Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Vocation is God's call to social, economic, civil, and religious roles or behavior. Individuals must use their talents, which come from God, wholeheartedly in fulfilling a call; however, they must not carry their behavior to extremes. Richard Baxter (1615-1691) explains the danger of excessive behavior, "Overdoing is the most ordinary way of undoing."
In Matthew George Easton’s Bible Dictionary (1897), he describes Providence as:
“Providence literally means foresight, but is generally used to denote God's preserving and governing all things by means of second causes. God's providence extends to the natural world, and the affairs of men, and of individuals. It extends also to the free actions of men, and things sinful, as well as to their good actions.
As regards sinful actions of men, they are represented as occurring by God's permission, and as controlled and overruled for good. God does not cause or approve of sin, but only limits, restrains, and overrules it for good.
The mode of God's providential government is altogether unexplained. We only know that it is a fact that God does govern all his creatures and all their actions; that this government is universal, particular, and efficacious, embraces events apparently contingent, is consistent with his own perfection, and to his own glory."
God reveals His will in many ways. In the words of William Cowper (1731-1800), "God is his own interpreter, and he will make it plain." Puritans actively sought to learn God's will. To fulfill this duty, they read the Bible; listened to sermons; studied daily events; analyzed nature for signs; paid particular attention to out-of-the-ordinary events, like earthquakes and material prosperity (which were called remarkable provinces); and reviewed the events of their lives and the state of their souls, usually by recording them in a diary and looking for patterns and spiritual meanings.
As you read through the Bible do not just look to the things that need to be addressed in your own life but look to see the patterns of fallen man. As you do so, you will come to realize that you have an advantage that the world does not have. Proverbs is God’s wonderful book about the ways of the world. We are instructed all throughout the scriptures to focus on Christ (the Messiah) not on the things of this world. If we focus on Christ and the cross, we will see more plainly how we are to be different than the world. Our lives are to be 180 degrees in the opposite direction of the world. We are to live in this world, but not be part of it. How? You will find what the world values in the Proverbs and elsewhere in the Scriptures, and will be able to set yourself above the temporary. You will be persecuted for your standings, but the world will not be able to find fault with you. They may want to separate themselves from you or your business because they do not understand your beliefs. Anything that is different than that which they understand will cause them to pull away from you. You will need to be counter to the migration by appealing to their need of self worth but never compromising God’s Word. The separation line that will need to become more and more defined as you grow in the Lord is black and white; and also needs to be loving. Remember that living your life according to scripture is not legalistic; however, it is often viewed this way because if you live according to God’s word, you will convict people of their sin just by the way that you live your life.
Remember that we are to be a people set apart, aliens in this fallen world, because of the imputed righteousness of Christ in our regenerated, sanctified and glorified lives. To God alone be the glory!

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