The dictionary definition of vocation is, “…a calling, employment, a profession or a business…”
In Ephesians, the Apostle Paul outlines clearly how he believes Christian should live their lives.
Look at Ephesians 4:1-3 – “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (KJV).
In the second verse, Paul gives us the three basic elements associated with our vocation as saints – lowliness, meekness and longsuffering,
Let’s discuss these three characteristics, the cornerstones of our faith illustrated by our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Jesus had the lowliest birth:
“And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” – Luke 2:6-7 (KJV).
Jesus had a lowly occupation.
“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.” – Mark 6:3 (KJV).
He had a lowly ministry.
“And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?” – Matthew 9:10-11 (KJV).
Jesus had a lowly death.
“ And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And the superscription of his accusation was written over, The King Of The Jews. And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.” Mark 15:25-28 (KJV).
Christ our example.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” – Matthew 11:29 (KJV).
Lowliness defeats pride, and is something all Christians should seek.
Secondly, meekness is defined being soft, humble and gentle.
“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” – Matthew 5:5 (KJV).
This statement in the beatitudes confirms the requirement in believers to be meek of spirit.
We are to have a spiritual emphasis which is best discussed in Colossians chapter three.
Look at Colossians 3:12-13.
“ Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” (KJV).
Meekness requires the believer to love first, love second and love third. Forgiveness walks hand in hand with meekness.
And finally, the call to be long-suffering – the distinctive of love.
We live in an “instant” society where everything has to be sorted NOW!
The idea of “bearing” things is foreign to most, but if we consider the life of our Saviour there is no doubt that our Lord was, and is long-suffering, in the extreme.
The Creator of all is continually, and patiently, dealing with mankind.
Quite rightly is this called the age of grace.
Our Lord will one day rule and reign, but now waits patiently on His creation – not willing that any should perish.
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9 (KJV).
What a vocation to follow. We should want what our Saviour wants. A worthy vocation – lowliness, meekness and longsuffering.
Are these traits that we have as Saints?
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About the author
Barrie Hanson lives in Bluff, Southland. He has been a Christian for over 40 years and in that time he has been a preacher, Pastor and a church helper in both Auckland and Hamilton.
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