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Work/Vocations/Callings (Part 1)

“As a human created in God’s image, you are inherently significant and when you work you are doing something that is very Godlike. It is not only God’s work that is significant; human work is significant, too. It is something ordained by God." (Doug Sherman and William Hendricks)

“God saw that his work was good. People sometimes feel guilty for having a good time or for feeling good about an accomplishment. This need not be so. Just as God felt good about His work, we can be pleased with ours.” (Life Application Study Bible, Genesis 1:25)

“Just because you cannot realize your highest aspirations in work does not mean you have chosen wrongly, or are not called to your profession, or that you should spend your life looking for the perfect career that is devoid of frustration. That would be a fruitless search for anyone. You should expect to be regularly frustrated in your work even though you may be in exactly the right vocation” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“…to discover God's will for us we must be faithful to Him where we are, faithful to and in the conditions in which He has placed us. One of the greatest obstacles to the discovery of one's vocation in life, which is a clear expression of our disobedience and self-will, is the desire to be someone else, someplace else, sometime else…Being faithful where we are is the basic sign that we will God's will for our lives. The struggle to "blossom where we are planted," as the saying goes, is the way to discern God's presence and power in our lives, to hear His voice, to accomplish His purposes, to share His holiness.” (Father Thomas Hopko)

“Everything you do, all your work, can contribute towards your salvation. It depends on you, on the way you do it. History is replete with monks who became great saints while working in the kitchen or washing sheets.” (Elder Sophrony of Essex)

“...everybody is equally a priest before God, everybody is equally called…we are called to imitate Christ throughout our lives… We are not called to be great, but Like St. John the Baptist, to point to Jesus' greatness.” (D. Stuart Briscoe, Christopher Flesoras, Anonymous)

“All Christians are called to develop God-given talents, to make the most of their lives, to develop to the fullest their God-given powers and capacities." (Henry Blackaby)

“We are called to do battle with the ego, to love both God and our neighbor, and to make love the chief goal of our life.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“...we are called to serve God in specific ways. Although God promises us the tools and strength we need, we often make excuses…God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called (Life Application Study Bible, Judges 6:14-16, George Barna)

"I do not believe that one can earnestly seek and find the priceless treasure of God’s call without a devout prayer life. That is where God speaks. The purpose of prayer and of God’s call in your life is not to make you number one in the world’s eyes, but to make Him number one in your life. We must be willing to be outshone while shining for God. We hear very little about being smaller in our own self-estimate.” (Ravi Zacharias)

“There are at least twenty-two scriptures in the New Testament in which the words “called” or “calling” are used to describe the summons we receive from God…There are three expressions of vocation (or calling). 1) The general call; the invitation to follow Jesus, to be Christian; 2) The specific call: a vocation that is unique to each person, an individual’s mission to the world; and 3) the immediate call: the tasks or duties to which God call each person at the present time.” (Richard A. Grumberg, Gordon T. Smith)

“Our vocation pivots on being called and on accepting the call of God.” (Albert S. Rossi)

“One often sees a call only in retrospect. This too is God’s design. God often reinforces our faith after we trust Him, not before.” (Ravi Zacharias)

“Do you feel inadequate for the tasks to which God has called you? God expects great things of us, but He rarely equips us in the ways we would choose…When God calls you to a task, remember that He is also calling others to work with you.” (Ginger Garrett, Life Application Study Bible, 1 Peter 2:4-8)

“About the question of abandoning the “World” or fighting right inside it, don’t you think that both may be right for different people? Some are called to the one and some to the other. I fancy we are all too ready, once we are converted ourselves, to assume that God will deal with everyone exactly as He does with us. But He is no mass-producer and treats no two quite alike.”(C. S. Lewis)

“Work is also one of the ways we discover who we are, because it is through work that we come to understand our distinct abilities and gifts, a major component in our identities." (Lester DeKoster)

“The Bible begins talking about work as soon as it begins talking about anything—that is how important and basic it is….This view of work—connected with divine, orderly creation and human purpose—is distinct among the great faiths and belief systems of the world.”(Pastor Timothy Keller)

"The true measurement of happiness or contentment is found in God’s love and in doing his will…When you are content to do what God wants you to do and let Jesus Christ be honored for it, God will do great things through you.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 1:30, Psalms 17:13-15)

"God’s purposes in our lives cannot be rushed. They are like seeds in the garden. They must be buried deep in the ground where they undergo a complete transformation as they move through the seasons, being nourished by the soil, the rain and the sun." (Brent King)

"… the real-world events of our lives—whether mundane or momentous—by mere chance. We can be confident that God has some good purpose in mind as a result of the decisions that we make (or that are made for us) and the actions that we take. For"we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).” (Joseph O'Day)

“Are you still unsure or uncomfortable about your call by God to be an apostle? That’s ok -- not everyone is knocked off his horse by a blinding revelation from God. Some of us simply have to find God’s will in our lives by the daily conversion of our hearts through our observance of a Prayer Rule rather than by a huge conversion moment.” (Abouna Justin Rose)

“St. Paul was called to Christ in a dramatic, extraordinary way. A blinding light threw him to the ground. But we too have been called to Christ…And when we recognize the power and the glory of God, we can understand our own position as God’s servants. We begin to approach the menial tasks that are all a part of our jobs as parish council members—taking out the trash, collating flyers, cleaning the windows, doing tedious paperwork—with a sense of contentment rather than a sense of obligation.” (Father Christopher Metropulos)

