Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Our Call

God has commanded us all the same thing.  Love him with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself.  He has given us all the same commission, "Go forth into all the world and make disciples of all nations." Yet he has called us all in uniquely different ways.

He called Moses as he tended sheep, on the run from murdering someone.  He called Giddeon as he was threshing wheat secretively in a wine press.  He called David as a young boy, the smallest in his household.  Jesus called his followers as they were fishing, collecting taxes, or doing their odd jobs.  He calls us too.  Calling has multiple meanings, but we are going to focus on two.  One is a vocation, a job, what you do.  The other meaning is to be summoned, as in God calling you to do something.

We all have different jobs.  I was a teacher.  Now I'm a homemaker, who still teaches my children and blogs.  Perhaps you are a homemaker too, or maybe you're a teacher, or a nurse or secretary, or a store clerk or retired.  Whatever you do, where ever you are Jesus has called you to fulfill the commands he has given you.  When he gives you a summons like that, he will equip you.

God equipped Moses with the words and the power to lead the Israelities out of slavery.  He equipped Joshua with the battle plans to defeat Jerrico.  He equipped Ester with the position and favor to save an entire nation from ethnic cleansing.  God equips us all.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." God equips us through his word and through the Holy Spirit.  I didn't know the first thing about being a godly wife.  I was raised by a single mother and I did not have a role model in that. I didn't learn how a godly wife handles conflicts or treats her husband.  I was clueless.  Honestly I started out my marriage being very demanding.  I would yell and pout and throw fits, in grown up form.  Yet I knew I wanted a godly marriage.  I knew I believed in Jesus and he had something better for me and my husband.  So I went to his word, the Holy Bible, and I listened to sermons, and read every Christian book I could get my hands on about being a wife.  I wanted our marriage to last, to break the cycles of divorce and unwed mothers.  I knew I didn't have the tools to do that alone, but God did.  The wife I am today is completely dicfferent than the wife I started out as, and it is all because God equipped me.  When he calls you to a task, whether it's being a wife, being a mother, homeschooling or the career you have he will equip you for it!

The next thing he does is give you influence.  He gives you influence in the lives of others, in order to fulfill the great commission. I see two types of influence God uses.  The first is lasting influence.  These are relationships that we won't easily forget about.  Our family, co-workers, students, people we see day after day, year after year.  These people watch you, they see how you act when you are frustrated.  Because of these relationships you have the influence to speak into these people's lives.  You can lead by your example.  You can address their needs, pray with them, and for them.  You are there as an example of a Christian to answer questions they might have about Christ.  It's here that you can bear the most fruit.  

The obvious is with our own children.  In this arena we have full reign to speak into their lives and they watch our example.  What about your co-worker, friend, other relatives that don't know Jesus? They still see you and watch.  The Bible says, "They will know you by your love." They being the world, or non believer, will recognize you are a follower of Christ Jesus by your love.  So show them love.  Listen to their hardships.  Let them see how you act in the face of trials.  Don't be afraid to share the things that God is doing in your life with them.  God loves us all so very much that he took on all our sins and died on the cross for us.  You and I are no better than the unbeliever.  Christ did not die for us alone.  He died for all.  All have sinned.  So don't sit in judgement of your relative or coworker, instead be an example of Christ's great great sacrificial love. Point the way to him in your actions and reactions. 

 This is hard.  Believe me I know.  I have plenty of family members who do not trust in the Lord as the one true God. Yet I do not shun them or shame them.  I do not throw the Bible at them every time I see them.  I ask God to help me patiently and lovingly lead by example.  I take opportunities that God gives to share his truth.  And I pray for them.  God has given me this awesome influence into their lives.  I get to know what's going on with them and bring it before the God of the universe in prayer.  That is pretty amazing.  

When I was a teacher my student's knew I was a Christian.  I talked about what I did on the weekends.  I took some of my students to a church camp.  I spoke into their lives as much as I could.  I haven't seen them for 6 years.  Yet I still have influence, through prayer.  Which brings me to our second type of influence.  Fleeting or passing encounters.  A patient or client you had once, a neighbor you rarely see, a customer or clerk at the local store are all examples of passing encounters. Yet God has allowed you to meet them.  You may not get the chance to really speak into their lives, but perhavps you can pray for them or be a flicker of light for a moment.  There have been times when I've felt nudged or called by God to give a gift card or food or things to perfect strangers.  I know it's not my own thoughts, as I don't really like talking to strangers.  When God has lead me to do that and I've obeyed it's been such a blessing to my heart.  I get to see how God cares so much for the hurting.  One particular time after giving a lady a gift card, she turned to me and said, "Are you serious? I just had a break in and I needed this, thank you!"  I had no clue- but God did!  Even times of passing influence God can use to bring someone to himself.  

The whole point is that the world would know him as Lord and call upon his name.  Isn't that the point.  So he calls us, he equips us and he gives us influence in order to fulfill his great command bring Glory to his name!  Use your influence. Walk in your calling and be blessed today!
  
 

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