In this message, Pastor Jacob talks about how God calls us to salvation, sanctification, and service.

City Lights Church is a contemporary Christian church located in the northwestern part of Richmond, VA. City Lights Church is a part of the Vineyard USA network and an ARC family member.

TRANSCRIPT

Hey there, and welcome to the city lights podcast. City Lights is a church located in the northwestern part of Richmond, Virginia. For more information about city lights you can visit us at we are city lights calm. Now enjoy today’s message.

Now what I want to do today is a little different than what I normally do, I got a different, a different vibe, the way I want to talk to you today, instead of talking to you kind of from a point of a pastor to a church member or someone who’s tuning in, maybe for the first time, I want to talk to you from one person who is called by God to another person that is called by God so a little different, a little different vibe today. You know as Jesus followers, you have been chosen by God we have been chosen by God. We’re set apart, gifted and empowered and filled with the Holy Spirit to make a difference. You have a very unique call and you are called by God we are called by God. Last week we built a foundation for what it means to be called by God that that God is more interested in that who we are becoming than the what we do. And we looked at a very powerful and personal verse from the Apostle Paul who is writing in a Roman prison. We’re gonna look at it again. Ephesians 4:1 says this, therefore, I a prisoner for serving the Lord beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. See, let’s create a moment. Let’s let that sink in for a little bit in our everyday lives, in the busyness, in the chaos and the craziness and the ups and the downs and in all that goes on. You are called by God. You’re called by God, you are chosen. God wants you to live a life that’s worthy of that call. You’ve been set apart. You’ve been chosen. You’re called by God to do the works of God, you’re His church. See, but what I know about some of you, because I know that about me, especially right now in this incredibly complicated cultural environment that we’re in some ways, man, we’re just worn down. We’re worn down. But, you know, we’re hosting summer camps for our own kids at home. While we’re still doing our jobs and what we got so much going on, you’re physically drained, emotionally depleted, spiritually exhausted, or even discouraged because I do know this: If the devil can’t destroy you, the devil will try to discourage you will try to discourage you. And that’s where someone was all right now it is kind of discouraged. Where are we going? Where’s our step? See recently in my life, I had to ask God these questions and I had to get some answers man, had asked God some questions. I had to ask him, how do I overcome discouragement? How do I stay above doubt? How do I stay above it? How do I find? How do I find myself winning these these these battles of self doubt and exhaustion and spiritual oppression and opposition? How do I keep passion, month after month after month, especially when things do not go the way as I planned in the answer, I felt like God gave me what God shared in my heart and I want to share to you is that he after a little over saying his grace is sufficient for me that his grace is sufficient. And I’m called to it, I’m called to it. I’m called to a God has has put in my life. So this is my calling, this is your calling the title of today’s message. If you’re taking notes, reclaim your calling. It’s time to reclaim your calling. Come on, pray with me. Wherever you are, come, Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit. We invite you in our space. We invite you in our hearts and they are atmosphere and show us how good you are. God I pray that people will live a life worthy of the calling you have put on them, God that we will glorify you and all that we do, and that we will help this world we will impact our world for the better. God we love you and we need you in Jesus name. Everybody say amen. Amen. Okay, so if you’re with me, I need you to say something to say I’m called. I want you to claim write it in the comment section say I am called you know, I am called. But what are you called to? That’s the question isn’t it? What do you call it to we know we will call it to be the who and not just what the not just the do will call will call to become more like Jesus not just do a bunch of stuff for approval we need we need to be called to the who, but what do you call it to him? God has called you. What are you called to? I would say most people when they think of the word calling, they think the call to a job or a task, something significant like that. And here’s the thing, you might be called to a job, you might be called to a significant task. God may have put some things like that in your life. But what I want to show you is three things from scripture that specifically tells you your calling. It specifically tells you what you’re called to. So what are these things? So I got three things that I want I want to share. The first one is this: God calls you to salvation. God calls you to salvation before God ever calls you to a job before God ever caused you to a task before God ever calls you to a major before God even calls you to a family. God calls you to himself. He calls you to himself to be in a relationship with Him. And this is great news, this is good news of great joy. Jesus, when he came, he didn’t he didn’t say I came to call the righteous he’s Scripture says he came to call the sinners. He came to call people like us, people who make mistakes, people who don’t have it together, he came to call us. He didn’t come for those who are healthy, but he came for those who are sick physically, spiritually, mentally, he came for us. He called us to come in relationship with him. It doesn’t matter here you go, I want you to know this. