Daily Devotional for Thursday February 20, 2014
Many are Called Few are Chosen
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, even though I am a Christian, I don't have the love for others (thy neighbor) that Jesus commands us to have. I have been praying for the Holy Spirit to supernaturally fill me with this love, but it hasn't happened. All I know to do is keep praying about it. Any suggestions?
ANSWER: This is a common question Believers have. Loving others is NOT something nobody does naturally. It require the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit that resides with all Believers. Pray, and seek the Lord for that supernatural ability to "love others as you love yourself." The old adage practice makes perfect is true. The more you practice loving others, the more you will find the ability to love your neighbor no matter who that neighbor is!
Hebrews Chapter 11 is one of the great chapters in the Bible. We read about Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Samuel, the prophets...they all had one thing in common...THEY ANSWERED THE CALL!! Common sense tells me that God had probably called others, but they refused to answer His call.
The Bible tells us that "many are called, few are chosen". We must be willing to answer God's call when it comes. Noah answered God's call to build the ark. Abraham answered God's call to leave Ur. Moses answered God's call to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. There are three basic elements in answering the call of God. First, you must know God. Second, you must respond by faith. Lastly, you can't turn back.
You must first know God in an intimate way. If you have a special job to be done, do you ask a stranger to do it, or call a friend? When God has a special job to do, He calls someone that he has a relationship with. He knows each one of His children intimately. He knows our strong points, our weak points, what we are capable of. God knows better than you do what you can accomplish. Never forget, God calls us for a specific purpose at different times in our lives based on His plan.
He will never ask you to do something that He hasn't equipped you to perform. Hebrews 11:1 says "..faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Once God calls you, we must respond by faith. Faith is not a blind leap in the dark, but a trust in God. When God called Abraham, he left obediently, not even knowing where he was going. He trusted God. James tells us that faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action is dead. In talking of Abraham, James said that "his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did."
But once you hear God call you, and you respond by faith, you then can't turn back. Jesus said, "no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." Once you answer the call of God, you will be attacked. There are some sad examples in scripture of those who heard, responded by faith, then turned back. John Mark went with Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey but turned back. Demas a co-laborer with Paul is said to have deserted Paul because of his love for the world.
My friend, answering the call of God is not easy, but God will make you adequate to stand the attacks and follow through.
Hebrews 11:13-16: "All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country...a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them."
These men and women of faith never turned back because they realized there was no place to turn back to!!! Peter said it best when he said, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe that you are the holy one of God."
I love you, and care about you deeply. I pray that you will be inspired by these words today. Inspired to develop that close, intimate relationship with God so that you will be available for His use. I pray that you will develop faith to answer His call when it comes. I pray that as you answer that call by faith, nothing will stop you from performing the job that He has given you to perform. Our purpose in this life is to serve and glorify Him. Take your mind off of your desires, your goals, your will. Focus instead on His desires, His goals, His will. ANSWER THE CALL!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,