This particular calling of a deacon has been troublesome as we are part of an older congregation with men who are getting tired or ill so our "pool" of men capable of serving has shrunk. Therefore a woman deacon has been called. The lady in question has a servants heart and should serve well in this position, but it has been a difficult one for some people to accept.
Jim has chosen Ephesians 4:1-16 as the sermon text.
1I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8Therefore it says,
"When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men."
9( In saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
We are urged by Paul to "walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called".
Think about that for a moment.
How do you live your Christian life?
Do you want in a manner worthy of being called?
For each of us has been called by God to be his own. We wouldn't be his children if he hadn't claimed us first! So how are you living out your calling as a believer.
- walking with humility and gentleness
- walking patiently
- bearing with each other in love
- eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace
- remembering that you are part of one body and one Spirit
- remembering that there is one Lord, one faith and one baptism
- Remembering that there is one God and Father of all
- remembering that grace has been given to each of us.
How are you walking?
God gave us each different gifts to different people for these reasons:
- to equip the saints for ministry,
- to build up the bodyuntil we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the son of God
- to mature manhood (personhood)
- to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ
5. we may no longer be children tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, and by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
We are to grow in EVERY WAY into Christ.
He is the one who makes every part work together, and when we do so in the manner in which we aught, we grow as we build in love.
This is what we are called to...to use our gifts and talents for the building up of the church in love, so that we can be more and more like Christ.
How are you walking?
ps> Jim sent me this Servants, not Spectators, which I think fits in well with todays devotion.