Sunday March 22, 2009 | Dwayne Polk
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 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 when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Spiritually speaking, the attitude we have when we work to advance God's Kingdom is far more important than the work we actually do. If we do the “right things” but don't don’t imitate Jesus in our attitude we don't reflect the Kingdom of God the way we could. Humility, gentleness and bearing each others' burdens are basic to serving one another in Christ-like love.
Dwayne Polk started out this message with an analogy about three workers who each worked laying bricks at a construction site. When asked what they were going, each gave a different answer: One was working to support family, another was developing personal skills, and the last was trying to make a positive contribution to the community in which the project was located.
Each goal was valid and worthwhile, but the fulfillment of that goal was dependent upon them actually doing the work of laying bricks. The application of this analogy was that being humble, patient, and “lowly of heart” is the work of laying bricks when it comes to the kingdom of God. Consider Ephesians 4:1-6 and Matt. 11:28-29.
Without humility and gentleness, we are not living up to our calling as children of God. Furthermore, we will not be able to be patient and enduring with others which is how we are to keep the “bond of peace”.
But trying harder will get us nowhere. Rather, we must follow Jesus’ example of depending on the Spirit of God to strengthen and lead us. Consider Ephesians 3:14-21. It is the Spirit of God that strengthens us and gives us the power we need in our inner beings to be able to lay the bricks of humility, peace, gentleness and do the work of bearing one another’s burdens. When the Spirit of God dwells in us in this way, we know that it is Christ who dwells in us through our faith and faithfulness.
Dwayne suggested three things we can do to “get low” so that God can move through us more effectively:
If we don’t lay the bricks of being “meek” and “lowly of heart”, then regardless of what good things we are doing in our lives, we are not living up to our high calling as children of God.