Summary: Describes the benefits of pursuing God's will.
The Hope of HIS Calling
Illustrate: Catcher Yogi Beara (NY Yankeys) tried to distract Hank Aaron (Milwalki Braves) “You need to hold the bat so that you can read the trademark” Home Hank answered: ”I didn’t come here to read” We need to know why we’re here!!!
REFLECTION: Our passage contains only one very long sentence, centered in this phrase “the hope of His calling.” (Vs 18) We have spent the better part of this year looking at the commands of Christ. I realize that some might fall into the wrong idea that simply “keeping” the Commands of Christ is the end or goal. The truth is that those commands are the guides to the “goal”. The “Goal” is really God’s calling on each of our lives! Paul described it as the “High calling of God in Christ” (Phil. 3:14) to which Paul earnestly pressed.
DIRECTION: Most people spend some portion of their lives and energies pursuing some “goal”, whether it is educational, relational, vocational, or financial. We tend to look at life through a spectrum of “my calling” or goals. The age old question of “What is God’s will for my life?” ought to be asked by every believer. Still, as long as the focus remains on the last part of that question (MY LIFE), Satan and circumstances will usually succeed in sidetracking us.
It is critical to note that the calling belongs to God, just as our lives do. That is why Romans 12:1 says “present your bodies a living sacrifice…” comes before Romans 12:2 “That ye might prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”
This morning we’re going to look at some of the benefits of identifying and pursuing the “Hope of His calling” in our lives. Most people live their entire lives without ever experiencing the “Hope of God’s “calling”. His calling addresses many critical issues in life. For example:
1. IT PROVIDES FULFILMENT. (Rev. 4:11; Eccl. 3:11)
A. LACK OF FULFILMENT IS RELATED TO LACK OF PURPOSE.
1) Success is not related to how you “rate” against another, (2 Cor 10:12) but how much of God’s Calling you have accomplished. (2 Tim 4:7) “I have finished MY course…”
Ps. 33:10,11 “The LORD bringeth the counsel (plans or goals) of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel (Plans) of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts (intention) of his heart to all generations.”
Pr. 19:10 “The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.”
B. JESUS’ STATED GOAL WAS TO BRING ETERNAL AND ABUNDANT LIFE. Jn 10:10
Jer. 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
1) The person living in “God’s calling” can be fulfilled, even in an unhappy marriage, job, etc.
a) Paul and Silas in jail singing. (Acts 16)
b) Paul being “content” in Jail. (Phil. 4:11,-13) Why? Because they had the hope of God’s Calling.
2. IT PROVIDES DIRECTION IN LIFE. (Phil. 3; 1 Cor. 9:25,26)
Heb. 12:1,2 “let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus..”
A. WITHOUT GOD’S CALLING, WE TEND TO DRIFT WITH CIRCUMSTANCES.
1) This tends to take us in the direction of “peace or prosperity.” The Devil can control both.
3. IT PROVIDES STABILITY. (2 Cor 4; 11; Rom. 8:26-29)
A. LIVING OUTSIDE OF GOD’S CALLING LEAVES US OPEN TO BEING BLOWN
OFF COURSE BY STORMS OR CIRCUMSTANCES WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING IT.
1) Remember the Storm in Mark 4. Without Christ’s command, they might have turned back.
2) 1 Tim. 1:19 “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:”
Remember that Faith is walking in harmony with God’s will and calling.
B. GOD’S CALLING PROVIDES AN ANCHOR AND A MAP. (Heb. 6:19 and 12:1,2)
Is. 43:1-3 “thus saith the LORD that created thee, and he that formed thee, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. 2When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. 3For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour:”
4. IT PROVIDES POWER. Vs 18,19 “comprehend…what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,”
5. IT PROVIDES SIGNIFICANCE. (Ps. 139; Jer. 1:5)
A. MOST OF US HAVE INSECURITY ISSUES.
1) The prophet Jeremiah had security issues in Ch. 1. God told him…Jer. 1:5 “before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee;.. I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet.”