June 4, 2014: Our readers write

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Responding to higher calling

As Christians, we have an abundance of opportunities, but instead of pursuing our own rights, prosperity and happiness, we have a higher calling.

It’s summarized best in Luke 10:27, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.”

The way that we respond to opportunities reveals several things about us. First of all, it show whether Jesus is really the Lord of our lives (Philippians 2:3-5). If we’re too busy with our own plans and desires, we’re not letting God be our master.

However, by listening to the promptings of his spirit and releasing control of our schedules and plans to Him, we’ll become sensitive to the opportunities that he gives throughout the day — whether it’s giving an encouraging word to a stranger’s trouble or sharing the gospel with someone who’s searching for meaning in life.

Secondly, the way we respond reveals our willingness to give. The opportunities that God provides are not always convenient. They may require that we leave our comfort zone or give of our time, attention, effort or finances to meet someone’s need.

As Christians, we’re called to become like Christ and he always had time for people. Although his days were filled with interruptoins, he never turned away those who needed his help. That’s because he came to earth to serve, not to be served (Matthew 20:28). His only agenda was to do the Father’s will each day.

Finally, our responses show whether we are using our spiritual gifts. Every believer has a motivating gift, a specil ability given by the spirit, with which to serve others (1 Corinthians 12:7). It could be the capacity to show mercy, a willingness to serve or the desire to offer encouragement. Whatever it is, as God provides occasions, we need to step up and use these gifts to make a difference in someone’s life.

William C. McDaniel