While the bible itself holds more words than I will probably ever have the bandwidth to fully digest in this lifetime, there are some scriptures, some verses, which become commonplace after spending some time in the church. As humans, we tend to be drawn to certain scriptures and can sometimes become a bit numb to those which we have been repeatedly exposed to. Today in my quiet time, I felt drawn to Ephesians 4, and while I have read it many times before, I could sense the depth of understanding shift in my spirit. I have inserted a few of my thoughts into Paul’s writings.4
“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, (we are all called, each with a unique purpose)2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, (to bear with would imply long-term relationship, a commitment to the fellowship)3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling (our hope is found within our calling, we walk in hope when we walk in our design); 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Complete unity comes when we walk in our unique purpose, alongside and in community with others also walking in their own calling.)
7 But to each one of us grace (power, authority, sanctification, inspiration, strength) was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says:
“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive, (gave us freedom!)
And gave gifts to men.”
9 (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
(It is the Lord who fills, and fulfills, ALL the things).
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, (EVERY gift edifies the body and is vital) 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith (unity comes WHEN we walk in our calling and support others in theirs) and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, (We are able to stand against anything in this life when we are walking in our calling!) 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth (Growth, relationship and personal fulfillment comes from walking in our divine purpose) of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, (Chasing superficial, unspiritual, self-serving things is futile and none of it lasts or completes, our lives.) 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, (Numbness, self preservation, depression, and complacency blind and take captive those who have lost their divine purpose) have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (Do not judge those who do not enjoy the life God offers, but rather pray for them lovingly and walk yourself in the fulness of who you were created to be so you have the capacity to help those who are in need of love.)
20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, (We are renewed when we begin to seek to understand what our purpose is and why the Lord lays out what holiness looks like. Fulfillment comes as we evolve into the divine being we were created to be.) 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. (When we let darkness in, it’s not about being ‘bad,’ but we give place for darkness to take us over and steer us away from our purpose, our fulfillment). 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. (Our words are meant to lift one another up, to encourage and help others, as we help ourselves, in continuing to grow into our purpose). 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”