Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: https://sothrichfield.podbean.com
Ephesians 4:1-16 (NIV)
Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ
4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.” 9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 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. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Choose one or two key verses from the Scripture reading in Ephesians today and do at least one of the following for your chosen verse(s).
A – Ask questions of the text (Who, what, why, where, when)
E – Emphasize certain words as you read the text over & over
I – In your own words (paraphrase one or more verses)
O – Other verses in the Bible that say the same or opposite
U – Use it; apply the truth from the text in your life
Thank You Lord for Your church. Your Holy Spirit unites the diverse members as one body, to serve You with hope and love. Unity requires humility, patience, gentleness and lots of love. Allow our congregation to mature in unity as we grow in Your Word with acts of faithful service. Fill us with Your Spirit and help our congregation to grow into a mature knowledge of Jesus in a healthy, united way. In Your precious name. Amen.