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. It doesn’t matter where you come from. It doesn’t matter, the dark feelings that you have, it doesn’t matter. God has called you to himself through His Son Jesus. He has called you to salvation and guess what? You can find Jesus. Y ou can find Jesus daily and you can know Him not just intellectually, but you can know Him intimately. So, so come to him as you are. Don’t try to clean yourself up, just come to you come to him as you are and let him do all the cleaning which leads me to the number two thing that God calls us to: God calls you to sanctification. God calls you to sanctification. Now, that’s just a fancy word as a fancy word that just means set apart. God calls you to set apart, to make holy. Sanctification is a process of becoming more like Jesus. See, it is great to know that our God that I loving father does not expect perfection out of us instantly. He doesn’t just say expect us to say oh, I follow you, God, I’m perfect. Now I’m good. No, he understands. It’s a process. It’s a process. And that process in that process, God calls himself to us. So So God calls you to salvation, he calls you to sanctification, then that leads me to the third thing. God calls you to service. God calls you to service. He calls you to use your unique gifts that he has given you, that he’s placed inside of you to make this world a better place. Now I’m not just talking about being a part of the City Lights team, you know, and that’s your only way of serving, you can serve right where you are. So he’s given you gifts, gifts, that that I don’t have gifts that are different that different other people, maybe you have a gift of just deep care, maybe you care for people deeply you have and that’s a gift. That’s Yeah, maybe you’re an administrator and you’d love to organize things. Maybe your your, your, your gifted and creative arts and music and design, maybe for some it’s compassion, whatever it is, whatever it is, God calls Himself to you. He calls you to be transformed in becoming more like Him. And then he calls you to engage your gifts, engage your talents, engage the gifts that he’s placed inside of you to make this world better, to be a light to this world. The apostle Paul says like this Colossians 3:17. And whatever you do, whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God the Father through him. Whatever you do, come on, man. Whatever you do, however you serve, wherever God has placed you, let’s do it for Jesus. Let’s do it for Jesus. The question is, since you’re called, not if since you’re called, are you ready to embrace your calling? Are you ready to embrace it? Are you ready to go after it? Now I remember the absolute best day without question of my life was the day Kingsley was born. I remember this day. Erin, who is the strongest person to walk Earth, was in labor for 15 hours. It was crazy. And the doctor told us, this baby isn’t going to come for another five hours or if not longer. And so we’re like, man, this is nuts. We can’t believe this. We got some time we kind of kind of have some time before this happens. Then, kind of out of nowhere, Kingsley’s heart rate started dropping, so I got dipping low and coming back up dipping low and coming back up. The doctor came to us and told us a what, what basically could be happening is her cord can be tied around her neck, it can be tied around her head, you know, this could be really dangerous, you know, and he recommended that we do is have an emergency c section, you know, right right then and there. So I looked at Erin here with me, I said, come on, man. Let’s get our baby. Let’s get our baby out. So we went from maybe in five hours we’re gonna have have our baby to instantly ready or not. Here she comes. Okay, check this out. I have a video that I’m about to play for you right now of me being ready for this moment. Check this out. How are you feeling right now? Great. You feel great. I’m ready. For what? To get my baby to come on, do it. Dude, I was ready, man. I was ready for this. I was I was about to do some surgery myself. No, it wasn’t, that would be weird. But anyway, so so so here you go, we thought but we thought we had some time before Kingsley came, But things changed, things changed, and we had to be ready to step into it. So I’m gonna tell you this right now. Things are changing, things are gonna change for your life. And are you ready to step in to the call that God has on your life? Are you ready to step in? Are you just gonna wait for it? Are you just gonna wait for it? Are you going to step into it? Are you going to step into I’m telling you this your called right now, but are you ready for it? Here’s the thing. A lot of you you might have really even believed that you’re called by God, you might you might seriously not believe that you might believe Yeah, I’m called to salvation. Yeah, I know. God loves me and God has saved me and and I prayed the prayer. And that’s good. And guess Hey, man, that’s great. That is awesome. But why stop at salvation? Don’t stop at salvation. Don’t stop at just yeah, God loves me. That’s good. I can watch church every once in a while. Let’s take this thing farther. I truly believe