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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

EXPECT A PRICE WITH THE CALLING


 

Today’s Reading:

Acts 26:1-21

“For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple and went about to kill me” (v 21)

 

There are different ways by which God “calls” people to serve him, either as freelance or into specific ministries. One of the most prominent ways recorded in the Scriptures is through visions. In the Old Testament books, we read of prophets like Samuel (Sam 3:1-10), Ezekiel (Ezek. 1:1-2), Isaiah (Isa. 6:1-8), Obadiah, who received their callings from God through visions. Other ways by which other prophets were called included: through the word of the Lord to them. These included prophets: Jeremiah, Joel, Hosea, Micah, Zechariah. Another way of calling was through burdens given by God and examples included prophets Nahum, Habakkuk.


In the New Testament days, the most prominent person called by God (through Jesus Christ) in a vision was Paul of Tarsus. In our Today’s reading, Apostle Paul in Acts 26:12-16 narrated to King Agrippa during his trial, of his encounter and calling by Christ through a vision. While it may be true that some New Testament days believers might have been called by God into ministries, it is important to appreciate that all believers in Jesus’ days and extending to all believers today, have been called by Jesus. In Mark 16:15-20 and Matt 28:19-20, Jesus “called”, and He is still “calling” all believers into the ministry of the Gospel (the Good News), commonly known as the “Great Commission”. Today, all believers are called to go into the world, seek out, teach, baptize, heal, deliver people and ultimately bring them to the Kingdom of God and Christ. And also disciple them. It is pertinent to note that, apart from the general call to all believers, some are given

responsibilities as Apostles, Teachers, Evangelists, Prophets, Pastors, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edification of the body of Christ (Eph. 4:11-12). It is common knowledge that there are rewards for successful callings, both on earth and hereafter in heaven from God. These include: crowns (glory, life, righteousness); stars, mansions and so on. However, it is commonly said that “there are no crowns without pains or hardships”. The callings from God are laced with hardships and even persecutions. These are prices that can be paid for a calling. All the listed prophets, especially Ezekiel and Apostle Paul are recorded to have paid high prices for their callings.


While Apostle Paul was recounting his experience before King Agrippa in Acts 26:21, he mentioned how the Jews caught him in the temple and were about to kill him. The reason was because he was carrying out the mission Christ gave him in Verse 8 – to open the eyes of unbelievers (Jews and Gentiles) and to turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. It is interesting to note what Paul said in Verse 19 to King Agrippa. He said he was not disobedient to the heavenly vision Christ had given him. He said he diligently carried out the mission given him. Yet, he was caught in the temple, to be killed! In John 16:1-4, Jesus warned his disciples then about what to expect by following him, to the extent that, He said the time will come when whosoever killed them will think that he was doing God service. What the believers of the New Testament Church faced as persecution are well recorded in the Scriptures. Likewise, what believers in our days are facing throughout the world, especially in Islamic nations and even old days Christian nations, especially in the Middle East, are beyond comprehension. Many believers worldwide are paying prices for their faith and calling by Christ.


Gladly, Christ already warned and mentioned a comforting word in John 16:33 that, in the world believers will have trials, but they should know that He has overcome the world. Also, He has made provision for coping with the hardship and persecutions, by giving his peace and sending the Holy Spirit, who gives power and boldness and also leads, encourages, quickens, directs and so on. As believers who are to focus on our callings, including the general Great Commission we should key into God’s provisions through Christ and the Holy Spirit, in order to successfully pay the price of the calling and win the rewards.


CHRISTIE KUPOLUYI


 

Prayer:

  1. Father, thank you for counting us worthy to be called to serve you.

  2. O Lord, help us to be focused faithfully, and diligently in our individual and general callings, in Jesus’ name.

  3. Precious Holy Spirit, help us to key into your provisions which will ensure success for us in our callings

  4. Father, help us to look beyond the price we are to pay, rather to the rewards awaiting us.

  5. O Lord, we receive your peace, comfort and other provisions given to us to succeed in our callings.

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