A calling is an invitation to come and be prepared for use.
We prepare ourselves by studying to show ourselves approved as workers who need not be ashamed as we rightly divide the word of God. 2 Timothy 2:15
Many people are willing to be used by God but unwilling to be prepared for use.
Preparation takes time, effort and dedicated resources. It is an investment in the future, both of the called and of the kingdom.
Who knows how much preparation is necessary better than the One who calls us to serve in His plan.
Many people who are called never qualify for their greatest day of use.
Matthew 22:14 Many are called, but few are chosen.
We see examples of callings in both the Old and New Testaments.
Mark 3 (NKJV)
14 Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach,
Imagine the thrill and the anxiety of being called to come and follow Jesus.
* It costs these 12 men everything
* It costs their families credibility, reputation and expectation
It costs to follow the plan of God.
* It costs God His Only Son
* It also costs Mary her firstborn
Later Peter would respond to his call by telling Jesus:
Luke 18:28 Then Peter said, “See, we have left all and followed You.”
29 … “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,
30 who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”
Knowing what it cost God, man and families, Jesus nonetheless called these 12 men.
First: To Be With Him
Then: To Be Sent To Proclaim The Gospel
He called them in Mark 3:14 and then He empowered them in the next breath:
Mark 3:15 and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons
After they had been called and prepared for some time, perhaps 1 to 2 years of discipleship, being with Jesus, He then empowered them released them to begin their ministry:
Matthew 10 (NKJV)
1 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease
5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them …
7 … preach …
8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
First called, then prepared, later empowered and finally sent.
Not only did Jesus call the 12, prepare them and empower them and send them, but He also followed the same pattern with others.
We read in Matthew 10 that Jesus gave the 12 power and sent them out. This corresponds to the 9th chapter of Luke.
Luke 9 (NKJV) reads:
1 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.
2 He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
Now, down 60 verses later we come to Luke chapter 10
1 After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.
9 … (and He said to them) heal the sick …
We know the rest of the story because the seventy came back to Jesus and reported that the devils were subject to them when they ministered in the authority and power of His Name.
Here we see that Jesus called, prepared, empowered and sent these out without spending the same quality and quantity of time with them as He had spent with the 12.
* With the 12 we see the necessity of preparation stressed
* With the 70 we understand the urgency of the message
These 70, we believe, carried a temporary and limited calling. A commission for this season in which they would strictly prepare a city for the imminent visitation of our Lord and Christ, Jesus.
Some callings are temporary or are for a locale, a certain place, while others are life callings and can span the whole world.
In Acts 6, Stephen is called to be a deacon in the church in Jerusalem. Later in Acts 8 he is the evangelist to Samaria. At the end of Acts we see him living in Ephesus, unknown as to his position or office within the church, but definitely a prominent believer, receiving such guests as Paul and Agabus the prophet into his house.
Matthew 10 shows Jesus calling, preparing, empowering and sending the 12.
Luke 10 shows Jesus calling, preparing, empowering and sending the 70.
There is one more group I would like to address herein. That is the mass of believers who also have been called, can be prepared, empowered and sent, on both temporary urgent missions and on adventures which may last a lifetime.
A call went out encapsulated in
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
There is a ‘Whosoever Will’ Call which has gone out into all the world.
Matthew 28:18ff reveals the Great Commission. The remaining eleven disciples were told to go, preach the Good News and make disciples of every nation - ‘Whosoever will believe’
In John 14:12, Jesus stated that whoever believes in Him, the works He did, would they do also and even greater works would they do because He was with the Father.
Mark 16:15ff declares that through working the plan of God, those who heard and believed would also be empowered to perform miracles in the Name of Jesus.
Acts 2:38-39 tells that the promise of God is to your children and your children’s children, even as many as are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
The book of Revelation details a heavenly realm in which people from every nation, kindred, tribe and tongue are present, having washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and fought their good fight of faith.
We, upon whom the ends of the world are come, are the best wine which has been reserved until these last days. We are now those people spoken of in:
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
What need we do?
We who have been called, must be prepared
We who have been prepared, must be empowered
We who have been empowered, must be sent
As the voice of heaven declared in
Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
How shall others know unless someone tell them and how shall someone tell them except one be sent. Romans 10:14 & 15
Take your next step with God.
Offer yourself to your calling, to His equipping, to be empowered and sent.
Say with me, “Here am I Lord, send me!”