Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Callings of Christ

Recently I read that a call from God was like a 'telephone' ringing, our Lord calls and we answer and listen.  When Jesus saw the four fishermen, his call was very simple.  All He said was, "Follow Me."  
While the call was indeed a simple call, the response was more difficult.  Peter and Andrew left their boats and nets, James and John left their "Father, boats, nets, and his hired help", and later on scripture recorded that Matthew left his lucrative accounting business (tax collecting).  Following Christ will always mean leaving 'something.'  While this is not a popular message and certainly one that is less than palatable, it is certain a scriptural part of the call of Christ.
His callings extend to every part of our lives.  He calls us to SALVATION - in other words to be saved.  This call, in and of itself, is a call to leave one life and take on another.  Following Christ means a change of our entire life and direction, a repentance from our past and a refocusing on His future for us.  Jesus Himself speaks of being 'reborn' into a new person.  This means that our new person is unlike the old person.  When we are born, we take on the characteristics of our parents.  Now I love my parents but they, like me, are incredibly flawed, selfish, and sinful.  Thus, I take on the characteristics they passed to me in my 'gene' pool.  When I am reborn into Christ, once again, I take on the characteristics of my parents.  This time, my spiritual parent is Christ who has no flaws.  The results are this: things I used to love I now hate,  things I used to do I no longer do, attitudes I used to harbor I no longer harbor, and the heart I used to have I no longer have.  You see, I have become like my father.  Becoming like my spiritual father is the process of sanctification.
SANCTIFICATION is generally the follow-up call to our initial salvation experience.  The Great Commission given by our Lord Jesus is to "Go and Make Disciples".  It stands to reason that it we are to "Make Disciples" we must first "BE Disciples."  It is through this process of learning to follow & live like Jesus that we become a disciple.  Our Lord sends us the Holy Spirit to work this process in us.  Candidly, we have become 'masters' at avoiding the discipleship process.  In the comfortable culture of the USA, we have embraced a 'no-commitment, no change' type of Christianity and it is killing the church.  Jesus didn't die to create a fan base, He died to make disciples.
Part of the process of becoming a disciple is responding to His call to "SERVICE."  No where in scripture is there a spiritual listed which goes by the name of 'sitting in a pew.'  The concept of 'sitting and soaking' is a fairly recent philosophy which, I believe, will be judged with harshly at the Judgment Seat.  Jesus reserved His harshest judgment for the 'unfruitful.'  Discovering, Developing, and Deploying our spiritual gifts is the 'minimum' we can do after all He has done for us.  Every believer has some kind of "God-designed" ministry for them.  He calls us and He gifts us and He expects our response.
When your spiritual phone starts ringing, pick it up, and report for duty.

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