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Summary: God calls us in many ways and we need to listen for His voice.

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Listen...to your life... and you'll hear the BAT QOL- the voice of God. You will hear our Lord's voice, comforting, challenging, and calling you to lose yourself in the Master's service. Indeed, unless we "leave our nets" and follow Him, it's hard to see how we can call ourselves Christian. Listen... to your tears listen to those things that stir your spirit to anger- and you will hear the BAT QOL. Listen... for God's voice in the stillness of your mind. Listen... to Scripture as it reveals who you are and who you can become. Listen... to the closing and opening of doors in your life; listen... to the people who know you best and listen... to those whom you hardly know because God may be calling you through them. Listen.... because God is calling you just as plainly as He called Cephas and Andrew and the "sons of thunder," and what is more: He is calling you to serve Him just as passionately as they did.

In "church speak" we talk about a "Common call" that we all share. For instance, we are all called (in Bonhoeffer's words) to "come and die" for Christ. We're all called to invest the talent we have been given in our Lord's service. As Micah noted (chapter 6), we're all called "to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God." Jesus said that we are called (even commanded) to love one another as He has loved us, and if we take Matthew 25 seriously, we're also called to care for Christ as we see Him in need. We're all called to be good stewards and we're all called to be "priest" to one another and to a broken world. Finally, although we share many other calls in common, we are all called to be holy- to live AS IF Christ is our Lord- and to turn our backs on the cacophony of voices that clamor for our worship and allegiance.

We are all called to do these things, but within the context of our common call, each of us receives a personal call on our private number (I used to say private "line." but that is hopelessly dated now). In any event, as unique creations, we are called to serve God in different ways. We have different "gifts," different "stories," and different "passions," and if we use our individual gifts for the "common good," the entire body is strengthened. God called Noah to build a boat; He called Moses to "deliver His people;" and He called Jonah to give more "grace" than Jonah wanted to give. Likewise, God called the demoniac whom He healed to "return home," and He called Zacchaeus to join Him for dinner. In our own church family, God has called a couple of you to keep this old building in good repair, some of you to serve Him as liturgists on Sundays; some of you to sing songs of praise; some of you to visit the sick; some of you to feed the hungry; some of you to ministries of fellowship; and a few of you to spiritual leadership. We have been blessed with different gifts and more than a few of you are using your gifts for Christ through our ministries. God is on the line (there I go again), calling of us to ministry.... so why are so many hanging back? What keeps some people from answering God's call?


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