There are so many ways to communicate in the digital age.  You can communicate face to face, via snail mail, or with email.  Alternately, you could use land lines, mobile phones, or fax machines.  If you are even more tech savvy, you might use Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.  If you want to broadcast your message even further, you could use a blog, youtube channel or podcast.  There are simply so many options available today.  It is staggering!

As someone whose communication patterns are a big part of what I do vocationally, I have explored most all of these options.  I phone, fax, mail, email, tweet, text, Facebook, post to Instagram, etc.  However, one thing I have not yet done much of is podcasting.  Sure, our church podcasts our Sunday sermons, but as someone with a radio degree in my undergrad, I have long been fascinated by the possibility of hosting a podcast.  

A few years ago, I purchased a good USB microphone to aid in the process of starting a podcast.  All available info says that a good USB mic is needed for quality podcast creation, so I bought a mic that was recommended by many reviewers.  After two years of owning the mic, I can really add nothing to the reviews I read . . . not because their reviews were complete, but because I have used the microphone so infrequently!

Isn’t it amazing the things in life that we purchase, fully intending to use them, but then never really get them out of the box.  Fitness machines, health club memberships, tools, specialty clothing items, and many other things fit this description.  That is why it is always good to buy these kinds of things off Craig’s List . . . there has to be a big resale market on hardly used stuff!

I was reflecting on this today as I read Ephesians 4:1-16.  In these verses, Paul is admonishing the Ephesians to “walk in a manner worthy of their calling.”  In context, it seems that specifically Paul was calling the Ephesians to live out in their church the unity that was purchased for them in Christ Jesus.

As we have seen over the last three weeks, the Ephesian church was divided between Jew and Gentile.  Paul wanted to remind them that in Christ, the two different groups had been united in one body.  In a sense, Jesus had purchased unity for the church . . . but in order for the church to fully utilize this unity, they had to “get it out of the box” and put it into practice.  

In Ephesians 4:1-16, Paul gives the church various commands of what they should do to broadcast their unity inside the church and to the watching world.  He wanted them to have attitudes of humility, meekness, and patience.  He wanted them to be long suffering with one another and to aggressively pursue unity and peace.  He wanted them to stop focusing on how they were different, but instead, gather around what they shared in common:  one body, one Holy Spirt, the same Lord, a shared faith, a common baptism, and our heavenly Father.  He wanted them to pursue this unity by working together to build up one another in Christ according to the differences and gifts that Jesus has built into His church.  He wanted them to be the Body of Christ.

Jesus did not give them the gift of unity so it would stay boxed up on a shelf inside their theology books.  He gave them unity so they would experience it and model it.  The same is true for us.

Jesus has given us unity inside the church.  This is not merely an abstract truth for us to tweet about, but a powerful reality we are to fight for with humility and patience.  We are to serve one another, to build each other up, not tear each other down.  This is what it means to be the church, and if you know Jesus, then you are a part of it!

Take some time to reflect on how Jesus wants to use you in the lives of those around you and what attitude you need to unpack in order to be used by Him to the fullest in this life.

This Sunday at Wildwood Community Church, I will be exploring this section of Scripture in part 7 of our sermon series “Packed” based out of the book of Ephesians.  If you are in the area, we would love to have you join us on Sunday in either our 9:30 or 10:50 worship service.

For more resources related to this study of Ephesians click on the following links:

31 thoughts on “Unboxed, not just Purchased

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