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Called. Chosen. Committed

Steve Dickman
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A personal challenge to each one of us is to consider how we are relating to the calling that God has on our lives. Our response is critical to the ful llment of the mission that God has given us. 

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Steve Dickman

President of Harbert Hills Academy

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Conference

Recorded

  • August 3, 2016
    7:00 PM

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Father in heaven we come here tonight and we humble our hearts now before you crying out to you that you had sent us the Holy Spirit but without the Holy Spirit we cannot understand your words and tonight our desire is to understand your word in Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Saul was on his way to the city of Damascus. So it was on his way he was on a mission and he was pretty certain that he was on a mission for God until that blinding light struck and he was not to the ground and ended up blind tonight. I want to talk to you just a little bit about some of the experiences that Paul had Saul had Paul had saw became Paul through the calling and the empowerment of the great God that we serve through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit a man who was a persecutor became a preacher a man who was against the Cause of God converted sides and became completely dedicated to the Cause of God And tonight we are living in the world in such an age that each one of us have a similar decision to make about on which side we will stand. Whose life will we advance where we advance the life of God through Jesus when we say as Paul did I determined to know nothing except the cross of Christ and Him crucified. So tonight I would like to invite you. If you have your Bible to turn with me to first Corinthians First Corinthians chapter one. And we find here. Paul speaking to the Corinthian church and this is what hits. He says here. Paul coaled to be an apostle of Christ through the will of God. Paul was called would you agree with that would you agree that he had a dramatic and miraculous calling obviously getting struck from his his horse and falling to the ground blind it was obviously a miraculous calling by God he goes on to say in verse two though he is writing now he's writing on to the Church of God which is at Corinth to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus cold to be saints now. So we see that not only was Paul himself called but in speaking to the church in Corinth. He also felt that they were called and they weren't just called in a calling. He goes on to say that they were called to be saints. How many saints do we have here tonight. Well I don't know that's a tough question isn't it was so hard to raise your hand when you know that there are things in your life and in your world that you struggle with that would leave you a little less than saintly on some days and a little more than less than saintly on other days. Well he goes on to say here not only does he talk about the church in Corinth but he goes on to indicate here says with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord both theirs and ours. Now if you want the Steve Dyckman interpretation of that Paul is just said I got called the church in Corinth got called with all the saints there and. Anybody who calls on the name of Jesus is also called if you're here tonight. I'm making an assumption that you call in the name of Jesus and Phoenix is a place in this world because he says that in every place with all that in every place that call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord both theirs and ours an interesting way to say that I think everyone is call and that's the idea. I get from this section in First Corinthians here that Paul says I was called the church is called the Saints are called and everyone who calls on the name of Jesus is called Are You called tonight. Are you called tonight. I believe that each one of us have been called. But it could be it could be that some of us have not been paying attention to our calling. In fact that's the very situation that Saul found himself in when he was on the road to Damascus. We actually find in the spirit of prophecy some in light not about this talking about. If you read the section there and acts the Apostles and in other places you find that Saul was being bothered. He was being bothered by the behavior that he saw in the life of Stephen when Stephen was stoned Saul was there he was holding the coats. He said We've got to get rid of this heretic. But when he participated in that event and he looked up and he saw Stephen looking up as it were into heaven and and that calm look on his face he said there's something different about this man and I think that was wearing on him and the Holy Spirit was working on him. But he wasn't paying very much attention somehow God tends to get our attention. Personally I would like for God to get my attention in a much easier way than it seemed he had to work with in the case of Saul how many of you would like to be blind even for just a few moments. Yeah I think so. I think we would like for God to work with us in a different way. You know goes on here. In first Corinthians it's a very very interesting reading here in this in this chapter and we're going to explore some of that verse seven it says this and it talking about why why do we get called what is it that God wants to do. Why is he calling us and in verse seven so that you come behind him. No gift waiting for the coming over Lord Jesus Christ Paul's interpretation here evidently was that we are called and he says early that grace and peace and all these wonderful things be upon you but he says we are called we have been asked by God to do a work for him and God is going to empower us to do that work and he doesn't want us to be short on anything we need to do the work that he