Preparing For Your Calling Series: “Be Faithful”

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

—2 Timothy 2:20

This is the last message in my series on preparing for your calling. Follow this link to read all the messages in this series. In the first message, I talked about following Jesus as He leads us into our calling. Today we end with following Jesus in our calling.

The third time Jesus appeared to His disciples after he rose from the dead, He commissioned Simon Peter to feed His sheep and told him, “I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”

Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” (John 21:18-19).

Peter turned and saw John following them and asked, “Lord, what about him?”

Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me” (John 21:21-22).

When God reveals to us our calling, we may not always like where He wants to lead us. We have to be careful that we don’t take our eyes off Jesus and start looking at and coveting someone else’s calling. We are one in Christ, but each of us has a different role. Each role is vital to support the body of Christ as a whole and help it grow.

From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Ephesians 4:16

When we follow Jesus we have sufficient anointing to do His will. When we try to do what someone else is called to do, we step away from Jesus and His anointing, and do not bear any fruit to contribute to help the body of Christ grow.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

John 15:5

When God led me to start writing, I took my eyes off Jesus many times trying to do something I wasn’t called to do. Each time I tried to follow what someone else was doing or what others expected me to do, instead of following Jesus, it was a heavy burden that left me exhausted and produced no fruit.

While publishing my first book, I received many invitations to write, teach and mentor on marriage and parenting. Since my book was written to help marriages and families, it was expected that would be where I was called to minister. But after accepting a few invitations I quickly saw that the same anointing I had while writing the book was not with me in those other things. So I cancelled and turned down all the invitations and sought Jesus where He was leading me and where His anointing was with me.

Jesus said, “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

John 12:26

I was listening to Christian radio recently and a local vocal artist shared how God called her to the ministry. She encouraged her listeners to seek God for His will, write the vision down and stay the course, following Jesus every step of the way. This past weekend I prayed for God to show me His will where He was leading me next. I remembered the advice from the artist and started writing down anything the Holy Spirit revealed to me.

After I was finished, I was humbled by what God led me to write down. Majority was little things in my relationship with my husband and children, in my finances, and in my relationship with the Lord. At the end were just a few small writing assignments that God was leading me to finish. It was a humbling reminder that we don’t have to do something big to do our part in the body of Christ. We just need to follow Jesus and start where we are at, and not neglect being obedient in the little things.

He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

Luke 16:10, KJV

I want to encourage you to continue following Jesus. Write down the vision He’s given you. Whatever He calls you to do, don’t despise it. Do your best to be faithful where you are right now, and do your part to support the body of Christ and help it grow. As you are faithful with little, you will be faithful with more.

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Matthew 25:23

Heavenly Father,

I praise You for ministering to us through this series. Help me to follow Jesus and be obedient to You in my calling. Show me Your vision for me. Help me not to despise these small beginnings. I want to do my part in the body of Christ. I will be faithful and start right where I am at today. I praise You that Your anointing is with me enabling me to do everything You’ve called me to do.

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Verses To Meditate On:

 Titus 3:14; 1 Timothy 4:12-16; Matthew 25:23

 

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Preparing For Your Calling Series: “From Defeat To Victory”

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

—2 Timothy 2:20

This is the ninth message in my series on preparing for your calling. Last week, I talked about God appointing Joseph to lead the Israelites out of the wilderness. After leaving the wilderness, the first place they camped at was Gilgal (Joshua 4:19).

Gilgal has two meanings. It’s Hebrew for “circle” and “wheel.” “Circle” symbolizes that God brought them full-circle. They would no longer have to go around the same mountain over and over again. “Wheel” symbolizes that God rolled away the reproach of Eqypt. They would no longer carry the shame and disgrace of their former captivity.

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the place has been called Gilgal to this day.

Joshua 5:9

I did a Bible study recently about believing God to bring us to our Gilgals. In the study, God showed me a few of my Gilgals where He brought me full-circle and rolled away my reproach. One Gilgal was in my marriage. My husband and I had marriage problems from the moment we said “I do.” We never wanted anyone to know because we were ashamed, so we kept it hidden for many years. We continued around the same mountain of defeat year after year. We never thought we’d see victory.

