Grow Deep - Strange Places Edition - Week 1

Week 1: October 20-26

The Most Ordinary Places to Serve God

Memory Verse: “Let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.” 1 Corinthians 7:17

“So…what do you do for a living?” I have been asked that question and have asked it myself many times. The word “vocation” is often used in the place of “occupation” or “job.” However, vocation means much more. It means “calling” and refers to God’s calling us to the ordinary tasks and roles of human life. Gene Edward Veith, in Working for Our Neighbor, writes: “The purpose of all vocations—which include our multiple callings in the family, the church, and society, as well as the workplace—is to love and serve our neighbor.”

Vocation has two primary meanings in the Bible. The first is God’s spiritual calling in Christ. We are called to be a member of the people of God and to take up the duties inherent in that calling. The second meaning is external callings. These are the roles, tasks, offices, or responsibilities God gives us in home, church, work, and community.

The doctrine of vocation helps us to see that God’s love in Christ can shine in our lives as we steward all of our relationships—with God, with ourselves, with others, and with creation. Again Veith writes, “Many Christians—like everyone else—respond to today’s hectic demands by compartmentalizing their lives, segregating their work, their family, and their religion into separate boxes that have little to do with each other…The doctrine of vocation shows Christians how to live out their faith in the world and integrate their lives around that faith.”

Sunday, October 20
Read: Colossians 3:18-24
In our everyday roles as husbands, wives, and parents in our daily work, we are to work at it with all our heart as we are serving the Lord in whatever we do.
Reflect: We are to steward our relationship with others so they flourish as God intends them to flourish. How can we treat others so they flourish? What does it mean to “work heartily as for the Lord”?

Monday, October 21

Read: Acts 18:1-5
In his work as a tent maker, Paul lived his calling to serve God and others.
Reflect: Paul’s calling was to testify to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. We, as Christians, are stewards of the Good News of Jesus and are also called to give witness to others about Jesus Christ. How are you able to do that in everyday situations at home, at school, or at work?

Tuesday, October 22

Read: Philippians 1:27-30
No matter what we do, we should always live in a way that honors God. 
Reflect: Living a life worthy of the gospel of Christ means that we steward our lives in accordance with His Word. How are you growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ every day? How are you helping others, especially in your own family, grow?

Wednesday, October 23

Read: 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
Paul prayed for the Thessalonians that they would live up to their calling as followers of Christ.
Reflect: Living out the calling God has on our lives is done by the power of the Holy Spirit. How does knowing this impact your prayer life? How is your life honoring God at home, at work, at church, and in the community?

Thursday, October 24

Read: Genesis 2:8-15
God gave Adam and Eve work to do as His children. He put them in the Garden and then instructed them to work it and take care of it.
Reflect: God created Adam and Eve to be stewards—to work the Garden and keep it. It was the first thing God called them to do. How does knowing that you are God’s steward make a difference in the work you do?

Friday, October 25

Read: Ephesians 4:1-4
Paul encourages his readers to be faithful to the work that God has given them to do; to lead lives marked by a relationship with Him.
Reflect: We are stewards of our relationship with God. We are to live out our calling faithfully—with humility, gentleness, patience, and love. In which of those characteristics do you need to grow? How can you go about doing that?

Saturday, October 26

Read: 1 Corinthians 7:17-24
The Holy Spirit calls us into a relationship with Jesus and encourages us to remain faithful to Him in our everyday vocations.
Reflect: What roles has God assigned to you in life? How are you stewarding those roles to honor God? How does the Holy Spirit help?