Monday, July 18, 2016

I AM CALLED




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

Since our WDYTYA series began, we have taken the time to look at who we are in Christ and dig in a little deeper to what the Bible says about our identity. Our eyes have been opened to all we have inherited in Christ: every spiritual blessing. We are Blessed. Chosen. Redeemed. Loved. Holy. The revelation has been powerful to realize not just who Christ is, but who we are and all that we have in Christ

The first three chapters of Ephesians really hone in on who Christ is and what we should believe. Our eyes are opened to the richness of every spiritual blessing and we are shown the immeasurable riches of His glorious grace. Trials and hardships are real to us all, yet as we examine our lives according to the Word of God, we see how blessed we truly are, even in the midst of the chaos going on throughout the world.

Paul’s letter shares the natural, spiritual progression with the church at Ephesus but modern-day believers often get it twisted and do things out of order. Some come to Christ and then jump into ministry and lose sight of who God is and who we are in Him. Many have been misguided in the understanding of what calling really means. Calling is not to fulfill our own needs or to create our own identity. We already have all that we need in Christ! We are called to Him; that is our identity. With the gifts and talents we received, we can meet a need in another person’s life.

A shift takes place in Paul’s letter where our calling and service to others comes in. (Take the time to read Ephesians 4). We know we are called to Christ but sometimes forget that means we’re also called to His Body. Maybe you haven’t forgotten but have been held back by fear or insecurities or past hurts. The labels stuck to us have hindered our forward progress in the Kingdom. Some have run far from any sense of community while others have immersed themselves in ministry with the wrong focus. As a result, we have believed the lie of the label rather than fully embracing our identity in Christ and the plan He has for us within the Body. It’s time to tear off those labels and be who He has called us to be. 

What is your call? This is a question we all ask at some point. Our passions may differ and our gifts vary but we are called to the Kingdom. Every person has something to give. We are called to ministry and ministry is people. Each of us has a specific purpose within the Body of Christ. You may not be called to serve overseas in missions or to pastor a church, but as believers, we are all called to community. Whatever the area of service, Paul urged the people of Ephesus to walk in a manner worthy of that calling. The call is not a position, the call is a way of life and it cannot be fulfilled on your own. We are many yet we are one. We are called. 

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 
- Ephesians 4:4-6

“The place God calls you to is where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” - Frederick Buechner 




Additional Readings:
Romans 12
1 Corinthians 12

Reflection Questions
How has the exploration into our personal identity in Christ changed your view of being called to the Body of Christ? What does the calling to community look like to you?

Assignment
Find (and share) a verse that gives an example of one of your spiritual gifts, passions, or ways that you feel called to go deeper (join a ministry, volunteer with an organization, encourage a neighbor, share your music, art, etc.)


If you're jumping into the series now, feel free to check out the #WDYTYA16 page that includes links to all the posts so far. 

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