5There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6one God and Father of all,
who is over all, in all, and living through all. (Ephesians 4:1-6 NLT)
17With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.
20But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. (Ephesians 4:17-24 NLT)
Question… Am I the only one called by the Lord at Churchtown?
I think you know the answer to that, especially if you have taken the time to read the passages above! The answer is, of course, no. Every person who places their faith in the atoning work of the cross is reborn a child of called and thus called to the ministry of reconciliation. (reconciling broken spirits with God through faith in Jesus Christ) In one way or another, Paul implores all of the people in all of the churches that he serves to, “live a life worthy of your calling.” And so we too listen to his wisdom – the wisdom of God’s Holy Spirit.
What does this mean? Fundamentally it means that we submit to the prayer that we are taught to pray, “Your Kingdom come; Your will be done – on earth as it is in heaven.” You see, if this is truly the way it works, and I believe with my whole heart that it is, then our calling amounts to living out GOD’S will in our lives. What does that look like exactly? To be sure we have some descriptors in scripture. For example, Paul goes on in Ephesians 4 to tell the congregation, “25So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
28If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
30And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
31Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
Pretty good advice, to be sure; but your calling also looks unique to you and your circumstances. I, for example, do not know what it means to live my calling as an accountant, or an attorney, or a construction worker, or a police officer et… BUT we can be assured that wherever we are and whatever we are doing in this world, God wants us to be those ministers of reconciliation who will lead the people that He places us among into the Kingdom.
So here’s the bottom line… God has been very intentional in bringing about the salvation of His human creation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. If we truly repent and place our faith in the completed work on the cross, then we should be very intentional about living in the relationship with The Almighty that has been restored.
What was it I wrote the other week? Love, Pray, Obey – Repeat.
Those are all verbs.