* Call has several different meanings
The definition for call, called, calling, calls means to make a request or demand; to designate or name; a divine summons; an occupation or vocation.
* Preparing children to fulfill God’s call
God told David he would not be the one to build the Temple. Instead, the task would be left to his son Solomon. David graciously accepted this no from God. He was not jealous of the fact that his son would have the honor of building God’s Temple but instead made preparations for Solomon to carry out his task. Similarly, we should take steps now to prepare the way for our children to find and fulfill God’s purpose. Sooner or later our children will have to make their own decisions, but we can help by supplying them with the proper tools: showing them how to pray and study God’s Word, the difference between right and wrong, and the importance of church involvement. (NLT)
1 Chronicles 22:7-10 – “I wanted to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God,” David told him. “But the Lord said to me, ‘You have killed many men in the great battles you have fought. And since you have shed so much blood before me, you will not be the one to build a Temple to honor my name. But you will have a son who will experience peace and rest. I will give him peace with his enemies in all the surrounding lands. His name will be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel during his reign. He is the one who will build a Temple to honor my name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’”
* God will listen when we call
Rejoicing in God’s protection and peace; we can place our confidence in God because he will listen when we call on him. This psalm may have been written as David was asking his enemies to reconsider their support of Absalom. Others see this psalm as a prayer for relief from a calamity such as a drought.
The godly are those who are faithful and devoted to God. David knew that God would hear him when he called and would answer him. We, too, can be confident that God listens to our prayers and answers when we call on him. Sometimes we think that God will not hear us because we have fallen short of his high standards for holy living. But if we have trusted Christ for salvation, God has forgiven us, and he will listen to us. When you feel as though your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling, remember that as a believer you have been set apart by God and that he loves you. He hears and answers, although his answers may not be what you expect. Look at your problems in the light of God’s power instead of looking at God in the shadow of your problems (NLT)
Psalm 4:1-3 – Answer me when I call, O God who declares me innocent. Take away my distress. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
How long will you people ruin my reputation? How long will you make these groundless accusations? How long will you pursue lies?
You can be sure of this: The Lord has set apart the godly for himself. The Lord will answer when I call to him.
* Call on God for help and strength
The only sure way to be delivered from surrounding evil is to call upon God for help and strength. God’s protection of his people is limitless and can take many forms. David characterized God’s care with five military symbols. God is like (1) a rock that can’t be moved by any who would harm us, (2) a fortress or place of safety where the enemy can’t follow, (3) a shield that comes between us and harm, (4) strength of salvation, a symbol of might and power, (5) a stronghold high above our enemies. If you need protection, look to God.
Do your troubles, like “deep water,” threaten to drown you? David, helpless and weak, knew that God alone had rescued him from his enemies when he was defenseless. When you wish that God would quickly rescue you from your troubles, remember that he can either deliver you or be your support as you go through them. Either way, his protection is best for you. When you feel like you’re drowning in troubles, call on God to help you, hold you steady, and protect you. In his care, you are never helpless. (NLT)
Psalm 18:1-24 – I love you, Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold. I will call on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, for he saves me from my enemies.
The ropes of death surrounded me; the floods of destruction swept over me. The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death itself stared me in the face. But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears.
Then the earth quaked and trembled; the foundations of the mountains shook; they quaked because of his anger. Smoke poured from his nostrils; fierce flames leaped from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him. He opened the heavens and came down; dark storm clouds were beneath his feet. Mounted on a mighty angel, he flew, soaring on the wings of the wind. He shrouded himself in darkness, veiling his approach with dense rain clouds. The brilliance of his presence broke through the clouds, raining down hail and burning coals.
The Lord thundered from heaven; the Most High gave a mighty shout. He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies; his lightning flashed, and they were greatly confused. Then at your command, O Lord, at the blast of your breath, the bottom of the sea could be seen, and the foundations of the earth were laid bare.
He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. He delivered me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. They attacked me at a moment when I was weakest, but the Lord upheld me. He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me. The Lord rewarded me for doing right; he compensated me because of my innocence. For I have kept the ways of the Lord; I have not turned from my God to follow evil. For all his laws are constantly before me; I have never abandoned his principles. I am blameless before God; I have kept myself from sin. The Lord rewarded me for doing right, because of the innocence of my hands in his sight.
* A prayer is calling God
This psalm is a prayer for God to do whatever it takes to convince the world that he is indeed God. Someday all will recognize and admit that God is in charge.
