~ 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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