Read This Week’s Passage: Nehemiah 1:11–2:9

Soli Deo Gloria

In the previous study, we determined that identity drives mission. The Bible tells us that humanity was initially created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26, 27). Furthermore, He created us for His glory (Eccles. 12:13). At the most basic level, then, our mission in life must be to bring glory to God. The twenty-four elders surrounding the throne in heaven put it this way: “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Rev. 4:11). The King James Version states that humanity was created for God’s “pleasure,” and we must ask ourselves, “How would our lives please God?”

The series of parables Christ told of the lost sheep, lost coin, and lost son illuminates one thing that certainly brings joy to God’s heart—the salvation of the lost (Luke 15:6, 7, 10, 11, 32). Broadly speaking, our mission as Christians must contribute to the salvation of souls (cf. Matt. 28:18–20). Within that broad mission, each of us may find our specific calling: anything that detracts from that mission is proscribed, but everything else is permissible.

Having committed ourselves to the mission of soul saving, we may then ask God to reveal to us the role He would have us play in that mission (our specific calling). To determine our calling, we may consult three elements: our skills, burdens, and divine providence. It is at the confluence of these three factors that we find our calling.

Incidental to your calling is your vocation. While in most cases it will not be identical to your calling, a fulfilling career will contribute to your ability to fulfil your calling. This week, we consider the relationship between calling and vocation.