Mark 7:24–30 (CSB)
24 He got up and departed from there to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it, but he could not escape notice.
25 Instead, immediately after hearing about him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit came and fell at his feet.
26 The woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she was asking him to cast the demon out of her daughter.
27 He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, because it isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
28 But she replied to him, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
29 Then he told her, “Because of this reply, you may go. The demon has left your daughter.”
30 When she went back to her home, she found her child lying on the bed, and the demon was gone.
When Christ calls us, we are chosen by him
Genesis 12:1-4 (CSB) The LORD said to Abram: Go from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, I will curse anyone who treats you with contempt, and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you. 4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.
John 15:16 (CSB) You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.
When Christ calls us, we come to him
Luke 5:27-28 (CSB) After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, “Follow me.” 28 So, leaving everything behind, he got up and began to follow him.
John 12:32-33 (CSB) As for me, if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to indicate what kind of death he was about to die.
When Christ calls us, we are to die
Acts 9:3-6 (CSB) As he traveled and was nearing Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. 4 Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul said. “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Matthew 16:24-28 (CSB) Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it. 26 For what will it benefit someone if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will anyone give in exchange for his life? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will reward each according to what he has done. 28 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death—we give over our lives to death. Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The Cost of Discipleship
When Christ calls us, we now live
1 John 5:1 (CSB) Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of him.
When Christ calls us, we will be him forever
Romans 8:30 (CSB) And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.
1. How effective is the calling of Christ upon his people?
2. What would we need to do to get Christ to call us in order to save us?
3. How can we be saved?
4. What are the things that you need to lay down to death in order to live unto Christ?
The Prayer from the Psalms
Bid me to come and die. For in you, I can only live. Amen.