What does it imply? What are the implications? You are being called! What does it mean? What are the implications if you answer the call? How does your work play into this? How is your work an integral part of it? Do you realize how important our work is a key part of the restoration plan? Do you have the right perspective? Has it helped or hindered your sense of calling?
Today’s reading starts with the topic of living as we are called…
17Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 18Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 19For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. 23You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. 24So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.
–from 1 Corinthians 7
The key is to keep the commandments of God! It’s not about our appearance! It’s not about our social status! Jesus paid the price so that now we can live according to His plans and purposes! so let’s not be concerned about where we were, but not let’s focus on how we can be all that God is calling us to be!
Today’s reading continues with our calling and our gifts…
8For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
–from 1 Corinthians 12
So let’s take a hold of the gifts and talents God has given us! We don’t need to worry or be concerned about what others have, just that we take what we have been given and be good stewards of it by using them to glorify God!
Today’s reading goes on to speak about how we each have a calling, we have each been given gifts for the purpose that God has created us to accomplish…
6Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
–from Romans 12
We can’t all be the same. We are the body and so we each have a part in the overall health and well being of the body! We can’t complain or shouldn’t complain which part we have to play because each part is important and has a purpose! Some parts may be more visible in what they do and others may be more behind the scenes. Just like the various parts of our human body! And just because you aren’t being used in a way that isn’t as visible, it doesn’t mean your work isn’t any less important! Consider the heart…nobody sees it, but without it the body is dead! Consider the brain…nobody sees it, but without it the connections and collaboration couldn’t take place! We each have a part to play! And they are all important to the overall goal and health! So let’s be cheerful and share the joy of the Lord with those around us! Let’s contribute to the greater good! Let’s be generous in the way we live our lives! Even with the little we have God can take it, multiply it, and provide more than we could ever ask or imagine! Consider the boy who shared his lunch (Matthew 15:32-39/Mark 8:1-13)… Consider the widow and her son who only had a little oil (1 Kings 17:8-16)… What little do you have that God can use for the greater good?
Today’s reading concludes speaking to the importance of unity…
11And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
–from Ephesians 4
We each have a calling that God needs and wants for us to answer! We each have a calling and a purpose that goes beyond just ourselves! We need to work together to bring unity through Jesus so that we can become mature and complete, lacking nothing! It’s not easy! We will face trials of many kinds. We are to consider them pure for joy for in the end, the process will help us to be complete and lacking nothing! Don’t be tossed around or confused! Allow the truth to keep you on track and set you free! Don’t allow the cunning and deceitful schemes of man to rob you of the joy that God put in place for you to receive! So let’s speak truth in love! Let’s grow up in every way Jesus calls us so that as a body, we will be held together strong and be ready and equipped to complete the work as function properly and in unity together sharing the love of God with the world around us, in Jesus’ name!
Not sure where to turn? Not sure what to ask? Turn to God! Turn to His Word that will never return void!
Today’s devotional (day 4) adds some additional insight this way…
Implications of Calling
A biblical view of work runs throughout all of Scripture. Our work plays a part in God’s plan for the restoration of his kingdom. We have lost sight of this perspective and consequently lost our sense of calling.
So, what is calling, and what does it mean for our lives?
There are two types of calling:
- General calling: The primary meaning of calling in Scripture is general – God calls us out of an old, sinful way of life into a new, redeemed, and faithful way of life.
- Particular calling: This type of calling, used in I Corinthians 7:17-24, refers to our state or condition of life.
The implication of the general call is to be faithful to the Lord in all areas of our lives – including our families, our church, our nation, and our work. We are called to a new way of life and faithfulness to our Lord. When we are faithful to the callings God has placed upon our lives, we will experience meaning, significance, and wholeness. If our priorities are askew, we will not.
Calling impacts and orients our lives in a variety of ways:
- A sense of calling gives us perspective on what we do. Whether we succeed or fail, we can sustain motivation to our calling if we remain faithful.
- Calling can keep us from compromising. Sometimes in our work we face the temptation to compromise our values. We may be challenged to act unethically in order to advance in our careers.
- We are called to be good stewards of our gifts. I Corinthians 12:8-10, Romans 12:6-8, and Ephesians 4:11-13, list various gifts in the body of Christ. We are called to know our gifts and to use them vigorously for his kingdom. Our “natural” gifts are our “created” gifts – given to us by God. The Fall has withered, misdirected, or twisted our natural gifts. However, the Holy Spirit can redirect these gifts to benefit both the church and the world.
- Don’t expect a “perfect” use of your gifts. We live in a world that is far from perfect. It is often difficult to find a job that fully fits your gifts. Even if you could land the perfect job, you would find that it wasn’t perfect because you and the people around you are fallen. Although you shouldn’t expect perfection, you should strive to be a good steward of the gifts you were given.
What do you think? How can calling impact and orient your life and work?