Grow up in church. Attend every service. Be a leader in the “youth group”. Go to a Christian college. Graduate. Get married. Go to Seminary. And when you graduate, you, your wife, three kids and your black lab all move into the parsonage where you finally are qualified and prepared to be a Pastor. This is it right? Maybe not…
The apostle John writes in I John 3:1 “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God…and SO WE ARE”. We often classify what we are in the Lord’s hand in past or future terms. We want to verify salvation itself by an event, a moment in time, a prayer. We also tend towards leaving holiness as some futuristic blanket we’ll receive from Peter at the pearly gates.
John writes that we have hope because we know that when we see him we will be made like him. This is our only hope; that we be made like Christ, and heaven surely is the culmination of that promise. However, he is also declaring that we are children of God now, today, and have the spirit of God living in us. John’s conclusion from this is that with this knowledge we will then “purify (ourselves) as he is pure.” We have been called to Christ, to be sanctified to His holiness today. We have been completely cleansed by the blood of the Lamb (1:7). That is not merely something we look forward to happening but a reality in which we should live.
Similarly our pursuit to be pastors is not a state of calling resigned for some future expectation. We are called today. There is no formula. We’ve only been promised that all we need has been given in the word for life and godliness (I Pet. 1:3). That implies that we are to be above reproach, a godly husband, self-controlled, respectable… today, all these are to be qualities we should exhibit now (I Tim 3). This does not remove training ourselves in righteousness, in fact it implores it to be so.
Part of our desire in creating this blog is to test ourselves; to challenge one another to live in view of the call. Thus, we can cry out with John, confident in Christ alone, that, we have been called to shepherd, and indeed we are shepherds. For those who will read, we thank you ahead of time for your comments, suggestions, and encouragement.