Google+ 11/02/12 Answer the Call

Phillipians 3:14

 

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

 

In Christian circles, we toss around the concept of "God's calling" on our lives a lot. Unfortuantely, this conversation is often incorrect in intrepretation and content.  Because "God's calling" on each of our lives is so important, I want you to ponder these things today.  The Bible says that the call of God is His summons upon the life of His creatures.  For the human creatures of God, this calling comes in three parts.  First, God calls all of us to repentance which results in salvation (Acts 17:30).  Second, all Christians are called to complete dedication (1 Corinthians 1:9).  Finally, God calls individuals to a specific sphere of service or ministry which is often referred to as a "Holy calling" (2 Timothy 1:9).  No one is excluded from this process, not even Christ.  The Gospels record three such "calls" of Christ to His disciples (John 1: 35-51, Luke 5: 1-11, Matthew 10: 1-5).  I am a bit more technical in nature in today's devotion because everyone must understand this point.  Part of your daily prayer time needs to center around your "calling".  We often make this far too mystical.  It really is fairly simple and you don't need a college degree in religion to figure it out!.  If your heart is open to listen to God, He will "call" you in all three of these areas, so look for it!  First and foremost, God will call you to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  If you are new to Christianity or exploring the claims of Christ and are not sure about salvation and dedication, please hear me say that you should start here and no where else.  It is as simple as praying a very simple prayer at work, at home, in the car (keep your eyes open in the car!), at your kids sporting games, or wherever your day takes you.  The prayer can be as simple as this:

Hi God,

We haven't spoken much lately, but I know you know who I am. 

I am a sinner, who like everyone, falls short of the glory of God. 

Please forgive me of all my sins. 

I promise to do better for you and when I fall short again, which I will, I will talk to you about it right away. 

I fully accept your son Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and only mediator and dedicate my life to you.  Amen! 

 

See, that wasn't hard!  Now we can move on to part three and ask God to show us the areas of His Kingdom where He may be "calling" us to serve.  When I counsel people in this area, I often hear from them that they just can't hear that God has "called" them to do anything.  I remind them to do the first two parts before part three.  The roof can't go on the building until the foundation and the walls have been satisfactorly completed.  No matter how well the roof is contructed, it will simply crash to the ground without the proper walls and foundation.  While some people are uncomfortable with structure and order, God insists upon them and reminds us constantly.  Like all of Paul's letters, Phillipians begins with a greeting from him and God that includes grace and peace.  We simply cannot have either of these without doing part one, two, and three.  So today, make sure you explore for the first time or renew God's "calling" on your life.  Ask these questions.  Have I repented and am I saved through the blood of Jesus Christ? (Recall the day and where you were.  If you can't, God doesn't mind if you renew this, too!")  Is my every breath dedicated to God and His Kingdom?  Do I know how God wants me to serve Him in the Kingdom?  When God calls, which He does for everyone, answer quickly lest you miss the opportunity.  Do business with God today and then we can say as Paul does in Phillipans 4:4

 

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice!