Growing Up, Part 5

Learning about my spiritual gifts helped a lot, but I wasn’t grown up yet. 1 Peter 4:10 tells us:

Each one of you has received a special grace, so like good stewards responsible for all these different graces from God, put yourselves at the service of others.”

I began to seek out ways to use the talents God had given me. This sometimes meant taking a risk, but as a Christian friend once told me, “if you’re going to try something new, do it at church. If you fail, they’ll still love you!” One of the first things I did after taking the spiritual gifts class was start to write Vacation Bible School programs for our church. That was a big risk, because in addition to the skills I had, it required some of the ones I didn’t — crafts and organization. But you know what? I found other people to help me with those. That’s one of the wonderful things I’ve learned about being part of a church family, there are many people who will encourage you and help you when you step out and try to do the things God calls you to do.

Growing up as a Christian has been one of the greatest adventures of my life. Who would have guessed 40+ years ago that a shy introvert like me could do things like … lead a retreat? start a Bible study group for women? Stand up in front of a group and give a talk?

 “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26b

For more about following God’s calling see:

What’s Your Vocation?

Your Calling

Your Dream. God’s Plan. by Tiffany Smiling — Book Review

Send Me

“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send and who will go for us?’  Then I said, ‘Here I am, send me.'” Isaiah 6:8

My husband and I watched a show on television recently.  One of the main characters, a detective, had a post-it note on the dash of her car with this verse from Isaiah.  When she was asked about it, she said, that was how she viewed her job.  When things were a mess and bad things happened, God sent her in to help. Wow!  Wouldn’t it be great if we all looked at our lives this way?

Martin Luther would certainly approve, because he believed that every Christian had a vocation — not just priests and nuns.  Here’s what he had to say:

“Every occupation has its own honor before God.  Ordinary work is a divine vocation or calling.  In our daily work no matter how important or mundane, we serve God by serving the neighbor and we also participate in God’s on-going providence for the human race.”

Think of it this way — we’re all on a mission from God, called to spread His love and His Gospel in the place where we’re been planted.   We can influence our environment in a good way or a bad way.  We can think of our work as boring and unimportant, or as a way to help and serve others.  When I worked at a hospital, buying inventory items, my boss had a sign placed in our warehouse that read:  “The supplies that go through these doors save lives.”  That helped me to understand that even if I was not a doctor or nurse, the work I did contributed to healing others. So did the work of every receiving clerk or warehouse employee.

Of course, there is also the work of simply being kind, respecting others, praying for our fellow workers, helping one another and so on.  Our occupation should not be unconnected from our spiritual life — it should be a place where we live out what we learn in church and Bible study every week.

You’ve been called.  Have you answered?

For more on Christian vocation see these posts:

What’s Your Vocation?

The Mission of the Layperson

Stewardship of Our Life

 

 

What the Bible Says About Purpose by David Ramos–Book Review

I got this short e-book free through BookBub (www.bookbub.com) and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Of course, spiritual gifts and vocation are one of my big interests, but if you are not well versed on these topics, this would be a good place to begin.  It can be  finished in a couple of hours, and it’s chock full of good, biblically sound information about God’s will, God’s plan, and God’s timing as well as your purpose and calling as part of the Christian community and as an individual.

David Ramos lays his information out clearly and concisely.  It is well researched, with referenced Bible verses to support and illustrate his conclusions.  It includes:

  • Old Testament and New Testament verses that explain and clarify purpose
  • A definition of Biblical purpose
  • The difference between God’s will, God’s call and God’s plan
  • Lies and truths you may believe about your calling
  • Examples of good and bad waiting in the Bible
  • Examples of good and bad impatience in the Bible
  • Different types of calling as seen in the Bible

Of course, there is more.  The book also includes a list of more books by the author, a Guide for Growth in Difficult Times, some recommended articles on the web about finding your purpose, and a list of every verse about purpose in the Bible.

I looked up several of the suggested articles on purpose and found them to be engaging and helpful.  I was disappointed that one free resource mentioned for free download (5 Questions That Create Clarity) did not seem to be available any longer.  However, the author has a website with courses (at a charge) for further study.  You can check him out at https://faithspring.teachable.com/.

This would be an excellent book to read and discuss with a small group.

VERDICT: 5 STARS

For another book by David Ramos see these posts:

You’re Part of the Story

Step by Step