Sunday, August 22, 2021

God's Call(s) on Your Life

Mark = the most abbreviated gospel.  But, all 4 gospels together are not the full picture!!
John 21:24-25
So.. on one hand, we have only a partial picture.  However,we have all the picture we need to become believers, ambassadors, etc.  John 20:30-31

That said, Mark 1:12-13, 14-15
NOTE:  time between vs. 13 and vs. 14 = 1 year!?  (Jesus' early ministry)

Mark leaves out... for example:

(1)  wedding at Cana, water into wine, 1st. miracle - John 2

(2)  1st. cleansing of Temple - John 3

(3)  Meeting with Nicodemus - John 3

(4)  Meeting with (Samaritan) woman at the well - John 4

(5)  rejection of Jesus by His own ... synagogue @ Nazareth - Luke 4:28-30

(all this between vs. 13 and 14) 

Back to Mark 1:14 - Merely a time reference?  Answer is more than that!!!  John 4:1-3

Point = John the Baptist = popular with the people, but at odds with the religious establishment and local politicians.  example:  "troublemaker" - results in his arrest and execution (under Herod Antipas)

Compare Jesus:  popular with people, but at odds with leadership.
But ..."his time had not yet come"  (ie:  the time for Him to fulfill His role as Messiah) so.... He leaves Judea, Jerusalem for the countryside (Galilee) - Matt. 4:12

All this = relevant to next passage - Mark 1:16-20

Point:  this is not a spur of the moment, emotionally charged decision!  These guys had known Jesus a year before this calling!! They've been following Him on and off since the day after His baptism.  John 1:35-45

This = well thought out, carefully weighed response to a HIGH CALLING!
(on one hand, they couldn't know all this calling would entail .. however, they didn't answer without consideration!!!  not blindly!!  They knew what they were doing.   Following with head, not only with heart!

Application:  God's Call(s) on Your Life!

I)  The call to Salvation - Mark 1:14-15   "repent"  (turn)  "believe"  (embrace)
comes t all men ... 1 Tim. 2:3-4, 2 Pet. 3:9, Rev. 22:17
On one hand, this call should cover all calls - (Savior and LORD!)
However, as we grow, learn more of what He wants ...
Are additional calls.  

II)  The call to return - because have drifted, strayed, turned away.
Example:   Prodigal son, Peter at the Lord's breakfast (was embarrassed and ashamed, but came back),
Rev. 2:4-5 

III)  The call to greater commitment
because have strayed, but because have grown and learned (as here!)
Maybe call to greater service.  Will certainly include call to grow,  develop, become.  He calls every Christian to this.

 IV)  The call to 'higher service'
Maybe ... vocational ministry, an office, a position, a duty, task, service

V)  A call to a particular duty, task, service
long term, short term
within the church, secular
Examples:  medical - teacher - politician

in all these cases
(1)  the Call is from God - (not simply your choice) - is Divine calling

(2)  The call is to serve Him - may be serving people, BUT = serving Him 1st. 
Example:  Peter:  "do you love me?  then "feed my sheep!"  He's not serving sheep, he's serving God 1st.

(3)  The goal is to further the Kingdom
May include a living wage - BUT .. the motivation = serve the Lord
Example:  Levites called to serve, but provided for by the people.

Our call tends to be.....
(1)  Non-verbal, non-audible - (contrasted with the disciples)  We mostly hear a still, small voice.

(2)  Nevertheless, compelling  (But, is still can be ignored!!)

Therefore, (3)  it's a matter of both head and heart
Worthy of consideration, reasoning!!! - not just an emotional decision.  

Additional notes:  the Call ....
(4)  May not be pleasing! 

(5)  may not be pleasant
examples:  Jonah, Jeremiah

(6)  Usually in line with your giftedness!!
(Though you may not recognize that!!!  ie;  the prophets

Therefore:  (7) generally recognized by others  (their confirmation)

(8)  Generally fruitful - but not necessarily by man's measure!!!  Example:  Jeremiah - preached 40 years, not one convert!  (Jesus at the cross)

The call includes the obligation of Self Development
on one hand, with the call comes provision
However, you must take opportunity to develop gift, ability - 2 Tim. 2:15
This = lifelong, never ends in this life

So, listen for the call(s)
Consider the call (with head AND heart)
Commit, re-commit, develop 'self 

Trust God to use you .. to His glory!! - 1 Cor. 15:58

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