God was faithful and He worked through the years to heal our marriage. And in April 2009, He led me to write a book about it. It took me two and a half years to write the book. During those two and a half years, our marriage was tried even greater than in the past. A month before the book’s release our marriage hit a wall. We had to make a choice. Either we bust through it, or turn back in defeat and go back around the same mountain again. Instead of turning back, we pressed through it and God gave us victory!

God brought us full-circle and finally broke the cycle of defeat in our marriage. He not only took away the reproach and brought us victory, but He also produced seeds for us to sow into other marriages. The first six months of the book’s release, God provided for us to give away over 10,000 copies of the book! That’s 10,000 seeds God made possible for us to plant!

The LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!

Deuteronomy 1:11

We had to experience defeat first in order to experience victory. First Corinthians 15:36 says, “What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.” And Jesus said in John 12:24, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”

What seeds would I have been able to sow had my marriage been alive and perfect all along? Sure it was painful to go through that trial. When something is dying, it hurts. But now that I’ve seen the miracle God’s worked in my marriage, and the seeds it’s producing, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am no longer ashamed to talk about my marriage problems. God has rolled away the reproach.

… The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;

1 Corinthians 15:42-43

I want to encourage you not to despise the trials you’re going through as God’s leading you into your calling. Let God bring you full-circle to your Gilgals. He will give you victory, roll away the reproach and bring a harvest like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Then the reproach you once despised will be the seed you cherish the most!

Those who cry while they plant will joyfully sing while they harvest.

Psalm 126:5, GW

 

Heavenly Father,

I praise You for giving us victory in Christ! Bring us to our Gilgals, so we don’t have to go around the same mountain over and over again. Roll away our reproaches and turn them into seeds for us to plant, so You can produce a bountiful harvest in our lives and the lives of others.

In Jesus’ name, we praise You! Amen!

Verses To Meditate On:

1 Peter 4:12-13; James 5:7-11; 1 Peter 5:6-10

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Preparing For Your Calling Series: “Your Appointed Mission”

I recently found out those of you who signed up to receive email notifications haven’t been receiving them for several months. I’m so sorry. The problem has been fixed and you should now be receiving them every Monday.

For the last seven weeks I’ve been doing a series on preparing for your calling. If you missed any posts in this series, you can follow these links below:

Week 1: You Have A Calling

Week 2: Loving God More Than The World

Week 3: Emptying And Filling

Week 4: Single Minded

Week 5: God’s Blessings

Week 6: Believing Jesus’ Teachings

Week 7: Be Strong And Courageous

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

—2 Timothy 2:20

Last week, I talked about being strong and courageous and keeping your confidence as you step into God’s calling. Today we will focus on the mission of our calling.

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Matthew 9:35-38

No matter what part of the field God sends us to, we are all given the same mission: to love, reach, feed and lead Jesus’ sheep until He returns. As Jesus stated above, I think the workers are few because too many Christians think they have to be a pastor or a preacher to reach and disciple people. God can use us to reach and minister to those in our neighborhoods. He can use us to reach and minister to our families. He can use us to reach and minister to those in our jobs, our communities, and even our churches.

I am a stay at home mom of four children. I didn’t have a platform or church pulpit to minister from when God called me. The first assignment God gave me was to borrow a women’s Bible study from my church and lead the study in my home. I sent invites to all my family and friends, and anyone I knew in my neighborhood and community. That one study grew and many more studies followed. For two and a half years, God used those studies to reach and disciple women of all ages and walks of life. Some didn’t know Christ. Some were just starting their walk with Christ. Others were mature in their walk with Christ. By simply opening my home each week, I was able to love, reach, feed and lead many of Jesus’ sheep.

Before God told Moses that Joshua was chosen to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, Moses said to the LORD, “May the LORD, the God of the spirits of all mankind, appoint a man over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the Lord’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”

Numbers 27:15-17

To prepare you to love, reach, feed and lead those in the community God appoints you, God first has to give you a heart of compassion. You can’t love without having compassion. And you can’t reach and minister to others without love.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Jesus has compassion and love for us because the Bible says that He is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). In the same way, God uses our wilderness times to purify our hearts and soften them so that we would have compassion first for ourselves, and then for others.

