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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hey, Christian? Do you really want to know the Truth? When God calls your name...

Ask yourself this question. Is knowing what is right more important to you than being right? Are you willing to know/discover a truth that is unlike what you have believed before?

Here you can post a comment that completely disagrees with what I write and I let it be published. On the other hand, I found a Darwinist blog that was speaking to the concept of Geomythology and tried to comment. The moderator did not allow anything I wrote. So I then commented again suggesting he was afraid of discussion and disagreement and went away...after I gave him three days to allow my comment.  Not that I was surprised.   Darwinists/atheists generally are afraid of discussion, which is why it is very hard for Jonathan Sarfati to find anyone willing to debate him on origins.   They are afraid to be exposed I guess?

Even among Christians there are disagreements on certain subjects and a literal six day creation is one of them. I am not afraid of discussion and you shouldn't be either. Right?   There are many calls on the life of the Christian.   This is a post about the calling of God!

   
The Newsboys "When You Called My Name" from the Going Public Album.

Here are the words, if you do not care to listen to the YouTube:


I want to preach the Word
They want massages
I check chapter and verse
They check their watches
I spy another yawn
I might as well be gone
Let's stand and say "Amen"
Some days I must admit
I still don't get this
Could be it's time to quit
When days get like this
I slip into the night
Then stumble towards the light
Wake up and try again

Chorus
When You called my name
I didn't know how far the calling went
When You called my name
I didn't know what that word really meant
When I recall Your call
I feel
So small

Could be I'm losing touch
Could be they don't care
Lord knows I don't know much
Lord knows I've been there
I trip toward my retreat
I fall down at Your feet
Get up and try again

Chorus
When You called my name
I didn't know how far the calling went
When You called my name
I didn't know what that word really meant
When I recall Your call
I feel
So small
Lord, what did you see
When you called out for me?

I start losing heart
And then
It comes again
Lifted from despair
By the prayers of someone
Lifted form despair
By the prayers of someone

Chorus
When You called my name
I didn't know how far the calling went
When You called my name
I didn't know what that word really meant
When I recall Your call
I feel
So small

When You called my name
I didn't know how far this calling went
When You called my name
When You called my name

There is something about the Christian life that will always be mysterious to those who do not become Christians.   It is the matter of following the Will of God beyond the default setting of Matthew 28:18-20

"And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”"


Yes, all Christians are called upon to share the Gospel by the means and methods they do best.   Some evangelize, some are helpers, some are teachers, some are leaders, some are singers, some are most effective doing the grunt work behind the scenes and some are best behind a pulpit and leading a congregation.   No one man does it all nor does one woman do it all.   But all Christians have been given gifts to use in service and talents to go with them.   It is a temptation to try to do things in your own strength and decide what you are meant to do without turning to God every single time for direction.   

To the non-Christian a paragraph like the one above doesn't make sense because you think to yourself, how the heck does anyone know what God wants them to do?   Well, He wants you to do one thing first - receive forgiveness and salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.   That is the only thing you can do to obey God before you do anything else.  You can give money to charities and feed the hungry and every good thing you can think of but until you humble yourself and accept salvation from God you cannot be His child and know and do His Will.

Once you have chosen to follow God and accept Salvation through Christ and not in any way of yourself, you are now eligible to hear from God.


Philippians:3:8-14 (ESV) expresses the goal of the call-directed Christian:


"Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—  that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,  that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

It is to this mindset that I aspire to retain and follow.   The God's Will for my life is what I need to do, anything else is not good enough.  Yes, I will go to Heaven when I die.   Yes, I belong to Jesus Christ and God's Spirit is alive within me.   No, it has nothing to do with how good or bad I am compared to any other person.   I should only compare myself to Jesus Christ and aspire to be like Him.   Jesus came to Earth as a man but lived every second by the Will of God, being obedient from beginning to end.

