Note: There are many references to Scripture in this blog. All are to the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible unless otherwise noted.

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

Yesterday’s blog about Paul’s calling (and my calling and your calling) encouraged me to dig a little deeper. Simply by looking up the other usages of the word that is translated “called” The word is only used eleven times, and in all cases it is used one of two ways: (2) by Paul referring to his calling as an apostle and (2) by various authors to refer to those who are children of God. Yesterday we looked at Paul usage of the term. Today, let’s look at how it is used in relation to others who trust Jesus:

  • In writing to the believers in Rome, Paul says we are called “to belong to Jesus Christ.” (Romans 1:6)
  • Paul addresses his letter to the Roman believers as those who are “called to be saints.” (Romans 1:7)
  • In 1 Corinthians, Paul describes us as being “called to be holy.” (1 Corinthians 1:2)
  • Later in that chapter, Paul writes that for those who are called by God, Christ is the power and wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1:23-24)
  • In the book of Jude, those who have been called, are described as those “who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:1)

In each of these cases, the word translated “called” means “ongoing (or continuing) choice.” It is the derivative of a word that is also translated “called” but refers to the single act that is done or has been done. Looking at this word gives us more insight into our calling. Read over this list slowly to understand who you are in Christ and what you are called to do or be.

  • We are called into fellowship with God’s Son Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:9)
  • We are called to live in peace. (1 Corinthians 7:15c, Colossians 3:15)
  • We are called “by the grace of Christ” (Galatians 1:6)
  • We are called to “freedom” (Galatians 5:13, NRSV)
  • We are called to live a life “worthy” of the calling we have received (Ephesians 4:1)
  • We are called to “one hope” (Ephesians 4:4)
  • We are called “into His kingdom glory” (1 Thessalonians 2:12)
  • We are called to “live a holy life” (1 Thessalonians 4:7, 2 Timothy 1:9)
  • We are called to “share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:14)
  • We are called to received the “promised eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:15)
  • We are called “out of darkness into His wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
  • We are called to suffer unjustly (1 Peter 2:19-21)
  • We are called to return evil or insults with a blessing (1 Peter 3:9)
  • We are called to God’s “eternal glory in Christ” (1 Peter 5:10)
  • We are called to “the wedding supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9)

That’s quite a list! As I created the list there were several items that caught my attention. Rather than talk about them, let me give you an example and a challenge, then offer an encouragement and a prayer.

The example: As I typed “to live in peace,” the questions came into my mind “Am I living in peace? Am I appropriating God’s peace?”

The challenge: Read over the list prayerfully. Which of the things you are called to would God like you to experience more fully? Make it a part of your daily prayers for the next two weeks.

The encouragement: God doesn’t call us to anything He cannot give us or enable us to experience. If He has highlighted one of these “callings,” it is His desire to help you attain it.

The prayer: I pray that this week you will apprehend the grace that God has for you. And I bless you with a supernatural ability to see God working in your life as you pray to bring about His calling this week.

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