Here Am I:  Called Into Light

Here Am I: Called Into Light

While we continue to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe we have a great opportunity to represent Jesus well as we respond to God’s calling with a hearty, “Here Am I”!  Over the next 15 days I will continue sharing the devotions from my “Here Am I” book to help each of us pray about our response to God as He calls us to Himself.  Through time in prayer, this devotional journal was written to help you see and respond to God’s calling as you see Him working in your “everyday” life.

Here is day seventeen with an important reminder that you, and those around you, have been called by God into His glorious light.

Called Into Light

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)

Have you ever used darkness to get by with things that you should not have done?  Why?  How does light influence your choices?  Are there things that you allow to exist in the shadows of your life that you would rather not be brought to light?  What are they?  What would God want you to do with them?  Will you?  How does living in the light make you feel?  Why?  Should being called into the light change the way the people around you see you?  The way they see God?  In what ways?

Whether you prefer living in the spotlight or are more comfortable in the background of life, God calls you to step out of the darkness of this world and into His glorious light.  This calling isn’t about you being more visible, but about Him being more visible through you as you proclaim His praises each day.  As we journey further into God’s light, it is not just the deeds of darkness we leave behind — we also find the things we’ve kept in the shadows are exposed for what they are.  Responding to God’s call to walk in His light isn’t about guilt or shame over what is exposed, rather it is about finding freedom to live in that light in a way that glorifies God.

As you pray about being called into the light, ask God to help you see any areas of darkness that keep you from embracing His light fully.  Pray that you would allow Him to transform your mind so that even the hints of darkness would have no appeal to you.  Pray that you would constantly praise God as you recall both what He has called you out of and what He has called you into.  Pray for God’s help in not only walking in His light, but in helping others to see His light.

In prayer,

Tom  

Here Am I:  Called To Be Holy

Here Am I: Called To Be Holy

While we continue to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe we have a great opportunity to represent Jesus well as we respond to God’s calling with a hearty, “Here Am I”!  Over the next 16 days I will continue sharing the devotions from my “Here Am I” book to help each of us pray about our response to God as He calls us to Himself.  Through time in prayer, this devotional journal was written to help you see and respond to God’s calling as you see Him working in your “everyday” life.

Here is day sixteen with an important reminder that you, and those around you, have been called by God to be holy.

Called To Be Holy

“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’
1 Peter 1:15-16 (NIV)

How is being holy related to living a life of holiness?  What comes to mind when you think of someone being holy?  Is holiness something that you consider attainable in your own life?  Why?  What specific things need to take place in your life for you to be holy?  Who can do those things in your life?  Is there a part of holiness that is up to you in addition to the work God does in your life?  How does a daily reminder that you’ve been set free from sin help you to pursue holiness?  Why is holiness such a necessary and noble pursuit?

Holiness has to do with belonging to God or being set apart for God’s exclusive use.  It is such a big part of the identity we ought to have in Christ that this journal spends two days focused on this sacred calling of holiness.  Our holiness is only possible as we are purified through the blood of Jesus, but that holiness is maintained as we daily surrender to living a life exclusive to God.  It is through, and because of, that cleansing by Jesus that He is able to call us to be holy, just as He is holy.  When we live as one set apart for God’s use, we seek to live in such a way that our life brings honor and glory to Him.

As you pray about God’s call for you to be holy, ask Him to give you the wisdom to live a life that reflects His holiness.  Pray that you would always choose the things of life that would lead to purity in your thoughts and actions.  Pray that God would purify you from all unrighteousness.  Pray for a heart that seeks to honor God in all you do.  Pray that you would be free to live exclusively for God.  Pray that you would learn to be holy, just as Christ is holy.

In prayer,

Tom  

Here Am I:  Called To Holiness

Here Am I: Called To Holiness

While we continue to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe we have a great opportunity to represent Jesus well as we respond to God’s calling with a hearty, “Here Am I”!  Over the next 17 days I will continue sharing the devotions from my “Here Am I” book to help each of us pray about our response to God as He calls us to Himself.  Through time in prayer, this devotional journal was written to help you see and respond to God’s calling as you see Him working in your “everyday” life.

Here is day fifteen with an important reminder that you, and those around you, have been called by God to a life of holiness.

