Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Prayer & Share Experience #2- God's Call to Journey

What is the mystery in God’s call? Why does it come to us in a mystery?

Only by accepting and receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior will you ever be reconciled to God and be able to have a personal relationship with Him.
"I (Jesus) am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."- John 14:6
" to all who received Jesus, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." - John 1:12
Eternal life and being a Christian is not just about accepting Jesus as your Lord & Savior, then waiting around to go to heaven where you will live forever. It is about a relationship with God, and getting to know Him , and serving Him and obeying Him because you love Him.
"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" - John 17:3
" I have called you friends." - John 15:15
“You are my friends if you do what I command." - John 15:14
"God's call is for you to be His loyal friend, for whatever purpose He has for your life."
- Oswald Chambers "My Utmost For His Highest"
"God, who has called you into fellowship ("koinania") with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful."
- I Cor. 1:9("koinania" fellowship- "the fullest possible fellowship & partnership with God, and with others in the church. Intimate fellowship with God and His son Jesus produces this type of fellowship and unity in a church. Only God can produce this genuine koinania fellowship, love, and unity.") (Henry Blackaby)

" For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11
Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has special plans for our lives, plans to bless us and prosper us; The next two verses spell out the necessary conditions for us to receive the benefit of His plans, "Then when you call upon Me and come and pray to Me, I will hear you. When you search for Me, You will find me; if you seek me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:12-13)
" God will instruct him in the way chosen for him." - Psalm 25:12
" You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light." - I Peter 2:9
" For we are God's workmanship ("valuable masterpiece"), created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." - Ephesians 2:10

" For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose." - Philippians 2:13
(You will have a love & joy & passion for doing the things God has created you for & calls you to do)

List of Spiritual Gifts
Administration: Discernment: Exhortation: Faith: Giving: Knowledge: Leadership: Mercy: Prophecy: Service: Helps: Teaching: Wisdom:

"Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." - Acts 13:2
The Greek word for called means that God "called them unto Himself", first to a love relationship with God, and next to where His presence and His power would be at work. We only need to respond in faith and obedience, and God will provide the power and whatever else is needed to get the job done. Moses being called to help lead God's people out of Egypt is another good example of God's call and how God provided everything (see Exodus 3 & 4).

"Come follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." - Matthew 4:19
"Then Jesus came to them and said “All authority in heaven and on earth have been given to me. 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.” - Matthew 28:18-20

You are not truly following Jesus unless you are being a fisher of men and an active witness for Jesus Christ, telling the lost about Him and sharing His plan of salvation with them. He also wants the church to teach and help others become fully devoted and passionate disciples (learners and followers) of Jesus Christ, so they will be fruitful witnesses and servants of His.

Brainstorm: God called Abraham and his progeny to be the means for saving all of humanity. God called Mary to bear his son. God called Joseph to be an administrator of business affairs. God called Moses to be a leader, a judge, a musician and a teacher. God called Jehiel to be a bookkeeper (accountant). God called Solomon to be a preacher. God called John to be an author and write down his vision. God called Joshua to be a leader, mayor, governor, president. God called Jonah to be a missionary. God called Luke and Matthew to be preachers and missionaries and his other disciples. They were also called to be doctors to heal the sick. God called Paul to be a missionary.

Genesis 12:1-4
1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. 2 "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." 4 So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

Jeremiah 1:4-10
4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 "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." 6 "Ah, Sovereign LORD," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child." 7 But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD. 9 Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant."

Matthew 4:18-20
18As 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. 19"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." 20At once they left their nets and followed him.

He called ordinary people to do extraordinary things. They all felt inadequate; however they all followed the call.

Which of these similarities do you expect to be present in god’s call to your congregation as it journeys with God to discern and live into his preferred future?

I think we are all ordinary people that God will call and we will all feel inadequate possibly. But I think God will also bless us if we take on His call. As stated above- God’s presence and power will always be with us when He calls us- so how could we fail?!

What are some things these people called by God had in common?

They were called to leave what they knew, they were called for a specific task that wasn’t really told to them, they were called to be leaders, teachers, and they were told that God would be with them through it all. (Jer. 1:8)

Share something you learned about God as you read these accounts of God’s call to a faith journey.

Journey by faith in beloved community, and you will be empowered for life!

Everyone believes in something. And we live our beliefs in our actions through faith at work, at play and in how we interact with friends and foes, neighbors and family. Faith is central for our spiritual empowerment. Faith is our lifeline when life is raw, ugly, painful, terrifying, numbing, demoralizing and tragic. Faith brings us into great moments of hope and love. Faith empowers our prayers and helps us rejoice and praise God, expressing profound gratitude with a deep and abiding sense of thankfulness even when our world has turned upside down and inside out. Through faith, we can pray to a Power greater than ourselves. Through faith, we find the Holy One is safe to cry, laugh, rage and rejoice with. God has never left us, although we may have misplaced or forgotten God. God is always with us, even as we frantically search for meaning and fulfillment in our lives. God is eager to be found and is nearer than our hands and feet. And so it is with our faith journey. However you understand God at this present moment, celebrate it, however uncertain it might feel. And when we are together, our combined spirituality is very great indeed. Beloved community helps us overcome temptation, change destructive and negative patterns of behavior and thinking, encourages and strengthens us when we are discouraged, and helps us discern God’s call in our lives. It is so important that we will travel around the world to find it. It is where no one is left out and everyone is welcome.

Is God’s call upon the congregation just a call to the body or is it also a call to the body’s parts- the members? Why?

It is a call to all its members- we all have different attributes and we are all different however just like the physical body with all of it’s parts- the hands, arms, legs, brain, heart etc… we each have an essential function that is only productive when put together with the other parts in order to have a functioning body. That is how each member is to a congregation or “church body”…

What is the relationship between god’s call to the congregation and God’s personal call to you?

I have my own spiritual gifts from God, as do each member of the congregation- and we are all set to work together with our strengths and others picking up our weaknesses… working together for God’s call can accomplish much- we all have different passions and weaknesses, but together and with God we can be successful.

How does this leader’s statement connect with you and your hopes for the spiritual journey?

If I allow God to speak to me, if I take notice and listen, if I study to find my own spiritual gifts, then God can and will use me in this spiritual journey and if all the other members feel this way then it will be successful tenfold and nothing will stop us!

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