November’s “Encouraging Word”
by Tony Cooper, Executive Director (for Birmingham Christian Family magazine)
LISTENING TO GOD’S CALL
It is amazing that Almighty God would call us to Himself to receive His salvation and to share in His blessing. To me, God’s call is threefold: a call to salvation, sanctification, and service.
The call to salvation was established to rescue us from our bondage to sin. The first step to salvation is a conviction of sin. John 16:8 tells us that the Holy Spirit, “will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment.” We must admit that we have sinned, confess it, repent and have genuine remorse. II Corinthians 7:10 says, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation.”
Next is a call to sanctification. Sanctification refers to being called out from the world and set apart for Godly service. As Christ-followers we are in the world, but not of the world. Sanctification involves spiritual growth. After we are born again and experience spiritual birth, the spiritual growth process begins as we mature in our Christian walk and journey with God.
Finally, there a call to spiritual service. We can only be effective in service if we have been prepared for service. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
The Bible teaches that as Christians, we have been assigned spiritual gifts to be used in Christian service. I Corinthians 12:7 says it this way, “Now to each one the manifestation (gift) of the Spirit is given for the common good.”
Let me encourage you to be attentive and responsive to God’s calling.