Calling, Identity, and Stewardship
I got to go to my church’s congregational retreat this past weekend, and it was very timely.
As a new graduate software engineer trying to figure out how to balance serving well in ministry, taking on entrepreneurial endeavors, and blessing my family and friendships, I felt like the retreat’s focus on “Calling” gave not only a theological foundation to understand and discover clearer purpose, but also gave practical ways to live out faith without compromising my own personal identity/gifts or the primary calling God has given me.
One thing that stuck out to me that the speaker, Pastor Pete from our sister church in Ann Arbor, Michigan, shared was that we are called to live uniquely as images of God:
Called to live as images of God to exemplify His many characters and qualities that are worthy and bring glory.
To imitate Christ and live in the promise of God’s call to make disciples of all nations and to love God and our neighbor.
Called to live uniquely under the specific giftings, passions, and burdens He’s developed in our hearts through our upbringing and experiences.
To unleash our Creator’s power into the world through our design by improving and creating in the world, letting our light shine before others so they may see our good works ad give all praise to God. (Matthew 5:16 ESV)
Our identity as unique images of God is something I have been personally trying to live out daily and speak in my ministry.
I believe if we live out this identity in our lives, God’s glory will be made known to the world.
As one of my pastor friends from Dallas shared:
“We are finite expressions of an infinite God”
This life we live is so short, and there’s only so much we can do, but our main objective is to express the glory of our infinite God through our own finiteness.
There are many ways we can express the glory of God, and I believe one of the best practical ways to glorify Him is to learn to steward well what He has given us.
In this life bestowed upon us, we have been given many things:
- Joy, skills or abilities to create amazing masterpieces
- Experiences of pain through mental, physical, or spiritual sufferings
- Family and friends to love, cherish and endure
- Ventures, education, and jobs to work at
- Depression and broken relationships to fight against
- Time and money to use effectively…
All these things have been given to us, whether we want it or not, and each provides an avenue for God’s glory to shine brightly:
- In one sense, the beauty of God can be revealed through the execution of a successful company, volunteering or charity towards some type of social justice, or any form of achievement ~ visible praise and public expression of improvement in the world.
- In another sense, though, the beauty of God can be displayed through our own vulnerable afflictions and sufferings where we find ourselves helpless ~ an invisible inner working that causes us to be humbled at the cross whilst preparing us to comfort others in future over the same afflictions we had faced. (2 Corinthians 1:3–7)
And if we steward well what little we have been given in the current times ~ responsibility, hardship, passions, challenges, callings, etc… ~ we will be able to steward well in much (though I must admit, life never seems to stop giving responsibility ._.)
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
- Luke 16:10 NIV
I believe He has given us all expertise and visions for our own spheres of influence to be a light and speak the truth, and I hope y’all consider taking part in learning how to steward well the giftings and passions God has given you! :)
I’m excited about what God has to mature in me post-retreat. This is only a fraction of the growing work I sense He is doing, but a lot of fruits are already being borne.
Anyways, I hope God shines truth into y’alls lives and you continue to fight for your faith through all your circumstances. Thanks for reading this update and my thoughts, and I’ll see y’all in the next update!
Note: I am going to start posting curated updates from my Savvy Saturdays Newsletter onto this platform.
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