has called us to do as we wait for what for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ are you waiting tonight for the coming of Jesus. Raise your hand if you want to see him come soon. A few months ago I buried my father I can tell you for sure. I want to see Jesus come very soon. I don't want to hold on here. What are we waiting for I think we should get over whatever we're waiting on and do whatever God is asking us to. No I believe Jesus himself is waiting in the heavenly courts and he wants to see the work on this earth finish soon. We're told that the sorrow we experience here is only a small drop or a small portion of what God Himself experiences every day when he looks down on this planet and he sees the starving children and he sees the sin and the and the death and the wars and all of these things taking place on this planet. Don't you know that he's suffering right along with his children. I think sometimes we ignore this and we think you just up there waiting with his feet propped up waiting for something to happen. I believe that God is experiencing our sorrow times an infinite number of sorrows and that he too would like to see this work get done. Versus aid goes on to say who show confirm you unto the end that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ the calling that was received by Paul the calling that he was talking about to the Corinthian church the calling THAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT TO US is a calling that we should live by the power of God in such a way that the Holy Spirit will be able to say of us on that day. You are blameless in the power of your Lord Jesus Christ a man God is calling us. He is calling us today and in verse nine Paul goes on to say God is faithful by whom you are called in the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord we serve a faithful God if he calls us. He is intentionally preparing to empower us to do the work that he has called us to do I believe there's one thing God needs more than anything else and it's. Our abilities as much as we would like to believe there's something about ourselves that God could just reach down and use to said yeah. This really is great. I'm glad this person can sing so nicely this and God needs our of Vail ability not just our ability we can talk about our ability we can show off our ability with all the kinds of things we can do with our abilities we can post our abilities on the wall. We can advertise our abilities on the International World Wide Web We can talk about a month Facebook but what God is looking for is a people who will agree to do what he has asked them to do as a people who will agree to work for him. According to his calling. Not according to their own ability we read in our verse tonight and first Corinthians same chapter and verse twenty six For you see your calling brother and how that not many wise men after the flesh and not many mighty and not many noble are called God doesn't need our human wisdom God doesn't need our human nobility. He doesn't need our rank he doesn't need any of those things he needs us as individuals completely and totally committed to him he doesn't even need our money. He said he owns the cat the cattle on a Thousand Hills. He owns the world itself he owns all the gold and all the silver You know I want to explore though something here in verse nine just a moment he says God is faithful and I like that because I need a faithful God. I need a faithful God but it also says by whom ye were called into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. What does it mean to be and. Fellowship with Jesus Christ our Lord. Philippians chapter three Paul expands on this just a little bit. Philip after three and I'm going to read a couple of verses here. We're going to explore starting in verse seven here just a minute a minute but what things were gain to me on those I counted loss for Christ Yea doubtless I count all things loss for the excellent sea of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and do count them but dung that I may win Christ and be found in him not having my own righteousness which is of the law but that which is through faith of Christ the righteousness which is of God by faith that I may know him in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His what. Sufferings being made conformable on to his death. If by any means. I made attain and to the resurrection of the dead. You see the fellowship of Jesus is a life. That will be poor doubt and sacrifice the word the word there in Philippians was his sufferings Jesus came with a heart that was overflowing with love for mankind and he poured out his life he poured out his life. There's a statement of spirit prophecy. He says he gave all. And then he gave himself up. I've got a question for you tonight. If you have been called which according to what I read here every single one of us have been called if you have been called up have you yet given your oh because that's all that God wants. We don't serve a God who is a fifty percent kind of God We do not serve a God who is an eighty percent kind of god we don't even serve a God who is a ninety nine percent kind of God we serve a God who is asking for only one thing and that's one hundred percent because that is his example that is what he gave he poured out himself to this world. He came from the heavenly courts where everything is bright and glorious to this dark world where everything is sin and sorrow and he poured out his life here in service selfless service to humankind. He gave us an example to live by he showed us how to do it he says if you will follow the way I have told you to do this if you will follow the pattern of my life you will be successful in reaching others and bringing them to my kingdom. And I don't know recently if you've read the Gospel but Jesus didn't own a car in fact he told someone who is interested in following him. So I want to be one of your disciples. He said It's OK if you want to be my disciple but you need