• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

the Call

Today’s post comes from Lynette in Cambodia.

When considering “the call”, most of us immediately go to salvation; as important as salvation is, Jesus had an even deeper call.  Remember the purpose of the book is to see how we fit by looking at Jesus.  We fit because of “the call”!  Using the metaphor from last week, the only way we can enter the dance is if we are invited in, without the call we only sense that we should be dancing, which in my opinion is the reason for so many religions in the world.  Keller points out that Jesus’ first words recorded in the Gospel according to Mark contain the phrase, “Repent and believe the good news.” The words “Good news” , same word as “gospel”, in this day and age has religious connotations, but during the time of Jesus, they did not. During the time of the writing of Mark, “A gospel [was] an announcement of something that has happened in history, something that’s been done for you that changes your status forever.”  That statement caused me to catch my breath! There has been a lot of talk in mission circles about our purpose statement, individually and corporately.  It seems that Mark allowed Jesus to speak His own purpose statement. He came so that we could have the opportunity for Him to change our status forever!  WOW!

Last week, we considered how self-centeredness keeps us from “joining in the dance” with God.  Self-centeredness, as depicted by Keller in chapter 2, also “destroys relationships” and leaves us very “static” people.  What a miserable way to be!  Going back to the very beginning we see in Genesis that “we were created to live in a world where relationships were whole-psychologically and socially perfect-because God was the King.” You know the story, we chose to be our own king thus we live in a broken world with broken relationships.  Left to ourselves, we continue in our brokenness. This is the reason His call is so significant, He is calling us from a self-centered, self-destructive life by calling us into a whole relationship which require sole devotion to Himself, so much so that “all other attachments in [our] lives look like hate compared to Him.” Jesus cannot and will not accept moderation, His call is for complete devotion, “He must be the goal”.

It is interesting how various people during Jesus’ earthly ministry reacted to Him, we see in the selection of Scripture in Mark for this chapter that “The people were amazed at His teaching because He spoke as one who had authority”.  Keller eloquently points out that Jesus’ listeners “sensed somehow that He was explaining the story of their lives as the author” and they were amazed, they were left speechless.  You see, this call we have was made by the author of our lives.  I know we all know that, but sometimes I just forget the impact of that statement on my life and ministry.  Too many times I slowly revert back to that self-centered life that I was called out of.  We have each been called into His story, He IS the author and finisher of our salvation.

Do we, as called-out ones, live like this good news has truly changed our status forever?  Jesus’ call has been the same the whole time, so do we live like Jesus is the goal? Like He is the author?  How would our lives, teams and ministries look different if we truly allowed Jesus to be what He is, the author, the goal?

2 Responses

  1. Sometimes it seems to me arrogant to say that God has called us as the maker of our lives and I should, therefore, trust Him as the author of my life. From a worldly point of view, this is outlandish . . . a kind of conversation closer. But I don’t believe it is a conversation closer unless it does close our ears to the cries of those who are outside of ‘the call’. If our motivation is to be anesthesized to the negativity in the world, we are closing our ears. If our motivation is simply celebration, then we are simply being honest.

    This past week the son of our dear friends died suddenly. We heard the negativity of the world as the culture lashed out and tried to determine why all this happened. It was nasty. In the midst of this ugliness, the Lord graciously allowed us to speak of Him, to focus on Him as the author of this young man’s life. The world needed to be heard as they sought a reason. The family needed to be heard as they cried out in grief (these included 5 young children and a young widow). Everyone louded proclaimed their desires to be heard.

    Then a moment of quiet came and it was the right time to remind everyone that this was a child of God who, though flawed, was sitting with his Saviour today. The focus changed from ‘us’ to Him. And the conversation changed. Grief had it proper place. The pain will remain, but the goal is in sight now. Thanks, Lynette, for this reminder that ‘left to ourselves we continue in our brokenness’. I found a very practical application here.

    • Thanks Barry for sharing this story It brings fresh insight and application to what Lynette shared from this chapter.

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