Green Valley Sermons

A Life Worthy of Our Calling

Sunday, October 30, 2016         

Ephesians 4:1-7

4:1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit— just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.

8 This is why it says:

"When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men."

9 (What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God's people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. NIV

In that first verse we read today Paul urges us to live a life worthy of our calling. The first thing I want to tell you is you can not do it. You, in your own strength, on your own, you will never be able to live a life worthy of your calling. You will never be good enough for God.

That is the bad news. The Good News is, you were never meant to do so.

Living a life worthy of Our Loving Heavenly Father does not start with us. It starts with Him. When you get up in the morning and decide you are going to live this day for the Lord, if you do not turn to Him and seek Him to help you, you will fail. We were created to live in fellowship, in a relationship with God. Without that relationship we will never be good enough.

If you are failing in your relationship with God, it is because you are trying to do it in your own power and strength. That will never work. Lauren Daigle says it well:

Trust In You by: Lauren Daigle

Letting go of every single dream / I lay each one down at Your feet

Every moment of my wandering / Never changes what You see

I’ve tried to win this war I confess / My hands are weary I need Your rest

Mighty Warrior, King of the fight / No matter what I face, You’re by my side

Chorus: When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move / When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through / When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You / I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings / There’s not a day ahead You have not seen

So, in all things be my life and breath / I want what You want Lord and nothing less

Chorus: When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move / When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through / When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You / I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

Last week we talked about God's love that surpasses knowledge and God's power that is miraculous. Sometimes the problem with miraculous power is we want to tell God how to do His job. We want to tell Him what miracles we want to see happen.

The Israelites did not ask God to part the Red Sea. It was as they followed Moses, putting their trust in God that God worked a miracle on their behalf. They were weak in their faith. They were at the end of their rope and God stepped in and parted the waters. He could have had them walk across the sea as Peter did, but that miracle was for another time.

Living a life worthy of our calling is not about what we can or cannot do. Living a life worthy of our calling is about walking with God and trusting Him to work in us. Trust Him when you are at the end of your rope. He will see you through.

Lord, when you don't move the mountains we think you should move help us to trust You anyway.

In verse 7 of our passage today, Paul says that God has given grace as Christ has apportioned it. Grace is God's love and God's power working in us. It is the miracle of His Presence in our lives.

Paul encourages us to be humble, gentle, and patient. These are qualities that God wants to create in us as we walk in the power of His Spirit. His miraculous power is our ability to live a life worthy of Him.

When you find you have stepped out of step with God, the answer is not to try harder. The answer is to lean in a little closer and determine to trust Him to work in you and through you.

In our passage today Paul speaks of gifts given to the church: Apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors and teachers. God gave people to be these things for the church.

He gave these gifts, these people, to help the church become what He intended it to be. He gave these gifts to the church so that believers could grow in their faith and perform the work of the ministry.

We sometimes think of these people as the ministers, who minister to us. God's intention is that we, the people in the pew become the ministers of His grace in the world.

He intends His people to be witnesses of the great love and miraculous power that He has worked in the lives of those who have put their faith, not in themselves, but in Him.

We are saved when we put our faith in what Christ did for us. We grow when we walk with Him and learn to trust Him to lead us and work through us to accomplish His purpose.

When we learn from those who are following God, we become the means that God wants to use to win the world. The kingdom of God has come. He is calling people to join His kingdom. Evangelism is about winning people to Christ. Discipleship is about people learning to know God in more intimate ways as we study and learn together. He will lead us out into the world to touch the lives of those He is preparing to receive the truth.

This is how the church grows. As Paul put it, the church grows as each part, each Christian is doing its part. As each one of us is living a life worthy of our calling.

We were called out of the world and into the kingdom of God. We accept Him as Lord, as King, and begin to live a life of faith in God. Only then will we begin to develop the fruit of the Spirit that makes what we offer to the world palatable. When we love as Christ loves us, others will be drawn to God, drawn to put their faith in Him as we have done.

Walking with God means we go where He leads. Life with God is a life of trust. Trust leads us to obey. If we are trying to obey before we decide to trust, we will always fail.

When we fail, God does not get mad, He grieves for the loss of what might have been if we had trusted Him. He comes to us and calls us back into fellowship with Him. This is what Christ purchased for us on the cross. We can trust God to forgive us, we just need to confess our failure to trust Him and obey Him. He will cleanse us and empower us to get up and walk in the Spirit. As we do this over and over again, we grow in our ability to trust Him.

Do you want to see Green Valley Church of God thrive and grow as God intends it to grow? Each one of us will need to be doing our part. Our part is to trust God. He will lead us to become the witnesses He needs to win the souls He wants to bring into this church.

He will lead us to serve, to minister, to do the work that needs to be done to accomplish His purpose.

What if the Israelites had sat down on the shore of the sea and said, “God hates us. That is why He brought us here. We are not going out between those walls of water. God just wants to drown us.”? They would have missed the miracle of seeing God deliver them from the enemy that was pursuing them. They stepped out in obedience because they trusted God. They made a choice and saw God work in miraculous power to save them.

God wants to save us. He wants to save this congregation. Why? He wants to be glorified so that others will come to know and trust Him and begin living in obedience. He wants to save more and more people here in the Green Valley Community.

He is waiting for us to get up and go. He is waiting for us to trust Him to lead us to become the body of Christ we can be if we trust Him to lead us and give us the grace we need to do His work.

We will fail if we sit and wait for someone else to do the work of ministry. We will fail if we go in our own strength and try to do the work our own way.

We can only live a life worthy of our calling when we trust Him and then go and with His help make disciples, baptizing them and teaching them to obey what Christ has taught us.

We must get our eyes off ourselves and trust in God's great love that surpasses knowledge; trust in His power that is dynamite power, miraculous power. We cannot choose the miracles, but we can trust God to lead us as He led those in the church in

Peter's day, and Paul's day.

Living a life worthy, starts with trust that leads to obedience.