January 15: Your Contribution

Read Ephesians 4:1-16

Walking is something that virtually everyone (with the exception of babies and some who are physically challenged) does. By definition, everyone who walks “moves at a regular and fairly slow pace by lifting and setting down each foot in turn, never having both feet off the ground at once.” Even though most of us share share this commonality, we possess differences in our gait . . . how we swing our arms, twist our body, put our feet down, etc.  In fact, I have noticed similarities in gait between family members. You can tell some people are related on the basis of how they walk.

Using the word metaphorically, Paul is very much interested in how we “walk” in Ephesians 4. If we are part of God’s family, there are certain aspects of our “walk” that we should all share in common. He wants us to conduct our lives in ways in keeping with God’s call on us (v. 1). We are to quit living our lives the way that godless people act (v. 17). Those who walk worthy will have relationships characterized by unity and peace. Those who walk godlessly will demonstrate sensuality, impurity, and greed (v. 19).

What is it that contributes to the worthy walk? Verses 11-16 point to two important types of people:

  1. “APEST people” (v. 11) – These are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. God has given these people as “gifts” to the church. They play a specific and important role. To our surprise, however, it is not one of doing all ministry.
  2. “His people” or “saints” (vv. 12-16) – These are all of the other Christ-followers within the body of Christ. These men, women, and children are equipped by the “APEST people.” They are trained and prepared for personal ministry in such a way that the body of Christ grows in maturity, unity, and doctrine.

If you are a Christ-follower, you are one of those two types of people. God has designed that you not only personally walk worthy, but that you make a personal contribution to the unity and peace of a group of believers within a local church. Every believer has a contribution to make through his/her personal ministry. The body of Christ is incomplete without your personal involvement.

Are you willing to get involved and be used by God for His purpose?

sbk

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