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Valley Conference

23rd–25th June 2023

Living a Life Worthy of the Calling

Senior Pastor Ed Carter

Senior Pastor Ed Carter

At the start of 2021, I shared a vision of how our lives should look as Christians.

Picture Paul, sat under house arrest, expounding passionately to a scribe scribbling fiercely away at a desk in the corner, penning Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus. It’s comforting to think that as Paul was compiling this letter of encouragement, he was dealing with a situation not dissimilar from our own in a national lockdown. Just like us, he will have known good days and bad days, sometimes full of productive energy; other times lacking motivation for the simplest tasks. 

In spite of his situation, Paul never allowed himself to press pause on the mission. In Ephesians 4:1, he writes, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling that you have received.” The calling is the reason for his imprisonment, and he has no idea what’s coming down the road to meet him, but he knows that he needs to live a life worthy of the calling that God has given him, because he knows the results are so worthwhile - and he knows that every Christian must do the same. 

What is the calling? Paul tells us earlier in Ephesians 3:10 - “His purpose was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known…” To live a life worthy of the calling, we must be...

...Ambassadors for the Kingdom - representing Jesus in every area of our lives, bringing his culture, asking ourselves what He would have us do in every situation. The effects this will have are twofold: 

  • We’ll make an impact for Jesus in the world around us. 
  • We’ll begin to live as the people of God should, meaning His blessing can live in us and will flow through us.

...Inconveniently obedient to Jesus - being followers of Jesus should affect the stuff we want to do. If it hasn’t been inconvenient yet, that’s either because we’ve not been a Christian for very long, or we’re not doing it properly! It’s inconvenient for our: 

  • Relationships - we should carefully consider what the Bible has to say about picking good friends, especially when it comes to the person we want to marry. 
  • Finances - we’ve worked hard for our money, but God’s word instructs us to give the first tenth to His house, to give other offerings, and to be generous as well. If we can give our finances over to God, almost everything else will follow. 
  • Obedience - in a postmodern western society where the wants and needs of the individual reign supreme, we need to go against the flow, and recognise the authority of God. 

...Unusually compassionate and generous - the mark of a worthy Christian is a life spent helping others to achieve all that God has placed in them: empowering a new generation! We must be open handed with our gifts, skills, time and possessions, always seeking to bless other people with them.

...Bringing the message of Jesus - if we neglect to preach the gospel, all our other efforts are ultimately for nothing. Matthew 3:2 plainly tells us, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” To live a life worthy of the calling, we must stop living life for the temporary and start living life for the eternal and help others to do the same.  You see, a new kingdom is coming and we must help all who are willing to change their allegiance from self, to God. 

Paul knew the cost of the calling, but he also knew the benefits for others and himself as he lived it out, so he lived a life worthy of it anyway. Lord, may our lives be marked by the same faithful commitment and loyalty, Amen

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