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You are a Saint but are You Saintly

He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time…

2 Timothy 1:9

What is your calling in life? Minister? Sunday School teacher? Mom or Dad? Nurse?

We often use the word “call” as a way of singling out our unique purpose in life, the reason we were placed on this earth. It’s what we were born to do.

Every Christian has a calling, which is noted by Paul in his second letter to Timothy. Beyond the obvious, “He has saved us,” Paul adds, “and called us….” And then Paul tells us WHY we have been called. We have been called to a “holy life.”

Now, that holy life to which we have been called is a big deal. So much so that Paul points out, it’s “not because of anything we have done.” God didn’t save you and then call you to this special purpose because of your talent or performance. Your salvation and calling to a holy life were an act of His grace.

The words holy, saint, and sanctified mean essentially the same thing, that you have been set apart unto God for His purposes.

Early in life, I thought I was called to be a musician. Later, I assumed my calling was to be a radio DJ. Then I thought I was called to be a minister of the gospel. I suppose, I could say now that I’ve been called to be a writer. But my higher calling, that encompasses all of those vocational callings, is the call to be holy.

If you were called to be a nurse, you were required to get a very specific education to prepare you for your chosen vocation. Then came the on-the-job experience and continuing training.

All worthy pursuits in life require ongoing training, education, and practice. To master a craft takes years of dedication and hard work. So it is with holiness. Getting the call is just the beginning of a lifetime of learning and growing into a vessel that God can use for His purposes and to His glory.

God called you to be set apart for His purposes. If we understand and genuinely appreciate the magnitude and significance of the calling, we will dedicate ourselves to godly living and readiness for any and every challenge that comes our way.

Positionally, all Christians are holy. But in practice, many of us are rendered unusable by our inadequate response to the calling. We are hindered by sin, self-indulgence, a shallow relationship to God, and ignorance of His word. It’s like trying to build a house with no experience, no plans, and no knowledge of construction techniques.

God’s calling is a gift, an act of His grace. But what good is a gift if you don’t open it and use it for its intended purpose?

When we commit ourselves to the holy living to which we have been called we are better for it. And the people whose lives we touch are blessed by having known us.

As Christians, we are all saints, but we’re not all…saintly. Who have you known in your lifetime worthy of the label? Special people who lived for God. The real deal. Surely some names come to mind. More importantly, would you list yourself among those saintly individuals? Don’t be modest.

I’ll be honest with you. I don’t see myself as saintly, and I can’t imagine anyone thinking of me in that light. That’s not as it should be, because I have been called by God to be holy. There’s a lot of work yet to be done.

How about you? What will it take for you to become the saint as purposed by God, devoted to holy living, and useful for His service?

For more on this topic, check out this article: What It Means to Be a Temple of the Holy Spirit

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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