God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
Pictures of God calling Samuel. Scripture is l Samuel
We take our own spiritual consecration and try to make it into a call of God, but when we get right with Him He brushes all this aside. Then He gives us a tremendous, riveting pain to fasten our attention on something that we never even dreamed could be His call for us. And for one radiant, flashing moment we see His purpose, and we say, “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).
This call has nothing to do with personal sanctification, but with being made broken bread and poured-out wine. Yet God can never make us into wine if we object to the fingers He chooses to use to crush us. We say, “If God would only use His own fingers, and make me broken bread and poured-out wine in a special way, then I wouldn’t object!” But when He uses someone we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, to crush us, then we object. Yet we must never try to choose the place of our own martyrdom. If we are ever going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed—you cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed.
I wonder what finger and thumb God has been using to squeeze you? Have you been as hard as a marble and escaped? If you are not ripe yet, and if God had squeezed you anyway, the wine produced would have been remarkably bitter. To be a holy person means that the elements of our natural life experience the very presence of God as they are providentially broken in His service. We have to be placed into God and brought into agreement with Him before we can be broken bread in His hands. Stay right with God and let Him do as He likes, and you will find that He is producing the kind of bread and wine that will benefit His other children.
From: Our Daily Journey
In 1988, François Pasquier returned to France after spending time away from his homeland. Hoping to reconnect with his friends, he invited them to a picnic in a public park. Pasquier asked everyone to wear white so that they could identify one another. The dinner was a success, and the guests decided to reconvene the following year with more friends. Diner en Blanc has now grown to an annual dinner party of some 10,000 attendees. People still dress in white so they will stand out from those not attending the dinner.
Jesus also wanted His disciples to be noticeably different from the people around them—but because of their care for each other. Shortly before His crucifixion, He told them, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:35). The kind of love Jesus was describing wasn’t merely brotherly love, it was something more—steady, unconditional, agape (the highest form of) love.
This kind of love naturally stands out from the world because it doesn’t make sense. It embraces people regardless of their friendliness or merit and doesn’t let go. Ever. It continually thinks well of people and lets that kind regard morph into words and actions that benefit them. This is the love Jesus showed to His disciples. He said, “Just as I have loved you, you should love each other” (John 13:34).
Believers today can be sure that Jesus loves us with a persistent, wonderful affection. If we unleash that kind of love on our Christian brothers and sisters (as well as those who don’t know Jesus!), we’ll raise eyebrows in a world filled with indifference and animosity. Hopefully, those who notice will hear God’s call to join His family and experience true love.
From: CBN, and author: Jean S. Wilund
I can’t explain why he did it, but my friend Cary set off an eruption in the middle of class, and I got blamed. To be fair, it was my ice-cold can of soda spraying an outrageous fountain into the air, but it was Cary’s hand that stabbed it with his pencil as it lay sideways on my desk. A shower of soda rained on my head along with shock and disbelief. How could so much soda come out of one little can?
Christians aren’t much different. Serious power in a small package. Carbonated Christians.
God’s Spirit lives in Christians and gives us the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. That’s infinitely more power than a can of flavored sugar water infused with carbon dioxide and placed into a freezer for an hour – like I’d done with my can of soda that morning.
I’d placed my soda into the freezer hoping to make it stay cold longer. We hadn’t reached the lesson in Science class about when water in soda freezes it expands and pushes the carbon dioxide out. Or at least it tries. Unbeknownst to me, I’d walked into my classroom with a can of supercharged pressure, desperate for a way of escape. Eager for Cary and his pencil.
As Christians spend time studying the Bible and coming to know God and his character, our faith expands. We become carbonated Christians walking with more power than we ever imagined. Outrageous power to forgive the unforgivable, stand bravely in the face of fear, and love our enemies. Passion to reach out to the lost despite intense shyness. An overwhelming desire to put others first and the strength to pray instead of panic when our nightmare comes true.
If it feels like your faith is flat, supercharge it with time at God’s feet. Let his Word work in you to infuse your faith and explode it into a cascading fountain of power and trust.
Nothing we imagine will exceed what God is able to do according to the power of his Spirit at work in us. His Spirit transforms us into us carbonated Christians.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20 NIV