When you pray this week, please ask for God’s blessing on a series of three nightly meetings that will be held at the church building starting on June 3rd (Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday) at 7:00 pm. And please turn your heart and mind towards Him.
We pray that through those who speak, God will reach us and help us learn to love what He loves and to turn away from everything that prevents us from growing up. We want him to build and rebuild in us a real love for his truth first and secondly for his kingdom, his mission to the world, for his people, and our need to know him as he is. I pray that my eyes and yours will be opened to see what he sees, and that I will not be a coward who fears the opinions of those who do not know him.
We call it revival. May He truly revive us to live forever in His Kingdom with Him.
Paul would urge us to “lead a life that is worthy of the calling” we have received. When he says to live a life that is worthy, I personally do not hear him saying “Earn your salvation that God wants you to have by doing a lot of really good deeds and being nice and holy.” But I do always think of a scene near the end of a movie – “Saving Private Ryan.”
At the end of the story – part of which is shown below – Captain John H. Miller, played by Tom Hanks, had just come through his own “hell” on earth. For a week or more Captain Miller had invested all his strength and given every waking moment to faithfully complete the assignment his commander had given him. Miller was ordered to seek and find private James Ryan, and then to remove him from the battle field an take him to a safe location. Unknown to private Ryan, his three older brothers had already been killed in other battles, and the commander did not want Ryan’s mother to also lose her only remaining son.
As Capt. Miller died, he looked up at the undeserving private, and with his final breath, said “Earn this.” These two words (shown in the first minute and 15 seconds of this part of the movie) are what I hear and see when I read Ephesians 4:1. I will not – we can not – earn our salvation, nor will we ever really deserve it, but maybe we can act and behave in a way that makes Jesus glad He saved us. I know God is a good, good Father, more loving than the very, very best of the best we have ever seen.
Regardless of ability or opposition, I want to do my duty. Let’s live in such a way that honors the One who so desperately fought to save us – enduring a cruel and painful death – he who should never have been treated so shamefully, who rightfully despised the shame and endured it for the joy of having you and me and all of his people with Him in happy fellowship for ever and ever and ever.