Sunday, April 22, 2012

Saturday Devotions 4/21

Fine Art Print of Sunday in the Backwoods by Thomas Faed
Sunday in the Backwoods
Thomas Faed

Ephesians 4:1-16
Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ

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.Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 

Lord, search my heart and make it known to me. In all my dealings, cleanse me of unrighteousness. May I learn from you through prayer and Bible reading, and knowing your heart, receiving power from the Holy Spirit, may I be completely humble and gentle, patient, peaceful, bearing with all in love. I am sorry for impatience, for lack of humility, for harshness. Renew my spirit, take away the weary, help me derive sustenance from you, so I may please you.

 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.

Lord, search my heart here. Help me see the beauty of your design for the Church body, for diversity in the Church is necessary to accomplish your purposes. Help me to embrace your vision, and cling to the unity we have in You. Help me to keep my eyes on you, trusting you for everything. Replace vision I may have, with your purpose, your will.

 7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it[a]says:
   “When he ascended on high,
   he took many captives
   and gave gifts to his people.”[b]
 9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[c]10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his 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.

Lord, I know you saved me for a purpose. I am not called to serve myself. Instead, you gave me certain spiritual gifts to use to strengthen the church (for me, those gifts are teaching, exhortation, faith). Help me to have a servant's heart, for in serving the Church, I serve you. I please you. And when I'm pleasing you, I'm worshiping you. Help me to exercise my gifts, so that you receive your due glory. Help me to live for you, as your faithful servant.

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 people in their deceitful scheming. 

Lord, let nothing I encounter--be it friend, book, trend, blog, newspaper, science, psychology--replace you and your truth. May I spend my time with you, in prayer and Bible reading, so that nothing crowds or deceives my heart. Help me to cling to truth, to live for truth.

15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of 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.

Lord, help me to speak up when necessary. Guide my heart, give me courage. Let me hear wisdom and heed it when spoken in truth from another Christian. Help every member of your body do the work you have called us to do.

In your name I pray, Amen.

Scripture source
photo source


Unknown said...

Wonderful post, I love all of your prayers. I think you should write your own devotional book :) I would totally buy it. You are such an encouragement to me.

Christine said...

Thank you Tesha. Loved your pictures of the skate park!