Saturday, January 01, 2011

A Year of Ones

Welcome to a brand new year!

Today's date is all ones: 1-1-11.

God's list of "ones" is found in Ephesians 4:4-6: "There is ONE body and ONE Spirit, just as also you were called in ONE hope of your calling; ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all". If you count the "ones" you will find that there are seven of them in this passage. Seven is the number of perfection. Therefore, these are the perfect "ones"!

Ephesians 4 contains another list of seven--located in the first three verses. It's a description of how we are to live our lives. "(1) Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, (2) with all humility (3) and gentleness, (4) with patience, (5) showing tolerance for one another (6) in love, (7) being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace".

Just for grins, let's match up these two lists of seven found in Ephesians 4 and make some application.

#1: If we all "walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which we have been called", then we will have "one body" (one church). In other words, when we all do well what we are called to do in the church, then our church is strong and unified. We are the unified body of Christ.

#2: When we serve each other in the church with "all humility", then the "one Spirit" is able to show up and empower us. Pride is the biggest threat to unity. And without unity--there will be no Spirit working among us.

#3: "You were called in one hope of your calling". Live out your calling in "gentleness". Remember that we are all broken and damaged and therefore need to be handled gently. We need to do what God has called us to do without leaving a wake of damaged people behind us. Serve the church gently.

#4: Serve with "patience" because there is "one Lord" and you're not Him . Things will not always happen in your timing. They will always happen in God's timing. Be patient and wait upon the Lord.

#5: We are to, "show tolerance for one another" because we have "one faith". What is our faith? It is the belief that we are all sinners saved by the grace of God. Resist the urge to quickly judge each other by remembering that we also can be easily judged. None of us are perfect (yet).

#6: We can serve, "in love" by remembering our "one baptism". We are baptized into Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. Each of us is sacrificially loved of God and can thus give and receive love from each other. I guess that you don't have to love the person that Christ didn't die for--but since He died for everyone--get busy loving!

#7: Finally, we are to, "preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace". It's easier to do if we remember that there is only, "one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all". He is in everyone and He is over everyone. God is using each of us to accomplish His purposes. It's bigger than any one of us could ever accomplished--that's why He called us together at Grace River.

Let me finish this up as Paul did in Ephesians 4:7, "But to each of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift". You have a gift of grace. I have a gift of grace. When we all come together and combine our grace-gifts, we become God's River of Grace! May 2011 become the "Year of Ones"!

"Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with scoffers. But they delight in doing everything the Lord wants; day and night they think about his law. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail. Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they prosper" (Psalm 1:1-3).

May you bear much fruit this year and prosper!

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