LeeLive 08-03-32  

Live the Call

Embrace God's Design for Your Life


Wanda Lee

New Hope, 2006, 222 pp., ISBN  1-56309-994-2



Wanda Lee is executive director of Woman's Missionary Union, perhaps the largest organization of lay people in the world.  She has also served as a pastor's wife, nurse, and missionary.  In this book she urges us to discover God's best by living the life to which he calls us.  Each chapter includes questions to think about at the end.


"Purpose in life fuels passion for the things we spend our time doing.  As believers we become driven by a passion to know and understand God's specific will for our lives.  Knowing and understanding the mission of God provides focus and direction.  It helps us see the roadblocks preventing us from becoming all God is calling us to be.  It also becomes the stabilizing force when everything else around us may be in chaos." (16-17)


Chapter 1.  What's Worth It?

"Deep down we want our lives to count for something, to somehow make a lasting difference in the world, to leave behind a legacy worth following.  We want to believe there was a reason for our being born, something much larger than ourselves that will inspire us to stretch for that which is beyond our normal reach.  For in doing so we think we can finally know why we are here in the first place." (25)


"God's call is not a one-time event that is limited to a location.  His call is to a way of life--a life of serving others in whatever place we find ourselves, regardless of the obstacles we may face; a way of moving us closer toward an understanding of what makes life worth it." (29)


"Hurry sickness--trying to cram too much into an already overfilled day--has become the priority.  When we allow busyness to define what life is worth, it leaves little room for hearing what God is calling us to do…." (32)


Chapter 2.  Living and Active Words

"Knowing God's heart comes from knowing His words, which become our guide for living." (39)


"Once we understand His mission we are better able to discern who we are, why we are here, and what He wants us to do." (40)


"…the first priority in our lives must be to love God holistically with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  Out of that love will flow a deep love for others and a genuine desire to demonstrate that love in all aspects of our lives." (44)


"As we take on the Great Commandment--loving God above all else and others as ourselves--only then can we reach out to the world and follow the instruction of the Great Commission." (47)


"When I read the Great Commission, it suddenly takes on new meaning for me.  It becomes another piece of the road map for discovering why I am here and what I am to do with my life." (48)  "His desire was that all nations, all the peoples of the world, might know Him."  (48)


"The Great Commission outlines in a succinct way the expectations for a follower of Christ."  "But it is also a reminder that His message of grace and salvation was not just for the disciples, nor is it just for us today.  It mandates that we share this good news with all the peoples of the world: every tribe, every nation, every people group around the globe.  As we ponder the magnitude of this task, we are reminded that the Great Commission is not possible unless it springs from the Great Commandment.  It is from the depth of God's love for us that re realize we are first and foremost to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  Only this kind of love can compel us to love the whole world enough to go and tell them the good news of Christ." (51)


Chapter 3.  Disciples Under Construction

"…a disciple is an 'apprentice.'  IN the secular world, an apprentice is someone who already knows something about their chosen trade or profession, but they are working alongside a more experienced person to improve their skills.  In the Christian sense, Humphreys asserts that we are apprentices of Jesus because, 'We are already living our lives as Christians; while we are doing that, we also are learning from rabbi Jesus how to be really good Christians.'  Disciples today are people who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior and are on the journey of understanding how He wants them to live and what He is calling them to do in the world." (60)


"The foundation for discipleship is studying and applying the teachings of the Bible to the way we live and serve with those we meet." (63) 


"Discipleship is a process of learning God's Word, growing in our commitment to pray and to serve others like Jesus." (70) 


"Spiritual gifts equip Christians to minister, doing God's work in the world.  The fruit of the spirit enables Christians to express the attitudes and to live the behavior that should accompany ministry in Jesus' name.  The fruit is the medium through which the gifts are expresses.  Gifts define what a Christian does.  Fruit defines who a Christian is." (76, quoting Stuart Calvert)


Chapter 4.  The View from Above

"What would happen if your view of the world and your understanding of Christian principles intersected in such a way that your responses to world situations were based on how Jesus would respond?" (85) 


