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  • Writer's pictureRev. Jeff Patnaude

God's Calling

What does God want you to do with your life? You have put your faith in Jesus Christ

His Son, what does God want you to do now? August means new Freshmen will be heading off to college for the first time! Older students will be heading back, too! God’s calling is a very important topic for those who are young and just starting out. As they dream about a whole life ahead of them! But what dream does God have for them? It’s an important question for all of us, too, whether we are 18, 58 or 98! Because as long as we have life in our bodies, we have a calling from God to fulfill on this Earth. When we think about God’s calling, we so often think about what He is calling us to do, and well we should. God does have a plan for each of our lives. He has given each of us gifts and talents to be used for the common good in His world and to be used for the good of His Kingdom and Gospel. So we should be concerned with career and work in this world, with how we can contribute in positive ways to the wellbeing of our fellow human beings...whether we are a doctor, a teacher, a business owner, a salesman, or a retired volunteer or consultant. We should be concerned for family and friends too, and help them when we are able. And then, of course, we need to consider how we serve the Church. How can we use our strengths to enrich the congregation in which we are involved? How can we help the Kingdom of God press forward in this world, spreading the Good News about Him and changing lives? Yes, there is a lot of doing to be done and God is calling us to do it!

But the dream that God has for our lives is not just a dream of outward accomplishments, measured in how much money we made or how high in the company we climbed or even in how many people we helped, though that is a wonderful thing! He is not only concerned with how many people we were able to bring into the Kingdom through the sharing of the Good News about Jesus. You see, God’s call is not only about outward actions and achievements. God is also very concerned with the state of our character and soul. If we are instruments in His hands, He is not only concerned with how much music we can create each day, but whether that music is beautiful and harmonious, and with the quality of wood, strings, reeds and keys of which the instrument is constructed.

One of the most important things that God wants us to do with our lives—perhaps the most important is this: That we make ourselves ready for heaven...ready to live in His presence! And this is not something we can do alone, of course. As Paul says in Philippians 2:12-13, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you to will and to act on behalf of His good purpose.” God is working on us, helping us to reform ourselves and become like Christ, so that we might fit in when we get to heaven, so that we might truly belong there with Him. The work of Sanctification is the calling of every believer in Jesus Christ. Paul says it like this to His student and friend Timothy, “But you, man of God, flee from all this and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith.” 1 Timothy 6:11-12. But don’t we usually put developing Godly character on the back burner as we pursue other things in life? Pursuing God’s goals and working in His service for His world and His Kingdom is important. But we shouldn’t forget what is probably the most important work— to work on ourselves—on our character! We are called to be like Jesus—and not in just what He did, but also in who He IS. “What Would Jesus Do” is a popular saying and a good one. Here is another, “What was Jesus like?” Because actions come from motivations which come forth from our character. If we have Godly character, then our motivations and our actions will be Godly too! Or as Jesus put it, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45. Yes, we have a calling, to change the treasure that is in our heart from evil to good. To rearrange the way we think, to redirect our emotions, to remold our mindset until it matches, as close as possible, to what was within Jesus Christ our Lord. For what was in Him was Godly and Heavenly and true! Now, doing good deeds and serving Him surely will help us on the journey, but let us not forget the goal, because it is a vitally important one. What do we do in our lives to bring that about? How do we deliberately build our own character to match Jesus’ character? Study His Word? Pray? Worship? Fellowship with other believers? Make hard choices over and over again? Love those that are hard to love? Obey His commands even when it’s terribly difficult? How can we, with His help, change ourselves on the inside in a way that can’t help but be reflected on the outside? Our calling is to strive to be like Him, as much like Him as possible, until the day we see Him face to face and the process is finally complete. Let’s remember that calling and goal and strive toward it today and always!

In Christ,

Pastor Jeff

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