Archive for the ‘calling’ Category

Get real.

God does not want you to lose sight of the good things that He has for you.  You can expect God to deliver just as He says.

He offers you a way to understand how He works.  He provides us with a way to see Him at work.  He works on our behalf.  He works things out without our help at all.

Trust Him today.  He can be trusted.

Call on Him today.  He will surely answer.

God is still in charge.

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“More people are coming to Christ now than at any other time in history.” – Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church

The church has a real responsibility.  It is revealed in the Word of God.  It is real work.  It amounts to the work of people.  People make up the church.  Therefore, the work of the church has plenty to do with the people who come into the church and are touched by the church.

The church has a responsibility to the Lord for how it handles people.  Its ultimate responsibility is to answer to the Lord and His commands of them.  It represents the Lord on this earth.  Its works shed light into the darkness of this world and offers mankind a reason to glorify God the Father in heaven.

The church is called to reach people.  We reach people with people and through people.  We do the work that touches people and impact lives on this side of heaven.

The church is called to receive people.  The Lord adds to the church.  That part is on Him, but we have a responsibility, too.  We are to serve as wise stewards over what He provides for us.  We need to handle what (and who) God gives to us in a manner that blesses God.

“Jesus commanded us to make disciples.” – Ted Haggard

“People need to feel needed.” – Myron Rush

“God has ordained the church as a place of truth.” – Bob Russell

“Ministry is a marathon.” – Rick Warren

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 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen. – Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)

The Great Commission gives us the disciple-making formula.  We have been referencing it for years.  We have used it for our mantra in evangelizing the entire world, putting much of our focus on the going and baptizing with regards to all nations and unto the end of the world. 

What about the teaching part?

. . . and teach all nations. . .
. . . Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. . .

Our discipleship process should make a difference.  It should make a difference in the people who are discipled by us.  It should make a difference in them as they become fishers of men.  It should make a difference in them to the point where they make a difference in the world around them.  We, as the body of Christ, are to develop difference makers.

Get ideas and insights on how to develop difference makers:
We need today’s Christian to be able to sort through the muck and the mire.  We need Christians who will know what is truth and what is false, calling out the false prophets and standing for the truth.  We need Christians who are not blinded by the glitz and glamor of Hollywood, MTV and other fantasies.  We need people who will stand upright as the world goes astray, working in this ministry of reconciliation.  We need Christians to serve as Christ’s army.
Read the likes of J.C. Ryle, Francis Chan, Oswald Chambers, Watchman Nee, William Wilberforce, and William Carey.  Try to get a hold of the works of Hudson Taylor, Richard Allen, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Al Sharpton.  Look into men like William Tyndale, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and John Bunyan.  Let the words of these men sink into your heart, mind and soul.  See how they made a difference.  See how others taught and trained them.  See how you can develop others to make a difference.

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Let God Use You

4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. – Philippians 1:4-6 (NIV)

God can choose you to use you.  He can sit on high and look down low towards the earth, seeking someone to use to work through to do many mighty works.  He knows all and sees all.  It is all within His power.

…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…

He chooses those who may be unwanted.  He goes about it in His own way, but He does it completely.  He leaves nothing for us to guess about when it comes to what he calls us to do.  We are to have faith and total reliance upon Him throughout the process until it is compete.  He wants us to hold on until He is done.

If we will let Him use us, He will:

  • Work on us
  • Work in us
  • Work through us

Let Him use you as he thoroughly furnishes you to do good works in His name.

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Living as His Body

The Body4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.
– Ephesians 4:4-6 (NLT)

The believers are the collective and universal body of Christ.  Each believer serves as part of the body.  We, as believers in Christ, make up the body of Christ.  We are one body, gathered together in His name in one faith.

Apostle Paul and the Earliest ChurchesPaul wrote that “there is one body… just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.” The collective body of believers have a common goal, that one glorious hope for the future.  In seeking that common goal, believers come together on common ground.  The prime example of this is not the believers having all things in common.  The prime example of this is the gathering of believers in Antioch.