to understand the terms here. I don't have a house in fact the Foxes have holes but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head at We've become way too comfortable with living with who we are or who we have become. Our society today is fixated somehow is fixated on the idea that if you desire it then you should have it and not only that but you should have it quickly and if you have to cheat somebody else to get it. That's OK The society is a ME society. If I believe it. It's OK if I want it I should have it. It's just the society in which we live. You know unfortunately these ideas have crept into our own ranks and somehow we believe that we're do something. Well I should have a comfortable life. Well I should have such and such. What what do you mean I shouldn't think about this and these material things that I'm thinking about for following the example of Jesus. We will be ready and willing to answer his call and if necessary even pour out our life unto death because that is what Jesus did there's no question in my mind when I read the Scriptures I see him coming here. I look at his life and it challenges me I see him getting up early in the morning and going to bed late at night and all the time in between is serving other people's needs it records in the scripture there were some times when he didn't even have time to eat because he was so busy serving the needs of humanity around him he came he was talking to the woman at the well his disciples went to get something to eat. They came back and they said it's time to eat. He said Don't worry he found in his service to his father all that he needed like to move down to verse seventeen here for just a minute. And Paul is talking about his calling still and he says for Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach the gospel. Now wait a minute. I thought that our great commission was to see go and teach teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father in the son in the Holy Spirit. Yes is that our commission. So what is Paul saying here Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach the gospel. Do you think we ever get distracted with the idea of baptism. When I say that I'm not talking about baptism in a negative way. I'm just talking about the tally sheet that we keep Sometimes that we're forty two and a half the got baptized not sure what the half was but we almost made it. You know I think sometimes we're a little distracted with this Paul had his calling clear he says I was sent to preach the gospel but then he goes on to say something that challenges me as I think about this he says not with the wisdom of words what how can you preach without words I tried here this evening but I think I would feel pretty miserably in doing such a thing but that's what it says here he says I was called to preach the Gospel not with the wisdom of words last the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. So let's dissect this statement for just a moment if you're not preaching with words. How are your preaching. OK We have sign language we could use sign language and that would be an acceptable means to preach right now using words. Well that's a form of words is not sign language. I believe that what Paul is talking about here is he says I want to preach with my life I want people to see the way. I live I want people to see what I'm doing for as the hands and feet of Jesus and that's how I want to preach the gospel. That's how I want others to know who Jesus is by the way I live and I think tonight. That's what I need personally in my own life. I need a better representation through the way I live about who Jesus is. I need to live a more self sacrificing life. I need to live a more committed life. I need to live a life that is poured out as the life of Jesus was I want to go home. I want to see Jesus come. I don't want to stay here for another fifty years I don't know about you. I don't even want to stay here for another five years. I don't want my grandchildren to go up grow up in this world the world is sick the world is dying. I'm sick I'm dying. You don't may not know that but everybody here is dying. Sorry to tell you the truth but you're all coming to the end of your life some sooner than later. I don't know when my time is you don't know when your time is but I'll guarantee unless Jesus comes you're going to die. Paul here lays this challenge on the table and he says I was sent to preach the gospel but not with words how many of us have a life that rightly represents the cross of Christ because He goes on to say their last the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. Have we ever made the cross of Christ of none effect by saying one thing and doing another thing preaching one thing and living another thing says this in verse eighteen for the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness. I would suggest to you tonight that. There are many who would discourage you from a complete and total absolute one hundred percent commitment to follow Jesus they will be your friends they might be your family they might be your work acquaintances who were tell you what are you doing this is stupid. You're not thinking about yourself you're not thinking about the future. What are you going to do when it comes time to retire. What are you going to do when it comes time for such and such. I want to retire in a different country and it says that Abraham was looking for that city whose builder and maker was God That's where I want to retire. You know there are some practical realities of this world and I don't know how to interpret them I'm not here to give you any answers but I am here to stir up your thinking What is Jesus calling you to do tonight. I can't answer the question for you. I can barely answer for myself but I believe his calling me to do more than I think it's possible humanly I believe is calling me to do more than what I think I should do from a human standpoint because when I look at the cross of Christ when I look at the