Recently we noted that God called to Adam, when he was hiding in the garden, to ask: “Where are you?” A study through the New Testament reveals that God continues to call out to mankind for many reasons and purposes. In Matthew 2:15, the Old Testament prophet Hosea is quoted as saying: “Out of Egypt did I call My Son.” (Hosea 11:1) Just as God the Father called Jesus out of Egypt, so He continues to call today to those who would be His children to come out of the world; but, as Jesus later stated: “many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:15) Why only a few? Because the rest refuse to “choose” Jesus. They fail to obey His call, as Judas Iscariot did. As Jesus called the disciples, so He calls today for people to follow Him.
Matthew 15:10 and Mark 7:14 record that Jesus called the multitudes “to hear and understand” His teachings. Matthew 15:32 shows that Jesus called His disciples to Himself in order to teach them compassion for the hungry crowd that had been listening to Him; and later (18:2-4), to teach them to be as children – humble, trusting, and obedient. The parable of the rich man and his servants that Jesus told in Matthew 25:14-30 reveals that sometimes God calls His own in order to entrust them with His wealth; but, as also recorded in the parables given in Luke 16:1-8 and 19:12-26, they shall also be called to give an account of their stewardship.
There are other purposes given in the Scriptures as well for Jesus calling His disciples. Consider the following examples: 1) to give them authority and instruction for ministry (Mark 6:7,8; Luke 9:1,2); 2) to teach them discipleship (Mark 8:34-38, 9:35, 10:42-45); 3) to send Paul and his party to preach the gospel in Macedonia (Acts 16:10).
The Church today still needs to hear and obey God’s call to receive His authority, instructions, teachings, and direction through the work of the Holy Spirit. And “to those who are the called according to His purpose” of Romans 8:28, ponder the challenges and blessings your obedience brings! You are called:
1) to be saints/true believers – Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:2;
2) to fellowship with Jesus Christ, our Lord – 1 Corinthians 1:9;
3) to peace (not bondage) – 1 Corinthians 7:15;
4) into the grace of Christ – Galatians 1:6;
5) to liberty – Galatians 5:13;
6) in one hope (spending eternity with God) – Ephesians 4:4;
7) to the peace of God in unity – Colossians 3:15;
8) to God’s kingdom and glory – 1 Thessalonians 2:12;
9) to obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ – 2 Thessalonians 2:14;
10) to eternal life – 1 Timothy 6:12;
11) with a holy calling, not according to your works, but according to His own purpose and grace – 2 Timothy 1:9;
12) to be holy – 1 Peter 1:15;
13) out of darkness into His marvelous light – 1 Peter 2:9;
14) to patiently endure unjust suffering (as Christ did) – 1 Peter 2:20,21 (NOT A FAVORITE!);
15) to inherit a blessing – 1 Peter 3:9 (THAT’S BETTER!);
16) to God’s eternal glory in Christ (God glorified through your salvation) – 1 Peter 5:10;
17) to glory and virtue (excellence) – 2 Peter 1:3.
Do you hear God calling to you? Afraid you’re not up to the task? Then remember 1 Thessalonians 5:24: “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” Just respond in faith, and He’ll do the