December 20, 2014

The Weight of Answering the Call

Matthew 1:19-23

“Do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”
—Matthew 1:20


God doesn’t call his people to insignificant tasks. When God calls us to serve, it’s a significant assignment that might even disrupt our lives.

The Bible includes many examples of people God called to serve in major roles for his people, but even if they didn’t become a leader or prophet (like Moses or David or Elijah), every task that God gave was important, and every servant was called to be faithful.

Joseph, of course, had a huge responsibility. When God called him to take Mary home as his wife, it meant he was required to raise God’s own Son in his household and put up with the scorn of people who might suspect a scandal in Mary’s pregnancy.

When God calls us to a task, our natural response might be apprehension, and maybe even fear. It is not easy to be a witness for Christ in a world that is opposed to his lordship. When we take a stand for Christ today, we could be put in a position of being mocked and ostracized—and perhaps persecuted and even killed. We might wonder if the risk is worthwhile.

God does not delight in putting us in difficult situations. But he may call us to difficult tasks to advance his kingdom in this world. That might require us to step out of our comfort zones. The calling may be difficult, but God’s plans are worthwhile.

Father, grant us wisdom to discern where you are leading us, and courage to follow when our fears and apprehensions might urge us to walk away. Amen.

About the author — Bill Sytsma

Bill Sytsma is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary (M.Div) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min). He is the author of the book Follow the Leader and is serving as the pastor of New Life Christian Reformed Church in Highland, Indiana. He and his wife, Staci, have hosted support groups for families built through adoption. He and Staci are the proud parents of three active boys: Luke, Isaac, and Nico.

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