Eight Identity Markers and Callings of Christ Followers
“Missions is an authorized activity carried out by the tenants on the instructions of the owner of the property” (by Christopher Wright,).
- Salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13)
- Light of the world (Matthew 5:14-16)
- Disciple Makers (Matthew 28:18-20)
- Witnesses (Acts 1:8: I Peter 3:15-16)
- Ambassadors (II Corinthians 5:17-21)
- Imitators of God (Luke 6:35-36; Eph. 5:1-2, 25)
- Displayers of God’s Glory (I Corinthians 10:31)
- Agents of Grace (Colossians 4:5-6)
It’s easy to lose focus. Life can become a daily grind of duties and demands filled with distractions and discouragements. Have you ever lost sight of the big picture while trying to keep up with the demands of the details of life? Have you ever slipped into attitudes of defeat or despair? Do you tend to minimize your calling? “I am just a ______________.”
If you want to inject God-centered meaning back into your life and rejoin the adventure of an abundant life, then recommit yourself to the identities and callings above. You were meant by God’s design for this life.
Ask God to help you to be aware of your circumstances with a missional perspective. Regain a sense of his callings in your sphere of influence and capture new spheres of influence for Christ.
Most of all enlarge your vision of God’s work to include ministries of common grace. Is it possible that we neglect certain parts of divine calling by narrowly focusing on the spiritual dimension of humanity?
Connect the pattern in the following passages and imitate it in your life.
Can we imitate God’s grace in relating to others?
Acts 14:15-17 – The apostle Paul and Barnabas were ministering in Lystra and God performed a miraculous healing of a lame man. The people who saw this began to worship Paul and Barnabas as if they were gods.
“We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”
Acts 17:24-29 – The apostle Paul speaking to philosophers in Athens described the activity of God in the lives of all people.
“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth … He gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
Seeking Common Ground
- The apostle emphasized the universal reach of God’s activity: God ”gives everyone life and breath and everything else.”
- The apostle encouraged those who are unredeemed to recognize the nearness of God as so significant that, “in him we live and move and have our being.”
- He exhorted them to view themselves as God’s offspring and to respond to his universal command to repent.
- As witnesses (Acts 1:8), we encounter people who are not receptive to the gospel.
- We love them deeply and desire to see them know God but they are not open to hear a verbal witness of the gospel.
- While we “let them go their way” we don’t have to leave them “without testimony or witness.”
- We can follow God’s example and show them kindness and bear witness in ways that are meant to invite them to “seek God and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” (Acts 17:24-28).