Someone recently asked me what my favorite Bible verse was. I have been a member of my church since the day I was born, and I have been a dedicated Christian since I was 13-years-old. Yet, I didn’t have a favorite Bible verse. So, I began looking through my Bible and really started to figure out the answer to that question.
I am a big Bible note-taker. I like to write in the margins of my Bible, highlight key verses, and underline everything. Typically, the bulk of my notes are found in the New Testament, usually between 1 Corinthians and Philippians. That is where I decided to start. As I flipped through the pages of these books, I got intrigued by one of the verses that started off chapter 4 of the book of Ephesians. At the beginning of this chapter, Paul is addressing the people of Ephesus and he says, “I, a prisoner of the Lord, urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (Ephesians 4:1, NIV). This verse caught my eye, and I spent the rest of the day thinking about what that meant to me.
To Christians, a “calling” may be many different things. The Word gives us several different examples and ideas on what Christians are called to do. In Ephesians 2:10, Paul says that we are “created in Christ Jesus to do good works.” James 1:22 tells us that we are to be “doers of the Word.” Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Be imitators of God, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself for us.” “Making disciples”, “seeking after God’s own heart”, “being holy”, and many other commands are given to us by Jesus and his disciples to explain to us how we are supposed to spend our days on Earth.
Living a life in this way, with these attributes pressing us forward, will eventually get us to the ultimate goal: Heaven. These commands on how to live are given by Jesus or his teachings. What an honor! To be commanded by the Savior! And, in Ephesians 4:1, Paul urges us to live a life that is “worthy” of that calling. We are to live a life so pure and kingdom-minded that the Savior of the world would find us “worthy” of this ultimate award of salvation. Talk about pressure….
Christianity is hard. And I’m not just talking about the big stuff, like avoiding sexual impurity, drunkenness, or murdering people. Christianity is the ultimate challenge. It forces us to hold our tongue when someone says something stupid. It forces us to give to the less fortunate, when even we may need that money too. It forces us to leave the teachers lounge when all the other teachers are gossiping about students or administrators. It forces us to get up and go to church on Sunday morning, even when no one else is. It forces us to give up friendships and relationships that are poisoning our relationship with God. It forces us to give up our own plans for life, knowing that God is going to lead us down a path that is in accordance to His will.
This is the kind of life that Jesus has called us to live in order to be worthy of our calling and salvation. It is difficult, and stressful, and different. However, with dedication to this lifestyle and the grace of God, we are deemed worthy by the Prince of Peace, the Highest Host, the Great I AM. I think I can put aside immorality, gossip, and dishonesty to keep this name and life worthy of that price.
Are you living a life that is worthy of the calling you have received?