Surrounding Judah were pagan nations that sought Judah’s downfall. The psalmist prayed that God would blow these nations away like chaff before the wind until they recognized that the Lord is above all rulers of the earth. Sometimes we must be humbled by adversity before we will look up and see the Lord; we must be defeated before we can have the ultimate victory. Wouldn’t it be better to seek the Lord in times of prosperity than to wait until his judgment is upon us? (NLT)
Psalm 83:13-18 – O my God, blow them away like whirling dust, like chaff before the wind! As a fire roars through a forest and as a flame sets mountains ablaze, chase them with your fierce storms; terrify them with your tempests. Utterly disgrace them until they submit to your name, O Lord. Let them be ashamed and terrified forever. Make them failures in everything they do, until they learn that you alone are called the Lord, that you alone are the Most High, supreme over all the earth.
* Call on God now
Food costs money, lasts only a short time, and meets only physical needs. But God offers us free nourishment that feeds our soul. How do we get it? We are to come, listen, seek, and call on God. God’s salvation is freely offered, but to nourish our souls we must eagerly receive it. We will starve spiritually without this food as surely as we will starve physically without our daily bread. (NLT)
Isaiah 55:1-6 – “Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink—even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk—it’s all free! Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen, and I will tell you where to get food that is good for the soul!
“Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, for the life of your soul is at stake. I am ready to make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the mercies and unfailing love that I promised to David. He displayed my power by being my witness and a leader among the nations. You also will command the nations, and they will come running to obey, because I, the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, have made you glorious.”
Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near.
* Jesus calls Peter and Andrew
Jesus told Peter and Andrew to leave their fishing business and begin fishing “for people,” helping others find God. Jesus was calling them away from their productive trade to be productive spiritually. We all need to fish for souls. If we practice Christ’s teachings and share the Good News with others, we will be able to draw those around us to Christ like a fisherman who pulls fish into his boat with nets. (NLT)
Matthew 4:18-20 – One day as Jesus was walking along the shore beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—fishing with a net, for they were commercial fishermen. Jesus called out to them, “Come, be my disciples, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and went with him.
* Those who love God are called by Him
God works in “everything”—not just isolated incidents—for our good. This does not mean that all that happens to us is good. Evil is prevalent in our fallen world, but God is able to turn every circumstance around for our long-range good. Note that God is not working to make us happy but to fulfill his purpose. Note also that this promise is not for everybody. It can be claimed only by those who love God and are called by him, that is, those whom the Holy Spirit convinces to receive Christ. Such people have a new perspective, a new mind-set. They trust in God, not in worldly treasures; their security is in heaven, not on earth. Their faith in God does not waver in pain and persecution because they know God is with them. (NLT)
Romans 8:28 – And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
* Is God calling you?
We must take God’s great message of salvation to others so that they can respond to the Good News. How will your loved ones and neighbors hear it unless someone tells them? Is God calling you to take a part in making his message known in your community? Think of one person who needs to hear the Good News, and think of something you can do to help him or her hear it. Then take that step as soon as possible. (NLT)
Romans 10:13-15 – For “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
* Every job and ability can become your Christian work, calling
We may become so concerned about what we could be doing for God somewhere else that we miss great opportunities right where we are. Paul says that when you become a Christian, you should continue on with the work you have previously been doing—provided it isn’t immoral or unethical. Every job can become Christian work when you realize that it can be an opportunity to honor, serve, and speak out for Christ. Because God has placed you where you are, take advantage of every opportunity to serve him there. (NLT)
1 Corinthians 7:20 – You should continue on as you were when God called you.
* People often base their self-concept on their accomplishments. But our relationship with Christ is far more important than our jobs, successes, wealth, or knowledge. We have been chosen by God as his very own, and we have been called to represent him to others. Remember that your value comes from being one of God’s children, not from what you can achieve. You have worth because of what God does, not because of what you do. (NLT)
1 Peter 2:9-10 – But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests, God’s holy nation, his very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
“Once you were not a people; now you are the people of God. Once you received none of God’s mercy; now you have received his mercy.”
* Some people, well aware of their abilities, believe that they have the right to use their abilities as they please. Others feel that they have no special talents at all. Peter addresses both groups in these verses. Everyone has some gifts; find yours and use them. All our abilities should be used in serving others; none are for our own exclusive enjoyment. Peter mentions speaking and serving. (NLT)
1 Peter 4:10-11 – God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you. Are you called to be a speaker? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Are you called to help others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then God will be given glory in everything through Jesus Christ. All glory and power belong to him forever and ever. Amen.
* Has God called and chosen you?
The power to lead a godly life comes from God. Because we don’t have the resources to be truly godly, God allows us to “share in his divine nature” in order to keep us from sin and help us live for him. When we are born again, God by his Spirit empowers us with his own goodness.
If you are the Lord’s—and your hard work backs up your claim to be chosen by God—you will never be led astray by false teaching or glamorous sin.
2 Peter 1:3-11 – As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature.
So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better. Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more you will become productive and useful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop these virtues are blind or, at least, very shortsighted. They have already forgotten that God has cleansed them from their old life of sin.
So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Doing this, you will never stumble or fall away. And God will open wide the gates of heaven for you to enter into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
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