1Because of this I, the one bound in Christ, strongly encourage you to conduct yourselves in a way that is worthy of the calling by which you were called, 2with all humility and courtesy, with patience putting up with one another in love, 3being zealous to preserve the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. 4One body and one Spirit just as also you were called in one hope that comes from your calling. 5One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and father of all, who is over everything and through everything and in everything.
7 And to each one of us he has given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. — Ephesians 4:1-7 [Emphasis mine]
As Christians we are all called people. It’s something we should remember constantly. It should be our motivation and encouragement.
I. We are called out of sin to salvation
II. We are called into service
III. We are each specifically called by God
IV. We are called to hope
Many people I talk to are afraid of this little word. â€œWho me?â€ they ask. â€œI can’t be called! Bishops are called! Pastors are called! Missionaries are called! Not me!â€ But if you have accepted Christ, you did so because you were called. And when you were called out of darkness into light, you were also called to a mission.
That can be even more frightening to people. Not only are you called, but you’re also a missionary. People really don’t want to be missionaries. Those are folks who are called to go do heroic things in foreign places and maybe even to die.
But a missionary is just a person with a mission. And everyone is called to a mission. Your mission may be to the person next door or someone on the other side of the globe. It may be to someone who’s eagerly waiting for you, or to someone who won’t like you at all. But you can count on being called to be a person with a mission.
In our passage, we’re called to behave in a way that’s worthy of our calling. There are many aspects to this, but today I want to emphasize just one point: To be worthy of your call you have to accept it. You have to say â€œYes.â€
Notice what our passage says about the way you go about your call. Unity, peace, humility, zeal, and love. Those are characteristics our churches are supposed to display. They provide the base from which people can go on whatever mission they are called to.
But the real key is in verse 7. Are you feeling inadequate to carry out the call? Are you wondering how someone as weak or unprepared as you can do it? I’ve found it interesting how many people with wonderful professional credentials, highly successful in the world, are terrified of what they believe God is calling them to do. It might be praying for someone else in the church hallway. Going up and asking that person, â€œCould I pray with you?â€ can bring on complete terror. If you’re feeling inadequate, don’t worry. You’re not alone.
On the other hand there are those who miss little calls because they’re waiting for the big one. You may be waiting for God to give you the tough call to go to Africa, when actually he’s waiting for you to contact your next door neighbor. You may need to exercise a little humility and fulfill that little call first!
Whether the call seems to big or two small, Ephesians 4:7 provides the answer. God gives grace. And there’s something wonderful about the way he does it. He gives grace, not according to your capacity or your actions, and not even just according to what you need, but according the measure of Christ’s gift.
Can you fulfill his call using his grace today?