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Sep 2010

The “Call” (singular) for the Christian.

Does Jesus have a unique calling for you? On one level, we would have to say “No.” Jesus’ call is the same for all. You can see this in Mark 8:34-35

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.”

Your call is the same as mine, and our call is the same as that of every other Christian: Jesus calls us to lose our lives for his sake and for the sake of the gospel. This is for anyone who would come after him. I like the way that Colin Marshall and Tony Payne say this in their book The Trellis and the Vine:

The call to discipleship is…a call to confess our allegiance to Jesus in the face of a hostile world; to serve him and his mission, whatever the cost…

The radicalism of this demand often feels a world away from the ordinariness of our normal Christian habits and customs. We go to church, where we sing a few songs, try to concentrate on the prayers and hear a good sermon. We chat to people afterwards, and then go home for a normal week of work or study or whatever it is that we do, in time to come again next week. We might read our Bible and pray during the week. We may even attend a small group. But would someone observing from outside say: “Look, there is someone who has abandoned his life to Jesus Christ and his mission?”

I wonder what people would say about me. I wonder what Jesus would say. Lord, help me to escape a life filled with nothing but “normal Christian habits and customs.”


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