We have to learn to be compassionate toward ourselves first because if we are hard on ourselves, we will be hard on others. I used to be extremely hard on myself. It affected all my relationships, especially my marriage. God opened my eyes to this when my husband expressed to me once: “I feel like you are always disappointed in me. I feel like I constantly let you down.” I couldn’t sympathize with his weaknesses because I hadn’t received God’s grace for my weaknesses.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:16

I want to encourage you today to receive God’s mercy for yourself so you can fulfill your calling to love, reach, feed and lead those in the community God appoints you.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Timothy 1:12-17

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Prayer For The Week:

Heavenly Father,

We praise You for having mercy on us and forgiving all our sins. Cleanse our hearts and fill it with love and compassion for others. Appoint us to the community You need us most. Help us to love, reach, feed and lead Your sheep to Jesus, our good and faithful Shepherd. 

In His name we pray, Amen!

Verses To Meditate On:

1 Timothy 1:5 (AMP version); Ephesians 4:1-16

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Preparing For Your Calling Series: “Be Strong and Courageous”

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

—2 Timothy 2:20

This is the seventh message in my series on preparing for your calling. Follow this link to read previous posts in this series. Last week, we saw that Joshua spent time pursuing God on his own, and God chose him to eventually lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. After the death of Moses, as God was preparing Joshua to cross the Jordan, He told Joshua:

Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:1-9

God reminds Joshua to be strong and courageous. He then emphasizes to be strong and “very” courageous. Then a third time He commands him to be strong and courageous. As if that wasn’t enough, a few verses later the Israelites remind Joshua once again to be strong and courageous.

Then they answered Joshua, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses. Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey your words, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!”

Joshua 1:16-18

Why all the reminders to be strong and courageous? Joshua had already been told a few chapters earlier. Why was it so important to continue reminding him?

Before Moses died, Moses encouraged the Israelites, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

He then encouraged Joshua, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their forefathers to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:7-8).

Then the Lord commanded Joshua, “Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land I promised them on oath, and I myself will be with you” (Deuteronomy 31:23).

Each time Joshua and the Israelites were told to be strong and courageous, they were also reminded that God would be with them and would never leave them. The purpose of reminding them was to help them gain confidence to fight the battles that were ahead. Without confidence they would be quickly overtaken and wouldn’t accomplish God’s will.

God will often call us to do things that are beyond our own ability. It can be scary to do something that you know you have no power to do on your own. God tells us not to be afraid because He is with us, ready to help us succeed in His plan.

When the Sennacherib threatened Jerusalem, King Hezekiah told the people to: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.

2 Chronicles 32:6-8

When God called me to start writing, the first verse He told me to hold on to was Hebrews 10:35-36: “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

Once reality kicked in, and I saw that I had no experience in writing, I became scared. As soon as I took my eyes off God and started focusing on my own ability, fear began settling in. For about a month, I couldn’t write anything. Every time I tried to write I was unable. I started questioning if I had made a mistake and God didn’t call me to write. I felt stuck. I didn’t know what to do.

One evening, I was watching a Bible study video. The message was on Hebrews 10:35. The preacher had a trash can next to her as she shared a story about losing her confidence early in ministry. As she tossed a piece of paper (that symbolized her confidence) in the trash, God opened my eyes and showed me that’s what I had done.

Immediately, I got out my laptop and started writing. Full of confidence in the Spirit, the words came pouring out of me like a flood. It was amazing. Once I had my confidence back that God was with me and helping me, His spirit was unhindered and able to work through me.

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.

2 Chronicles 15:7

I hope this message encourages you to be strong and courageous. Don’t throw away your confidence that God is with you. Don’t focus on your inabilities. Focus on God’s abilities. And watch what His Spirit can do through you!

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” 

Jeremiah 17:7-8

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Prayer For The Week:

Heavenly Father,

I praise You for always being with me. I know You will never call me to do anything that You won’t be there to help me accomplish. Thank you for giving me confidence in Your ability. I am not afraid. I know that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I am strong and very courageous!

In Jesus’ name, I praise You! Amen!

Verses To Meditate On:

1 Chronicles 22:11-13; 1 Chronicles 28:20; Proverbs 3:25-26

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Preparing For Your Calling Series: “Believing Jesus’ Teachings”

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

—2 Timothy 2:20

This is the sixth message in my series on preparing for your calling. Follow this link to read previous posts in this series. Last week, I talked about receiving God’s blessings. Even though it’s nice to receive blessings from God, we can’t fulfill our calling if that is all we are seeking Him for.

