I want us to continue from the topic we looked at last week. Last week we looked at embracing who we have been called to be. This week I want us to look at what it means to live out our calling, in whatever area it may be. While we have been called to different areas, there are similar situations that will meet us. We continue to look at the life of Peter and what living out his calling meant. This will be through different snapshots of moments within his ministry. I hope it will encourage us all that whatever hardship we may meet, it is not bigger than the God we serve. May we find hope and wisdom in the stories of others, so that we too, will run the race in front of us.
Living out our calling means we have to be okay with mistakes and we must keep a teachable spirit. He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. (Acts 10v28).
Peter was thriving in his ministry. He was teaching, healing, and guiding the other believers. However, Peter was from a Jewish background and was holding onto his customs. This was an issue that was addressed because of the new situations Peter was being called into.
On one occasion Peter falls into a trance in which a sheet was let down to earth. Within was all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Peter was instructed to kill and eat. “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied, “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” (Acts 10v14-15)
This is happening because Peter is being sent into the house of Cornelius ( a centurion, a gentile) to share the gospel. In Peter receiving this teaching, it enables him to enter into this situation and the Lord brings salvation through Peter to the whole household. The Holy Spirit comes upon all those who hear Peter’s message. Then Peter said, “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them a few days. ( Acts 10v47v48)
Peter could have allowed his traditions and customs to get in the way of living out his calling. It would have led to people being rejected but he would have been safe from some forms of criticism. Instead, he allowed himself to be teachable, to let go of his ways so that he could go out and serve in a greater sphere. God was moving and Peter allowed God to move through him.
In living out our calling, there will be customs and traditions we will need to lay down in order to keep serving the kingdom. Anything that would limit us may be stripped for we have been called to serve and live in a new way. In which we deny ourselves so we can allow the Lord to work through our lives. May we always have a teachable spirit because God is always moving in new ways. Do not allow what limits you to stop you from serving fully the kingdom of God. May we not stand in the way of God reaching into someone’s life. So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think I could stand in God’s way? (Acts 11v17). Let us keep surrendering, learning, and growing.
Living out your calling will lead to many lives being blessed and salvation coming to many. Not by our own will but by the will of God. It will lead to growth in service for others,
For our next scene, I want us to look at (Acts 3v1-10) in which Peter heals a lame beggar. Peter saw someone in need and used his authority and power to bring healing and freedom to the lame beggar.
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and his ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. (Acts 3v6-8)
Peter did not only speak these words over the lame beggar, but he helped him on his way. Peter knew what could be accomplished in the name of Jesus because he had seen what was accomplished through Jesus’ ministry on earth.
Being led by the Holy Spirit, Peter was bringing hope and restoration to many. Peter was choosing to not doubt anymore but to step out boldly in faith. Fear, insecurity, anything could have stopped him – but he knew he was not doing it in his own strength. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see. (Acts 3v16).
In the same way that Jesus’ ministry had drawn astonishment and intrigue, it was the same for the apostle’s ministry. We see a straight-talking Peter who had grown into his calling. No longer afraid of the consequences but standing in the strength of the Lord. In living out his calling, Peter knew who he was living for. He could take the questions, the opposition, and the intrigue. For his identity was fully in the Lord. May we be encouraged that when we are living out our calling, we will know who we are living for. Trial or triumph will not halter us as we will use all opportunities to grow and develop.
Living out our calling will lead to opposition and resistance, what matters most is our perspective. When it came to Peter and the apostles, they were continuously facing persecution and opposition wherever they went. In (Acts 5v17-41) we see the persecution of the apostles. We see a miraculous rescue from jail in which an angel of the Lord brings them out and tells them to go and stand in the temple courts and tell the people about the new life. The religious leaders were attempting to squash their ministry by giving orders that they should not be teaching in the name of Jesus. However, Peter and the apostles reply.
Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead- whom you killed by hanging on a cross. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Saviour that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” (Acts 5v29-32)
They would not back down. They knew the price that had been paid. They knew their calling. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” The apostles knew everything had been accomplished just as Jesus had promised. They continuously laid down their lives so they could bring the gospel of salvation to many. Although they were greatly persecuted, the gospel continued to spread as many disciples were made in many nations. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourself fighting against God. (Acts 5v39).
May we be encouraged; we may face a lot of opposition and resistance while living out our calling but when it is the will of God nothing will be able to stop it. Furthermore, even though we may meet opposition to what we are doing we never know the impact we are having on onlookers. Even in all the resistance the apostles met, there was still an impact of people receiving the word. No opportunity is ever wasted. Not long after the healing of the lame beggar, the religious leader arrested Peter and John. Nothing was wasted, for it is written. But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand. (Acts 4v4). Even in all the opposition, may we keep spreading the truth in love, because God’s word will never come back void.
Lastly, may we not fear if we do not know what we have been called to be. Some people believe that calling is only tied down to being in church ministry or some sort of religious job, etc. It is simply not true. Living out our calling means living out the gospel truth in our everyday life. It can be in the jobs that we do, the people who we visit with, and the way that we run our households. There are so many wonderful ways in which we live out our calling. There are so many people we are encountering each day, where even a conversation can lead to them coming to know the gospel. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3v17). You do not have to be in a big position to share the gospel, the same Holy Spirit that was within Peter is the same within us. Allow the Holy Spirit to be your guide throughout your days and there will be such incredible testimonies of God’s goodness and faithfulness to those around you. Remember none of it is done within your own strength but within the Lord’s strength.
May you all have a blessed week. May you keep the faith and allow yourself to be obedient to all that the Lord is teaching you. God bless, Love Victoria.