I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom 12:1-2

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Foundational Truth 2: Called and Gifted for a Specific Purpose

Did you know that God already has a plan for your life?  He called and gifted you before you were born for a SPECIFIC purpose.  It is not just up to us to find out what we are good at or what we can make the most money at or what we like to do.  He has a Plan, and that Plan is better than any of the plans we try to make without Him.  I found well over 50 passages in the Bible on this topic.  Psalm 139 is amazing.  Below is an excerpt.

Ps. 139:13-18
For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
   when I was made in the secret place,
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book
   before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
   How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
   they would outnumber the grains of sand—
   when I awake, I am still with you. 

Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Paul all specifically say they were called while in the womb.  (Isa. 49:1-7, Jer. 1:5-10, Gal. 1:15).  There are many other examples in scripture as well (Samson, John the Baptist, etc.)  On of my very favorite passages is about "regular" people (not people who were called to be heroes for God or write books of the Bible).    This story is about Bezalel and Oholiab and "skillful women," just regular people, called for a job as artisans and craftsmen and teachers.  You can find the story in Exodus 31:1-6, Exodus 35:25-35, and Exodus 36:1-7.  These passages, among others (including the "God shows no partiality" in ESV or "no respect of persons" in KJV passages including Acts 10:34, Rom. 2:11, and Gal. 2:6) shows me that God calls all of us, not just the "super-saints" for a specific purpose.

In the New Testament, Paul uses an interesting word picture.  He calls the Church the Body of Christ and then talks about what that means.  I Corinthians 12 is one of the funniest and most profound passages of the Bible.  What would happen if the whole body was an eye or an ear?  Or a crazy giant nose?  (The nose is the one I use with my kids as it gets the most laughs even though that isn't actually in the passage.)  The body wouldn't function very well without all of its parts.  Sure we can live without an appendix or without tonsils or without a finger or even an arm, and sometimes some parts even have to be removed to keep us healthy or alive, but no one would say that is ideal.  Our bodies have different parts: different internal organs, different sense organs, different limbs, and the individual parts should all work together doing their individual jobs well to keep the whole body functioning at peak performance.  If even your little toe gets banged, your whole body's performance plummets for at least a moment.  Romans 12 also talks about this concept.  If you really take some time to really think about this concept it can revolutionize your view of the Church, education, and your own life.

Here are some more references for you to look up.  No time to link them because the house is suddenly alive with children and it is time for me to go make some Saturday morning pancakes.

Amos 7:14-15 (God changed Amos' career mid-life)
Ps. 71:6
Isa. 45:3-13
Hag. 2:23
Rom. 11:29
Eph. 3:1-13
Eph. 4:1
1 Thess. 1:4
2 Tim. 1:5-12
1 Pet. 4:10-11

Now for some pancakes...

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