a life lived for Jesus is the best life possible. See, you have to embrace your call to service. You have to embrace that every day. God has placed you on this earth, not just to live for yourself, but to make a difference. You might tell yourself making a difference man, that’s one of those super Christians, whoever they are, I don’t know who they are. You know that that’s what people who go on the missions trips are that that’s not me. You know, you know, you may say, Oh, I’m just a nurse. I’m just a school teacher. I’m just a parent. I’m just you know, I’m just a mom and I’m just a spouse. I don’t know enough about the Bible. I mean, even before I turn on the live stream, I cussed out my spouse like like you like not me man. What if people are asking me about dinosaurs and when the world’s going to end and I don’t I don’t know I’m not. I’m not equipped for all of this. I’m not ready. You may feel like you’re not ready. You may feel like you’re not good enough that you’re not worthy. But check out what the Apostle Paul has to say about being ready for your call. Check this out. First Corinthians 1:26 says, “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards. Not many of you were influential. Not many of you were of noble birth.” This is an encouraging text. This is an encouraging text because when you look at who God calls to salvation, when you look at who God calls to sanctification, to service, he calls the people who the world would deem as untrained, who are who appear to be unqualified, who look unprepared, he calls the spiritual nobodies. And he says, I’m gonna use those people to change the world. Throughout Scripture, we see that God takes sinners, he takes prostitutes, he takes bad people, he takes these people that the world deems as not good. And guess what? They have an encounter with Jesus, their life changed, life transformation happens in their heart. And the scriptures are filled with ordinary, average people who change the world as we know it. And friends, I’m going to look at you right now. Don’t diminish what God has put in your life. Don’t discredit yourself. Don’t say that you don’t got it or you’re not good enough. God will use an ordinary person and he will do something extraordinary with you if you allow him to. In other words, God doesn’t call the prepared, God prepares the called. God doesn’t call the prepared, God prepares the called. This should be good news to you. You don’t have to have it together, friends. You don’t have to have all the answers to be used by God. God doesn’t call you when you’re perfect. And you know it. He prepares you along the way. He prepares you along the way because you’re called to make a difference in this world, you’re called to be a light. Now, now I wanna share with you my story. Many of you know this, but for those who don’t, I remember when I first gave my life to Jesus, like, like prior to that, you know, I was in, I wasn’t a very bad kid, you know, I didn’t get I didn’t have any trouble. I didn’t get into any trouble, or anything like that. But, but super depressed, was super hopeless. I didn’t have any hope. I didn’t have any hope for my future. You know, you had a lot of bad habits. I was really bitter. I was very angry, you know, but and I remember the exact moment that I felt the Holy Spirit, breathe into me new life. I was at a youth service with my brother Isaiah and at the end of the service that youth pastor gave what was called an altar call, which is when you can just come up front to the altar, and just pray a salvation prayer. Come up front to the stage, and it’s prayer prayer. And if you want to trust Jesus and I remember, I felt what I didn’t understand at that moment wish I wish I understood later, was a prompting of the Holy Spirit inside of me. I felt this prompting of the Holy Spirit inside of me to give my life to Jesus to make a decision to trust Jesus. But I didn’t really know I was kind of like afraid to walk up front, it was very intimidating. But here’s the crazy part, I felt this. And then I got a tap from my brother that said, Hey, we need to walk up front. And guess what? Both of us walked up front together, and both of us gave our lives to Jesus that day, that moment, and I mean it, when I say it, God called me to himself, like God called me to himself. The entire trajectory of my life changed in that one moment, like everything about me, everything about my future, everything changed in thatmoment. I had no idea where I would be today. I had no idea where I would be today if my brother didn’t tap me on the shoulder and say, hey, let’s take this step of faith. Ready or not let’s move towards our calling. And Jesus saved me that day, and that my salvation story is awesome. And even my first few years as being a Jesus follower, it was pretty awesome. I was just super excited, super enthusiastic about God in my life. However, when God started to really call me into sanctification, that’s when things got hard. That’s when things really got challenging, when God really started to challenge some things in my life. I remember, I was around 19-20 years old, I got, I gave my life to Christ when I was 15. When I was around 19, 18, 19, 20, that’s when I really was feeling this prompt of sanctification. I was in Bible college, I was fired up to become a pastor. At this point. I was already leading a high school ministry around 100, a little over 100 students. And as I was already being asked to speak at conferences, conferences that my head was getting real big Lately like I was thinking way too highly of myself, I kind of