In John 6, after Jesus fed the five thousand and crossed over the lake, the crowds were looking for Him and He answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

Jesus answered, The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

So they asked him, “What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

John 6:26-30

When we are more interested in what God can do for us than what He requires of us, we will not continue following Him and doing His will.

Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.”

… From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

John 6:35-40, 60-69

God’s will is not burdensome. God wants us to simply believe what He sent Jesus to teach us. I was talking to a woman once about Christianity. She said she felt that people just complicate it. She said we have to look at it as through a child’s eyes and just believe it. If Jesus says it, we need to believe it, no matter what.

Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:14).

When you tell a child something, they don’t normally try to reason it out. They simply believe what you say is true. We are to receive Jesus’ teachings the same way, with childlike faith.

Many Christians say they believe the Bible is true and they believe Jesus, but they only rely on what their pastor or minister teaches them. They don’t seek to dig deeper on their own and learn directly from Jesus.

The Israelites relied on Moses to teach them. But Joshua also sought God on his own as Exodus 33:7-11 explains, “Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to his tent. The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.

God has used my pastor and many other people to minister to me through the years. But the greatest teachings and revelations I have received have come directly from Jesus. There is so much more that Jesus taught than what majority of the church is teaching today. If we are not willing to seek Him and fully believe what He taught us, then we will not fully live the calling God has planned for us.

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

John 14:8-12

I don’t know too many Christians that are doing what Jesus did, let alone even greater things than He did. When I have seen teachings on some of the things Jesus did like healing, casting out demons, raising people from the dead, it’s often taken to the extreme and for flattery or financial gain. The devil will try to pervert anything that Jesus teaches to prevent us from believing and following it. That’s why we must seek Jesus for ourselves and continue believing what He says over what we see and hear from others.

Then Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

“As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

John 12:44-50

Let us all join together in making a New Year’s resolution to seek Jesus and believe His teachings. I pray that 2013 would be a year of revelation and revival in the body of Christ as we stand together believing the One God sent to teach us His will.

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Prayer For The Week:

Heavenly Father,

I praise You for sending Jesus to teach us Your Word. Help me to study Jesus’ teachings so that I can learn Your will. Give me understanding and revelation of Your Word and help me believe. I pray also for the body of Christ to seek You with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. Bring a spiritual revival to us in 2013. Help us to walk in the footsteps of Jesus doing what He did, and even greater things, through the power of Your Holy Spirit in us.

In Jesus’ name I believe You! Amen!

Verses To Meditate On:

For this week, study Jesus’ teachings in any of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John).

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Preparing For Your Calling Series: “God’s Blessings”

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

—2 Timothy 2:20

This is the fifth message in my series on preparing for your calling. Follow this link to read previous posts in this series. Last week, I talked about renewing our minds to the mind of Christ. This week, we will focus our minds on God’s blessings. Thinking God wants us to continually suffer is a wrong mindset that can keep us from following God’s plan for our lives. When we see all the persecution and suffering Jesus and His disciples faced, we can often become fearful from following God’s will.

I read a message recently. A woman was complaining to God about her trials when she heard Him say, “Don’t give the devil glory. Give me the glory.” The devil throws a lot at us, but his attacks are nothing compared to all the glory and blessings God provides for those who follow Him with all their hearts.

I recently wrote a timeline of my life, detailing all the major events that took place from birth until now. As I was writing, I was amazed that God’s blessings were by far greater than the devil’s destructive influence in my life.

May the LORD, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised!

Deuteronomy 1:11

The disciples understand that God’s power was so much greater than the devil’s. They were full of joy, despite the suffering they experienced because of the gospel. Paul said their light afflictions were momentary and nothing compared to the everlasting glory they would see (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Paul’s “light” afflictions were:

Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open seas, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.

2 Corinthians 11:24-28

Even though Paul faced hardships, the Lord not only rescued him from ALL of them (2 Timothy 3:11), but He also gave Paul “surpassingly great revelations” (2 Corinthians 12:7).

