November 21, 2005

Our Calling

Ephesians 4:1-6

I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Ephesians 4:1


Many of us ask, "What shall I do with my life?" Behind this question is a bigger and deeper one: "What is the purpose of my life?" This is one of those big formative questions that we are never finished asking. We ask it as children and youth when we're trying to figure out a career path. We ask it again when we think about getting married, or becoming parents, or increasing our responsibilities in other ways. We ask it when our children are grown up and the nest is empty. When we retire, we ask it all over again. We must also ask it regularly as we reflect on and build on our inner life. To answer this question, we need a central focus in our heart that the apostle Paul calls a sense of calling. It's an awareness that someone else is ultimately watching over our destiny. Our calling is something we have "received" from God, says Paul. We are to listen and search for it. We don't make it up all by ourselves. In other words, the Lord has a calling for each of us. God has designed us for a purpose. God has redeemed us through the work of Jesus Christ so that we can live to the praise of his glory. As Paul points out in our reading for today, it's important to be certain that the living we do is worthy of the calling we have.

Lord, lead me today and make me open to your leading. Give me an understanding of your purpose for my life, and never let me lose sight of it. For Jesus' sake, Amen.

About the author — Howard Vanderwell

Rev. Howard Vanderwell was involved in pastoral ministry in the Christian Reformed Church for 40 years, serving as a pastor in Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan. Upon retirement in 2002, he began his work at Calvin Seminary, where he helped train the ministers of the next generation. Howard and his wife, Eleanor, were married for 57 years and had three married sons and ten grandchildren.

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