All For One

Before my 10 year-old attended camp, my husband and I told him: “Remember, you represent us.”

Translation: “Behave!”

Before the apostle Paul taught about spiritual gifts to the Ephesians, he admonished:

Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”   – Ephesians 4:1

Translation: “Behave! You are Christ’s own. You represent the King. Therefore, be humble, gentle, patient, understanding, and peaceful.”

About five years earlier, Paul appealed to the Corinthian church to be unified. Their spiritual gifts had become symbols of spiritual power, causing rivalries instead of God’s intended purpose of building and edifying the church.

How important is unity to our Lord? On the threshold of His crucifixion, Jesus prayed for us―future believers:

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know you, (God the Father), sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”  – John 17:22-23

Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane),...

Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane), oil painting by Heinrich Ferdinand Hofmann (Heinrich Hofmann). The original is at the Riverside Church (Riverside Church, New York City). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul continued on this thought:

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit―just as you were called to one hope . . . .―one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”    – Ephesians 4:3-6

I counted nine ‘ones’ in the above two passages. Working together in unity is extremely important to God. Thankfully, our oneness doesn’t make us clones. Wouldn’t that be boring! God’s work involves many different individuals with a variety of gifts and abilities.

As the body of Christ―God’s church―we can accomplish far more together than we ever could individually.

God’s oneness of believers is opposite of society’s definition of being number one (Luke 14:19). By seeking God’s approval we can avoid the  superstar syndrome.

How can the church be one and avoid division with our diversity? I would love to see your comments.

God’s Masterpiece

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  – Ephesians 2:10


While our efforts can’t earn salvation, our gratitude for Christ’s free gift should result in acts of service. We are not saved just for our own benefit, but to serve Christ and build up His church.

You are special! In Christ, you are God’s work of art, His poem. And God had you in mind for a specific job(s) when He created you.

God has blessed you with abilities and, (if you are His child), spiritual gifts. No one will ever possess your unique set of talents, ideas, abilities, feelings, and exact physical traits.

God’s plans for you are as unique and special as you are. God knows you inside and out (Psalm 139). He will not only use your strengths, but also use your surrendered weaknesses for His glory (2 Corinthians 12:10).

From Jacob’s 12 sons to the 12 disciples, it’s clear: God specializes in using ordinary people in extraordinary ways. And in God’s economy, the seemingly insignificant tasks―when done with the right attitude―honor Him (1 Corinthians 12:22-25).

The Christian life is full of paradoxes. In a society where self is glorified and competition reigns, the idea of serving God and others fly contrary to our selfish desires and comfort zones. But when we place Christ first and follow His lead, we position ourselves to experience His abundant life; the greatest fulfillment. If that isn’t enough, God also uses our obedient faith steps and rewards our efforts, even though He knows we’ll mess up at times (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Reading the Bible, prayer, trust in Christ, and listening to godly counsel are the keys to knowing God’s directives.

What are some of the good works God has prepared for you?