God’s blessings are greater than our trials. When I am starting to feel down in my spirit I will often ask God to bless me to remind me that He is greater. It helps take my attention away from my problems and keeps me looking expectantly to God. Just last week, I was starting to get down about my finances. My husband’s hours were cut short recently and our bills were higher. I asked God one morning to send us a blessing. Later that day, my husband received a note from his boss informing him that he would be receiving a bonus in his check. Then a couple days later, he was informed that he would also be receiving a pay raise.

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Matthew 7:11

In the two years it took me to write my first book I experience many trials and opposition. As it started to weigh down on me, I asked God to send me a special gift to refresh my spirit. Since my birthday was coming up, I asked Him to send me a message on my birthday through someone I didn’t know. I asked Him to answer a specific question and to give me confirmation that I was in His will and going in the right direction.

On my birthday, I was answering emails when I accepted a friend request on a social network from a man I didn’t know. I sent him a general thank you for adding me as a friend. He replied that he didn’t know how he found me, but when he sent me a request he strongly heard a message from the Lord that he was supposed to give to me. At first, I was a little skeptical, but as I read the message I knew right away it was from God. It was exactly what I had asked for. It was so personally directed to me that no one could have known except God.

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

John 11:40

I can sit here for days sharing all the wonderful blessings God has worked in my life. God is faithful, even when we don’t see it right away. I have prayed for years for God to answer a specific prayer about a person who is very dear to me. Just this past week, I have seen an amazing transformation take place in this loved one. Just when I’m about to lose hope and give up, God shows me how faithful He is. God’s glory is greater than we can ever imagine. No matter what trial you are experiencing today, give God the glory, not the devil. God who is in you is greater than the devil who is in the world (1 John 4:4)!

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”

Isaiah 35:1-4

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Prayer For The Week:

Heavenly Father,

I praise You for Your faithfulness. You will never leave me or forsake me. Thank you for sending Jesus to redeem me. Pour out Your blessings and display Your glory in me. Keep my mind focused on You and not my trials. I look expectantly to You. I praise You that You will do above and beyond what I can ever imagine according to Your power working in me. I want to give You all the glory, not the devil!

In Jesus’ name I praise You! Amen!

Verses To Meditate On:

2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Romans 8:28-32

Have a blessed Christmas celebrating God’s greatest blessing to us, Jesus!!

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*Come back next Monday as the series continues.

*All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.


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Preparing For Your Calling Series: “Single Minded”

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

—2 Timothy 2:20

This is the fourth message in my series on preparing for your calling. Follow this link to read previous posts in this series. Last week, I talked about God taking us through the wilderness to empty us and fill us with His Word, so we can be equipped to walk in faith until Jesus returns. When we are going through times of intense testing, it’s important to remember God’s faithfulness and keep our minds focused on Him. Whenever the Israelites saw God perform a miracle, they believed and praised Him. But the moment they were in need they quickly doubted His faithfulness.

The Bible says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does” (James 1:2-8).

My greatest weakness used to be doubt. I was extremely double-minded. My husband would often ask me how I could have so much faith one moment, but when circumstances changed I’d quickly lose it. It was easy to believe God when I saw Him bless me. But just like the Israelites, I’d quickly return to doubting God the moment I was in need.

I didn’t understand why I struggled with doubt so much. In my heart I believed God was who He said He was. I believed His Word was true. I felt like the father that cried out to Jesus, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). It didn’t make sense to me. How could I believe and have unbelief?

I didn’t understand that my carnal mind that I operated in before I knew Jesus was defiled with unbelief. “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled” (Titus 1:15). I was double-minded because I was still used to operating in my carnal mind. My mind needed to be transformed and renewed into my new Spiritual mind, the mind of Christ.

For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:16, KJV

Whenever a storm suddenly arose, I’d naturally default to my carnal mind because that was dominant in me. I believe that’s why the disciples quickly lost faith when they were hit with a storm soon after following Jesus in Matthew 8:23-26. It takes time to put off our old thinking and start operating in the Spirit.

… if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Ephesians 4:21-24, NASB

The Israelites wouldn’t lay aside their carnal mind. They often complained that they would’ve been better off in Egypt. They kept their minds focused on what they left behind. If they would’ve kept their minds on God, and allowed Him to change their thinking, they wouldn’t have wandered around for forty years and died in the wilderness.

