Today we are looking into 2 Timothy 1:9 which states, “who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,” (NASB 1995) To put this verse in context, Paul is writing Timothy from prison and he is encouraging Timothy. Paul calls himself a prisoner of God. (2 Timothy 1:8) He is suffering for the cause of Christ. God called the Apostle Paul to preach to the Gentiles and more times than not, it got him into trouble. He had been beaten, left for dead, imprisoned many times, shipwrecked, and driven out of cities because of his testimony of what Jesus did for him, and what Jesus could do for those he was preaching to.
When I first became a Christian, I heard so many times that once someone got saved, they would never have another problem. I didn’t hear this from my Pastor, but from those who were on radio and television. They made it sound like once we became Believers, we would never have to deal with the things the world does, life would be a bed of roses. Oh, how wrong they were! If we look at Scripture, we find that more times than not, Christians were abused, persecuted, and put to death because they believed in Christ. God had called them to be Believers. It was a Holy Calling, and it was a Calling given, not because of their own efforts and persecution, but because of God’s efforts, purposes, and plans for them! It is the same with us. We are called because of what God has done.
We also aren’t called to be Christians because of our good deeds. J. Vernon McGee explains this as follows, “Man cannot be saved by perfect obedience, because he is incapable of rendering it. He cannot be saved by imperfect obedience, because God will not accept it. There is only one solution to the dilemma, and that is the One who said, ‘. . .I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me’” (John 14:6). Our calling is accomplished by the finished work of salvation by Jesus Christ.
God also calls us to ministry or a certain pathway for the same reason. Our calling is not for our glory or benefit, but to give God the glory. When we follow His leading into what He has called us to and point the way for others to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, all honor and glory is given to God when they turn their hearts to Him. Whether He calls us into a full-time ministry position, or whether we witness to our family, friends, and acquaintances, He receives the glory when we follow His calling. There are many stories in the Bible of people who were called to do something. Moses, Noah, and David are just a few. Each one followed through on their calling and God received the glory.
He also receives glory and honor when we testify of how He has worked things out for our good. We are relating to others how God has influenced events in our lives, and the results were only because of what He did. For example, the radio station my first husband worked at as his first job, has an awesome story of how God worked in establishing that station when it was first being put together. Time and again when it looked like the station would never get off the ground, at the last moment, God would step in and a miracle would happen. Today that station is a network that is heard around the world! God gets the glory! He worked wonders in the lives of those who were involved in getting the station going, including my husband! Because God called him to that station, he was able to go from radio to television and minister to thousands of people over the airwaves. Because I heard him on the radio doing an ad for the singing group affiliated with the station, I tried out for the group. He was part of the group also and we ministered to many people in concerts. Eventually, he married me, and we ministered together as a team on radio and television. God orchestrated things so that it not only affected my husband’s life, but mine as well, and we were able to see many people come to faith in Jesus Christ because of the ministry of that station, and other stations, we were part of over the years, until he went Home to be with the Lord. God continues to work His purpose in my life. I am again married, this time to a wonderful man who does literature evangelism. We both have our own ministries on the Internet and work together in helping people come to know Jesus as Savior.
Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has plans for our lives…good plans, and they are to give us a future and a hope. The first plan is the Calling for our salvation. After that, He plans to give us a Calling that will honor God and draw others to Him.
Today, find the Calling God has for you and follow it. If you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, now is a good time. He loves you and wants you to be part of His family and wants a relationship with you. Repent and ask Him to forgive you of your sins and promise to live for Him with your whole heart and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Once you are a Believer, find out what it is that He is calling you to do, and then follow His Call on your life.