June 28, 2011

Equipped in the Call

1 Peter 5:1-7

Humble yourselves … under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
1 Peter 5:6


We expect children to grow from childhood to adolescence to adulthood in order to live productive lives. The same is true in our spiritual lives. God’s children, born of the Spirit, are called to grow out of spiritual infancy into Christlike maturity (see Ephesians 4:11-16).

The church of Christ exists for that very reason. Through it, God provides growth and guidance for his children.

The church needs leaders who model God’s call in Christ and are willing to serve the body of Christ sacrificially. The church also needs members willing to honor its leaders, and to accept encouragement and guidance from those whom God has appointed to servant leadership. God knows we cannot live in isolation. We need a voice of assurance in times of doubt, a confidant to enter into our personal struggles, and a teacher to show wisdom’s path.

This is possible only when God’s Word and Son remain the church’s foundation and focus. But leaders sometimes abdicate their call by protecting the status quo under the guise of peace and unity. And congregations sometimes resist leadership, especially when selfish pride feels threatened by the demands of grace.

Our lives flourish when we are in communities of grace where Christ is honored and his Word is obeyed. If you are not part of a church community, commit to finding a place where you can grow with others.

Lord, guide your church to grow in grace, to be clothed in holiness, and to live daily for your glory. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Calvin Hoogendoorn

Rev. Calvin Hoogendoorn serves as senior pastor of First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Previously he served two churches in Illinois. He and his wife, Carla, have three daughters.

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