This is why Satan attacks our minds. That’s where our spiritual battle takes place (2 Corinthians 10:3-6). Satan knows if he can get us to keep our minds off the Spirit, then we won’t follow the Spirit. God leads us into the wilderness. But He doesn’t force us to follow Him. We can turn back any time we want. Satan knows once we accept Christ, it is a critical time to hinder us from following Christ to the end. Satan and his army go full force trying to get us to turn back and return to captivity. We must not give him the glory by letting him succeed.

I spent many years struggling in the wilderness. Once I learned the importance of renewing my mind, I committed myself to being in the Word daily. Within only five months of seeking God daily I saw my life take a dramatic turn. I was able to quit the job I had been praying to leave for many years and take the first step into God’s calling for my life.

The Bible says, Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2). 

If things aren’t going well in your life right now, don’t give up seeking God and His Word daily. In due season, you will reap a bountiful harvest if you continue to persevere. God is faithful. Praise Him and speak His Word out loud to help keep your mind focused on Him. Don’t let your mind think about your problems. Change directions by shifting your focus to God’s faithfulness in His Word.

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

Psalm 1:1-3

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For our prayer this week, I want to close with a psalm David wrote when he was in the Desert of Judah (Psalm 63:1-8).

O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

In Jesus name, I lift my voice in praise!

Verses To Meditate On:

Joshua 7:13; Daniel 10:12; Hebrews 11

*If you’d like to learn more about renewing your mind, follow this link to a post I shared on renovating my mind using the example in Nehemiah of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.

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*Come back next Monday as the series continues.

*All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.


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Preparing For Your Calling Series: “Emptying and Filling”

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

—2 Timothy 2:20

This is the third message in my series on preparing for your calling. Follow this link to read previous posts. Last week I talked about how Simon, Peter, James and John dropped everything to follow Jesus. Once they made that choice, Jesus began to teach them and perform miracles in their sight.

“Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.”

Matthew 4:23

After witnessing those miracles and hearing Jesus’ longest recorded teaching (Matthew 5-7), the disciples’ were then suddenly overtaken by a storm.

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

Matthew 8:23-26

We seem to have great faith when we first start following Christ and see the wonderful miracles He works in us. Things were amazing when I first started following Christ. I still remember that feeling. Life was wonderful! I remember my baptism. I was beaming ear to ear as I stood up in front of my church and family and confessed Jesus was my Lord. I thought nothing in the world could bring me down.

I wish someone would have informed me what to expect next. Right after baptism I was thrown into a storm as I was led into a spiritual wilderness. The Bible explains why God led the Israelites into the wilderness, which I believe is the same reason He leads us into it spiritually.

“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you. Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and revering him.

… He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you.

Deuteronomy 8:2-6, 15-16

God leads us into a spiritual wilderness to empty us and fill us with His Word so that we can be equipped to live by faith. We believed God for salvation and when He first poured out His blessings on us. But will we believe Him with the rest of our lives? Will we believe His Word when the devil starts throwing his fiery darts at us? Will we believe Him when people come against us? Will we stand on His Word when our flesh wants to give into temptation? Will we stand believing Him to persevere when everything in us wants to give up and call it quits?

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:6-7, KJV

Our spiritual wilderness is necessary to strengthen our faith and prepare us for victory in the battles that lie ahead. Without these times of testing, we wouldn’t have the strength to stand in faith until Jesus returns. I didn’t understand this when God started disciplining (instructing, training) me. For many years I thought He was punishing me. I remember constantly apologizing even when I wouldn’t do anything wrong, just in case I missed something. I constantly thought He was mad at me. I envisioned Him sitting there doing nothing while I struggled from one pit to the next. I didn’t understand that God was trying to empty me to weaken my flesh and fill me with His Word to strengthen my spirit.

He must increase, but I must decrease.

John 3:30, KJV

A couple years ago, I was trying to teach my daughter something in her homeschool curriculum. She was so negative that I couldn’t teach her what I wanted to. She prevented herself from learning because she was insistent that she would never be able to get it. One day, I had enough of her resistance and I shouted, “Will you stop fighting me and just let me teach you!!!” As I shouted those words out, I thought how many times God’s said that to me.

I am the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

“But My people would not heed My voice, And Israel would have none of Me.  So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, To walk in their own counsels.