like even felt like I was like the LeBron James of pastors like, like, out of high school into the pros like come on man. Yeah, you know. And in that arrogance, that’s exactly where God wanted to meet me. That’s when God wanted to meet me. Even though I was doing the things of God, I was not becoming who God wanted me to become. So God in His wonderful grace interrupted the what I was doing in my life. So I can focus on the who I was becoming. On the who I was becoming. So I did it and I went hard in the paint like, come on, man, I went after it. I went hard. And I spent an entire year of non stop Christian counseling and care. My life was almost wrecked by a porn addiction that I had. And within a year of prayer, and extreme intense accountability, God healed me from that addiction in areas of my life where I had self promotion. God began to show me that he was the only one I needed to serve, and he would promote me. I mean, it was rowdy like rowdy was that what would be the word I would use. And I but I refused. But here you go, I had this drive, had this passion. I refuse to live my life saying, What if I gave my life to Jesus? What if I gave it all to Jesus? What if and I think too many of us live in this place of, I could give more to Jesus, but like, I’m kind of content where I’m at. Like, I could go all in for Jesus. But you know, I’m kind of fine with doing what I’m doing. And here’s the thing. Here’s the thing. I’m not done with my sanctification process. When I got married, guess what? God revealed more things in me that that that I needed to work on. When I became a dad, same thing. When I became a church planter, same thing. God just starts to reveal these things. And that’s why like, for me, I promote Christian counseling so much like prayer is good. Please pray. That’s awesome. If you if you’re good at praying, listening to worship music in your car is fine, like, if you’re like doing that kind of stuff, that’s good. But I’m gonna tell you that I’m gonna be honest with you. If I can just be real. Like I say at City Lights I don’t like to be fake. I like to bring our whole selves to church, but I’m gonna be real with you today. I think a lot of you are doing things that you don’t know why you’re doing it. You find yourself in routines that you don’t know why you’re in that routine. Because there’s root issues going on in your life that you’re afraid or unwilling to tackle. And I’m telling you, this counselling isn’t the end all be all, but it will help you in the sanctification process, to deal with some of those root problems that are in your life that can derail the calling of God on your life. See, I’m secure enough in my faith to say, I need Jesus and a counselor. You know, so So see, God called me to himself. God called me to become a better reflection of him because of those things. God called me to serve. God called me to service. And there was something about being transformed by Jesus, that service wasn’t an option. Like it wasn’t an option like God changed my life like I had to respond to it. It was a call and service to serve became an unstoppable force in my life and I love to serve, serve. And here you go. Here you go. When you truly recognize you have been called to salvation, you’ve been forgiven by God, not by anything that you did, but by good he is and because of his grace, when God transforms you, when he slowly transforms you and you’re not becoming like yourself, but you’re becoming more like Jesus. Serving is not an option. You’re compelled to it. You’re called to it, you’re called to it and again, friends, I’m not talking about just serving on a Sunday morning at church. I’m talking about whatever, whatever sphere of influence you have, you have called to be the light of Jesus in that sphere of influence. Now, don’t be weird. Don’t be one of those people. You’re in a zoom call. And at the end of the zoom call, you say, hey, do you guys know where you’re gonna go tonight if you die like don’t do that, that may be a little weird, but but maybe on that zoom call, you’re the one to bring joy to the call. Maybe you’re the one to bring hope to the call. Maybe you’re the one that laughs when everyone else is stressed out. Maybe you’re the one that encourages when everyone’s dogging on someone. Maybe you are the one that shines the light there because you’re called to serve. You’re compelled to it because you’ve been saved by grace, you’ve been transformed by His love. And now you’re called to his service. Again for me, when I gave my life to Jesus, in those years I wanted to see, I begin to see how much better my life was with Jesus. I couldn’t help but serve and like I even remember falling in love with my church in Virginia Beach and I fought and fallen in love with the hearts of my pastors. Andy and Sharon who loved broken people and they provided a place for all different kinds of people from all different walks of life to come and hear the good news of good news of Jesus, in an easy way for people to understand. And I remember the age of 19, the age 19. I knew I was called to start a church one day, and I knew I was gonna name it, even back then I was gonna name it City Lights, because we were we were going to be a beacon of light to our city. And we were going to show people who are far from God, how all things are possible with Jesus for those who believe. Like, I didn’t have a divine call one day in my prayer closet. I wasn’t sitting in my prayer closet and then God parted my clothes. And he spoke to me, Jacob, go to Richmond, you know, that didn’t happen. Let my people go. I