Called of God

Some of what I am going to share with you here will be in the form of testimony to God’s grace in my own life, but the principles that are being spoken of here apply to all those who follow Jesus Christ with their lives.

“We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.” 1 Thessalonians 1:2-5 ESV

All of us who are followers of Jesus have been called according to his purposes, and we have all been chosen by God to be holy, to go and bear much fruit for his kingdom, and to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel, etc. But, the Holy Spirit has gifted us as He determines, and God has assigned us to what parts of the body He planned and designed for us even before the creation of the world. So, we are not all going to be the same.

I knew the calling of the Lord on my life from early on, not in specifics, but generally, and in a sense, it was the call of Jeremiah, though I make no claims to prophet status. I want to make that perfectly clear. The main thing I knew at that juncture of my life was that God wanted to use me to speak his messages to the people of God and to those professing faith in Jesus Christ, primarily, and I was not to give in to fear of them, though I did, time and time again, until He finally got my attention and turned me around.

I would follow the Lord in obedience for a while and then I would get “slam dunked,” as I call it, and I would retreat in fear, for a time. And, then He would give me the courage to get back in there, and so I would, and then someone else would push me under, i.e. someone would persecute me, and I would respond in fear and retreat again. And, when I retreated, I became worldly, and I yielded to the flesh, instead of to the Spirit, and so this stood between me and God’s calling on my life, until the Lord revived my heart.

“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” 1 Peter 4:1-5 ESV

So, I had to drop (to discard) my fleshly longings and desires in order to truly long for and yearn after God and his righteousness. And, then the Lord opened the door for me to be used in the way that he had planned for me, and which was his design for my life from before the creation of the world.

When I used to teach the scriptures, it was to a small group of people, usually young people, children or women. So, what I taught was heard only be a very few people. But, then the Lord handed me a “microphone,” so to speak, i.e. he put me out on the internet to write out what he teaches me from his Word each day. And, that is not something I would have ever imagined doing. It was not something I sought after at all.

Now I was given a trust, a responsibility to write each day what my Lord gives me to write, whether in the form of a devotion, sermon, a Bible study, a song or a poem. Actually, the writing of songs, though, did not begin until 5 years after I had been writing Bible lessons on the internet daily. And, the writings of poems (without music) greatly increased these past two years.

But, this was not without cost. I was rejected. I was criticized. I was invited out of Bible study (small) groups and out of church fellowships. I was told that I was wrong because I was in the minority, and that I should be like the majority. I was told that I needed to be more “normal,” and to have fun, and play games, and to do stuff “normal” people did. And, I was ridiculed for my stand on the Word of God and for living holy unto God.

“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:7-11 ESV

But, what God has called me to do is not to be raised above what he has called anyone else to do, for one person plants, and another waters, but it is God who gives the increase. So, all the glory goes to God, not to me.

So, not one part of the body should ever feel as though he is less because he isn’t the same part as another, or as though he or she should stop speaking just because he or she is not gifted in the same way as someone else. For, we are all parts of the same body, and we should have equal concern for one another.

So, whatever your part is, don’t compare it to someone else’s, but just do your part for the glory of God and it will be beautiful! For, we are all necessary!

The Main Focus

The Lord has been having me write daily what he teaches me from his word, but the writing he has given me has gone through several stages, and now what he has me write is really more like short sermons. If read out loud, they would take about 10 minutes to read, so 5 minutes reading silently.

Yet, I am not trained in this area, i.e. I don’t have credentials from any kind of religious institution. My training is from the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, and my credentials are that I am a child of the KING and called of God.

The main focus of these “sermons” over the past several years has been primarily to get out the truth of His gospel message, and to expose the lies that are out there which are opposing the truth. Second to that has been to talk about the difference between the true church, the body of Christ, and the institutional church, which is a business of men, and to expose any lies being presented there, and to teach the truth in opposition to the lies.

But, I still live in a real world. I still live and walk among the people of this world. I don’t live in a monastery. We don’t have to do that to live separate from the world and unto God. For, God has sent us into the world to share his gospel message. We just aren’t to become one with the world. We aren’t supposed live like we did before we believed in Jesus. We are to live holy and godly lives among those who are living wickedly (Phil. 2:14-16).

But, we have to guard our hearts and minds against the evil that is in the world so that we don’t fall into its trap. For, the reality of what is going on today is that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been turned into a license for all sorts of evil practices, and all under the guise of God’s grace. They leave the door wide open and even invite “believers” in Jesus to keep on in their sinful practices without guilt while they then claim who they are “In Christ.”

So, they pray a prayer to “receive Christ,” or they make some superficial acknowledgment of who Jesus was and is, or they merely make a decision to accept God’s grace and his forgiveness into their lives.

And, then they are told they are now part of God’s family, that heaven is guaranteed them, and that it can never be taken away from them no matter how much they sin against God from this point forward. So, is it any wonder that willful and often premeditated habitual sin is now rampant in the church? And, even among its leadership?

And, this is why God has called me to this ministry, to get the truth out, and to expose the lies, for many are being led into Satan’s snare, and they are buying into a cheap grace gospel which promises them heaven, while it still leaves them bound in their sins. So, they need to know the truth that faith in Jesus Christ means death to sin and living to righteousness, for only in this way will any of us have eternal life with God (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17).

Jesus, I am Resting, Resting

Hymn lyrics by Jean Sophia Pigott, 1876
Music by James Mountain, pub.1876

Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power,
Thou hast made me whole.

O, how great Thy loving kindness,
Vaster, broader than the sea!
O, how marvelous Thy goodness,
Lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Belovèd,
Know what wealth of grace is Thine,
Know Thy certainty of promise,
And have made it mine.

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,
Satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings,
Meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings:
Thine is love indeed!

Ever lift Thy face upon me
As I work and wait for Thee;
Resting ‘neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus,
Earth’s dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father’s glory,
Sunshine of my Father’s face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting,
Fill me with Thy grace.

Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.

*copyright status is public domain

 

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