19 Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only. 20 But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
– Acts 11:19-21 (NKJV)
Body of Christ a Reality:
The body of Christ lives together based on:
  • Common Belief: The confession of Jesus as the Christ, the Anointed One
  • Common Bond: The connection between each believers is the one Spirit that indwells each believer and inhabits each local body of believers gathered together in His name
We are to live as His body, the church open and operating in His name and by His Spirit.
Live as His body.
TM Bishop - Body Piercing Saved My Life - Sticker / Decal

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 Meeting people where they are does not mean leaving them there

It is plastered on nearly everything that Life Path puts out there.  It is a mantra that is designed to keep us operating on a mission rather than remaining meaningless.  It is our vow to remain meaningful and missional while making a difference.  It is at the core of Life Path’s mission and existence.

I was recently forced to revisit my whole venture into ministry and social services.  I question the notion that the two are not the same.  If we are engaged in true ministry, we will perform some sort of social service to assist those around us get what they need to go further and grow to become more and more of who God has destined them to become in this life.  I truly have a problem seeing a difference from where I stand today.

Nevertheless, after searching my soul and looking deeper and deeper into what I have been called to do, I realize that I have to work further to maintain this mantra as a check-in to start and end my day.

  • Have I met people where they are?
  • Have I left people where I met them?
  • Could I do more or better?

In ministry, I must ask these questions.  At work, I must ask these questions.  I must ask these questions of every faith-based effort that I engage in daily.  I must ask these same questions of every community-based venture that I am involved in daily.  I have to ask it of myself as work in a nonprofit setting.  I must ask these same questions of myself as I work on for-profit models that will support the youth work that I plan to offer the youth within my community.

It is reflected in my work.  It is reflected in my writingIt is reflected in the ministry and service that I aim to offer beyond anything that I have done so far.  Join me in the journey.

Don’t forget to help us help youth! http://200club.chipin.com/200-club-youth-sponsors

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When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
– Hosea 11:1 (NIV)

The prophet Hosea does not seem like a likely candidate to offer a prophecy on Jesus Christ.  Nevertheless, this biblical prophecy about the Messiah emerges from the object lesson emerges from this minor prophet.  God uses Hosea just like he can use any us to accomplish anything that He desires to do.  I learned after reading Andrew Murray’s God’s Plans for You that God can use us in all sorts of ways.

Those of the faith are the “called out.” God calls us out from among the world to stand out among the world.  He causes us to live differently.  He calls us out to make us useful. 

God calls on us to use us.  After making us useful, He can choose to use us for His glory.  He can call on us and He should be able to count on us.  If God gave you an assignment like He did with Hosea, could He count on you to through on it?  Would you bring glory to God by how you handled it?

Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.- Psalm 115:3 (NIV)

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Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

1And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. 2And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. -Genesis 17:1-2 (KJV)
5Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. – Genesis 17:5 (KJV)

God does something new with a ninety-nine year old man.  He offers a new relationship with Abraham.  He starts by using a new name for Himself- the Almighty God (El Shaddai).  He shares this with Abraham as He introduces a covenant between Him and Abraham and his descendants.  He even changes Abraham’s name from Abram to Abraham (“exalted father”).

Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith

Think about it.  You have been on this journey for a while.  You have been walking humbly and earnestly before the Lord.  Now, all of a sudden, He wants you to make some changes.  Don’t you think that He would change some things around you to make you more aware and to get your attention? He may not change your name, but He certainly could change your heart.  He could change the way that you see the poor and the needy, the hurting, the oppressed and the afflicted.  God can change things enough to lead you to change.

What if God has already changed the things around you? Are you still awaiting more? Do you want to see more before you make a move? Think about it.  He’s calling you as El Shaddai.  He’s calling you as the Almighty God.  See how He desires you to change and enter into a deeper relationship with Him.  See how He wants you to extend yourself in this relationship.  Then, once you have set your heart upon it, go to the utter limits.  Go with God.

