June 16 I Saturday
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God…” —Romans 1:1
Paul accompanies his lowly description of himself as a servant with the lofty description of being an apostle, claiming all the authority attached to it. The word “apostle” simply means “to be sent” and was generally applied to anyone sent by another person on an errand. Within the context of Christianity, the apostles were sent by the Lord Jesus as the foundation of the early church.
The apostles were foundational to establishing the early church not because of their pedigree, education or special skills, but because they were chosen by God and empowered by Him. With the exception of Paul, the apostles were the disciples who had received their teaching and training directly from Jesus. Paul did not become an apostle because he wanted to rebel against his pharisaical training after his encounter with Jesus on the Damascus Road or because he craved leadership or adventure. Paul became an apostle for the simple reason God had called him to it. Acts 9:15 says of Paul, “This man is My chosen instrument to proclaim My name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.”
Apostleship as the foundation of the church is already established, but God continues to call His people to be disciples. His calling is not limited to those in vocational ministry, nor does His calling usually come in the form of a midnight revelation. When we allow God to direct our paths, we are already fulfilling our calling. God will give us dignity and purpose regardless of what situation or profession we find ourselves in. The specific role God has for us is incidental. Whether we are called to be a financial manager, a pastor, a taxi driver or a stay-at-home parent, the important thing is that we understand we are where we are by divine appointment.
When our sights are set on God’s agenda, we begin to better understand what it means to be holy. Holiness has nothing to do with being perfect or goody-goody. It means to be set apart for God, just as Paul and the other apostles were set apart for the Gospel. We are holy because we have been set apart exclusively to the Lord Jesus Christ and His purposes.
We all need to know we are valued, have a purpose and are significant. Christ will always value us, and we find our purpose and significance in fulfilling His calling for us. The specific jobs He calls us to might be difficult or thankless, but it is dignifying to know that He who calls us has set us on a divine path and will be Himself the resource we need to do whatever He has in store.
Prayer: Sovereign Lord, I know every Christian is called to be set apart for Your purposes. Thank You for being all the resource I need in any task You call me to.