didn’t have the Moses experience. You know, I didn’t have the benefit of that. No what I did, I just kept loving God. I kept falling in love with God. And my only reasonable response to the grace I received from God was I had to go and tell people about it. I had to go and serve. I had to bet my life on this. Like I had to give it all. That was my only reasonable response. It was a calling. And I and what I hope is you’re recognizing your own life. You that you are called to serve in that way, you’re called to give it all to Jesus. It starts it starts with being called to salvation, you experience the goodness and greatness and grace of our God. Think that you’re called to start seeing a life transformation and that God changes you on the inside out, not on the outside in. He starts with the heart, and then he works his way out that he calls you to serve. It doesn’t mean you have to lead a church one day I’m not saying that. You’re called to serve wherever you are, and whatever you do, for the glory of Jesus, and it’s not always easy. But I remember when I when I first felt called to be a church planter, and later pulling my 19 year old head out of nowhere, and I thought I was crazy like what like, like, like, I flooded myself with doubts. I’m not smart enough. I don’t have a business degree, you know at that point I didn’t even have a degree. I mean, I didn’t have a GED at that point. You know, I had, hard times, I had a hard time pronouncing words. See, here’s the truth though. Whenever, whenever you start getting close to your calling, you will start receiving criticism from yourself or from other people. Like whenever you start stepping towards your call, and youwill receive criticism, I found that that sometimes the criticism from people confirms the calling of God in your life. Whenever people around you don’t really understand, that’s often when you’re taking a step out of logic and stepping into the realm of faith. Stepping into that realm, and truly to please God, the Scripture tells us to please God, you got to step out of logic and step into faith, you got to live a life of faith and trusting in Him. See, see, see? You got it, you got to step into this. And here’s what I want you to follow the voice of God in your life. And I want to give you two qualities of calling. I’ll give you just two real fast two qualities of calling. And the first quality is this: calling. It costs. Calling costs. It costs us something. It always costs. Whenever, this is a story in the Bible. Whenever a guy called the Apostle Paul when he was first known as Saul when he first introduced as Saul in the Bible, whenever God called him, it was a cost. There was a cost to it. Okay, so he Saul was a guy he hated Christians, he persecuted Christians. Like I said he would be later on known for it for his Greek name Paul, but his first encounter with Jesus, Paul was blinded by this light. He was on a road to Damascus riding on a donkey and Jesus knocking him off his donkey. And that’s a whole nother message about how Jesus could knock you off your donkey. And he and he was blind. And then God’s an ordinary man, an ordinary man named Ananais to tell Saul something. And he says, Let me tell you, let me tell you what the message did not say. Let me tell you what the message did not say what Ananais did not say to Saul, when he came to Saul he didn’t say Saul, Saul, your eyes, they’re gonna be healed, they’re gonna be healed. And after that, you’re gonna have a crazy testimony. And after that, you know what, everyone’s gonna want to invite you to your to their podcast, and after that your YouTube followers are gonna blow up. Then after that you go and get your own tik tok account and do crazy dances and people are gonna want to want to follow you. And then people gonna want to hear what you got to say. So you’re gonna get these massive book deals, you’re gonna be this conference speaker and speaking everywhere, and you’re just gonna do these really big, amazing things. Breakthrough is gonna be awesome. This is what God’s gonna do no wrong, wrong. This is not what Ananais said to Saul. This is what God wanted Ananais to communicate to Saul. He said, go speak into Paul, this man Paul is my chosen instrument to proclaim My name to the Gentiles, and their kings, and to the people of Israel. So to everyone. Here you go are you ready for this? Because Saul you’re called. Better call Saul. Here’s what I want to show you. I want to show you what you must suffer for my name. And then he says this, he says to him the very first thing Saul, your call to preach the gospel to the Gentiles to make a difference to this world. I’m going to show you how much this is going to cost. Saul you’re my chosen instrument and it’s going to cost you everything. It’ll cost you everything. See what I will hope for some of you, what you’re going to recognize is that God has calling God has chosen you as his instrument into a certain environment that God wants to use you. See, we aren’t doing in person Sunday services for a while. We will be online, online for a good while, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t called to serve. See the best place to serve is where you are. The best place to serve is where you are. You might be God’s chosen instrument at work. You might be God’s chosen nurse or God’s chosen school teacher. You might be God’s chosen VCU instrument. You might be God’s chosen Zoom call, an instrument to promote joy. You might be God’s chosen instrument at the gym, to shine, light. The moment you step into your calling, you have to step out of your