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Maturity Is Awesome

Read This Week: Ephesians 4

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. – Ephesians 4:11-13 NIV

Awesome is an often-used word in our culture. Just like the theme song of The Lego Movie says, “everything is awesome.” The cars we drive are awesome. The house we live in is awesome. The sports teams we pull for are awesome and on some days, the weather is awesome. Everything is so awesome that we forget what the word even means. Everything is awesome to the point that we lose sight of reality and what we should be.

The definition of the word awesome is “to cause feelings of fear and wonder.” Even though human beings can be impressive and inspiring, not much about any one person embodies the true meaning of awesome. But the definition of the word mature as seen in Ephesians 4 is someone who is “a whole person with integrity and virtue.” This is what God desires for us; to be mature, not awesome. He wants us to be complete followers of Jesus, not people trying to be something we’re not.

Paul starts chapter 4 with the encouragement to “live a life worthy of the calling we have received.” He begins that sentence by referring to himself as a prisoner for the Lord, someone worthy to not only serve but suffer for Christ. That doesn’t sound awesome but Paul wanted the people of Ephesus and us to know that the call of God on our lives is special because of who Jesus is and not who we are. We shouldn’t get that twisted.

We are simply people whom God has gifted in a way that is tailored to our unique design. With his help in our maturation and applying our gifts, we can have an eternal impact in the world and be part of some pretty incredible things. Verse 7 tells us that to “each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it and gave gifts to his people.” It goes on to say that “Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors, and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, until we all become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

The fact that Christ would choose to work in and through us to accomplish anything is really what causes awe and wonder. We can’t generate that response on our own and we can’t produce those results apart from the Holy Spirit. God’s work is awesome and we are simply called to grow in and use the gifts He has given us for His glory in the world.

We are also called to reveal his awesome glory by treating each other with love. A community whose members are trying to be awesome often disregard and mistreat one another. But a community of faith made up of individuals who are pursuing God and growing will be healthy and loving.

Paul says in verses 25-32 that mature believers bear with each other in love, speak the truth in love, build each other up in love and encourage in love. A mature group of people loving each other without an agenda or motive other than to glorify God is truly awesome. Maturity in Christ is awesome.

10 Comments

  1. Ken on August 28, 2019 at 7:02 am

    I am so impressed that our awesome God called each of us out of darkness into His glorious light and empowers us with the Holy Spirit into and awesome work that He does through us. What an honor and privilege to be able to work together with our awesome God.

    God’s love is awesome, amazing and infinite. My hope is to continue to grow in God‘s love by paying it forward to others. And I want to encourage you to do the same. It’s the greatest thing that we can do.

    Thank you God for loving us and calling us and empowering us for your awesome work.

    • Jason on August 29, 2019 at 10:33 am

      I agree, Ken. I’ve been thinking this week as I’ve read and studied Ephesians 4 that I don’t have to be awesome because I get to love, serve and have a relationship with an awesome God. One that actually transcends the word and its meaning and really any description our finite minds come up with for Him.

      It is truly awesome to be God’s child and to find my identity in Him as opposed to trying to be awesome in some way on my own. It is such a relief and blessing to simply be on mission with and grow in the knowledge of our awesome Savior. Knowing Him is awesome.

      • Ken on August 29, 2019 at 1:56 pm

        Well put, Jason. It is so much better and easier doing life with God. Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV) says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

        • Jason on September 2, 2019 at 2:37 pm

          I have never been more thankful for that promise in verse 30 than I am in this season. It is certainly better to do life with God. Thank you for sharing that passage, Ken. I needed it.

  2. Heidi on August 30, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    Ephesians 4:1-3 (AMPC) says, “I, therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to and beg you to walk (lead a life) worthy of the [divine] calling to which you have been called [with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God’s service, living as becomes you] with complete lowliness of mind (humility) and meekness (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness), with patience, bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another. Be eager and strive earnestly to guard and keep the harmony and oneness of [and produced by] the Spirit in the binding power of peace.”