The Barna Research Group suggests that only 9 percent of Christians have a biblical worldview.  "The primary reason that people do not act like Jesus is because they do not think like Jesus.  Behavior stems from what we think--our attitudes, beliefs, values, and opinions." (85, quoting George Barna)


"…through Scripture we learn that God's view of the world has always included a focus on all the nations of the world." (86)


"Abraham was commissioned to reach all nations, and this commissioning continued on from one generation to the next of God's chosen leaders.  God's focus on reaching the nations culminated in the coming of Christ.  The bridge was built for all to come to Him.  Jesus knew God's heart well.  Therefore, His parting instructions to the disciples were to 'go and make disciples of all nations' (Matthew 28:19).  God's heart for the nations was revealed through the life of His Son and then through the disciples as they carried out the commission Christ gave them." (88)


"…a very practical way to develop our view of the world is to develop and feed our curiosity about the world and its people with accurate information and experiences." (89)


"To encourage a biblical worldview, we must intentionally and consistently expose ourselves to accurate information about world events and cultures different from our own." (89)


"If we are serious about seeing the world as God sees it, the most important element is to ask God to open our eyes so that we may clearly see the truths He is trying to develop within us." (91)


"Do people of different cultures and lifestyles live near you?  How do you react when you see these people?"  (93) 


"To embrace the mission of God means we understand God's heart and purpose in the world.  We see more clearly what He wants to do in our lives and how He wants us to be a part of His mission."  "One of the most prevalent challenges will be to discover what to move out of our lives to make room for His call." (96)


Chapter 5.  Make Room in Your Life

"God's call is not only a call to faith but also a call to follow Christ into the world." (98)


"Faith is the ability to trust God while not being able to make sense out of everything." (108, quoting James R. Kok)


"When we are already so busy with so many good things, it seems impossible to add one more thing to our lives.  That's when we need to step back, reevaluate how we are spending our time, energy, resources, and listen for God's call.  We need to ask God and ourselves what we need to move out of our busy lives so we can hear the call of God to the more important things." (108)


Chapter 8.  Act on What You Know

"…lifelong learners need three things: an insatiable curiosity, an open mind, and to be intentional about learning." (149, quoting Dellanna O'Brien)


Sometimes people have a sense of 'rightness' when they respond to God's call.  "I was walking across the street in Caracas, Venezuela, after a worship service.  I had this deep sense of rightness about what I was doing.  I had this deep feeling that I was born for international missions."  "But there was more--there was that deep sense that God was smiling on my overseas service." (152, quoting Travis Collins)


Chapter 9.  Walk Worthy (Colossians 1:10)

"The Christian must have faith; he must know what he believes.  But he must also have love for men; he must turn belief into action….  The Christian faith is not only a conviction of the mind; it is also an overflow of the heart.  It is not only correct thought; it is loving conduct." (164, quoting William Barclay)


"Sometimes we lose sight of the ultimate purpose of prayer, which should be for us to discover God's will for our lives, not our trying to convince Him that our will is best." (165)


"The will of God in the broadest sense is his plan to redeem his people.  In a narrower sense it has to do with the way we fit into that plan as individuals.  In order to know God's will we need the Spirit's gift of wisdom and understanding." (165, quoting Malcolm Tolbert)


One leader learned that "all the wisdom in the world would not help him unless he had the courage to act on it once he received it."  "I ask God for His wisdom, but I also ask Him to give me the courage to act when the time is right." (166)


Chapter 10.  Combine Ministry and Missions

"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve." (171, quoting Albert Schweitzer)


"God's call is always first to Himself.  We all begin at the same point--with a call to faith."  "Once we understand God has chosen us to be His, and we ask Jesus to forgive us for our failures, to come and live in us and be our Lord, then God calls us to be a part of His work in the world."  (172)


"Those who know we are Christ followers are watching and listening to us, and they being to develop receptive or closed minds, based on what they see and hear." (172)


"His call is not always a one-time event to one particular place.  Just like you and me, missionaries are called to continually listen, continually seek His way, and respond when He calls." (193-94)


"If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your long-range plans." (197, quoting Jim and Viola Palmer)



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