Summary: Every Christian is privileged to have at least three calls of God on his life. How often we take for granted His calling. How often we turn a deaf ear to His voice. Are you heeding His call today?
Introduction: Every Christian is privileged to have at least three calls of God on his life. How often we take for granted His calling. How often we turn a deaf ear to His voice. The story is told of years long past when turnpikes were not much more than a country toll road of an old turnpike man in a quiet country road whose habit was to shut his gate at night and take a nap. One dark, wet night, a traveler knocked at his door crying, "Gate! Gate!" "Coming," said the voice of the old man. Then the traveler knocked again, and once more the voice replied, "Coming." This went on for some time, till at length the traveler opened the door and demanded to know why he cried, "Coming" for so long and never came. "Who’s there?" said the old man in a sleepy voice. "What d’ye want, sir?" Then, awakening, "Bless yer, sir, and yer pardon; I was asleep. I get so used to hearing them knock that I answer ’Coming’ in my sleep, and take no more notice about it." Have we fallen asleep to His calls. Consider the call to redemption, to service and sanctification, and the coming call to glorification.
I. We have been called to Redemption
A. Our salvation is the sovereign, saving calling of God.
B. John 15:16a “"You did not choose Me, but I chose you...”
C. Ephesians 1:4 “...He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world...”
D. We have been called to salvation before the foundation of the world. There is nothing that we can do to merit God’s gracious calling to redemption. Titus (3:5) tells us that it was “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.” There is nothing that you or I can do to be saved. One could do and say all of the right things and still not have earned the privilege of being saved. It is given as an undeserved kindness.
E. Ephesians 2:1 “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).”
F. Longfellow could take a worthless sheet of paper, write a poem on it, and make it worth $6,000 -- that is genius.
Rockefeller could sign his name to a piece of paper and make it worth millions -- that is capital.
Uncle Sam can take a sheet of rag paper, run it through a printing press, and make it worth $20 -- that is money.
A mechanic can take material worth $5.00 and make an article worth $50.00 -- that is skill.
An artist can take a five dollar piece of canvas, paint a picture on it, and make it worth $1,000 -- that is art.
God can take a worthless, sinful life, wash it in the blood of Christ, put His Spirit in it, and make it a blessing to humanity -- that is salvation. – Copied and adapted from William Moses Tidwell, "Pointed Illustrations."
G. Romans 8:28-30 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
H. A lady was on a lake steamer when her little girl fell overboard, and she was almost frantic. A gentleman on the boat had a large Newfoundland dog. The dog was directed to leap into the water and save the child. He did so and swam ashore with the little girl, part of her dress in his mouth, I suppose. The mother seized her saved child, and kissed her again and again. Then turning to the dog, she hugged and kissed that dog, with a heart full of gratitude to the animal. That’s more than some people have ever done for Jesus Christ, although He hung on the cross to save them from sin and hell. - William Moses Tidwell, "Pointed Illustrations."