Consider Your Calling
Today’s Reading: Isaiah 41-42; 1 Thessalonians 1
Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours. 1 Corinthians 1:1-2
What do you picture when you hear the word “saint”? A deceased person, a statue, candles and incense? Years ago, my definition would have been, “One who is worthy to be prayed to.” I also associated sainthood with death, as if it was an oxymoron to be a “living and breathing saint.” But in Paul’s opening to the Corinthian church, his definition is very different. First, he begins this letter by addressing himself and bringing attention to his calling as an apostle. An apostle means “a sent one.” Paul then goes on to say that he was “sent” to the Corinthian church to remind them of their calling—sainthood.The Corinthian church seemed far from sainthood. As a church they struggled with pride, immorality, idolatry, envy, jealousy—just to name a few. Paul knew what they were like, which is why he wrote them this letter. So why did he tell them they were called to be saints?
According to the Bible, a saint is one separated from the world and consecrated to God; a believer in Christ (Psalm 16:3; Romans 1:7; Romans 8:27; Philippians 1:1; Hebrews 6:10). Becoming a saint starts right here on earth, the minute you accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord. Mans’ ways of statues and candles and incense or even good works are not God’s ways of being set apart to do His will. Paul was reminding the Corinthians that they are now saints because of Jesus, but they were not acting according to their calling. Their lifestyle contradicted their declaration of knowing, loving and living for God.
This contradiction happens to us too. We become saints because of believing in Jesus’ work on the cross and then we have the ability to live for Him by the filling of the Holy Spirit. Our sainthood does not rest in our works but in our belief. Our beliefs should represent the way we live, not inconsistent like the Corinthians.
Today, ask the Lord if your calling in Christ (being called a saint) is consistent with your every day life. Are you living every day to please Him? Are your priorities consistent with a life of holiness? Do you really understand your calling? Consider the areas in your lifestyle that you know are not pleasing to the Lord. Then write a prayer specifically asking Him to help you be who He wants you to be.