I am currently reading through the Bible in the New Revised Standard Version. Today my attention was grabbed by Paul’s greeting to the Corinthians.
Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 1:1-3, NRSV, emphasis added, *)
First of all, Paul includes everyone who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Yes, you and me included. How awesome to be included in the family of God also this way.
Second, now that we have been made right with God – by God’s grace – we are called to be saints. This call is an ongoing task for us. Being saints is not just about being saved. Let’s read the same verses in the Message translation:
I, Paul, have been called and sent by Jesus, the Messiah, according to God’s plan, along with my friend Sosthenes. I send this letter to you in God’s church at Corinth, believers cleaned up by Jesus and set apart for a God-filled life. I include in my greeting all who call out to Jesus, wherever they live. He’s their Master as well as ours! May all the gifts and benefits that come from God our Father, and the Master, Jesus Christ, be yours. (1. Cor. 1:1-3, MSG, emphasis added, *)
Yes, we’ve been cleaned up by Jesus. But, yes, we are also set apart for a God-filled life. We are called to be saints. Right here and now. The question is: how is God calling each of us to be a saint today?
You are called to be a saint while you commute to work. You are called to be a saint while you do your grocery shopping. You are called to be a saint while you feed your kids. You are called to be a saint while you meet with your friends. You are called to be a saint every second of your life.
And, please, do note that this is not a call to be strong on your own. This is a call to lean on God in every situation and let the Holy Spirit work through you. This is a call to communicate with God throughout the day. This is a call to intentionally live every moment with God.
We are indeed called to be God’s saints. Our lives are indeed different if they are lived with God. Because then they are filled with all the gifts and benefits that come from God. And those do not mean earthly riches or an easy life. They mean spiritual gifts and eternal benefits. Those kinds that fill us with joy and peace, purpose and meaning now and forever. Nothing better in my way of thinking.
You are so glorious.
You are so awesome.
Thank you for cleansing us
and calling us to be your saints.
Equip and empower us, Lord.
Work in us and through us
for your glory.
Bless us with spiritual gifts and
according to your will.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: How is God calling you to be a saint today?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you let God’s Spirit use you in mighty ways!
* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.]
Photo courtesy of Aaron King, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Sharing His Beauty, Hear it on Sunday, use it on Monday, Playdates with God, and counting blessings with Ann Voskamp: #1081 We are called to be saints. #1082 God wants to bless us with spiritual gifts and eternal benefits. #1083 We are set apart for a God-filled life.