This morning, the sermon was entitled "Call to Ministry", and was about how each of us are called to ministry in our own special ways, and that if we feel the call, we should embrace it. This was very reassuring to hear, as I was actively thinking about my yearning to the help orphans in this world. Within the sermon, the pastor was also talking about living Christianly. When he came upon this point, this led me to think, "Hmm, what exactly does God say about the nature of a follower, and how does he call them to act, and be like?" After pondering this, I jumped into the Word and found some marked verses in Romans, Ephesians, and Philipians. These are just a couple of excerpts of Scripture where the Christian-way is described. The don'ts are underlines, and the do's are bolded
Ephesians 4:17 - 32, 5:1-12
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity with a continual lust for more.
You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in Him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. "In your anger do not sin". Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
Do not let unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you
Be imitators of God, there fore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us a s a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person -- such a man is an idolater -- has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death -- even death on a cross!
Romans 1:24-25, 28-37
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator -- who is forever praised. Amen.
Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents, they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless, Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them
Now, none of us, especially myself, are perfect. We're all human, and we all fall short. God wants our best from us, and I believe that even when we fall short, it is a testament within itself to be able to not only recognize our downfalls with conviction, but to repent, and to genuinely strive to run back to Him
Photo Credit: David Webb