Saturday, January 08, 2011

January 8, 2011 … Divinely Chosen and Called

Passage of the Day: Ephesians 4: 1 [NIV]As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

Ephesians 4: 1 [NASB] - Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, …

My Journal for Today: One final day in Eph. 4: 1 with Dr. MacArthur, and he has highlighted the phrase “the calling” that the Apostle Paul uses to indicate the direction we have received as Christians. This begs the natural question, “What is this ‘CALLING’ all about?”

Well, the Greek terms for “calling” [klesis] or “called” [kletos], are used in several places in New Testament Scripture. Paul also said (2nd Tim. 1: 9) that our calling is to holiness; and he also (in 1Cor. 1: 2) said that believers are called out into sainthood [i.e., again called to holiness]. Peter wrote (in 2nd Peter 1: 10) that our walk (i.e., our life) exhibits our being chosen or called by God. The author of Hebrews wrote that we have a high and heavenly calling as Christians (see Heb. 3: 1). And you may remember that Paul also referred to Christians as “the called” according to God’s purpose (in Rom. 8: 28 in NKJV).

And so, this business of walking as a “Christian” is a big deal! It’s a “calling” … by, from, and for God. It is no less than the life God has chosen or called for me [see John 15: 16]. He has called me to fulfill HIS purpose; and He has changed my character name from “sinner” to “Saint” for this calling. Therefore, it is incumbent on me to live in such a way that would honor my God and His calling.

Perhaps you remember being “called out” to be on a team, as a young person, … maybe for a basketball team at school. ... I do. … I can remember running home in the 6th grade, excitedly reporting to my mom and dad, “I’m on the team!” And then I can remember wanting to do my very best to show the coach, who had “called me out,” that his selection was not a mistake? I really wanted to live up to whatever it took to show the coach that I could do what was expected of a team member.

MacArthur, in Strength for Today, puts it this way in posing such a challenge, “Such a high calling [from God] demands an equally high response of commitment, doesn’t it?!” And then we have Paul’s challenge in Eph. 4: 1, into which we’ve been studying for the last few days.

Personally, I think that the only rational response for any Christian to his calling for God’s team is a resounding “THANK YOU, LORD!”… And then I feel that the recognition of our calling must be followed by a deep self inventory [see 2nd Cor. 13: 5] and a commitment to follow Christ as never before [as in Prov. 3: 5-6], which is certainly appropriate as we move into this New Year.

My Prayer Today: Lord, You chose me before time. I have received Your calling in my time; and I am blessed by Your gift of grace to live for You. Amen

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