Called To Holiness

“To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ — their Lord and ours.
1 Corinthians 1:2 (NIV)

Do you have things that are only used for special purposes?  Why?  Do those things ever become unsuitable for their intended purposes?  Explain.  What comes to your mind when someone talks about living a life of holiness?  Do you think it is possible?  Why?  Where does holiness begin?  When something, or someone, is holy, what does it take to keep it that way?  Explain.  How important is holiness to God?  What will it take for holiness to be just as important to you as it is to God?

Whether it is the good china, special attire, or holiday decorations, most of us have things that we treat as special — things set apart for a specific use or purpose.  Being called to holiness means that we are that special thing to God.  Not that we’ve been put on a shelf for some future time, but that we’ve been called by God for His special use and purpose.  A life of holiness requires that we take every thought captive as we make choices that lead us to honor God’s will and purpose in our life.  Responding to God’s call to holiness sets us on a path that leads us toward greater obedience to God as we learn to be holy.

As you pray about being called to holiness, ask God to fill you with the desire to be used by Him.  Pray that you would open your mind and spirit to understanding how special you are to God.  Pray for the courage to evaluate all of your thoughts and actions to see how well aligned they are with the things of God.  Pray for the humility to lead a life set apart for God’s exclusive use in such a way that He is seen by those around you.  Pray that a desire for holiness would lead you to be holy.

In prayer,

Tom  

Here Am I:  Called To Hear

Here Am I: Called To Hear

While we continue to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe we have a great opportunity to represent Jesus well as we respond to God’s calling with a hearty, “Here Am I”!  Over the next 18 days I will continue sharing the devotions from my “Here Am I” book to help each of us pray about our response to God as He calls us to Himself.  Through time in prayer, this devotional journal was written to help you see and respond to God’s calling as you see Him working in your “everyday” life.

Here is day fourteen with an important reminder that you, and those around you, have been called by God to a glorious inheritance.

Called To Hear

Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Luke 8:8 (NIV)

Is it possible to listen to someone without hearing what they are really saying?  What does it take for you to hear what people are actually saying?  Does listening beyond the surface of a conversation come easy to you?  How good are you at listening to God?  Do you think He would say that you are one who “has ears to hear”?  Why?  Should hearing what God has said in His Word change the way you do life?  In what way?  Does it?  How does a practice of listening to God change the way that you hear what others are saying?

It has been said that the average person listens more for the purpose of responding rather than understanding.  It seems that even in the days of Jesus, the crowds would gather and listen to His words with little attempt to understand what He was saying, let alone put His words into practice.  As Christians, God calls us to use what He has given us in order to actually hear what He has to say.  Those who “have ears to hear” should make it a practice to not only hear what God has said, but to incorporate His words into how we live life.  As God calls each of us to hear what He says, His desire is that we would do what He says.

As you pray about how you listen to God, ask Him to open your ears to the truth of His Word.  Pray that you would be one who desires to hear from God as you spend time with Him in prayer and His Word.  Pray that you would grow in the way that you listen so that you would also hear beyond the surface in what others say to you.  Pray that you would learn to seek understanding of what you hear before responding.  Pray that your life would reflect an active hearing of God’s Word.

In prayer,

Tom  

Here Am I:  Called To a Glorious Inheritance

Here Am I: Called To a Glorious Inheritance

While we continue to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe we have a great opportunity to represent Jesus well as we respond to God’s calling with a hearty, “Here Am I”!  Over the next 19 days I will continue sharing the devotions from my “Here Am I” book to help each of us pray about our response to God as He calls us to Himself.  Through time in prayer, this devotional journal was written to help you see and respond to God’s calling as you see Him working in your “everyday” life.

Here is day thirteen with an important reminder that you, and those around you, have been called by God to a glorious inheritance.

Called To a Glorious Inheritance

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”
Ephesians 1:18-19 (NIV)

Have you ever inherited something?  Was it something you were impressed with, or not?  Why?  What would you do if you were to inherit a fortune or substantial piece of property?  Would it be possible to keep it a secret?  Why?  What is the longest you have had to wait for something that you were expecting and looking forward to?  Was the wait worth it?  Why?  How does hope keep you looking forward to what is still ahead?  How does this calling of God strengthen the hope you live with each day?

