LEARN MORE – GROW MORE – BE MORE – IN CHRIST JESUS
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11
When God Calls
God called Moses to deliver a word to Pharaoh. God called Noah to prepare the earth for his judgement and he called a young boy to be available to share his fish with for the Master’s use. God’s call on our life is different and will come at different time on different levels. But none the less, we are called for a purpose – to be found faithful and glorify the Lord. No matter what the calling is, it is divine and important.
January 3 – Called to Preach – Luke 4:14–22a Our last lesson was about being called to prepare. Being prepared for an assignment or task is of the utmost importance. Most of us feel as though we are going through a period of trials with seemingly no direction or purpose. But God always has a plan for our lives even if with don’t see it (Jer. 29:11, Rom. 8:28). We open this lesson with the beginning or Jesus Galilean ministry. Part of his calling to proclaim God’s truth was prepared in him when he was a child. If you remember, for a short period of time, Jesus was absent from the presence of Mary and Joseph. But when they found him, he was in the synagogue (Luke 2:49) being about his Father’s business. Here, Luke records him as being in the synagogue which was his custom. When Jesus was young, his parents exposed his to some of their customs which became his. At an early age he was being prepared for his calling to preach God’s word. Wherever we are in life on this journey with Christ, it is an opportunity to be in preparation for our call to preach to gospel. Our audience will be different, but the calling is still from God. divine and is to received with obedience.
On the Sabbath along with lighting of candles, and having customary family gatherings, there was a gathering of the men in the synagogues. Here they would read and share the writings of the Hebrew Prophets. It was their custom, so Jesus being Jewish did as he was brought up to do. He opened the book or the scroll to the section of writings by the prophet Isaiah.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord? What was or is the “acceptable year of the Lord”? The time had finally come for the Lord, the Messiah, the Savior to be revealed by God’s divine providence. God had been silent on his deliverance to Israel for about as as he had been to the Hebrews when Moses was introduced. Jesus was preaching his initial sermon per-se and was speaking of himself. He closed the book and spoke “today is the fulfillment of these words”. Jesus went on to expound on the passage he read and spoke with such power and authority they all marveled. His gracious speech bewildered them and they wondered among themselves if this was the son of the carpenter, Joseph.
Count your time of preparation as important, precious and not routine. Your time to be used of God or to preach and proclaim his word will come at the acceptable time will come.
January 10 – Called to Be Disciples – Luke 5:1–11 Disciple is a term used to describe one who is a a learner or pupil, A student with a desire on different levels to be educated in the doctrines of their teacher. We all have had teachers in our secular educator who were great at what they taught and their teachings were invaluable to our careers and life. But Jesus took the time to call disciples to follow him. As Jesus popularity began to grow and the word of God increased, the crowds increased. People were fascinated, intrigued and curious about this man and the things he taught (vss1-3). He had to change ventures to support the larger crowds and the demands of the people. He resorted to a boat as his pulpit and the shorelines was where the congregation assembled.
Up to this point the people followed for their own reasons, but here the Lord requested them to follow for his reason. The Lord had a purpose and he began to hand pick his staff of followers. The only qualification was their willingness to follow and obey. Jesus gave them an assignment which would be used to demonstrate why they should follow him. He had been teaching them with words and they were attentive and now he showed them something. Fishers by trade know the water. Jesus asked them to cast their nets on a side of the boat. Peter and the other fishers knew their craft and were hesitant at first which is why they questioned him (vss 4-6). When his directions were obeyed and the witnessed the results, they were “hooked” so to speak. The process of becoming disciples was beginning to unfold right in front of their eyes. They listened and obeyed the Master, They then went out and asked others to listen and obey (vs7) to this teacher.
Jesus presence left them astonished and mesmerized to the point they saw their own inadequacies and short-comings (vs8). His holiness, and divine power can only be responded by humility and confession. Jesus wants disciples who are genuinely motivated to learn, trust and obey. He didn’t consider Peter’s admittance of his own sinfulness and shortcomings as something to dwell on. He comforted Peter and the others by telling them not to be afraid. In Matt. 28:20, he share the same message to his disciples with the same comfort, “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Disciples are called for a purpose with an equally divine level authority. These fishermen had a new calling, using the same skills but now with a different purpose for the eternal Kingdom of God.
January 17 – Called into Authority – Mark 2:1–12 As we grow older, we all have a certain level of authority. Different roles carry different levels of authority and power. A person in law enforcement operates under a set of rules to execute and enforce the duties or power afforded to them by their local governments. Even the various branches of governments have a “checks and balance” system which permits and restricts powers by any one. We are expected to conduct ourselves within the authority as parents, children, church leaders and citizens.
This week’s lesson takes us to Capernaum where Lord Jesus is teaching as he was called to do. Capernaum, located on the north shore of the Galilean Sea was a fishing community where people from the various regions came to buy and sell. Jesus’ person, presence and preaching had become very popular and people gathered in multitudes to hear, to see and to be healed by him (v2). This particular company of crowd included four men carrying another man who was paralyzed. In their determination to hear the words of Jesus, they carried this man to the roof of the house in which Jesus was preaching. Around and over the crowd, they had to see Jesus. In the middle of his message, he stopped and gave attention to the efforts of the four men. These men had climbed on the roof, removed a portion of the roofing and lowered this man down. Jesus’ next words, astonished the crowd, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” (v5). As with anywhere we go, there will be people who consider themselves or are considered by others to be experts on everything. In verse six, the scribes sitting in the crowd heard the words Jesus spoke and were caught off guard. They’re profession is to accurately chronicle, document, preserve and study the scriptures as given to them. So when Jesus spoke words only one in authority should, it gave them reason to skepticize and ask among themselves who is this person who is blaspheming God. In their minds, Jesus had disrespected God, for only God could forgive sin – he did not have that level of authority. They had not realized that the person who spoke forgiveness was in essence God in the flesh (John 1:14). The word was God and the word became flesh and was only exercising within his divinely given. Jesus was exerting his authority as the son of God with whom his Father was well pleased (Matt 17:5). After the man was instructed by Jesus to take up his bedding, he got got up and left. The Pharisees and others were left with these words, “We never saw anything like this!” We we operate within the authority given us, we will astonish people. God has given us authority to forgive (Matt 18:21-23), to love (John 13:34-35) and to live righteously by his grace (Tit 2:10-13).
This is the Jesus of the bible, “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Matt. 28:18
January 24 – Called for the World’s Belief – John 17:14–24
January 31 – Called to Prophesy – Luke 2:36–38; Acts 2:16–21; 21:8
When God Calls – Matthew 1:1-6, 16-17, Heb. 1:1-5
And He Shall Be Called Emmanuel – Matthew 1:18-25
When We Are Called Into His presence – Matthew 2:1-2, 7-15
When We Are Called To Prepare – Matthew 3:1-12
You are always welcomed to follow and study with us as we seek to show ourselves approved to the Lord, workmen and women who do not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.