Summary: The church has to respond to the general call of discipleship and the specific call to leadership.
Matthew 4:17-22 KJV From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.  And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.  And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.  And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
I. INTRODUCTION—THE CALL
-Os Guiness writes about it in his book, The Call, that something, that feeling within that presses on all of us to give in to what some may call the greatest good, the ultimate end, the meaning of life, or whatever you may choose to call it.
-Any person who is given much to thinking at all has given that idea a thought about their own lives. To find and fulfill the purpose of life comes to us at all seasons of life and will manifest itself in a varying, sometimes dizzying set of choices.
• Teenagers feel it as the world of freedom beyond home and school tends them with the choices.
• Graduate students confront it with an excitement that the world is my oyster sort of mentality only to find that as they open one choice, it closes the door on others.
• Those in their early thirties know it when their daily work assumes its own brute reality beyond their earlier considerations of the wishes of their parents, the fashions of their peers, and the allure of salary and career prospects.
• Those in mid-life face it when a mismatch between their gifts and their work reminds them that they are square pegs that have been forced into round holes.
• Those in their forties and fifties with enormous success suddenly come up against it when their accomplishments raise questions concerning the social responsibility of their success and deeper still, the purpose of their lives.
• Those in later years are suddenly faced with the questions; have I wasted my life or have I invested my life?
-All of us are provoked, I believe by God, to make sure that there is some call that gets our attention. If we are to be submitted to the will of God, it is a call that has a spiritual flare to it. All of us, every single one of us, have a call that God wants to put into our lives. It is a call that shapes the whole direction of what we do and who we become.
• It is a demanding call that will overpower all other desires.
• It is a relentless call that pleads for action and attention.
• It is a burdening call that will put concern in your heart.
• It is a restless call that will pull sleep from your eyes.
• It is a stretching call that will pull its best from your life.
There was a diary of a nurse that was saved from World War I. In this diary, this nurse who worked in one of the frontline hospitals wrote of every nerve and fiber being tested by the steady stream of suffering that she saw in those young soldiers. Little sleep and poor meals were afforded to the medical staff but this nurse wrote in her diary, “Actually for the first time in my life I begin to feel as a normal being should, in spite of the blood and anguish in which I move. I really am useful, that is all, and I am too busy to remember myself, past, present and future.
-I pray that every single one of us in this house determine that we will not waste our lives on the frivolous and insignificant!
There is a blog that I read usually every day. I am somewhat in awe of this fellow, Tim Challies, on www.challies.com. He has written a blog every day for the last 6 ½ years. For 2010, he has undertaken a different challenge at the 10 Million Words blog. His task is to read the Top Ten books on the New York Best Seller List for 2010 in the non-fiction section.
He recently wrote a book after having read a biography about George Carlin, who was listed as one of America’s top comedians. Honestly I had no idea who this man was but apparently he was a godless heathen who did everything he could to mock God.
The following is what Tim Challies wrote about this book: