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The “Small Things” of Your Purpose

“This ‘therefore’ is the pivot point to our story. This pivot resides at the cross, which is full of grace, forgiveness, and harmony under Christ.”

 Ephesians 4:1-6 (ESV)
 
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
 
 
Reflection


If someone read your life story from start to finish, they would see the sum total of all the “small things” that reflect your life’s purpose: the decisions you made, your priorities, how your choices affected yourself and others, the morality of your actions, the influences you had, and the confidence of your convictions.

Based on what this person observed, would your life story depict a person committed to God’s calling on his or her life?

The book of Ephesians consists of two stories: the gospel story and our story.

In today’s scripture, Paul transitions from the gospel story to our story with the infamous “therefore” (verse 1). This “therefore” is the pivot point to our story. This pivot resides at the cross, which is full of grace, forgiveness, and harmony under Christ. Essentially, it’s this pivot point that becomes the motivation for our purpose.

God provides the calling for our lives, but Paul provides two distinct characteristics of how we are to live out that calling: uniqueness and unity.

Uniqueness. Four times Paul addresses us using the second person in this passage, explaining that we each have an individual and distinct call within Christ’s church.

  • “urge YOU to walk in a manner worthy of the calling” (verse 1)
  • “to which YOU have been called” (verse 1)
  • “just as YOU were called” (verse 4)
  • “the one hope that belongs to YOUR call” (verse 4)

But how do all the unique callings and purposes God has given us work together?

Unity. The framing Paul uses as he writes this letter demonstrates how our callings are unified:

  • Paul, a Jew, whose people were chosen to be in a covenant relationship with God, pens this letter from a prison cell where his gospel-sharing call has led him.
  • Ephesus, a church planted in a predominantly Gentile culture full of wealth and prosperity, is called to stand out for God within a society known for worshipping Greek and Roman gods.

Both Paul and the church in Ephesus have unique and distinctive callings, and what unites them is the fact that these callings exist within one body and one spirit – Christ’s church. The hope of their callings cling to one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, and one Father. Similarly, when we allow God to use our unique callings and “small things” within His church, we help fulfill His purpose in our lives and the lives of others.


Action Steps
 
  1. “Therefore” (verse 1) examine God’s call on your life’s purpose. Do the “small things” (your decisions, priorities, choices, actions, influences, and convictions) add up to a unique and unified purpose of furthering Christ’s church? If not, pray over the areas where you could use the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
  2.  Don’t feel called? I promise you are. Pray about your role in Christ’s church. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in the discovery of your purpose. Jump on a volunteer team and start there!


Prayer

Father in heaven, I thank You for the gospel of Christ - the forgiveness, grace, and covenant for all people to be in relationship with You. Let me never take for granted that this is the motivation for my story.  Let my unique and unified purpose honor You and bring others to see Your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

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