I am third was posted on the wall of a well-known pastor. It was a constant reminder of his place in the world.
God is first, others are second, and I am third.
This concept is opposite to this world’s identity. We want to be known and appreciated. We want the most laughs, the most FaceBook likes, and friends. Most of us have some pride issues.
Eph 4:3 begins the instructions to us for keeping the unity of the Spirit. It begins with the requirements for “living a life, or walking, worthy of your calling. Ephesians 4:3 begins with “be completely humble.” Humility’s definition is “having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance. ” Confession time, “I wrestle with this. “
Philippians 2:3-4 NIV Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Our Biblical example is Christ.
Philippians 2:5-8 NIV In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
Jesus did not use His position as totally God to gain any advantage on earth. Instead, Jesus accepted servanthood and obedience to God and earthly parents who were far from perfect. Even to the cross, He humbled himself to die as an innocent sacrifice for our proud sins.
Look back one week and evaluate your humility. From 1 being very humble to 10 being very self-centered, where would you stand? If you are like me, I need to repent and take on the mind of Christ to understand “I am third.” Join me as we journey toward being more humble. The Holy Spirit is needed to remind us and advise us how to be humble when we want the focus to be on ourselves.
Matthew 23:12 NIV For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
Let your lightnside shine out to others and Christ.
Romans 9:20 “Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?”
During my devotions this week I read from “Springs in the Valley” the words below that touched my heart. You may find yourself in a difficult situation. Maybe you have pain in your body, relationships, or other difficulties. As I read the words below I thought of Joseph, Daniel, David, Paul, Peter, and of course Christ. If you are in pain, let the words below bless you as they did me.
The Wood Complained
A piece of wood once bitterly complained because it was being cut and filled with rifts and holes; but he who held the wood and whose knife was cutting into it so remorselessly did not listen to the sore complaining. He was making a flute out of the wood he held, and was too wise to desist when entreated to do so. He said: “Oh, thou foolish piece of wood, without these rifts and holes thou wouldst be only a mere stick forever—a bit of hard black ebony with no power to make music or to be of any use. These rifts that I am making, which seem to be destroying thee, will change thee into a flute, and thy sweet music then shall charm the souls of men.
The Wood Blessed the World
My cutting thee is the making of thee, for then thou shalt be precious and valuable, and a blessing in the world.”
Not till life is broken is it ready for the Master’s use.
David could never have sung his sweetest songs had he not been sorely afflicted. His afflictions made his life an instrument on which God could breathe the music of His love to charm and soothe the hearts of men.
Let your lightnside burn bright as you are prepared by the Master for His use.
Ephesians 4:2 I urge you to live a life worthy of your calling.
Paul recognizes the first three chapters of Ephesians as a beautiful section of promises, purposes, blessings, and revelations God has for us. We are a part of the eternal church filled with the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. The first three chapters are like being on the Mt of Transfiguration. All is wonderful and over whelping.
Then we come down the mountain into a demonic and fallen world. The realities of our sinfulness and Satan’s attempts to destroy unity comes to us in full power.
Since we are prisoners of God by choice, Paul knew we must set some guidelines for our daily lives. So he begins with this suggestion: “I urge you to live a life worthy of your calling.”
I urge you (niv), beg you (nlt), beech you (nkjv)
The beginning words of verse 2 would say what is to follow would not happen automatically. Paul is speaking of a passion or effort that is not a natural reaction in life. Paul is stating the desired responses in life will demand a focused, determined, and thoughtful action.
Live a life (niv), lead a life (nlt), walk in a manor (nkjv)
These words have time and movement in them. We all are on a continuous road from birth to death. We will walk from youth to senior life. We will walk through various stages in life, each with its challenges to overcome. You will face great joys along with great pain. There will be times of comfort and time, especially of fear.
Worthy of the calling (niv), worthy of your calling (nlt), worthy of the calling (nkjv)
God’s calling to us and our accepting Jesus as our savior is a calling to live life at a higher level than we were without Christ. With God bringing life into our once dead spirit, the Holy Spirit moves into our hearts to help us raise our standards in relationships, desires, and goals. How many people do you see claiming to be a Christian, but their choices, language, and emotions seem very ungodly. A worthy life is not to put to shame Christ’s name through our actions. Walking worthy is a lifelong process, and we cannot do it without help from the Holy Spirit.
You have received (niv), You have been called by God (nlt), in which you have received (nkjv).
God has called you to be a vessel of His glory. To be a light in a dark world. To stand out from the darkness with a holy light in your path.
Paul’s urging is a hint. Your calling to live a holy life will not be natural. It won’t be easy at times. Everything inside you will vote against being worthy when you are in pain, when you are challenged, when the crowd promotes a different direction than your calling. See God, pray, ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and strength. Your life will be transformed into a life worthy of your calling.
Let yourlightnside shine a life worthy of your calling…for God has called you.