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Same Road Same Direction

Same Road Same Direction

27 October 2015

Reading: Ephesians 4; Psalm 100

Scripture:

You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly...7 But that doesn’t mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift. (Ephesians 4:4, 7 MSG)

Paul was writing to the believers in Ephesus, one of the largest and most pagan cities in the world. He was writing to the church in Ephesus, before the idea of a “local church” was fully developed. He was writing to all the believers in a locality (local church) even though they met in different places at different times. They were still the church. Paul said they were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction.

It’s exciting when some of the leaders of local churches in a community like Bend (Local Churches – Churches in a Locality) begin to understand that they are called to travel on the same road and in the same direction. That’s happening—it’s happening in Bend and in other communities in Central Oregon and in many, many other places. And the great thing about it is that many church leaders are realizing that not all the churches should look and speak and act the same, because the gifts Christ has given to each are different gifts.

But in our context, the more immediate and specific application is to a local church, in our case the church where Jean and I serve, Westside Church. Westside Church is diverse. We are diverse in age, in religious background, in economic status and in education. We are diverse in giftings and in passion just like the Ephesian church. But we are all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction. The “staying together” that Paul directs us to is active, not passive. It means actively developing and maintaining appreciation and respect for each other and each others’ gifts and passion. It means quickly and proactively working out differences and disagreements. That’s a lot of work! Are we up to it?

Prayer:

Father, Thanks for the privilege of being part of a traveling company – a body of believers who are called to travel on the same road and in the same direction. But not called to look and speak and act the same. Help me to do my part to keep us together, both inwardly and outwardly.

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