Thursday, October 23, 2014

7 Aspects of Your Calling



~ Have You Heard The Call? ~

Scripture uses two distinctly different senses of being called.  The first is the God’s general call to all mankind.  This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In the parable of the wedding banquet Jesus stated that while this first call was to everyone only a few respond to the call.  “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:1-14).

God desires that we respond the way Martha and her sister Mary did.  “And when she [Martha] had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, "The Teacher has come and is calling for you."  As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him” (John 11:28-29).

The other call is directed to those who have answered that first call.  It is for application of the Gospel to daily living.  It results first in regeneration (salvation), then sanctification on earth, and ultimately glorification in heaven.  Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Romans 8:30).

The second call is worth our lifetime of study and application.  Consider seven aspects.

It Is A Heavenly Calling  ~  Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house.  For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house.  For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:1-4).

Your Call Is Not Based On Your Merit  ~  For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.  But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).

You Can Be Confident in Your Calling  ~  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:18-21).

Responsibility Comes With Your Calling  ~  Therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:1-6).  “Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).

Power and Wisdom Come With Your Call  ~  “But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:24-25).

Ultimate Good Is Assured With Your Call ~  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

It Is A Holy Calling  ~  Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles” (2 Timothy 1:8-11).

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

7 Ways of Walking



~ Are You Walking Worthy? ~

As a Christian we are to walk in such a way that is worthy of our salvation and spiritual inheritance.  You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory” (1 Thessalonians 2:10-12).

Consider seven ways to walk in a way which is worthy of God who called you into His salvation and gave you a spiritual inheritance.

Walk by faith“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Walk according to the Word“Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.  Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it” (Psalm 119:34-35).

Walk in the SpiritBut the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law.  And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-25).

If you do the first three well you will do the following three! 

Walk as those in the light“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8-10).

Walk the narrow roadMy son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.  If they say, ‘Come with us, let us lie in wait to shed blood; let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause; let us swallow them alive like Sheol, and whole, like those who go down to the Pit; we shall find all kinds of precious possessions, we shall fill our houses with spoil; cast in your lot among us, let us all have one purse’ —  My son, do not walk in the way with them, keep your foot from their path; for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood.  Surely, in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird; but they lie in wait for their own blood, they lurk secretly for their own lives.  So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; it takes away the life of its owners” (Proverbs 1:10-19).

Walk in integrityHe who walks with integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will become known” (Proverbs 10:9).

If you do the first six well the result is you will…

Walk like Christ WalkedNow by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.  He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him.  By this we know that we are in Him.  He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:3-6).

Are you walking worthy of your position in Christ?

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW

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If you would prefer to copy this post, please credit ALN as the source by prominently displaying the following statement:  Reprinted from “Abundant Life Now,” a free blog which offers inspiring moments, thought-provoking comments, and solid Biblical insight (http://RobertLloydRussell.blogspot.com/).                          

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

7 Christian Roles



~ How Are You Doing? ~

Seven Christian character traits are displayed in the seven word pictures of a Christian in 2 Timothy 2.

A Son  ~  You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (verse 1).  Family relationships are indicative of affection.

A Steward  ~  And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (verse 2).  Being a good steward is a matter of faithfulness.

A Soldier  ~  You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (verse 3).  Anyone who has served as a soldier will relate the great need for endurance.

An Athlete  ~  And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules” (verse 5).  Being a good athlete involves mastering the skills.

A Worker  ~  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (verse 15).  An effective worker is known for diligence.

A Vessel  ~  Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work” (verse 21).  Clearly from this verse we see the need for fitness.

A Servant  ~  And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by Him to do His will (verses 24-26).  The closing verses of this great chapter end with a summary trait of obedience.

How are you doing in God’s eyes?

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW

If you found this post personally interesting or helpful, you are welcome to add a link to it on your own blog or website. 

If you would prefer to copy this post, please credit ALN as the source by prominently displaying the following statement:  Reprinted from “Abundant Life Now,” a free blog which offers inspiring moments, thought-provoking comments, and solid Biblical insight (http://RobertLloydRussell.blogspot.com/).