Abraham (The Bible Collection)

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Abraham : Friend of God

So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. – Genesis 12:4 (KJV)

And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. -Genesis 12:5 (KJV)

Breaking Generational Curses: Releasing God's Power in Us, Our Children, and Our Destiny

Family can be a blessing or a burden.  They can make you happy, humble or outright hot under the collar.  When you set out to do God’s will, family can be that extra baggage that holds you up or holds you back.  Family can be the very people who support and strengthen you or the same people who stab you in the back and stick it to you.  Family can cause you great joy or grave sorrow.  Your family make keep you at peace or break your heart into pieces.

There’s no denying it.  They are your family.  No matter where you go, even if you change your name or change your identity, they are still your family.  You carry the same blood in your veins.  You still are part of that lineage. You are still one of them.

30 Scripture Readings with the Great Men of the Bible (Year Long Bible Reading Series)

Abraham started out on his journey with his family.  He may have left Ur and his father’s house, even the people of his homeland, but he left with his family, even his brother’s son, Lot.  He made his way towards Canaan with loads of stuff and his family.  He gathered all that he had and took it with him, even the souls that they had gotten in Haran.  He took all that he had in his household and followed the call of the Lord.

People can see your family and say things about how they know your family and how they know how they all are and act, even if they have never met you personally.  It just seems to come with the territory when you have brothers, sisters, cousins, aunties, and uncles.  Someone somewhere knows someone in your family from something- school, church or just hanging out- and it’s all assumptions from there based upon what they know.  Your career can become hamstrung by your blood line if you’re trying to climb the corporate ladder in a small town.  Your praise and worship can come under scrutiny if you have always been seen as the deacon’s darling daughter or the preacher’s kid.  You may not catch any kind of break if you have always been in the same place where your family made a name for itself, whether good or bad.

Abraham was headed to a different place.  God was offering him a clean slate.  He was offering him an opportunity to make a name for himself in a new land that was destined for him and his seed. He was promising this land to Abraham and his family.  He promised to make Abraham the father of many nations

This served as a new start for Abraham.  It would be a new start for Lot and a new start for Sarai.  The Lord promised something new for them.  The Lord offered them a promising heritage of more than land.  He offered them a promising future that existed beyond living under the shadow of Terah in Ur.  This would serve as new start for an entirely new family under the Lord the true and living God.

*From Eden to Egypt is a series for Life Path Ministries by Rev. Bruce Jackson that chronicles a daily study and reading of the Book of Genesis and The Genesis Record by Henry M. Morris.

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14 Then Amos answered, and said to Amaziah:

“I was no prophet,

Nor was I a son of a prophet,

But I was a sheepbreeder

And a tender of sycamore fruit.
15 Then the Lord took me as I followed the flock,

And the Lord said to me,

‘Go, prophesy to My people Israel.’

Amos’ defense of himself in response to Amaziah’s accusations of him let us know that Amos was “no prophet” and certainly not “a son of prophet.”  Among the prophets of the Old Testament, we discover that Amos was not of a priestly lineage like Jeremiah or Isaiah.  Amos was a “herdsman” who “followed the flock.”  In fact, it is Amos’ claim that God found him as he “followed the flock” as “sheepbreeder.”
The Lord will seek us out in order to get us sparked.  He will seek us out to get us started.  He will seek us out to show us or send us, even to summon us.  He initiates something within us that causes us to respond to His call upon our lives.
Once we have been found by the Lord, we begin to start. . .

  • Seeking the Lord
  • Serving the Lord
  • Satisfying the Lord

Think hard about it.  When did God call you? Where did He find you?

God expects a response to His call. He waits on the weary soul that has been beckoned. He awaits a change to come over the one who has been summoned.

Did you start seeking Him? Did you start serving Him? Did you start satisfying God?

Respond to God bidding you.  He sought you out for a purpose. Don’t resist or rebel.

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