Summary: Part 1 of 3 in the Living Your Calling series

"Living Your Calling"

Part 1 - Recognizing Connections

NewSong Church - 07/13/08

This series will help us understand 3 truths about your life:

• You are undeniably called by God to create change in the lives of the people you are connected to

• You are spiritually and naturally gifted by God to meet people’s needs

• You are supernaturally positioned by God to participate in His Church

Calling: a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action

History of the World, pt.1

Exodus 1:11,13-14

“So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves. They appointed brutal slave drivers over them, hoping to wear them down with crushing labor. The Egyptians worked the people of Israel without mercy. They made their lives bitter, forcing them to mix mortar and make bricks and do all the work in the fields. They were ruthless in all their demands.”

• It is a time of great oppression for the Israelites living in Egypt

• They are slaves, struggling under the harsh rule of Pharaoh

• The Israelites are desperate for rescue, for deliverance

• But there is no one to help them

The Future is Unpredictable

• The future is unpredictable – the Israelites had been living in Egypt for almost four hundred years without any problems

• They had no idea that they were going to end up in slavery

• Sometimes life is beyond our control and events take us down an uncertain path

• We find ourselves in difficulty, with no control over our situations

o health issues

o career and job security

o unstable economy

o family problems

o financial stress

• We’re desperate for change, but we don’t know how to initiate it

• Perhaps you know someone who is going through this right now?

Moses – A Brief Introduction

• A baby is born during this time of oppression

• Because of the law that stated all Israelite boys were to be killed, this baby is hidden

• When he cannot be hidden any longer he is placed in a basket and set in the Nile River

• He is discovered by the daughter of Pharaoh who has compassion on him

• And she takes him as her own and raises him in Pharaoh’s house

Enter Sandman… well, Moses Anyway

Exodus 2:11-12

“Many years later, when Moses had grown up, he went out to visit his own people, the Hebrews, and he saw how hard they were forced to work. During his visit, he saw an Egyptian beating one of his fellow Hebrews. After looking in all directions to make sure no one was watching, Moses killed the Egyptian and hid the body in the sand.”

• Moses was a man of calling and destiny

• He had been created by God to be the deliverer of the Israelites

• To lead his people to freedom

Calling and Destiny

Jeremiah 1:4-5

“The Word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;’”

• We are people of calling and destiny as well.

• You are undeniably called by God to create change in the lives of the people you are connected to

1 Peter 2:9

“For you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”

Three Elements of Calling

1. With calling comes conviction.

2. With calling comes compassion.

3. With calling comes a desire to see change.

• Do you believe that God can use you to change someone’s life?

• God wants your life to show others His goodness

• To shine His light into other’s darkness

:: Conviction ::

2 Peter 1:3-8

“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

• We have conviction and certainty in our calling because it comes from God Himself

• We have conviction in our calling because our lives are being changed through the promises of God

• We have certainty and faith in our calling because it allows us to respond to God with lives that imitate Jesus’ life.

:: Compassion ::

Moses encounters suffering and oppression

• We can relate to that - many of us are motivated to love and serve out of recognition of someone else’s need

• We are moved to action when we realize that we can meet that need

• Sometimes we refer to this as “having a passion or having a heart” for a specific type of people or specific situation.”

• God often places us in the people group that we are most equipped to reach

• Whatever people group God calls you to love and serve, it will be made up of those who don’t know Him. (Nelson Searcy)

Living Your Calling

1. Recognize your calling by through your compassion

o Who do you have a heart for?

o What motivates you to reach out to and care for people?

o What situation drives you to act on behalf of change?

Action: write down the name of someone you are concerned about and pray for them this week.

2. Recognize your calling through your connections

o Where has God placed you?

o Who do you influence?

o Who do you socialize and relate to?

Action: be a difference-maker in your connection with people – find out what is happening in their lives. Look for opportunities to share Jesus’ love with them in their situations.

God has placed us in a specific sphere of influence and connection with people

• We must live with conviction

• We must act with compassion

• We must be ready to initiate change when God gives opportunity

• Most importantly, for our calling to be fully realized, we must have an encounter with God

Encountering God

Exodus 3:1-4

“One day Moses was tending his flock… He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.” When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied.”

• Many people recognize their calling, but don’t recognize God

• When we live our calling in our own strength, the results can be less than what we hoped for

• For Moses it led to death, shame, and fear

• But a calling lived through God’s power and direction is life changing

• It sets people free from their oppression and rescues people

• It speaks truth into their lives and points lost people back to a loving God

• Our calling is completed through our relationship with Jesus Christ

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Call to Action

As you make your connections this week, ask yourself “What is their situation?” and “What can I do to help change that situation?”

• Your simple act of love can be the difference-maker in someone’s life

• Demonstrate Jesus’ love and God’s goodness within your relationships

o At home today with your family

o At work tomorrow with your co-workers

o Later this week with your friends

o At school with your classmates