"As a prisoner for the Lord, then I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 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. There is one body and one Spirit - just as you were called to one hope when you were called - one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."
As the last of our family holiday activities wraps up today I am reminded of these verses the Lord gave to me over this season of lots of time with family! The track record of our Greek family get-togethers hasn't always been peaceful, humble and gentle but this year has been different - we've all been doing our part, well most of us, and it's made a difference.
5 things stand out to me and I give each area up to the Lord as I head into this last day. "Be completly humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love."
Humble: how I seek to serve others... do I seek to serve or do I seek to win?
Gentle: how I express myself... do I express myself in a Christ-like manner?
Patient: hang in there!... do I hang in there when another is struggling in action or deed?
Bearing: how I "do unto others"... do I do unto others nicely, what's my heart motivation?
Love: how I chose to think about others... what is my heart toward certain people?
Funny how some of these are easier with one person over another, for instance I am very patient with some people as they learn to grow and make better, wiser decisions while other people I have no patience for there growth at all. Love, I find it easier to love a sister-in-law I have more in common with than I do one I struggle to find common ground. Humble, I seek to serve some people while still others I desire to win or prove I'm better than them.
My hearts desire is to live "the calling you(I) have received." to live as a "prisoner for the Lord."
Hmmm... prisoner? for the Lord.
That's a lot. Strongs defines prisoner as an adjective meaning: to be "bound, in bonds, a captive, a prisoner" Make me think how tightly am I bound to the Lord, are my hands and feet shackled to Him, my Savior, or am I being held capitive my my selfish thoughts and ways?
Then there's the word for, not prisoner of the Lord but prisoner for the Lord. Here's how Webster defines the word for:
1 a -- used as a function word to indicate purpose b -- used as a function word to indicate an intended goal c -- used as a function word to indicate the object or recipient of a perception, desire, or activity
Am I prisoner for the Lord? Is my purpose to serve the Lord in all I do and think? What is my intended goal? What about my desires and activities, are they of the Lord? Am I living as a prisoner for the Lord? Am I living a life worthy of the calling I've received?
I fail so often at this; however I press on and I ask the Lord for humilty, gentleness, patience, strength to bear with one another and most of all I desire love. The love of Christ to be embedded in my heart for all God's people. After all we are all of one God, one Love and one people!
Wishing you the best this new year!