As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
How are you living your life? What daily choices are you making to direct your life? How are you guiding your words, thoughts, actions, and attitudes to make your life worth living? To serve others? For the betterment of people around you? Around the world?
That’s the question Paul is asking when he urges them to live a life worthy of the calling they have received. He is urging them to walk worthy of their calling.
What does it mean to walk worthy? It simple. To walk worthy means that their life is to reflect and be empowered by the grace they have received. And how much grace did they receive? Enough to forgive sins, wiping them all away, so that they are remembered no more.
Now, for my money, that’s a lot of grace. That’s a ton of forgiveness. That’s an eternal weight lifted from my shoulders. And with this new-found freedom, my life is to be lived in a new way since all my weight has been removed.
Not only my weight has been removed, but so has yours. The weight of all our sin, selfishness, and shame was removed once-and-for-all on the cross. With the weight gone, we discover a newfound lightness to our lives. Able to move more easily and quickly. Our lives are to never be the same.
With his weight gone in Christ, Paul was able to experience being a prisoner with freedom. Yes, he was a prisoner, but not with some ankle bracelet to watch his movements. He was a prisoner who was in a prison. There is no doubt about where he was. No question that he lost his physical freedoms. He was chained and surrounded by guards. That was the physical reality of his circumstances and situation.
But that’s not where he sees himself. When Paul looks at himself, he looks right through his circumstances, and he sees himself in the Lord. He knows that no matter where he goes that he’s in the Lord. He’s surrounded by God. It’s like God put him in a big envelope and sealed it with Paul inside. There’s no way out.
Why’s Paul in prison? Because of his connection to Jesus. He’s in Christ and that’s the bottom line when it comes to how he got there. He met the risen Christ, and everything changed. He stopped going after Christians and started speaking to convince people to become Christians.
And with this as background, Paul only has one wish for the Ephesians. Only one goal. One order. One directive. And that is to walk worthy. They are to live out their lives in front of God and people according to their calling.
But what is their calling? It’s more than just doing their job. Their calling is higher, it’s to live just like Jesus is there with them. And why? Because Jesus really is there with them. He’s inside them. He’s all around them.
God says that he made you a saint, now live like a saint. In Christ I forgave you, now in Christ live like all that weight has been lifted. You’re no longer under the burden of your sin. That was totally forgiven on the cross. The result is that we are now free to live by his power.
That kind of living will look very different. It will be a life that looks for the best in others. It’s a life that looks for ways to help and serve others. It’s a life that looks for ways to work in the background, letting God get the glory. When the weight’s taken off, life becomes a lot easier.
I used to run up and down hills with weights on my ankles to strengthen my legs. Sometimes I’d also put on a weighted backpack to make it even harder. When the ankle weights and backpack were taken off, it felt very different. Without those weights, I could move with ease. I could jump higher. Run faster.
Now, with all our sin being removed, and all the weight of our guilt and shame gone, do you feel any different? Do you live any different? If not, then something’s very wrong.
Could it be that the weight is really gone but you keep thinking that it’s still there? Do you get overwhelmed with memories of past sins? Do they weigh you down to the point that you can no longer move?
I get it. It happened to me just this morning. A memory from long ago flashed in my memory. It came out of nowhere. There was no warning. There I was, reliving an awful moment of sin in my life. So, what do I do?
Here’s what I do. I talk to myself and that memory. I say, “Come with me to the cross. See, Jesus died for this and all my sin. It’s fully paid for. Yes, it was horrible, but God payment was greater. Thank you, God, this this was paid for by Jesus. I want to live today in his forgiveness.”
This fills me with thankfulness and a desire to live for him. It motivates and empowers me to walk worthy. And it’s there for you too.
· How would you feel about being called a prisoner of the Lord?
· How effectively are you walking worthy for God? Why?
· How has the calling from God that you received changed your life?
 Unless otherwise noted, all Bible references are from the New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.