Revealing Your Calling by Dr. Tony Evans

Revealing Your Calling

Jesus says the way to find your life is to lose it for His sake. When you do that, God will reveal your calling to you, and the puzzle of life will begin to come together.

My oldest daughter, Chrystal, was a puzzle fanatic when she was younger. She was always putting puzzles together. One day I brought home a one-thousand piece puzzle.

She took the puzzle, went to her room, but came back a couple of hours later looking very upset. “Daddy, why did you buy me this puzzle? It has too many pieces!”

Life is like that. It has too many pieces. If you try to put them together by yourself, you will only frustrate yourself. It you want to put the pieces of your life together, God must own you. He is the One who holds the finished image of your calling. Putting together a puzzle without seeing the image of the final product is nearly impossible. Look to Him because He knows where He is taking you. In fact, many Christians are living their lives with a feeling of insignificance because they cannot see how they relate to the much larger, comprehensive puzzle called God’s purpose. You may be a fancy piece, pretty piece, handsome piece or well-crafted piece, but until you connect to the greater meaning for which you were created, you are just a piece without a picture.

The picture that God has created us all to form is the maximizing of His glory and the expansion of His kingdom through the impact of your good works. If you are a Christian, then whatever you are called to do will achieve both of those things.

A WINDOW ON THANKSGIVING by JMI

Posted by JMI on Nov 12 2013

Gala #4

If you were at the JMI Benefit Gala this year you saw a video that included the girl I sponsor in Grace House expressing her excitement over the big window in her new room.  I believe her exact words were summed up by “Wow”!

A window.  Thrilled!?

I’ve been thinking about that moment quite often and Thanksgiving seems like the perfect time to blog about it.  After all, how many kids do you know who would be ecstatic over their window?

At first I thought it was the view, which is a rather picturesque vista of the capital city.  But Chisinau isn’t Paris by a long shot!

Then I remembered the windows in the orphanage of Falesti where Ala grew up.  Like all of Moldova’s orphanages, the windows are barred.  Whether that is to keep thieves out or the kids from climbing out their windows, I have no idea.  Probably both.

Either way, Ala feels blessed to have a window she says she could “never have imagined.”  I suspect it gives her a sense of freedom and a new perspective on life.

What’s the view look like from your window today?  How many of us are living with the big issues of our lives obstructing our views and barring our happiness?  Our jobs.  Our finances.  Our kids.  Our marriages.  Big issues tend to suck the marrow out of our bones.  How easily our blessings can erode into wastelands.  Ever feel like Job and want to cry out, “I curse the day I was born!?”

Maybe it’s true….maybe life truly does consist of attending to the little things.  An evening walk together.  The V.I.P. greeting we get every day after work from our dog.  A baby’s hand clasping your finger.  Your children’s laughter.  The smell of apple cinnamon crisp baking in your kitchen.  One of the Master’s brilliant sunsets.

All of this can easily be missed if we aren’t mindful; if we forget where we’ve come from; if we forget the simple things that used to be the best things; if we fail to be attentive to the little things.

Like windows.

And orphans.

a sorting out of sorts

Ever just come to the same beaten, dead horse in your life and wonder when you will stop having to look at the thing?  You don’t know what to do with it, or even if you can do anything with it–so there it sits. A heaped up crumple of mess that no human can restore.  I have a few relationships in my life that look like a mangled corpse.  Its wearying, this wondering if things will ever get sorted or whether you’ve inadvertently sinned against someone.  In my head, I know I cannot be responsible for how they feel or react.  I cannot control their perceptions or behaviour.  But the futility of broken relationships is a trying thing.  If I keep doing the same thing I’ve been doing, I cannot expect different results.  But if I look at my actions and have a clear conscience, then there is nothing to change.

The Scriptures tell us to live at peace with everyone as much as we are able.  Clearly, sometimes it is not up to us.  And sometimes you just can’t go back and fix something.  We humans break things all the time–irrevocably so.  Can they ever be put back together?  God is the Craftsman of all things; He can surely mend and re-build anything.  But we all know that this isn’t always the case.

When do you re-evaluate your part of a relationship for potential sin?  Something that was ok and reasonable last year might not be so this year.

Similarly and somewhat related, I think it is easy for us to develop relational habits that we can nurse like an overgrown child.  Something that was benign has evolved into something ugly and grotesque without us ever being aware, yet we still coddle and snuggle it comfortably as it saps the life out of a relationship.

There are few things more stifling to me than the feeling of watching chains wrapped around my wrists with no visible way of breaking free.

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery (Gal 5:1).  Once you find full freedom from a suffocating enslavement, other controlling entanglements seem to repel with an unparalleled force.  I think these relationship feel so binding in their attempts to control or manipulate or otherwise punish.

I am so done being an agent of relational destruction, but on the otherhand, I feel powerless make things better.  Lord, I’ve come to the end of myself.

I believe God for good in these things because He is the source of all good.  He has promised to work all things for good.  But it is hard, and heavy, and wearisome.

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Is 40:31).  But when does the strength come?  When does the trial stop sapping?  Where is the renewal?  I believe Him for it.  I ache for a total redemption where all things are made new in Him.  That time when we can say:

‘Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?’

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)

Maybe not this side of heaven, but I have to go on in this hope.  Love  always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (1 Cor 13:7). My faithful love for God is shown in my tenacious hope in Him and His promises.  It is an obstinate belief that God is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do.

“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mk 9:24).

Thanksgiving

Epicetus: “Bear in mind that you should conduct yourself in life as at a feast.” What could that mean for us? On days of special blessing, we are especially commanded: “When you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them . . . you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”[Deuteronomy 8:12, 18]

From Come to the Table. Copyright ©2008 Benita Long. (Thomas Nelson). Used by permission. All rights reserved.