Calling for Saints and Apostles
Published by Theresee on Mon, 09/09/2013 - 3:15pm
By: Steve Becker
For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the people of their own kind than are the people of the light.
The unjust steward was clever though his behavior was corrupt (Luke 16:1-9). He had one benefactor in mind – himself. Caught in embezzlement, he was industrious and shrewd to make sure he still came out on top.
Instead of bringing charges, his master had fired him. Taking advantage of this generosity, the steward executes a plan with select debtors, playing on his master’s mercy while “feathering” his nest.
Recognizing the steward’s ingenious fraud, the master says, “You’re a rascal… but a very clever rascal.”
Jesus is not endorsing corrupt behavior but encouraging us to be devoted, intelligent and industrious in building the Kingdom of Christ rather than that of the world. In today’s culture, the world is increasingly secularized, materialistic and individualistic, making it increasingly challenging to maintain our integrity as Christians.
God wishes that “rivers of living water” would pour out through us (John 7:38) to a flawed and fallen society. This requires us to grow as saints and apostles: saints to be a pure vessel for the water to flow through and effective apostles to make it accessible to those around us.
The call to sainthood is a call to holiness, a call to being “all in” with our relationship with Jesus Christ, continually opening our lives to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit and allowing him to purify us.
Our sexually obsessed culture presents a particular challenge and opportunity to glorify God in our lives. Paul says, “Each of you should learn to control your body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathens who do not know God… for God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” (1 Thessalonians 4:4-5; 7)
The call to be an apostle is a call to be a public witness to the life of Christ. The faith entrusted to us does not automatically bear fruit. We have to engage with it and intelligently take risks as the early apostles did. We are called to go with an outward focus to men and women who know little, if anything, about the gospel.
Our secularized age needs authentic, Spirit-filled lives fully devoted to the gospel; saints going forth as intelligent and industrious apostles to build the Kingdom of Christ.
TAKE THE CHALLENGE: Where can I be more devoted to growing in holiness and the life of a saint? How can I be more of intelligent and industrious apostle for today’s secularized society?