The Weekly Word: God has a plan for you
By Pastor Matt Howlett, First Baptist Church, Charles City
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.
— Ephesians 4:11-12
I recently lost one of my close high school friends, at 42 years old, and as far as anyone knew, in good health. It came as a shock to most everyone.
He died in the Philippines, where he had retired with his family after 20 years of faithful military service.
While none of the old gang was able to gather together for a funeral, through the wonder of social media I was still blessed to connect with many people from the old days. It was great to share some stories and reminisce a little. As a fairly wild bunch, it was surprising that we all seemed to make it this long in life!
While it was fun to share stories of the past, it was also interesting to find out what many of my old classmates have been up to since we parted ways all those years ago.
As I said, we had many wild times throughout high school, and even for a few years afterwards. Not many people expected us to go anywhere in life. Yet all these years later, we are a diverse bunch.
No one would think that we came from the same beginnings. Some are successful businesspeople, lawyers and designers working in major studios.
There are also some who have not really changed. They are still acting as we did 20 years ago.
The most shocking transformation was my friend who passed away. He left the old life behind, dedicated his life to military service, to ensure our freedoms.
Then there is me. Once God took hold, I ultimately found my calling to be a pastor.
In Ephesians 4:11-12 we are told, “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”
Since those words were first written, the church has spread out into the world.
The church is not a building, but is anywhere followers of Jesus Christ gather in his name. As such, we all are called to something by God.
Some of us find that calling early, for some it takes a while to get there. Others, sadly, never do.
As the new year has come, it is a great time to ask yourself if you are truly living the life God has called you to live. Take time to pray over this. Ask your pastor or trusted friends if there may be something more for you to accomplish.
Or perhaps, as Pastor Rob wrote about in this column last week, maybe there is something you need to put down and set aside so you can fully live the life God has called you to.
Wherever you have come from, whatever you may have done, God loves you; God has a plan for you. He wants to walk with you and allow you to fully experience his goodness, as you live the life he calls you to.