Knowing Your Calling (Romans with J.D. Walt)

Prayer of Consecration

Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body as a holy and living sacrifice to you.

Jesus, We belong to you.

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.


Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 1:1–7

Consider This

What is your calling? People expend so much energy, throughout their lives, trying to figure out what exactly is their calling in life. We tend to think it is a specific career or vocation or some particular job. Many spend much of their lives feeling as though they have missed their calling. You feel stuck in a job you can do but don’t love. More challenging, you spend a lot of time wondering if God wants you to be doing something other than what you are presently doing—like maybe you are supposed to go into “the ministry.” College students live in enormous anxiety about needing to figure out what they are going to do with their lives before they graduate. I tell my own collegiate children regularly to relax—Jesus didn’t even get started until he was thirty.

I’ve got good news for all of you. You don’t need to figure out your calling. It’s already set in stone. Did you catch it in today’s text? It is right there in verse 6.

. . . you . . . are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

This is your full time vocation. It is your 100 percent job 100 percent of the time. You are called to belong to Jesus Christ. Even better, this is your identity. You are called to belong to Jesus Christ. He tells us who we are and why we are here. Every possible question and quandary in life can be answered if approached from this singular starting place. It’s why we begin in this place of consecration every single day on the Wake-Up Call—Jesus, I belong to you. Promise me that you will never, ever, ever, skip that. Yesterday’s consecration is not sufficient for today’s calling.

Our calling must include and inform our job or career but it is much larger and far more comprehensive than our work week. It’s why the whole concept of retirement is an absurdity in the kingdom of Jesus. Calling transcends retirement. Sure, you can quit your job, but you can’t retire from your calling. In fact, I call the years between the ages of sixty and eighty the “kingdom prime.” And over eighty is “kingdom super prime.”

I once heard a Mother Teresa story I will never forget. A young adult showed up at Mother Teresa’s convent to work with lepers. He was put in a back office processing documents and records. Very unhappy, the man somehow got to Mother with his grievance. He said to her, “Mother, I came here from across the world to work with lepers, and all I am doing here is paperwork. My calling is to serve lepers.” She lovingly yet sternly replied, “Son, your calling is not to serve lepers. Your calling is to belong to Jesus. Now get back to the paperwork.”

Jesus, we belong to you. Yes, Jesus, I belong to you. From this place we can go many places but until we get to this place, though we may go everywhere we will have gone nowhere. Jesus, open up the message and the meaning of this ancient letter—perhaps the most significant letter ever written in the history of the world. Take us to Rome and then translate Rome to our home. And yes, Jesus, you are our home for that is what it means to belong to you. Praying in your name, amen.

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