Called

The “End Things” Approach to the Other Side

By: Karen Polich

Time moves quickly. Every day we grow closer to the last days. In the rush, we fill our days with responsibilities and deadlines. We look around and find that our time is spent on getting things done so we can move to the next thing.

Busyness consumes. It can lessen our focus on God.

We are called to more. God has called us to Him and His purpose. Pastor Michael Cook’s teaching from God’s Word looks at how we should approach this time.

1 Peter 4:7-11

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Having an “end things” approach takes intentional effort. Pastor Michael Cook shared what a Christ follower needs for this approach. Listen here.

We should be purpose centered people. Sin impairs our thinking. It is hurtful and comes with a cost.  God’s Word calls us to be alert and sober minded. We need sound judgment and an unwavering spirit that seeks God through prayer. Prayer moves God. When our fervent prayers touch God and He chooses to move, Satan can do nothing about it.

We should be others centered people. Deeply conveyed love doesn’t hide sin, it is there despite the sin. We are called to love deeply as Christ loves us. True hospitality comes when we open our lives, our homes and our giving to others completely, without grumbling. We are called to serve others through the gifts God has bestowed upon us.

When you look at the other side of the brokenness of the world, you see Christian love.

A Christ follower looks different because of God’s transformation. As He transforms us, He provides the resources needed to serve. The gifts He has given are not ours, but His. He trusts us to use these for His purpose and His plan. Choosing to serve brings praise to Him. Choosing to love honors Him. Seeking Him in prayer moves Him.

How is God leading you? What is He teaching you? Where is God calling you?

 

 

Answering God’s Call

By: Rebekah Pitz

Throughout my life I have heard the term “God’s calling,” quite often. I have heard people say that they have been “called to ministry,” or “called to be a missionary” or “called to full-time Christian service.” It was just a term that kind of got glossed over in mission’s conferences, or chapel services throughout my life. I know that it is our duty as Christian believers to be involved in some type of ministry so I never really felt “called” to ministry. I just did it because it says in I Corinthians 12:12- “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.” I knew that I was part of the body of Christ, so I knew I was essentially “called” to serve.

The question always remains “where” to serve in the body?

I have been serving the Lord through music for as long as I can remember. I began singing in church when I was three years old. I never stopped. In 2001, I graduated from Cedarville University with a degree in vocal performance. I was not sure what God wanted to do through my life, but I knew that it involved music in some capacity. For ten years I was the music director at my church in Dayton, Ohio before God moved us out here to Albuquerque. When we moved out here, I joined praise team and choir and about a year ago, God moved us to this church where I have been able to serve in that arena.

About 3 months ago, I was feeling under-the-weather and while my husband brought our children to church I stayed at home and decided to worship in my hammock. (I do not recommend skipping church, but if you do have the opportunity to worship in a hammock, you need to seize that opportunity!). I was reading my Bible and began praying about how God really wanted to use me at AFBC. Is there another place that He wants me to be, even if that stretches my levels of comfort?

Let me side-track for a moment and tell you about one of my favorite Bible stories. I have always been fascinated by the little boy Samuel. He was living with Eli the priest and one night he heard. “Samuel! Samuel!” Eli told him that he needed to answer, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening,” for Eli knew that it was God who was calling the young boy. I have often wondered what it would be like to audibly hear the voice of the Lord, as Samuel did that day.

Sitting on my hammock, I felt the Lord nearly audibly whisper “Rebekah, you need to raise up children to be worshipers in my name.” I sat in shock because this was such a new idea to me. But, because the Lord had “called me” I decided to pursue it and ask if they needed anyone to help in Kid’s Klub, Sunday worship times.

Unbeknownst to me, the children’s leadership team had been meeting together for over a year and had been praying for someone to come along to take over the music/worship portion of their services. My coming to them was a direct answer to prayer and it quite literally blew me away.

I cannot deny it. I have been CALLED by the Lord to do this. Because of this, I know that He will bless and I pray that He does so in such a miraculous way that lives will be changed.

Philippians 2:13, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.” Where is God calling you? Are you ready to answer the call and serve Him today?