October 22, 2018 • Life for Leaders
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
As you know, we’ve been focusing for several days on the exhortation in Ephesians 4:1: “Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” Before we move on from this passage, I want to add one further thought.
Have you ever paused to consider what an honor it is to be called into relationship and partnership with God? I confess I can easily take this for granted. I’ve been a Christian for fifty-five years now, and sometimes I miss the wonder of my vocation. But if I pause to reflect, I’m blown away by the extraordinary distinction of being called by the living God.
Not that I have earned this through my own awesomeness, mind you. God doesn’t need me because I have such amazing things to offer. Rather, God includes me because God has graciously chosen to do so. The calling to know and serve God is a marvelous gift God offers to us through Christ.
Perhaps an analogy will help here. When I was a young pastor, I worked for and was mentored by Lloyd Ogilvie, senior pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood. One day, Lloyd received a stunning phone call. It was from the White House. He was being invited to pray with President George H.W. Bush. Not in some big prayer meeting, mind you, but in a private place with only a few people present.
How do you think Lloyd felt? It’s not hard to imagine how honored he was by this invitation. When someone important summons you, not only do you say “yes,” but also you feel pretty excited about the invitation and, to be honest, pretty happy to be you.
You may never be called to the White House to pray. But you have been called by the King of kings and Lord of lords. You’ve been summoned by the Creator of the Universe, by the one, true, holy God. God has invited you into an intimate relationship with him. And he has called you to live your whole life in service to him and to the world. Think about that! What an honor!
Something to Think About:
Have you ever been asked to do something that was, in itself, quite an honor? When? What was it? How did you feel? Why?
How do you feel about the fact that God has called you?
Something to Do:
Set aside some time to reflect on your calling. Pay attention to how you feel. Share those feelings with the Lord in prayer.
Gracious God, thank you for calling me to yourself and into your work in the world. What an honor it is to be called by you!
Lord, I recognize that my vocation isn’t a reflection of my skillfulness, but rather your graciousness. Thank you for this wonderful gift! Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project:
Conclusions about calling
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.