Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
1 Corinthians 1:1 (NIV)

As I read these words today, I was struck by Paul’s confidence in his calling.

Shortly before reading this verse today, I had written out my calling in one sentence, then broken down that calling by looking at several words and phrases within the sentence. My calling doesn’t come with a single word title as Paul’s does.

I am called to help men and women become the people God intended them to be.

I am confident of this. I’m not so confident about how He wants me to go about it! 🙂 And that’s OK. Because He’ll direct and He’ll open doors and He’ll provide opportunities.

It was an interesting task, though, writing out my calling. Although I have had the single sentence calling for many years, I have never broken it down to its various components and defined what that meant. May I suggest you take half an hour (or half a day, or perhaps even half a year) to sit before the Lord and define your calling? It will help you focus your activities and your life. Even if you don’t know how He wants you to go about fulfilling that calling!

Back to Paul’s calling: As I looked at Paul’s assertion, two things caught my attention – the word “called” and the phrase “by the will of God.”

The word translated “called” is the Greek word kletos, and it means “invited, that is appointed…called” (G2822 in Strong’s Greek Dictionary). Now there seems to me to be a bit of a difference between “invited” and “appointed” but both words are interesting. Paul was (and we are) invited to serve God and we are appointed to serve God. Nowhere does it say that we are commanded to serve God. Both words, invited and appointed, have a bit of honor associated with them. I feel honored when I receive an invitation to a party or am appointed to a position. Both mean that I am considered to have value by the one offering the invitation or making the appointment. I love that! I am invited by God and appointed by God to serve Him. What an honor!

Paul says specifically that he was called “by (or through) the will of God.” The word “will” might best described as the “ongoing (or continuing) choice.” God’s calling is not capricious or made lightly. Rather, it is a choice that He made and He continues to make. Being the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8), God doesn’t change his mind once He has invited and appointed us. In fact, Romans 11:29 tells us that his gifts and calling are irrevocable.

Friends, we have been invited to serve the Living God, the Creator of the Universe, and it is an invitation He never rescinds. That’s something to get excited about!

Watch this space…more about calling tomorrow…

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