Summary: “Am I spending the spiritual riches, the spiritual wealth provided by my Father in Heaven?”
Series Title: The Heavenly Reserve Bank of God (Ephesians)
Message Title: Background Checks! (Ephesians, Chapter 4)
Scripture: Ephesians 4:1-7
4:1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit-- just as you were called to one hope when you were called-- 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
With the advent of the internet, faster computers, and faster internet connections, it makes it very easy to use computers and the internet for a variety of purposes.
One such purpose is Background Checks! There are several companies that advertise on the internet where you are able to conduct background checks on prospective employees. All you have to do is provide them with a name, address, and a social security number, along with a nominal fee and they’ll perform the check of all available databases for you. They’ll check the national and regional databases, they’ll check the police and government databases. Some may even check international databases, but that is a little costly.
What are they looking for? They are looking to see if the prospective employee has done anything wrong that might preclude the company from hiring the concerned individual.
But, there is one thing that they can’t tell you. They can’t tell about the person’s character, integrity, humility or willingness to help others, all which can only be observed in person over time.
Lois Wyse, contributing editor of Good Housekeeping magazine, said to her readers in her April 1985, column,
[There are] “Six ways to learn everything you ever need to know about a man before you decide to marry him:
1) watch him drive in heavy traffic.
2) Play tennis with him.
3) Listen to him talk to his mother when he doesn’t know you’re listening.
4) See how he treats those who serve him (waiters, maids).
5) Notice what he’s willing to spend his money to buy.
6) Look at his friends.
And if you still can’t make up your mind, then look at his shoes. A man who keeps his shoes in good repair generally tends to the rest of his life too.”
In our verses today, and like that last comment by Lois Wyse, Paul is calling upon the Ephesians to ‘tend to their lives’ in accordance with Jesus’ calling for their lives.
In the first three chapters of Ephesians, Paul took the time to tell the Ephesians, and us, of the infinite SPIRITUAL WEALTH they had in the Lord. Now, in these next three chapters, he is going to tell them how they can have a spiritual life, or walk, that is rooted in that immense spiritual wealth provided by their Father in Heaven.
In other words, he basically asks, “Why have all these spiritual riches if you not going to use them?” And, then proceeds to refine the Ephesians.
As we go through these verses today we need to ask ourselves that same question. We need to frankly confront ourselves and ask ourselves: “Am I spending the spiritual riches, the spiritual wealth provided by my Father in Heaven?”
If our answer is a little wavering, or teetering on yes or no in various areas then maybe we need to readjust what I call the triple A’s. That is:
Our Attention to Him and others,
Our Attitude toward Him and others, and
Our Actions for Him and others.
How do we readjust these? Well Paul touches on these very areas in Ephesians, Chapter four. He tells the Ephesians:
Be Worthy of the Calling
Be Humble (completely!)
Be Gentle (completely!)
Be Patient and Forbearing
Be Worthy of the Calling
1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
I believe that if God were to run a background check on us when we get to heaven, then this would be the very first area that He would check, living a life worthy of the calling.
Whatever you have been called on to do by Him, your life needs to be a reflection of that calling. What we mean by this is, if you have been called on to teach, then your life should be a reflection of carefully following those things that you teach. A simple thing, such as teaching young children concerning journal writing, yet not keeping a journal yourself, would go against you. A simple thing, such as teaching people concerning the hazards of drinking alcohol, yet drinking in bars, would definitely go against you. These would not be living a life worthy of the calling you have received.