often pray, “Lord, help me live in such a way that I will never bring shame to Your name.” I want my life to show, without words, that I belong to the Lord. Have I always lived perfectly? Far from it. We all fail at times. But when we stumble, when we disappoint the Lord and others, we must seek forgiveness and move forward. I represent Christ to a lost, hurting world. I cannot allow my conduct to become a stumbling block that would keep others from desiring Jesus.
Each of us is called to represent Christ to the world around us. It’s a holy calling. Let’s walk worthy of the gospel.
Help me, Lord, to never forget the blessing and the responsibility of being Your child. May I always represent You well to those I meet each day. Reveal any actions or attitudes that would cause others to stumble and perhaps turn away from You. You have called me to be Your disciple, and I will strive to walk worthy of that calling.