North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    A farmer was looking across his vast field one day and he was filled with love for how much God had blessed him. He lifted his eyes and hands to heaven and thanked God. As he peered into the skies he could see that the clouds had formed, what appeared to be the letters “GPC”. He thought for a moment and concluded that the letters stood for “Go Preach Christ”. He quickly called a deacon from his church and shared the news of this miraculous sign. The deacons of the church agreed to let him preach the following Sunday. The sermon was long, tedious, and very hard to understand. After the service, one of the deacons wistfully told the farmer, we have no doubt that you heard from God with the message in the sky, but we think God was telling you something else. Instead of telling you to “Go Preach Christ”, He was telling you to “Go Plant Corn”.    This would not be the first time a person was confused about their specific calling life. It’s the age-old question for all of us, “What on earth am I here for?” God told Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). God has a purpose for each Christian. And whatever it is, it should be done for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

    God calls people of diverse backgrounds and vocations to represent Him in the world. When Jesus called his twelve disciples, he didn’t draft them, force them, or ask them to volunteer; he chose them to serve him in special ways. He doesn’t twist our arms and make us do something we simply don’t want to do. Christ calls today and we either accept him and join Him, or we reject Him and set out to find ourselves. Jesus called people of all walks of life—fisherman, tax collectors, political activists, and doctors. He called the rich and poor; educated and uneducated. You don’t have to fit a certain mold to be used by God. He can use anyone, no matter how insignificant he or she appears.

    I believe there are 5 distinct calls that we all must decide to answer or not.

    First, there’s the “Call to Salvation”. Christ’s call to salvation goes out to everyone. Salvation is received by repentance and faith. A godly sorrow for sins, accompanied by faith, brings victory through Jesus Christ. 1 Timothy says, “Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

    Secondly, there’s the “Call to Sacrifice”. We must deny ourselves if we expect to positively affect the lives of others. We win by going out, reaching out, and giving our time, talent, and treasure.

    Third, we’re all “Called to Suffer”. Yes, some suffer more than others, but it doesn’t mean that God is playing favorites. We need to recognize the purpose in suffering. It teaches lessons, tests faith, testifies to others, and trains for service. 1 Peter 2:21 says, “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps”.

    Fourth, there’s the “Call to Separation”. As a child of God, you have been set apart for good works, even in the face of hardships. Even though real estate, automobiles, stocks, and other possessions have captured our devotion, to accept this call we must set our affections on things above (Colossians 3:2). Are you being set apart by love, faith, prayer, Bible reading, faithful church attendance, and stewardship?

    Finally, there’s the “Call to Service”. Selfish excuses and a lack of concern hinders many Christians from heeding God’s call to service. If you haven’t discovered God’s specific call or assignment just yet, then seek to fulfill the mission common to all believers—love everyone, obey God, and help others when you can. Do these things until His guidance becomes clearer. God understands our confusion about the future because we simply don’t know what’s in store. But He has given us an insight into what is waiting for us: “I pray that your heart will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope He has given to those He called—His holy people who are His rich and glorious inheritance” (Ephesians 1:18). Your future is bright with opportunity! Seek God with all your heart and watch His plan unfold for you.

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a health educator for the state of Florida, U.S. Army Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York Community. He recently published his 4th Volume in the “Living With Purpose” Book series which can be found and purchased on www. Amazon.com. You can contact him at: rmdobson@liberty.edu

Posted by on Oct 1 2018. Filed under Church News, Churches, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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