1: "Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God…" - All of us are called to bring the light of Christ into the world - we may have different tasks and talents but we are all called to be messengers for Christ.
2-3: "…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: 3Grace to you and peace from God…" - In our calling we are set apart, sanctified, for the sole purpose of sainthood through our service and dedication to Christ. For this we are enriched by the gift of salvation and made whole by the love of God.
5: "For in every way you have been enriched in Him, in speech and knowledge of every kind." - God, through the Holy Spirit, provides us with the knowledge we need to speak up in His behalf.
7: "So that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ." - We have been provided everything we need to perform the tasks we are called to do.
8: "He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." - Perseverance and endurance are also gifts from God, enabling our pathway to glory.
9: "God is faithful; by Him you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." - We can count on God's faithfulness - He will never let us down.
Points to Contemplate:
Are you a messenger for Christ?
In Paul's opening comments to the Corinthians he identifies himself in terms of his relationship with Christ. As you proceed through the activity of your day, is everything you do or say filtered through your relationship with Christ? Are you aware at all times of your calling and who God has intended you to be? If you, too, have been "called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God," how has that changed your view of the world and the way in which you interact with it?
Have you been "sanctified in Christ Jesus?" Do you recognize that you have been set apart for God? Are you aware that sanctification is not only a process of holiness but that it also involves your response to God's call for your life? Do you see indications of holiness in your life? Has there been growth and change over the past year? Do you feel that you are leading a more holy life than you used to? If not, could it be because you are not following God's plans for your life and doing the things He has called you to do?
Are you "lacking in any spiritual gift?" As you have been called into specific ministries, have you ever experienced a time when you did not possess the skills, gifts, or talents to do what God called you to do? When He asked you to teach, were you not able to prepare a lesson that provided your students a larger image of God? When He asked you to serve those in need, did you not suddenly find the time in your busy schedule to help? When He asked you to sing, did you not perform in a way that brought glory to God? When He asked you to preach, did the words not come and were people not inspired by His presence in you?
Have you been strengthened by God? During those times of struggle or despair, has God reached into your life and given you the strength to persevere and endure? When you simply felt like giving up, did God send you new inspiration and hope; did He fill your heart with peace and calm your worries and anxieties? Do you see that in every moment of your life, God is actively involved in bringing you along His path of righteousness so that you will be held "blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ?" Promises of the Gospel:
Six Steps to Glory
1. "Called to be apostles for Christ Jesus." 2. "Called to be saints." 3. "Enriched in speech and knowledge." 4. "Not lacking in spiritual gifts." 5. "Strengthened to the end." 6. "Called into fellowship with Christ Jesus."
Whenever doubt, despair, or hopelessness enters your heart, reread these inspiring verses Paul so that you can be reminded who and whose you are.