Before and After

by Wayne Cordeiro on December 04, 2023

Happy Monday! It’s December 4, 2023. Paul, the apostle, writes to us from a prison cell, but you’d never suspect that from reading his letter to the Ephesian believers in a town full of idols and debauchery. One of the seven wonders of the world was located there – the temple of the goddess Diana (or Artemis). Paul addresses those who were called to follow Jesus and live godly lives, even though they were residing in the midst of a pagan society. Does that sound familiar? Read on…

Today's Reading:

Ephesians 1,2,3,4


“As a prisoner for the Lord, then I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (Ephesians 4:1)


Although Paul was in prison at this time, he never spoke of his own condition or hardships. Instead, he encourages the new believers in this one main thing – 

“Don’t match your calling to your lifestyle. Match your lifestyle to your calling!”


This chapter is pivotal; it contains the instructions for our new life in Christ, portraying the '"before and after." When we give our lives to Jesus, God initiates a total transformation, and our role is simply to cooperate with His remodeling process. He may need to demolish some areas of our house to rebuild it as He designed. Both our hearts and our lifestyle will require renovation, but we must agree to the "heart-and-life-lift."

"So, I tell you this and insist on it in the Lord - that you no longer live like the Gentiles do …” (see verse 17)

"We must recognize that our tendency is to adjust our calling to the way we are accustomed to living. Changing our ways is not always easy, so our proclivity is to modify God’s requirements and soften His rules. That would be a grave mistake. God’s plans are always far above anything we could ever ask or even imagine.


Father, I no longer 'own' my life. I have been bought with a price: the blood of Jesus Christ. I know that many people have chosen to live independently of You. They overrule Your design to live the way they want to, and in doing so, they forfeit so much more. Please help me share the Good News of Your ways and Your plan for us.

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