Al Mohler explains the Call-driven Christian life below:

Has God Called You? The Calling of the Christian Minister



Has God called you to ministry? Though all Christians are called to serve the cause of Christ, God calls certain persons to serve the Church as pastors and other ministers. Writing to young Timothy, the Apostle Paul confirmed that if a man aspires to be a pastor, “it is a fine work he aspires to do.” [I Timothy 3:1, NASB] Likewise, it is a high honor to be called of God into the ministry of the Church. How do you know if God is calling you?

First, there is an inward call. Through His Spirit, God speaks to those persons He has called to serve as pastors and ministers of His Church. The great Reformer Martin Luther described this inward call as “God’s voice heard by faith.” Those whom God has called know this call by a sense of leading, purpose, and growing commitment.

Charles Spurgeon identified the first sign of God’s call to the ministry as “an intense, all-absorbing desire for the work.” Those called by God sense a growing compulsion to preach and teach the Word, and to minister to the people of God.
This sense of compulsion should prompt the believer to consider whether God may be calling to the ministry. Has God gifted you with the fervent desire to preach? Has He equipped you with the gifts necessary for ministry? Do you love God’s Word and feel called to teach? As Spurgeon warned those who sought his counsel not to preach if they could help it. “But,” Spurgeon continued, “if he cannot help it, and he must preach or die, then he is the man.” That sense of urgent commission is one of the central marks of an authentic call.

Second, there is the external call. Baptists believe that God uses the congregation to “call the called” to ministry. The congregation must evaluate and affirm the calling and gifts of the believer who feels called to the ministry.. As a family of faith, the congregation should recognize and celebrate the gifts of ministry given to its members, and take responsibility to encourage those whom God has called to respond to that call with joy and submission.

These days, many persons think of careers rather than callings. The biblical challenge to “consider your call” should be extended from the call to salvation to the call to the ministry.

John Newton, famous for writing “Amazing Grace,” once remarked that “None but He who made the world can make a Minister of the Gospel.” Only God can call a true minister, and only He can grant the minister the gifts necessary for service. But the great promise of Scripture is that God does call ministers, and presents these servants as gifts to the Church.

Consider your calling. Do you sense that God is calling you to ministry, whether as pastor or another servant of the Church? Do you burn with a compulsion to proclaim the Word, share the Gospel, and care for God’s flock? Has this call been confirmed and encouraged by those Christians who know you best?

God still calls . . . has He called you?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I received Christ as Savior on March 13th, 1978.   I was 25 years old.   I'd worked hard at living life very hard - hard partying, drinking, drugs, hard rock, living to "eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."

Once I knew Jesus was indeed the Savior I immediately knew something had drastically changed on the inside.  Dr. Charles Wood, who had helped me meet Christ, told me that reading the Bible would teach me all about Christianity and was the most important thing a new Christian could do.  He didn't say a word about the beer I had been drinking, the cigarettes I smoked or the smell of marijuana that hung about me.   He simply told me to read the Word of God prayerfully.   I did.   I am a book vacuum, so I read through the New Testament speedily and then read it through again within the first month of my new life in Christ.   Later I read the entire Bible through and have read every book a few times and some of them many, many times.   I study the Word.   I meditate on what it says to me and about me and about God.

Very early on I read a part of the Book of Ephesians that grabbed me by the virtual collar and stopped me in my tracks. Back then I was reading the King James Version:

"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:"

I was called to teach and preach.   Not to be THE pastor, but to be a minister of Jesus Christ in the way He leads me.   If you are a Christian, this is what you should seek to do.   Discover God's will for your life and then do it.   When He leads you, you follow His direction.   It is as simple as that.   It will take everything you've got but it will mean everything to you to do it.   One day you will hear the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant..."    It is more than enough!

Truth be Known - Everybody Gets A Shot- The Newsboys

Everybody gets a shot
it'll cost you everything you've got 
if the truth be known
do you really wanna know?