In the first posting we explored how the phrase “walk worthy” is a call to integrity – to be consistent in the application of one’s own ideals and to consider where those ideals come from (are they relativistic (subject to change) or built on a solid (eternal) foundation?)
In the second posting we talked about how we need to walk worthy of our interpersonal relationships with family and friends.
Now, I want to explore the occurrence of this phrase as it appears in Ephesians chapter four, verse one:
I beg you—I, a prisoner here in jail for serving the Lord—to live and act in a way worthy of those who have been chosen for such wonderful blessings as these (The Living Bible)
Ephesians is six chapters long. The first three chapters deal with ways that God loves us, provides for us, or has given us gifts, etc. At the middle of the book we encounter chapter four, verse one. This is a shift to a new theme – chapters four, five and six explain how to walk worthy of that love, provision and favor God has demonstrated toward us in gratitude, service and sanctification.
However, I’ve got a twist to this posting. Instead of offering my thoughts and ideas to summarize this chapter, I want to challenge our readers to try an experiment:
- Read through the entire book of Ephesians four times during a month (one read-through per week)
- As you read the first three chapters, take notes on at least three ways that God loves us, provides for us, or has given a gift to us in some fashion. Start with a fresh paper each week to see if you note new things, and to see if there are themes or patterns here.
- As you read the last three chapters, take notes on at least three ways that we should behave (walk worthy of the blessings received and mentioned in chapters one thru three). Again, start with a fresh paper each week to see if you note new things, and to see if there are themes or patterns here.
- After you finish week four’s reading and note taking exercise, compare all the notes you’ve taken. Think about each read through – did it get easier? Did you see and uncover new insights each time? Did your notes change over the four weeks? How do you feel in week four – do you feel any different than week one?
Consider that the whole book of Ephesians consists of merely six chapters – that’s one short read per day with time off on Sunday (or whatever day you need a break).
This ought to be an easy and FUN challenge. Are you willing to try?
I’d love to hear your feedback each week and especially at the end of week four.
To get started here’s my first week’s notes on the provisions of God:
- We’re adopted sons of God through Jesus Christ (chapter 1, vs 5)
- “In him [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” Jesus paid the penalty for my rebellion, and sinfulness – not by my effort, but by God’s grace.
- I have an inheritance of eternal life. (chapter 1, vs. 11)
So having these blessings given to me, how do I walk worthy in my life?
- I’m to walk with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (chapter 4, vs. 2-3)
- Our spiritual leaders have been set with a task to prepare us for the work of the ministry, for building up the body of Christ (I’ll walk subject to their proper authority, building unity and even recruiting people to come to Christ and join the family) (chapter 4, vs 12-13)
- I’ll learn as much about the faith as I can to become mature and not easily carried away by false teaching (chapter 4, vs 14-15)