comfort, and it’s going to cost you along the way. But it’s worth the price. It is worth the price. I remember before Erin and I left Virginia Beach to come to Richmond. You know, I was working at our church in Virginia Beach and I remember getting to a place that I knew it was time for me to transition out and I knew it was time. However, I love my church in Virginia Beach, like I said I love my pastors and you know what they have done for Erin and my family. So leaving VB wasn’t like, alright, deuce, like I’m out. It was a very, it was a very hard decision. You know, finally, I remember one particular night that I couldn’t sleep. And you know, I was tossing and turning and thinking, and if I look over at Erin, and and I didn’t really want to put this burden on Erin because our family has just gone through a lot of different stuff at this point. But it’s looking at her and say, Hey, gotta be honest with you. I think it’s time for us to leave and then to my surprise, Erin said, “Shut up? For real?” Like I was about to tell you the same exact thing you know so so we were we end up being on the same page and and then that next week we have this conversation with our pastors one of the hardest conversations I’ve ever had in my life, very emotional. And you know, in church planting was always a part of our our plan. But when we put an actual date on it, man, it was tough. It changed things. Here you go, why do I share a story with you? I share it with you because some of you are gonna be, are gonna come to a place like this in your life. You may be there right now. You may be saying something like, I know there’s a decision I have to make and I’ve been afraid to make it but I know it’s the right decision. I don’t know what that is. But But you know, it may be something. Maybe someone’s saying like Enough is enough. I’m tired of being unhealthy. I’m tired of this. I’m going to make a change to the way I eat, to my lifestyle, diet. And I’m going to start working out maybe you just fed up with that. Maybe it’s been a goal year after year after year I’m going to get healthy. Maybe for years finally going back to school, you’ve been putting it off. It’s been Oh, I got the kids. Oh, and after they do, oh, after this, there’s one thing in maybe now Enough is enough. Maybe you get into this place that I’m going to make this change. Maybe we’ll be making a crazy, I’m making a crazy change in your life. But it’s a tough decision. And here you go, this is what I want you to know. God will often use our deepest pain to launch our greatest calling. God will often use our deepest pain to launch our greatest calling. It is gonna cost you something and you will face spiritual attacks. You might be misunderstood. And I think you need to hear that because I don’t want to I don’t want to lie to you, man. I don’t want to be like oh, it fallen Jesus always it’s easy unicorns and rainbows and pretty pretty pony posters everywhere. It knows it’s not it’s not all that. It’s tough sometimes, but it is worth it. It is worth it. There is a blessing to the cost. serving Jesus is both a gift and a grind. Living in your calling is a thrill that sometimes comes with a burden. God never ever promised it was going to be easy, but the cost of your calling is way better than settling for comfort. And I’m going to tell you this, I often believe the biggest enemy of calling is your comfort, never sacrifice your call on the altar of comfort. like God wants to take your call and elevate your life. And the second thing and I close with it and I’m going to close with this calling sustains. Calling sustains, calling sustains, it carries you it keeps you go and keeps you going. See whenever I look at the Apostle Paul and how much he endured, like how did he remain so faithful? How did he persevere when others gave up? The answer is this: Paul didn’t finish the race because he was competent. Paul finished the race because he was called, he was called to it. Friends you’re called to it, you’re called to it, you got this. It was in the calling that Paul grind see Philippians 3 he says this, “Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead. I press on towards the goal.” Friends you need to press on. You need to reclaim your call you gave in you may have gave in to depression you may have gave into anxiety you may have gave in to those feelings of I’m not worth it. I don’t have what it takes and I’m just gonna be this I’m just gonna meet a friend. You got to press on press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me God has called you heavenward in Christ Jesus, your calling will promote heaven. It will change this world. Friends you are called by God. See somebody watching right now if someone listening you need to reclaim your calling. Reclaim it. Stop giving into that depression, stop giving into those fears, stop giving into those doubts, reclaim your calling, you are chosen by God. You are called by the God most high. You are a child of God. And he called you see, what did he call you to? He calls you to salvation, the greatest gift in the world. Nothing compares to being saved and wrapped in 11 hours of our Father God forgiven him for sin, not based on anything that we do so no man can boast. But based on the works of Christ, your call to salvation, your call to be set apart, sanctified, becoming more about the who’s in the do and becoming more about Jesus and your call to service making this world a better place. How many of you? How many of you would say this has been a tough year? How many of you would say you went through it this year? I