 “Oh, that My people would listen to Me, That Israel would walk in My ways! I would soon subdue their enemies, And turn My hand against their adversaries. The haters of the Lord would pretend submission to Him, But their fate would endure forever.

 He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat; And with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.

Psalm 81:10-16

If I would’ve understood what God was trying to teach me, I wouldn’t have resisted Him and wasted so many years going around the same mountain. If you feel stuck right now, and it looks like you’re never leaving this place, stop beating yourself up and let God teach you. I heard a preacher recently say that being down on ourselves is being self-centered and prideful. God has to humble us first before He can work in us. He has to empty us before He can fill us. The faster we humble ourselves the faster God can work in us, and the faster we’ll reach our calling. Open your mouth wide and let Him fill you up!

 

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Prayer For The Week:

Heavenly Father,

I praise You for leading me into a spiritual wilderness so that I will be fully equipped to live out my calling. Help me not to resist the work You are doing in me. Empty me and weaken my flesh. Fill me with Your Word and strengthen my spirit so I can live by faith until Jesus returns.  

In Jesus’ name, I pray! Amen!

Verses To Meditate On:

Galatians 3:1-13; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Psalm 16:7-11

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 *Come back next Monday as the series continues.

*All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.


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Preparing For Your Calling Series: “Loving God More Than The World”

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

—2 Timothy 2:20

This is the second message in my series on preparing for your calling. If you missed last week’s message about being called to be Jesus’ disciples follow this link. This week we will focus on the first step in discipleship, learning to love God more than the world. When Jesus called his first disciples they immediately left everything to follow Him.

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Matthew 4:18-21

What made these men drop everything and immediately follow Jesus? The first disciples were lowly fisherman. They were unschooled, ordinary men (Acts 4:13). I imagine the world wasn’t working well in their favor. When Jesus came, in my opinion, they saw a wonderful opportunity for change.

By the time my eyes were opened to see the truth about Jesus, I was desperate for change. It wasn’t hard for me to follow Jesus. I already despised the things of the world because I witnessed and experienced many of the evil consequences of sin by then.

I witnessed the evil behind drugs and alcohol as I watched it destroyed close family members and friends. I witnessed the evil behind unforgiveness and bitterness as I watched it separate and destroy many relationships. I witnessed the evil behind sexual immorality as it stole my innocence and robbed me of my childhood.  I witnessed the evil behind flirting with worldly lusts as it tore apart my marriage and family.

Looking back now, I know the devil used the evil consequences of sin to try and keep me away from God. But it did the opposite. It sent me running into the arms of Jesus. By the time He came to me, I was ready to leave everything and follow Him. I had despised sin so much that I knew God’s road had to be better.

My past that I once despised turned into the greatest blessing for me. If I had not experienced those things, I wouldn’t have hated sin because I wouldn’t have known how evil it really is. If I had enjoyed the pleasures of this world, I wouldn’t have seen a need to follow Jesus.

I was talking to an atheist once. I was explaining why we need God’s love and protection, and he replied that everything was working well for him. He never had a problem that didn’t work itself out. He was getting by just fine in life without God.  He didn’t see a need to follow God because the world was working for him. He hadn’t yet come face to face with the evil demons behind sin.

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only .’”

Luke 4:5-8

The pleasures of this world—the great deception of the devil to keep people from following Jesus. Sadly there are many Christians who also fall into this deception. They may have received Jesus’ atonement for sin to keep them out of hell, but they see no need to live for Him here. The world works well for them. They haven’t experienced the destructive power of sin yet.

Revelation 3:15-16 says “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

This is a harsh statement. But it’s the truth. We can’t love God and love the sinful pleasures of this world. We can’t follow God’s calling on our lives while walking in the dark. Jesus said, “The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going” (John 12:35). He also said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12). 

Though my experiences with sin were at times extremely painful, they gave me an awareness that made it easy for me to lay things down once I started following Jesus. I started laying anything down that I felt would feed my flesh instead of His spirit in me. I got rid of the trashy television shows, movies, and books, and started reading the Bible, joining Bible studies and watching things that would help me grow in my relationship with the Lord.

