We are each called as a likeness into the image of Jesus Christ, once we have answered in our hearts His call. Paul then has beseeched that we “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.” There is no such higher calling that can do anything to get us from here to Heaven. It is Christ alone!

This wonderful calling is irrevocable. It has no way to get us to Heaven because we deserve it. Likewise, once we are born into the family of Christ for real, we will then be in that relationship forever. God never changes His mind because of our poor standing. Because we are His, we need to grow in that likeness every hour. We are called “by his grace” and daily into that new grace more consciously.

Each of the “partakers of the heavenly calling” then should peruse the new desires with zeal as we are “pressed toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). That thankfulness should never leave our hearts. The more we understand how little we are worth and yet how greatly God gave everything to bring us to
Heaven – then the greater reason we have to give Christ all our hearts.

We are each called to enter with Jesus Christ. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:9: “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Savior.”

The wonderful freedoms we have in Christ direct us to go forward “unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). Our real freedom involves being able to serve others – even if it requires that the folks we love need our suffering along the way.

Peter writes in 1 Peter 21:22: “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his (Christ’s) steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” We are called by faith into the calling of God’s word to be His alone, out of worldly darkness and “into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
The next calling is that we are, as Christians, “called to be saints” (Romans 1:7).

Our call is now to be only to God’s own purpose and grace (2 Timothy 1:9). Each Christian is to learn how to be “partaking of the heavenly calling” which puts us up into a goal “pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

Step by step leads into a person’s increasing fellowship with Christ, so that he is “leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps” (1 Peter 2:21).

Multitudes of wonderful songs are given so that we will not be felt given up upon. George Matheson was only a teenager in the 1880s, yet found that his very poor eyesight was deteriorating. He sped up his effort to learn Greek, Hebrew and many studies to then graduate at age 19.

His eyes were nearly useless by then, but he became a popular and dynamic preacher of God’s Word in the Scotland villages.

The thoughts that God gave him in the title “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go” (1882) are a great inspiration for us now:

“O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee.
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller ever be.”

The more quickly we realize that we owe all our lives to Christ, Who is able alone to get us forever into Heaven, the better.

It would be totally a foolish plan to think we would ask the Savior into our hearts just as we leave this world. The quicker, the better! Then you can sing the second verse with more conviction:

“O light that follow’st all my way,
I yield my flick’ring torch to Thee
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in Thy Sunshine’s blaze its day,
May brighter, fairer be.”

That light of Christ comes to our hearts through the understanding of the Bible. The sunshine just keeps growing and glowing in our hearts and then into the lives of others to see! The third verse reminds:

“O joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee.
I trace the rainbow through the rain
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morning shall then tearless be.”

We always can one day find out the reasons why God moved one away and not another. We are to just fully trust in our Creator. We work on the growing part and then leave the knowing aspect up to God.

Verse four in the song “ O Love That Will Not Let Me Go” is:

“O cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from Thee,
I lay in dust, life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red,
Life that shall endless be.”

The Cross of Christ needs to be first and foremost, so that when we pass from this life we have no question that we have made nothing more sure but that our calling and our election is solid in our faith of Jesus Christ.

R.D. “Bob” Hottle is a retired schoolteacher, farmer and pastor of the Anchor Baptist Church.