Many people are fascinated with stories of ordinary people who are left a fortune by a relative they didn’t even know they had.  I suppose such stories give hope that perhaps they too could inherit such a windfall.  Yet none of these stories will ever measure up to the glorious inheritance each of us is called to as a child of God.  This inheritance doesn’t come from an unknown relative and it isn’t the result of chance.  It is a promise from God to both those who are near and those who are far off, that all would draw near can look forward with a confident hope that they too can share in His inheritance.

As you pray about the inheritance you are called to, ask God to fill you with the hope of glory.  Pray that you would find comfort in the day to day struggles of life as you live with confidence in the glorious inheritance to which you are called.  Pray for a greater awareness of God’s love as you share with others about how they too have been called to share in this inheritance from God.  Pray that God would help you to hold fast to the hope you have in Jesus as you look forward to His return.

In prayer,

Tom  

Here Am I:  Called To Be Genuine

Here Am I: Called To Be Genuine

While we continue to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe we have a great opportunity to represent Jesus well as we respond to God’s calling with a hearty, “Here Am I”!  Over the next 20 days I will continue sharing the devotions from my “Here Am I” book to help each of us pray about our response to God as He calls us to Himself.  Through time in prayer, this devotional journal was written to help you see and respond to God’s calling as you see Him working in your “everyday” life.

Here is day twelve with an important reminder that you, and those around you, have been called by God to remember where you came from and to be genuine.

Called To Be Genuine

“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.”
1 Corinthians 1:26 (NIV)

How many people know the real you?  Are you sure?  How do you feel when someone presents themselves to others as something they are not?  Why?  Are there things about your past, or present, that you try to keep secret?  Why?  How have those things been a part of you becoming who you are today?  How does remembering where you’ve come from help you see how God has worked in your life?  Who has been an example to you as one who is genuine?  In what way?  Who needs to see the real you?

Regardless of our background, there are usually things from our past that we would just as soon pretend never happened.  Growth is intended to bring us to a place that is often different from where we began.  For many who have reached the place of life they desire, there is a great temptation to act as if we’ve always been where we are.  When done with wisdom and discretion, being genuine about who we were before Christ gives us great opportunity to share about the transformation He has done in our life.  Our struggles not only help us to grow, when we are genuine they become examples for others.

As you pray about being genuine, ask God to help you remember the what and where of who you were before you responded to His call.  Pray that you would allow God to use the real you to show His power to the people around you.  Pray that God would reveal, and deal with, any areas of pretense that you have harbored in your life.  Pray for the discretion needed for you to be genuine in ways that are helpful to others.  Pray with thanksgiving for a God who is genuine.

In prayer,

Tom  

Here Am I:  Called To Be a Friend of God

Here Am I: Called To Be a Friend of God

While we continue to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe we have a great opportunity to represent Jesus well as we respond to God’s calling with a hearty, “Here Am I”!  Over the next 21 days I will continue sharing the devotions from my “Here Am I” book to help each of us pray about our response to God as He calls us to Himself.  Through time in prayer, this devotional journal was written to help you see and respond to God’s calling as you see Him working in your “everyday” life.

Here is day eleven with an important reminder that you, and those around you, have been called by God to be His friend.

Called To Be a Friend of God

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
John 15:15 (NIV)

Who are your friends?  Who considers you to be their friend?  Why?  What do you look for in a friend?  Why?  Have you ever tried to have a friendship with someone that didn’t seem to want to be friends?  Did it work?  Why?  What would you do for your true friends?  What would they do for you?  Why?  Have you ever had a relationship that began as something other than friends but grew into a friendship?  What changed?  What does it mean to you to be called a friend of God?  What will you do with that friendship?

It is difficult to maintain a friendship for very long if it appears to be one-sided with little to no effort being put forth by the other person.  As Christians, we are not only called to be a friend of God, He calls us His friend.  Not only should our friendship with God lead us to share with Him in every aspect of our life, His friendship with us results in Him making Himself known to us through His Word and His Spirit.  As a friend, He holds nothing back that would be a benefit to us.  As God, He knows perfectly the things that are for our good and the things which would bring harm.  As both, He knows and loves us as no one else can.

As you pray, ask God to help you see clearly His desire to have you as a friend.  Pray that you would live as a friend of God.  Pray that your friendship with God would lead you to be a better friend to others.  Pray for wisdom in knowing and understanding the things of God.  Pray for courage in upholding your side of a friendship with God.  Pray about how you will share your friendship with the hurting and lonely around you who need to know God’s love.

In prayer,

Tom