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Welcome to DAY 17 of our online Bible study on Ephesians!

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DAY 17

Read: Ephesians 4:13-16

During a morning workshop at a Christian writer’s conference, the instructor asked the class how we dealt with professional jealousy.

In the beginning of my writing journey, I’d struggled with coveting some of the opportunities God had given to others. Fortunately, also early in my career, the Lord blessed me with wise counselors who reminded me that writing was a tool for ministry intended for God’s glory, not mine.

Every writer in that classroom, each a treasured member of the Body of Christ, had been given a special voice and a specific job. There was no way one writer could minister to every believer and reach those who didn’t know Christ. We’d have to work together and trust that our faithful Father already has a perfect plan to use each one of us.

When our instructor turned to me, I shared what the Lord had taught me and said, “I don’t want what God has for you. I’m too excited about what He has in store for me.”

The apostle Paul encourages believers to be content with God’s path for them. He affirms our gifts are purposed “to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” (Ephesians 4:11-12). We need each other in order to “reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature” (Ephesians 4:13).

Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we can reject jealousy and selfish desires that cause division in the church and in our relationships with God and others.

Together, we can commit to “speaking the truth in love,” as God helps us mature spiritually. Rejoicing in His goodness, we can march in step with the predetermined cadence of all the saints devoted to spreading the Gospel of Christ.

“From Him, the whole body joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:16)

So when each of us remains devoted to knowing God and surrendering to His Spirit, we won’t need to waste time worrying about how God is using someone else. We’ll be too excited about the ways He’s allowing us to play a small part in His big plan.

Lord, thank You for using us, even though You don’t need us.
Please help us remember that this hurting world
desperately needs us to submit to You and to one another.
Help us to selflessly love, serve, and praise You,
harmonizing with the unique voices You’ve given to each and every one of us.
In Jesus’s name, Amen



~ Diving Deeper ~

In what unique ways can your voice — your life experience —
help others in the body of Christ?


Share in the comments!

Xochitl E. Dixon

Xochitl (soh-cheel) encourages women and teens to embrace God’s grace and grow deeper in their personal relationship with Christ and others. Her devotions will be featured in Our Daily Bread, starting in 2017. Married to her best friend since 1994, she enjoys sharing God’s Word to the ends of the earth, being a mom, traveling, and photography.

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