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Friday, April 30, 2010

The Clall of Abraham

Genesis 12:1

Last week we discussed the “call” in general; now let us look at Abraham being called by God. Verse 1 state, “get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee.” This separation was necessary for Abraham and all believers as they must be separated from the world. Hebrews 11:13 describes Abraham acting in faith in God and journeying to a foreign land promised by God.

There are six (6) components in Abraham’s call. The first component involved Abraham separating himself from his countrymen and the significance of this separation is that God’s people must separate themselves from all that hinders them from doing His purpose in their lives.

The second component involves three (3) promises God made, and they are: (1) a land, (2) a great nation through his (Abraham’s) descendents, (3) a blessing that would affect all the nations of the earth (Genesis 12:2-3). The last element of this promise is being fulfill in the missionary proclamation of the gospel of Christ (Acts 3:25; Galatians 3:8).

The third component of God’s call to Abraham involved both an earthly and a land where God is the architect and builder—heaven. Abraham desired to live forever in the presence of God--this is the desire of all believers.

The fourth component of God’s call to Abraham contained both promises and obligations which includes obedience and commitment to Him in order to receive the promises. If the question were raised, what is included in God’s obligations and commitment? What’s included is (a) trust in God’s Word, (b) obedience to God’s command to leave his home, and (c) a sincere desire to live a righteous life. All believers must adhere to these obligations and remain committed to God.

The fifth component of God’s call entails the blessings that would extend beyond Abraham’s physical descendents but to all who in faith believe in Jesus Christ, who is the true seed of Abraham, and all who with him (Abraham) will receive the promised blessings. Galatians 3:14 states that all who believe in Jesus Christ shall receive the “promise of the Spirit.”
The sixth component of Abraham’s call is the beginning of the Hebrew nation and because of Abraham’s obedience to God’s call he is looked upon as one with true saving faith.

Allow me to segway to some of the notables who exhibited great faith and they are, (a) Abel’s faith in God cost him is life. (b) Enoch’s faith resulted in him not seeing death and was transported to heaven by God. (c) Noah’s faith cost him his reputation in the community, because he stood on God’s promise of rain. (d) Sarah in faith conceived a son in her old age. (d) Isaac by faith blessed both of his sons, Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. (e) Jacob before his death blessed his son Joseph. (f) The parents of Moses hid him for three months believing that he would be saved from the king’s command to kill all boy babies of a certain age. (g) Moses himself through faith refused the easy life of Pharaoh and his sister to live among his people and became Israel’s leader. (h) Through faith the walls of Jericho fell under the leadership and direction of Joshua. (i) Through faith Rehab, the harlot received the spies with peace and was rewarded.

Hebrews 11:32 records many other heroes of faith who did great things for the Lord. Verses 33-34 provide us with some insight into the greatness of faith in action. Kingdoms were subdued, mouths of lions were shut and fiery furnaces failed to consume God’s faithful. What faith!

If God calls you to special service for Him, answer in faith.

Your comments and thoughts are welcome.
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Friday, April 23, 2010

A Call to Service

Ephesians 4:4

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.

Today’s discussion is a continuation of March 18, 2010’s discussion titled, Ministerial Leadership Gifts for Christ’s Church: Ephesians 4:11 in preparation for my lecture series on said topic. I felt moved to discuss at length the different ministry leaders as it relate to the body of Christ and spreading His message of the gospel.

There is an on-going discussion taking place regarding women preachers. The question was, If God called you (woman) to preach? This discussion began on one of the Christian social network sites where I am a member. My answer to the question was who am I to say who God calls. For me personally, if God call me to preach that what I will do---God called me to teach. Simply, He is the creator and keeper of my soul, then, why fear man and others when neither have a heaven or hell to put you in. It is better to obey God than man any day! What did God say about pouring out His Spirit on all flesh?

Getting back to our topic of being called, as a believer in Christ each of us have been given a gift of ministry in the body of Christ, it may not be in a leadership position, but each member of His body have the responsibility to tell others about Christ and what He has done in your life---witness.
Let’s answer the question, what is a call? According to Zondervan’s Pictorial Bible Dictionary (P. 143), the word has over 20 different representation in the Hebrew and Greek text, but it has four different meanings as it relate to our discussion and they are (a) “To speak out in the way of prayer—“Call unto me, and I will answer thee” (Jeremiah 33:3). (b) To name a person or thing—“and God called the light day” (Genesis 1:5). (c) To summon or appoint---“I will call all the families of the kingdom of the earth” (Jeremiah 1:15). (d) To invite men to accept salvation through Christ. Most importantly, a call is by God through the Holy Spirit, and is heavenly (Hebrews 3:1) and holy (II Timothy 1:9). I Corinthians 1:26 and 7:20 use the word in a particular sense, as referring to that condition of life which men (humanity) were when they became Christians.

Before I close today’s discussion, let us compare the definition of “call” as recorded in The Student Bible Dictionary (P. 55) which states that “the noun form of the word is a summons or an appointment from God to serve Him in a specific way for a specific purpose ( I Samuel 3:4; Isaiah 6; 49:1). The verb form of the word is to “invite to become a follower of Christ---a Christian (Matthew 9:13; Philippians 3:14. Depend on God; invite His attention in prayer (Genesis 4:26; Jeremiah 33:3). Also, it means to name or describe, which often includes the beginning of a relationship with a person or thing (Genesis 1:5; 2:19; Matthew 1:21; Mark 10:18). See the similarities in the two definitions?
Allow me to close today’s discussion at this point and we will continue this discussion with the Call of Abraham and other patriarchs and notable women in the Bible as our examples of God’s calling persons to ministry in next week’s discussion. I am laying the ground work for Ministerial Leadership discussion by pointing out the fact God call whomever He please as all believers are called to service.

Closing thought and question, many Christians are called to be ministers. What do you think God is calling you to do or be? Have you answered your call?

As always your comments and thoughts are welcome. Post them to my website or blog site noted below. I am in the process of establishing and implementing the upload and interactive capabilities from my website.

Contact: wwhite@goodshepherdwritingandpbulishing.com

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Christian Community

James 5:7-20
What constitutes the Christian Community? The Christian Community is one with Christ as our leader, teacher, healer and Savior. The Christian Community is one that is comprised of a body of baptized believers who have accepted Christ’s atoning work at Calvary and assembles themselves in a local congregation for regular worship services to God for what He has already done and continues to do in the lives of mankind. The Christian Community begins in the home of each believer and extends to the church and to our local and national surroundings. The Christian Community is every believer living in the sight of God (Ephesians 5:8-11) while seeking to do His will. The Christian Community is believers witnessing Christ in obedience to the Great Commission and is prayer warriors for self and others as we are in constant communication with God. Members of the Christian community have a right relationship with God as we are dressed in the garment of humility and have a Christ-like spirit.
The Christian Community is a powerful entity as each member operates in the power of the Holy Spirit. What power!

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Risen Christ

The celebration and observance of Resurrection Sunday is over, the question now becomes are we still living in the spirit of the risen Christ? Celebration of the risen Christ is continuous because Christ is alive. He is providing comfort to the comfortless; He is bread for the hungry, water for the thirsty. He is a doctor in a sick room, a lawyer in a court room, a shelter in a storm and providing salvation to all who believe He is the Savior. For the believer Christ is the energizer bunny—the power to keep living for Him daily. To the unsaved He is the balm in Gilgal—healing sin sick souls.