Gospel that was preached by Jesus through his life when I look at the sacrifice he made. I realize that I have so far done nothing. I'm not coming close. I'm not near the mark. I'm not yet approaching what God wants me to do because he's calling for that kind of commitment that is beyond our understanding but if you go on and verse eighteen it says this but on to us. Speaking of this preaching of the cross through our life because and in verse seventeen he just told you he's not going to preach with words he's going to preach with his life and it says for the living. I'm going to say it that way the living of the cross is to them that perish. Foolishness. But if you're living the cross. If you're living the life that Jesus lived here on this earth. It will be unto us which are save the power of God You need the power of God in your life time is running out here. I want to skip down just when read a couple of verses here at the end. Verse twenty seven. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise and God a chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty and the base things of the world and the things which are despise God half god chosen. Yea and the things which are not to bring to not the things that are so God has a totally and completely different scheme of choosing things I don't know if you notice that I'm not using the wise. I'm not using the wealthy. I'm not using you know all these things not wise not noble not mighty I'm choosing the foolish things I'm choosing the week things I'm choosing the base things I'm choosing the despised things I'm choosing the things that are not to even make not the things that are God has a plan to take the wheat things and make them his instruments and sometimes we feel we don't we. Sometimes we think it can't happen. It's not possible. John Chapter fifteen verse sixteen says this you didn't choose me you didn't choose me I chose you. And if you read that verse or in a very personal way you will discover that God has chosen you. Yes we are called and yes we are chosen but there's one thing in our theme here called chosen. Committed it my Bible says I was called My Bible says I have been chosen. But my Bible does not say that I have committed. That's my choice. That's a decision that I will have to make there's no chance that I could misinterpret the calling of God If I read the Scriptures. There's no chance that I could misinterpret that God has chosen me specifically and individually if I read the Scriptures but the choice is mine and the choice is yours. Tonight. About commitment. What level of commitment will you make and it's a fortunate from a human standpoint anyway that God only has one number he knows about and that's the hundred percent commitment with me. It's completely impossible that I should even be able to consider a one hundred percent commitment because I'm a selfish human being I was born that way I The Bible says I was born in sin. I was born a selfish person I've been trying to get over it but it's hard. How many of you know that it's hard it's hard but I have the promise of this thing that Paul said in Philippians chapter one in verse six being confident of this very thing that he who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ God wants to start. I mean he wants to finish what he starts and he's going to keep working on us. He's going to keep helping us and I believe that if we will commit ourselves under his calling and his choosing that he will do some absolutely amazing things with us. You're here this weekend that you didn't come here by accident. You're here because God called you here you're going to go to the exhibit hall because there's someone God wants to connect you with their There's ministry happening all over the world. It needs people. Jesus himself said the harvest truly is great but the labors are if you. God is looking for people. He could do it with the angels it's true but he's chosen to do it with people. He's chosen to do it with people like me and people like you that simply say that. OK. He called some fisherman and it says they turned their back on their nets and they left their nets and they went and followed Jesus and they left all behind and followed him he called the rich young ruler and the rich young really turned away and Jesus was sad when he turned away because he had given a call to this young man he saw potential in him but the young man refused to leave behind the things that he was attached to Revelation Chapter seventeen and verse fourteen says this is talking about the war that's going on the Great War says the speaking of the beast the shall make war with the lamb and the lamb shall overcome them for he is Lord of Lords and King of Kings and they that are with him are called and chosen and faithful God is looking for a generation that will accept his call God is looking for a generation that will accept his choosing. God is looking for a generation that will be faithful to make a commitment to him and tonight. You as a living breathing human being on planet Earth have the opportunity to accept that call to make a commitment to God and to be a part of this. Group. It says the lamb overcome them for he is Lord of Lords and King of Kings and that's who we serve and all things are possible through Christ. I want to be in that group. The words on you've got to choose your side. I've heard people say you need to choose your battle. I think you need to choose your side. You need to choose your side and make a one hundred percent commitment that's what I want to do. May God grant us mercy here this week and that we will understand his calling and realize the generation we live in step up to the idea that there are some commitments we need to make for him push this medium was produced by audio for forty us haven't just layman's services and industry. If you would like to learn more about. Please visit the site but it's for if you like to listen for free leave the body of verse.

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