By His Grace: When called by God

Edith Nevis

How often have you felt the calling of the lord in your life?

Did you willingly heed the call or become reluctant and turn the other way?

Edit Nevis

I once recounted during Black History Month the lives of four remarkable individuals and their many achievements that derived from their calling in life. It was evident early on each person’s gifts and talents were gifts given by God. Their submission to His will helped shape and change the course of history as we know today.

The key to each one’s success was their act of obedience and trust in God.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

The brief biography of everyone highlighted revealed the hand of God upon them. It was evident in their willingness to educate and encourage others, hold fast to their unwavering conviction to God’s word and to walk by faith. And out of obedience blessings did flow and doors of opportunities opened to go before royalty, world leaders and other nations. Through the gifts and talents shared, the love of Christ was in manifestation.

For those who are called according to His purpose, God already has prepared the way they should go. For it is written, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

As followers of Christ, we are called to go in all the world to share the love of Christ, His faithfulness and goodness through testimony; but also, to share the blessed hope of the return of our soon coming King. And through our obedience to the call, we, too, are equipped by God to encourage, serve, preach, and prophesy.

You and I were called and set apart by God, that is, plucked out of the masses, to be sought after amongst many, deemed valuable and trustworthy to handle the assignment and for such a time as these. We are called to be bold witnesses when sharing truth without becoming self-righteous and holier-than-thou to effectively reach those who may still be indecisive in their decision to follow Christ.

We are called to fulfill the great commission.

“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Are you one who believes you are not good enough to be used in God’s service? Let’s look at the life of the apostle Paul. He once was a former persecutor of Christians. Along the road to Damascus, he experiences a supernatural encounter with the Lord, and then a radical conversion took place. This is when the apostle Paul answered the call of Jesus upon his life. He is led to share the gospel here-on-end and goes on to write 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament.

For those who believe God cannot use you because of past mistakes in life, it's not so. How many know God does not keep a scorecard of our sins? Through true repentance are we forgiven. It is written, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Another scripture says, “Sprinkle me with the cleansing blood and I shall be clean again. Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.” Recall mentioned earlier, the plan of God for the permanent pardoning of sin, (then, now and forevermore) required the blood of Christ Jesus. And what he washes clean remain so forever more.

When I was called to minister through the gift of writing, the enemy tried to disqualify me. He began by bringing up past failures and mistakes in life. He tried to persuade me I was not trained in the field of ministry, though I did attend Nyack College a school of theology. My calling is to encourage you in faith, forgiveness, and love.

God will use the imperfect and the ordinary in amazing ways to fulfill his purpose if only allowed. You and I have been approved by God to do all things through Christ Jesus who is our strength. For it is written, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

You may ask, how do I begin to come into agreement with the plans of God and the calling on my life? A relationship must be established through his son, Jesus. For those who desire a relationship with the Lord, or would like to renew it, allow me to extend an invitation to experience his unconditional love for you. By your own free will you accept Christ as Lord and Savior.

When you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, it is written you will be saved. This has nothing to do with religion and all to do with a relationship. For it is written, "It is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."

Please repeat this prayer: "Lord, Jesus, forgive me of my sins I committed against you. I believe Jesus died for my sins and has risen again. Please come into my life and heart and lead the way. I confess you as my Lord and Savior from this day forward. In Jesus' name, amen."

Welcome into the family of Christ.

Until next week, be blessed and go in peace. Shalom.

Bible references: Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV; Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV (Heb. 13:5); Matthew 28:16-20 NIV (Mark 14:28) (John 20:24-29) (Acts 2:42); 1 John 1:9 NIV (Ps. 32:5); Romans 8:28 NIV (2 Tim. 1:9); Romans 10:9-10 NIV. To obtain the full benefits of each verse, please read the five verses before and after each verse. Cross references in parentheses ().

-- Edith Nevis can be reached at 857-2200 or at enevis@gannett.com.