Calling: Why it Matters
Why Calling Matters
Easter is a celebration of Christ fulfilling His calling! He is risen! But what’s our calling? Join as we Celebrate the Resurrection of Christ and begin Austin’s new series on Calling! #DareToVenture #Calling
- Life Group Discussion Guide: The Value of Calling
Calling: Why it Matters
Easter is a celebration of Jesus Christ understanding, obeying and fulfilling His calling! There was never a doubt in the mind of the Eternal Logos of God. The Eternal Word of God. The son of God.There was no confusion, when He took on flesh and became the GodMan, of what He was called to do. Mark records Jesus as saying,
45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)
21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
Over and over again in the Gospel we see that Jesus knew what He was called to do. And all over the world today people are celebrating that He did it! He was dialed in, focused and undeterred. Even when Satan tempted Him, Jesus stayed focused. And as a result the price of sin was paid on the cross and the grave was defeated in the resurrection!
So, Jesus clearly knew what He was called to do. But what about you and me, how are we supposed to know? I’ve met very few people in my life that haven’t spent large quantities of their life trying to figure it out! Why? Well...
The desire to know our calling is rooted in the correct belief that God has made us and as such He has made us for a purpose. It is rooted in the correct belief that if I am living out the calling of Jesus Christ, then I will be able to stand in front of Him and hear “well done thou good and faithful servant.” But if I am unfaithful in what He's called me to do then I will not have a very blessed experience at the judgment seat of Christ at all!
So the desire to know what we are called to do is a good desire. But the problem comes in actually knowing what God has called us to do. Especially as we abandoned Biblical truth on how to know what it is and fulfill it. As we insert worldly and fleshly motives. As we insert bad doctrine and non-Christian spirituality. As we insert our fears and doubts and insecurities. As all of these things surround Biblical Truth and our glad submission to Christ it at minimum distracts us and potentially at worst it totally destroys us and others!
So for the next 5 weeks we are going to explore what the Bible teaches about “calling” From what it is, to how we can know and fulfill what God has made and called us to do!
Today I want to us start us out with why it’s important for us to understand what the Bible teaches about calling.
There are 3 reasons why it’s so important to understand calling, and thus why it’s so important for you and I to have this study together.
The 1st reason why it’s so important to understand calling is because,
Calling gives us clarity.
When we know what we are called to do then we know what we should say yes to and what we should say no to.
For instance, a minute ago I quoted Matthew 6:21. It’s a verse that is quoted a lot, but the depth is not felt unless you keep reading. Watch how Peter responds. Peter tries to get Jesus to do what Jesus is not called to do. Verse 22 says this,
22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you." (Peter had in mind an earthly Kingdom. The kind of political revolution CNN and the History Channel say every Easter that Jesus came to stir! But watch this. Jesus said I’m calling you to surrender these earthly goals and live your life surrendered to me! Watch the clarity and quickness with which Jesus responded There is no hesitation or doubt!)
23 But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man." (Boom! Jesus calls him out instantly. And literally says that Peter is doing the work of Satan because he is trying to get Jesus to not do what the Father has called him as The Son to do! So then watch what Jesus says next,)
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? (The primary calling of God on our lives is to totally surrender our lives to Him! Why is that so important for us to do. Well, listen to what else Jesus is called to do. His death, resurrection and ascension are not the finality of His calling. Listen to what Jesus said next.)
27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. (I’m going to come back. Implying he’s going to leave first. So a prophecy of both the resurrection and ascension are in this passage. And when He comes back He is going to judge everybody based on if they lived totally surrendered to Him and what He’s about. Notice it ain’t about politics or earthly Kingdoms. It's about being freed from the curse of sin and living in eternal unity with God and all who are in Him!) (Matthew.16:23-27)
So that truth plays itself out practically in all kinds of ways. For instance, at different points in my life there have been those who've encouraged me to pursue politics. However, as interesting as that is to me, because I love politics, since I said yes to Jesus to preach and lead the church (my calling), I've never seriously entertained the idea of politics, because I know what I'm called to do! I'm called to preach God's Word and lead a local church to engage those far from God with the Gospel of Jesus Christ to know and follow Him! To lead a local church to be a movement of the Gospel to turn the world upside down! Therefore I can say no very easily to the idea of running for public office or pursuing a career in Coaching football. Of making my life’s work really anything else other than preaching God’s Word and equipping the Body of Christ to engage those far from God with the Gospel of Jesus Christ to know and follow Him.
The 2nd reason why it’s so important to understand calling is because,
Calling holds us accountable.
