Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Called to Him

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Mark 3:7-19

TO CHEW ON: "And He went up on the mountain an called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him." Mark 3:13

Imagine being one of the chosen. After all the crowds from Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, behind Jordan, Tyre and Sidon had disbursed, to be left with Jesus. Imagine He calls you to join him on the mountainside because He Himself wants you as one of His band.

All through the Bible God we see God putting His hand of choice on the shoulders of specific people and groups of people.
  • In the Old Testament He chose members of the tribe of Levi (Levites) as a substitute firstborn possession, to serve Him in worship (Numbers 3:12; 8:19).
  • In Haggai's day He chose a Gentile king Zerubbabel to accomplish what He wanted done (Haggai 2:23).
  • In Acts God told Ananias that the former murderer of Christians, Saul/Paul, was such a chosen one (Acts 9:15).
  • And we, along with those who have read the Bible through the centuries find that He has chosen us. In the context of Jesus talking about Himself being the vine and those living in Him the branches, He says to disciples across the ages: "You did not choose Me but I chose you and appointed you..." John 15:16.
A little bit more about God's choosing:
  • It is not on the basis of worldly wisdom, might or what is powerful and persuasive. Quite the opposite, according to 1 Corinthians 1:27, 28, 29.
  • It is not so we can live an easy, charmed life. In our reading Jesus chose the disciples to prepare them to work as He did—preach, heal and cast out demons (Mark 3:14,15).
  • In John 15:16 Jesus talks about bearing fruit and having prayer answered (implying we will have needs and lacks that require prayer).

Have you and I heard His call? Have we come to Him. Are we up on the mountain with Him, getting His instruction and power [exousia] for our assignments?

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for handpicking Your followers still. As Your word speaks to me, help me to be careful to listen so that I bear the fruit for which You called me. Amen.

MORE: Keeping work in balance

"Do we enjoy our work, love our work, virtually worship our work so that our devotion to Jesus is off-center? Do we put our emphasis on service, or usefulness, or being productive in working for God—at His expense? Do we strive to prove our own significance? To make a difference in the world? To carve our names in marble on the monuments of time?

The call of God blocks the path of all such deeply human tendencies. We are not primarily called to do something or go somewhere; we are called to Someone. We are not called first to special work but to God. The key to answering the call is to be devoted to no one and to nothing above God Himself. As (Oswald) Chambers said, 'The men and women Our Lord sends out on His enterprises are the ordinary human stuff, plus dominating devotion to Himself wrought by the Holy Spirit." The most frequent phrase in his writings: 'Be absolutely His'" - Os Guinness, The Call, pp. 41,42.

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