know for me, this is not how I pictured our first year. City Lights church started. But I’m going to tell you this. I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. Because what God is doing in this season Come on, man. Come on, who’s ready for this? What God is doing in this season, what God is doing in your season right now is preparation for the calling that He has on you. All you need to do is be faithful to Jesus today. I’m going to be faithful today. God where have you called me today? God, who have you called me to love today? God who have you called me to be faithful to towards today? God what is your call for me today? So how do I how do I keep going? How do I show back up? I’m gonna be honest with you guys. Like I said, like to be honest. There are some times when all this stuff has happened. I thought to myself, man, I wonder if Disney World is hiring right now. I think I would make a good Goofy because this is getting kind of hard right now. This isn’t what I thought it was going to be. How how don’t we have don’t we give up? How don’t we walk away? How do we stay faithful? How do we reclaim our calling? It’s this you got to know you’re called to it. You’re called to it. You’re called. You’re called to be a light. You’re called to be an ambassador for Christ, you’re called to offer hope until world as filled with darkness you call the shine into it. When someone’s hurting, you’re the answer to the call. When someone’s far from God, you’re the one that can help them connect to God. When there’s a need, you have access to the heart of God to meet the need. When you go boldly before His throne to the to His throne of grace and ask for him and in time of need. He’s faithful to give to you. You’re called to the Ministry of helping broken people find their way back to God. You’re called to the Ministry of bringing people together and seeing healing happen. See, see, don’t let what you see around you take away from what you’re called to, don’t let the discouraging voices talk you out of which you’re called to, don’t let yourself talk you out what you’re called to, but you’ve been uniquely created by God to accomplish the task that he is put before you. So friends, press on towards the goal. Press on towards the mark, whereas heavenward you’re called to it, you’re called to salvation saved by grace, you’re called to sanctification to live a life worthy of your calling. And you were created by God uniquely equipped with gifts, that He has given you. Passions that he has buried in your heart to serve him in a way that only you can. Will it be difficult? Paul says it this way, “I’m pressed on every side but I’m not crushed. I’m perplexed but I’m not in despair. I’m persecuted but I’m not abandoned. I’m struck down but I’m not destroyed. Because I’m called by God. I want to speak directly to someone who’s been far away from God. You’ve given up on your dreams. You’ve given up. I feel like God wants you to hear this word in Romans 11:29. “For is written, for you’re God’s gift, in his call will never be withdrawn.” Another translation says, “His call and your life cannot be revoked. It cannot be withheld. It cannot be withdrawn.” You’re called, friends you’re called. You’re called to it. You’re called to it. And I close with this last verse. Second Thessalonians, “We constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling. And that by his power, he might bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this that in the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you. Pray with me. Come Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit. Right now I want you to be I close every head bow unless you’re driving somewhere. Don’t close your eyes. But wherever you are, I want you to get into a holy moment. I want you to know that the presence of God does not dwell inside a church building, but it dwells in your heart. So wherever you are, there’s a holy moment. Just tune out the noise, tune out the things that may be disrupting you in this moment right now. I want you to zone in. I feel like there’s some people that you need to reclaim your call. You need to understand your calling. If you’re listening right now, and you want to reclaim your call, or you want to get a better understanding of your calling, I’m gonna ask you to do something that may feel kind of awkward because you may be by yourself, or you may be in a room with some people. But if that’s you, if you want to reclaim your calling or understand why you’re called. I just want you to lift your hand up right now. Wherever you are. Don’t worry about the people around you. This is this is between you and God. If you want to reclaim your call, or understand your calling in this life better just lift up your hand and I want to pray for you right now. Come Holy Spirit, you see every hand raised. God, you know the desires of their heart. Speak to them now Lord, speak calling into their lives now. Speak purpose into their life now. Speak hopes and dreams and love and faithfulness right now. In the name of Jesus that I pray that you bring purpose and calling to their lives. You can put your hands down. Maybe you’re listening, this your first time listening to our live stream or maybe you just don’t know this as Jesus I was talking about in this message but you want to you want to know this Jesus. If that’s you just pray this simple prayer with me with faith. Just say, Jesus, forgive me for my mistakes. Make me new. Today I trust you in my life. Today I follow you. In Jesus name. Amen.

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