Each time I’d lay something down, God would open my eyes and I’d see those things in a new light—His light of truth. He showed me the danger behind those things so that I wouldn’t want to pick them up again. As I saw how much God loved me and wanted to protect me I began to fall deeper in love with Him.

Even though I’ve fallen many times in my walk with God, I can honestly say I have never enjoyed living in sin. I despise it so deeply that my heart aches when I see sin and the things of this world glorified over God.

Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

Jude 1:17-23

If your life hasn’t been terribly affected by the sinful nature of this world, and you are having a hard time following Jesus with all your heart, I encourage you to pray and ask God to help you. You don’t have to have something bad happen to you for God to show you the truth. He is faithful to lead you into His will and fill your heart with His love. As He shows you what to turn away from, you’ll begin to see the destructive influence behind those things. And you’ll start to desire to follow Christ with all your heart.

 

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Prayer For The Week:

Heavenly Father,

I praise You for showing me the destructive power of sin that leads to death. Thank You for sending Jesus to set me free from it, and giving me life here on earth and eternally in Heaven with You. Help me lay everything down that is hindering me from following Jesus with all my heart. Prepare me and teach me so that I can be fully equipped to do what You have called me to do. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen!

Verses To Meditate On:

Ephesians 2:1-10; Ephesians 4:17-24; 2 Corinthians 5:17

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*Come back next Monday as the series continues.

*All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.

**I’m going to be interviewed by author Deborah H. Bateman this evening at 9pm EST doing a live teleseminar. Follow this link for info to call in and talk with us about ministry and publishing.


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Monday’s Blog: New Series “Preparing For Your Calling”

I am starting a new series today on preparing for your calling. I’m going to use a similar format that I used in my recently published devotional “The LOVE Walk.” I am including a prayer and verses to look up and meditate on to encourage you to study with the Lord as He prepares you for your calling.

The Bible says, “In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work” (2 Timothy 2:20).

When I started following Christ twelve years ago, I didn’t know God had more planned for me than everlasting life. I remembering hearing messages about heaven and thinking “Heaven is great, but what about now? Surely, there has to be a purpose for me here.” I didn’t know God had a specific plan for my life. I thought it was my choice to choose my path in life. I thought that was His plan, to give me control.

By the time I came to know Christ, I didn’t want to be in control. I had tried every path imaginable, and each one led me to a dead end. I wanted to know there was something more in life. I wanted God to be in control. I wanted to know He had a plan. God eventually revealed to me that He did have a plan for me. However, I didn’t see that plan start to manifest until about four years ago. I didn’t know it at the time, but the eight years in between were the most significant. God was preparing me and Jesus was teaching me.

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:25-30

When we accept Jesus’ atonement for our sins, we are then called to be His disciples. A disciple is a pupil. A pupil is to be taught by his teacher. Why would we need Jesus to be our teacher if there wasn’t a job God wanted us to do?  When you go to college, you are there to learn and prepare for the job you are going to do when you graduate. Our discipleship with Christ is similar. We are being taught by Him to prepare us for the job God has planned for us in life.

When Jesus was on earth, He taught His disciples and then sent them out to do what He had been doing. Matthew 10:1-2 says, “He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles …” (Matthew 10:1-2).

Notice they were called “disciples” (original Greek: pupils), but when Jesus sent them out they were called “apostles” (original Greek: a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders).

Christ is our teacher and commanding officer. There will come a time when He will say, “Now go and teach others what I have taught you.”

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Matthew 28:19-20

You, my friend, have a calling on your life! Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” As I share the lessons God’s taught me, and continues to teach me, in preparation for my calling, my prayer is to encourage you to follow the Lord with all your heart and seek His perfect calling for your life. I guarantee you will not be sorry when you exchange your plans for His. His thoughts are not our thoughts. And His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). His plan is much greater than anything this world has to offer. Choose His calling over your own!

You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.

2 Timothy 2:1-7

 

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Prayer For The Week:

Heavenly Father,

I praise You for not leaving me to control my own life. Help me through this series to surrender my life to You.  I am hopeless without You. Teach me to understand the hope of my calling. Prepare me for the ministry You have ordained for me. And lead me into Your perfect plan for my life.  

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Verses To Meditate On:

Ephesians 1:18-23; Ephesians 4:1-16; Psalm 139:1-24

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*Come back next Monday as the series continues.

*All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.

 


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