"Throughout people's lives, God calls them to Him. He uses good and bad situations and people's weaknesses and strengths to bring them by life's end to the realization that He should be the most important person to them. God is not an egotist, but His importance in people's lives determines whether or not they become who He wants them to be."
—S. Kughn, Heart Tree for Empty Nesters, pp. 26-27.
Ed M.'s devotional today focuses on the prophet Ezekiel, especially Ezek 1.3: "The hand of the Lord was upon him."
The Lord was with the prophet. He promises to be with us. He will make His home in us. “If anyone loves Me,” Jesus affirmed, “he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him,” John 14:23. We have a close connection—an intimate friendship—with the Lord, I John 1:3; Revelation 3:20. Should that not energize us to fulfill His calling.
The verse quoted above is one of my favorites.
Focus question: How do you remain energized in order to fulfill God's calling?
The flame of God's service, from 2 Timothy 1.6, is the focus of today's devotional by Ed M. The call must ever be heard. ("Ministry" in today's religious language has been co-opted by professionals. We are all ministers, only some of us serve in different functions.) God calls all his people to serve his mission. The church is about souls. We must never lose sight of that. We must constantly fan the flames of this privilege of participating with God in the rescue of mankind. Whatever our drawbacks or disadvantages — and Timothy had plenty of them — we are not exempt. No woman or man can run from it and be faithful to the calling.
Focus question: What do I need to do to keep the fire of zeal hot for serving God?
O Soul, if your heart is discontent, nowhere will you be content. You can change jobs. You can change your surroundings. You can move to a different location. You might even go to another congregation. But your inner self must discover its God and its gift. Your calling remains, even when you ignore it. Inside, you know, deep down, what it is. Find it again. Hear the call. Let Jesus draw you toward himself. Find again your reason for getting out of bed in the morning. Rediscover your path to purpose. See the glory of God.
Using Ephesians 4.1 as his base text today, Ed M. focuses in his devotional on the holy life required by Christ's call.
A Roman philosopher said, “It is useful for the public good when people believe themselves to be born of the gods.” Why? In so doing “they will pursue worthy enterprises more earnestly.” Should not such a perception draw the children of God away from what is base? Should it not inspire them toward noble thoughts and holy deeds?
Focus question: Where does the concept of calling appear in the NT? How should it shape our behavior?
Ed M. considers our calling, based on Isaiah 6.8:
God calls. The Lord is not dead. He has not retired. He is not silent. He actively invites us to enter His service, to deliver His message. When He calls, we should immediately jump to our feet and do what He says, Mark 10:49,50.
In 1984 I was explaining in a Bible class about how great was the need for workers in the world and how few we were sending. A brother asked, "What can we do? How can we reverse this situation?" I paused, looked at him, and said, "Send your children." The silence was deafening.
Focus question: How am I reacting to God's call today?