who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, (1:9).
We have completed Ezekiel, where it often proved beyond challenging to see Him increase amidst His prophecies, warnings, judgments and the departing of His Glory. But I found today’s introduction into this second letter written to young Timothy, by his mentor and father in the faith, to be equally challenging. It is just so rich with so very much to consider. And I wondered how would it even be possible to simply focus on only one glorious aspect of Holy God? Perhaps a common thread would intertwine the marvelous Truths revealed in today’s reading.
He is so faithful to magnify Himself in our sight. And I was struck with His Holy Calling on the likes of me, on the likes of us; that God, so High and Exalted, so Holy and Righteous, would Call the unholy with His Holy Calling.
And the opening line of a song by Hillsong flooded my mind with thoughts and my eyes with tears.
“Who am I that the highest King would welcome me?”
The song, Who You Say I Am, expresses who we are in Him as a result of His Holy Calling. His Calling, not our answering. His Calling, not our responding. His Calling, not our doing. And because He Is Holy, His Calling Is Holy. And this should absolutely knock us off our feet to bow before Him in humble adoration.
And I find it much more than co-incidental, actually I think it is God-incidental, that the last words of Ezekiel’s writings land us right in the first chapter of 2 Timothy. For our future awaits us and bring us to His City Named, “The LORD Is There,” by His Holy Calling!
Consider His Holy Calling
There is so much in His Word about His Holy Calling… so let’s start digging.
- His Holy Calling calls us according to His promise of life in Christ.
- according to the promise of life in Christ Jesus, (1:1).
- His Holy Calling calls us to His grace, mercy and peace.
- Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. (1:2).
- His Holy Calling calls us to a spirit of power, love and discipline
- For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline, (1:7).
- His Holy Calling calls us to courageous suffering through His power.
- Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, (1:8).
- His Holy Calling calls us according to His eternal purpose and grace, not according to our own works, to His eternal life and light that has been perfectly revealed in our Savior’s life and death.
- who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, (1:9-10).
- His Holy Calling calls us to confident faith that He is able to guard His Holy Calling in us until He comes again.
- For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day, (1:12).
Oh and there’s more…
- His Holy Calling is unalterable and will never be revoked or recalled.
- for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable, (Romans 11:29).
- His Holy Calling calls us into fellowship with His Son.
- God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, (1 Corinthians 1:9).
- His Holy Calling is solely dependent upon His wisdom and strength and thus completely stops any boasting before Him.
- For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, 29 so that no man may boast before God, (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).
- His Holy Calling calls us to purity and sanctification.
- For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification, (1 Thessalonians 4:7).
- His Holy Calling calls us to His eternal glory in Christ.
- After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you, (1 Peter 5:10).
- His Holy Calling calls us out of darkness into His marvelous light.
- But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light, (1 Peter 2:9).
How do we respond to His Holy Calling?
I imagine we could ponder the Truth that His Word declares of His Holy Calling every moment of every day until the day we are taken to be with Jesus, and still there would be more to consider.
His Calling, not our answering. His Calling, not our responding. His Calling, not our doing. And because He Is Holy, His Calling Is Holy. And perhaps the first response must be that we are absolutely knocked off our feet as we bow before Him in humble adoration.
And in that posture of humility, let us heed Paul’s advice to Timothy, that we would nurture and keep fresh His most treasured and precious gift we have received in His Holy Calling.
For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands, (1:6).
Let us be diligent to humbly study His Word, that we would know and preserve the Truth of the gospel as we trust His Holy Spirit to protect and defend the treasure of His Holy Calling entrusted to us.
Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.14 Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you, (1:13-14).
Oh, that we would never get over it. He has called the likes of us to His eternal peace and hope to walk as He walked, in humility, gentleness, patience, love, unity and peace. Oh may we desire above all else to live worthy of the hope to which we have been called in His Holy Calling.
Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling, (Ephesians 4:1-4).