Summary: A message of encouragement and motivation to give your all for the work of the Kingdom.
YOUR CALLS FROM GOD
* When Deboria and I were first married, I was a member of volunteer fire department. This was the mid-70’s and before the personal pagers were so inexpensive and available so alerting us fireman in a timely manner was a challenge. The system began with a siren, then to phones, and then to a “plectron” (which is a forerunner to the paging system). A plectron was about the size of an old CB radio and sat there silently until the “tone” was activated to alert is to a call. Like a pager, there would be a tone, then a sound like out of a bad sci-fi movie, and then the dispatcher voice would tell us about the call. At that point, all the volunteers made their decision whether to respond or not. Here’s the truth; when a call went out something or someone was in trouble and needed help. Someone had to take action or the results could be, would be disastrous. I say this because I remember the nights we were called to house fires where someone had not gotten out and we had to retrieve them or a train derailment where some chemical has been spilled, or even a traffic accident where we were required to use the Jaws of Life to extricate someone.
* As I recall those days and the calls we received, I am captivated by the similarities that I find between the earthly call and the heavenly call to provide & protect. Both calls require competency, consistency, and commitment. IN the fire department, we must be competent to know what hose to use, what approach to take, what dangers we face. In our heavenly we must know God through Christ, know what it means to be forgiven, restored, and reclaimed. It is required that we understand the dangers we face; the protection we have if we put on the armor, and that He is the answer. If we do not KNOW these things, we cannot ever be successful. IN the matter of consistency, one volunteer unit dismissed any fireman who could not answer 60% of the calls. You see, that understand in the fire unit what we miss in spiritual matters. They understand that you are not doing your part “IF” you cannot be counted on to be present. They ask that you show your commitment by your consistency.
* I submit to you this morning that we show our commitment to God by our consistency. Further I submit that in the same way the Fire Department sends out calls and expects responses, so do our Lord through His word.
* There are many callings in the Bible. Furthermore, we are told that the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable. This morning let’s look at 4 calls God gives EVERY believer. Turn with me to our scripture, Romans 12. This is a very familiar passage which most of us can quote (in part).
* Before we read, let me say that this passage is written to believers, that is, those who have trusted Christ by faith. Maybe you have never made this decision and don’t understand why you should trust Christ. Here is what the Bible teaches us; God demonstrated His Love for us… Just exactly HOW does God demonstrate love? The word “love” can be used as an acrostic to show us. L stands for the Law. God has given His law to us called the Ten Commandments. This law serves the purpose of showing us that we are sinful. Psalms 19 says the “law is perfect in reviving the soul.” The O stands for offense because the Bible says it is impossible to keep the Ten Commandments. We could do a quick test and ask, “have you ever told a lie?”, “have you ever stolen anything?”, or “have you ever coveted what someone else has?” The answers to these questions lead us to the next letter. The V stands for the Verdict. The Bible says we are all guilty before God. As with any guilty verdict is a sentence. The sentence for sin is death. At this point, this doesn’t sound much like “love.” The E stands for escape. The Bible asks the question, “how shall we escape “if” we neglect this great salvation?” and the answer is we won’t escape with out a plan. God demonstrated His own love in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” If we will come to Christ for forgiveness and restoration, He will forgive and restore our relationship to the Father. Perhaps you need to do this right now before you hear about the calls God places on the believers. Why not pray right now?
* Let read our scripture. (READ) The first words of this chapter are important for us. “Therefore” & “brothers” tell us a couple of things. Brothers remind us that Paul is writing to believers. Therefore is an interesting word. It literally means because of all that I have said. The first 11 chapters deal largely with doctrine & theology. He teaches about sin, guilt, salvation, justification, etc.