    What touched my heart was Paul begging everyone to live a life that God has called us to. He has given us gifts to use in His service, to become skilled at helping others grow in their walk with Him too.

    So be eager, excited and put some effort into learning how to live a life with God and grow in the gifts that God has given you. Learn to be like Jesus. He is our best example of a great servant.

    I just want to thank Father God for giving us Jesus and the Holy Spirit to help us to learn from every day and giving us His power. The Holy Spirit, who gives us the ability to live and do what you want us to do, will do so if we ask Him to help us.

    • Jason on September 3, 2019 at 12:10 pm

      I appreciate this comment, Heidi. In the context of the verses you referenced and commentated on, we see the Lord calling us to humility, gentleness, unselfishness, patience, and grace as we walk with Him and deal with others. I especially like the addition you made in your post – excitement: “So be eager, excited and put some effort into learning how to live a life with God and grow in the gifts that God has given you.”

      In the flow of life with God, we strive to emulate those characteristics that are indicative of a Christ-follower and that we should, but I think in the midst of it all, we forget that God also wants us to be eager, passionate and excited to serve Him. I appreciate you reminding us of that because the Christian life if exciting, invigorating and worthy of our desire.

  3. almaschmidt on August 30, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    This week in Ephesians 4, God gave me a song while I was listening to Pastor Heidi’s message out of verse 32. It’s called “God’s Beauty.”

    God’s beauty with beautiful mountains, oceans, and birds
    We get to live freely, freely with our hearts being filled
    Filled with his love, understanding, and forgiveness

    Our Father has so much compassion, forgiving us
    What a beautiful Father
    Mountains so high, oceans so wide, birds flying high

    What a beautiful world, a beautiful world
    Thanking you, thank you, God!

    • Jason on September 3, 2019 at 11:57 am

      I love this, Alma. So often we fail to stop, see and recognize the beauty of God and his reflection in nature and the whole of His creation. In recent years, I have attempted to be more conscious of God’s beauty not only in what I see around me in the world but observing the beauty of God in circumstances, friendships and in my family.

      Thank you for calling our attention to the majesty and glory of our Father!

  4. Trina on August 31, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    Ephesians chapter 4 says that God has called me out of the darkness. I no longer am a prisoner of earthly things. I am an ambassador, peacemaker and a representative for Christ. Darkness, disappointment, greed, envy, jealousy and all sins are signs of a sinful nature. Most importantly, my soul is not lost but reborn, keeping the unity of His spirit through the bond of peace.

    As a new creature, living, breathing, cleansed and a committed soul of God, I live in the binding power of peace. One mind, one Lord, wrapped in complete baptism of the Holy Spirit, God instructs me to pay His love forward just as He loved me. I have a new body and life in Christ. I do not have to be buried, bound and wrapped like mummies, kings, Pharaohs and high priests of ancient history. Instead, I am no longer useless in the flesh and have been called by God to have a purpose.

    I am clad in the armor of Christ, preserved in the Holy Spirit, purified, solidified, bound and wrapped in all aspects of my life. My old nature and worldly ways are banished forevermore. I am thankful to Jesus for the unification of the Holy Spirit for my church. Being a part of a unified body of Christ, believing and putting off the old self to live a life of love and holiness makes my heart smile.

    I am thankful to God for loving people so much that He came to us all and gave us peace. Paying God’s love forward is just a small gesture that I can do for Him. I am glad God loved me so much that He gave of Himself so that I can be free and live my life for His glory. I love Jesus so much.

    • Jason on September 3, 2019 at 2:43 pm

      Thank you for your commentary, Trina. I am encouraged by the whole of your post but most especially by these lines: “I no longer am a prisoner of earthly things. I am an ambassador, peacemaker and a representative for Christ. Darkness, disappointment, greed, envy, jealousy and all sins are signs of a sinful nature.”

      That is a tremendous truth about who we are in Christ and His promises for our lives. Those two sentences should be read, ingested and meditated upon every day by all of us so that we can be reminded of what God has done and who we are in Him.

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