Do you know that we are called to obey the speed limits! But, can we get honest? if there was not a judicial system that slaps big huge fines on us and insurance companies that double or triple our rates we would likely never obey the speed limit!
You see clarity helps us know what we're supposed to do, but accountability helps us actually do it!
Now, my speeding illustration is from a consequence side of accountability. But there is another side to accountability that isn't about consequence, but rather responsibility and the weightiness of it.
For instance, when you’ve been called to do something, that means the one calling you is entrusting you with something that matters to them. They are trusting you to get it done for them! That trust becomes an accountability. It’s a motivation to do it because you want them to know you were worth trusting!
A person elected into office should know that God called them in to that office. And He is going to hold them accountable. But, if they don’t believe in God they should at least feel the weight of all the people that trusted them enough to vote for them instead of the other guy!
If somebody recruited you and hired you to do something, you should feel the weight of that. They sought you out to do something that they place enough value in that they are willing to pay you to do it, or even as a volunteer. They are willing to let you do it instead of doing it themselves. We should feel a weight in that.
This weightiness, that is inherently in calling, is exactly what we see going on in Jesus prior to his arrest.
39 And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, "Pray that you may not enter into temptation." 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:39-44)
This part of the story of Christ is amazing because we see the man part of the GodMan. Jesus is expressing the agony of what it is he is called to do. He knows the pain that He is about to endure as the curse and wrath of God on all of our sin is placed upon Him. So he cries out to the Father expressing His human desire for there to be another way, but in the same breath expressing a perfect understanding of the weight of what he has been called to do. That He alone is the only one who can do it. He understands the weight of His calling both in what He is to do and who called Him. More importantly, the passage points us to the weightiness of who gave Him that calling. The Father. And thus He stays fully committed to give His life as the ransom for many.
In the same way, when we understand our calling from God, it not only gives us clarity on what to do but it gives us that vital accountability to actually do it! It's God who gave it to us and thus God who is holding us accountable to do it!
The 3rd reason why it’s so important to understand calling is because,
Calling gives you value.
There is nothing that makes us feel more wanted than somebody wanting us. Especially if they sought us out!
This fits with the general idea of calling. The very idea of calling is that it is outside of us. it’s given to us. We didn’t butt our way in to the party, but somebody called us and asked to come to the party! We were wanted!
People wonder why in the world kids end up in a gang. Like if you know your future is going to be prison or a casket at an early age, why in the world would you sign up for that? Now, it’s not true in every case, but in plenty of cases these kids are sought out. They are recruited. they are called by gang members. And in many instances (again, not all) these kids are coming from situations where they don’t have a father that affirmed them, that gave them value. Now all of a sudden this gang comes along and they want him! The kid experiences a sense of value that he has never experienced in his life. Somebody actually wants me. If they are calling me, then I matter!
There is nothing that makes us feel more valuable than somebody actually wanting us. Especially if they sought us out! This is exactly why Paul wrote this to the church in Ephesus. Paul said,
16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:16-21)
Paul wanted them to know the value in who called them! The value in the price that was paid for them to be called! And the value of what they had been called to! Because there is nothing whatsoever more valuable than what God has called us to through Christ! Whoever is blessed to be called of God is blessed with the greatest experience of value in the universe!
So, In every calling there is an experience of the value of who is calling you, the price that was paid to call you, and what they're calling you to. Therefore, it's easy to understand that the calling of God to be His forever gives us the greatest value of all!
Challenge: Have you said yes to the most basic, important and obvious calling of God to love and follow Jesus?
Jesus is calling you. There is no doubt. I’m standing here in front of you right now proclaiming the Gospel to you. You are being called right now. The question is are you going to answer it or not!
At the dawn of the 20th century, Galveston was the grandest city in Texas. It could boast the biggest port, the most millionaires, the swankiest mansions, the first telephones and electric lights. (https://www.npr.org/2017/11/30/566950355/the-tempest-at-galveston-we-knew-there-was-a-storm-coming-but-we-had-no-idea)
There are stories of how they were all just hanging around going about their day and a 15 foot storm surge came in and destroyed the city. It's estimated between 6,000 and 12,000 peopled died as the storm surge came in and totally destroyed that city.
You see they were never called. There was no early warning system. Back then people on shore were dependent on reports coming in from ships. But this time nobody knew, nothing came in.
So to everybody here. You are getting a call You are not like the people in Galveston. And this call isn’t to warn you of a storm, a hurricane but of an opportunity. Eternal life!