“As persons created in the image of God, we too are free. God did not create us as robots; rather, He endowed us with freedom. God created us with the potential to grow, to become ever more like Him through the use of our free will. This freedom to grow, however, also entails the freedom to reject God. God will not force Himself on anyone. Whether we fulfill our human vocation and live according to the image of God or whether we reject God is up to each of us..." (Clark Carlton)

“When we attach our own meaning and purpose to life, it works until those things we are trusting in and leaning on give way and collapse. The reason that we are to have no other gods before the real God is because anything we lean on other than God will let us down.” (Rice Broocks)

“The mark of a mature Christian is to confidently follow a clear call. To follow a call, we must be able to listen. To listen, we must first be quiet so that we can hear...sacred obedience to a vocational call, but also developing the capacity to listen in every moment of our days...silence can bring us to a similar place of being in the moment, quietly listening for God's subtle yet ever present call.” (Rev. Christopher H. Martin)

“God knows you intimately as well, and He chose you to be his even before you were born....He wants you to draw close to him and to fulfill the purpose He has for your life.” (Life Application Study Bible, Galatians 1:15,16)

“People are called by God not according to former conduct —good or bad—but by God's grace…everybody is equally a priest before God, everybody is equally called.”" (Orthodox Study Bible, Galatians 1:13-17, D. Stuart Briscoe)

“We were created by God as dynamic beings and so our true image and likeness is revealed as we act. More precisely, the image of God is found in us human beings when we quietly follow the unique call that God has for us—not just in the long arc of our lives, but in the small moments and encounters that fill our days." (Rev. Christopher H. Martin)

“God knew you....long before you were born or even conceived. He thought about you and planned for you. When you feel discouraged or inadequate, remember that God has always thought of you as valuable and that He has a purpose in mind for you.” (Life Application Study Bible, Jeremiah 1:5)

“If we are honest with ourselves, we all feel like imposters at times, feeling like we will be exposed at any moment to others as inadequate as we feel inside. The best way to get past this negative sense of self, or in some cases too much of a positive sense of self, is to focus on Christ. He accepts all of our inadequacies and longs to be in relationship with us and, in a good way, wants to use us for His purposes which are also always in our best interests whether we realize it nor not.” (Sacramental Living II)

“Often people struggle with new challenges because they lack self-confidence, feeling that they have inadequate ability, training, or experience...We should not allow feelings of inadequacy to keep us from obeying God’s call. He will always be with us. When you find yourself avoiding something you know you should do, be careful not to use lack of self-confidence as an excuse. If God gives you a job to do, He will provide all you need to do it.” (Life Application Study Bible, Jeremiah 1:6-8)

“The Lord calls people to follow Him in various in sundry ways, and He doesn’t always choose those who are"wise” by this world’s standards, nor those who are necessarily sinless. Rather, Christ calls those He knows will best serve His Father by equipping them for the task at hand.” (Marianne C. Sailus)

“God delights in variety, as evidenced by the variety of all of the life that makes up our world, and we all have different gifts by which we can experience Him and share His love…Love is more important than all the spiritual gifts exercised in the church body....Although people have different gifts, love is available to everyone.” (Sacramental Living, Life Application Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:1)

“Too often we see someone with a particular blessing and think that God must love that person more than others. Think rather that God draws out in all people their unique talents. All these gifts are needed to complete his plan. Don’t be envious of the gifts others have. Instead, look for the gifts God has given you, and resolve to do the tasks he has uniquely qualified you to do.” (Life Application Study Bible, Deuteronomy 33:6-25)

“…just because those gifts are different does not make one more important than the others. Each of us has a unique role to play in the Kingdom of God on earth. No one should minimize his or her gift, all are needed for the kingdom to function.” (Marianne C. Sailus)

“…all gifts and abilities come from God…be willing to utilize our gifts wholeheartedly, not holding back anything from God’s service.” (Life Application Bible, Romans 12:6)

"We each have been given unique gifts and were created to complete a particular piece of God's work.” (Rev. Christopher H. Martin)

"Jesus called his 12 disciples. He didn’t draft them, force them, or ask them to volunteer; he chose them to serve him in a special way. Christ calls us today. He doesn’t twist our arms and make us do something we don’t want to do. We can choose to join Him or remain behind.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 10:1)

“Receiving and following a call is more of an art than a science. Nonetheless, there are reliable guides that God is in the mix. Is the call persistent? Is it energizing? Is it shared—that is, do other recognize the call?” (Rev. Christopher H. Martin)

“We can't type"my call from God" into Google and expect a reliable response...We may have a vague sense of what we ought to be doing in the world, but it is only through time, persistence, and care that we can slowly become clear and confident in what we are meant to do and then build the confidence and support to pursue it.” (Rev. Christopher H. Martin)

“Calling is the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion and dynamism lived out as a response to His summons and service.” (Os Guinness)

“We must do the work to which God has called us..." (Life Application Study Bible, Peter 3:3-4)

"Let what you do arise out of who you are. Being is more important than doing. As for me, I have decided that whatever I do for the rest of my life, it will not be in order to have an identity. It will be the result of allowing my God-given self to emerge.” (Stan Mooneyham)

“We must dispense with the myth that commitment to Christ means becoming a clergyman, or that work done inside a church building or in a church organization is more holy, somehow, than work done in the marketplace. Christ came to give us a sense of calling in everyday work. This is where the world is changed, and where the kingdom is built." (Bruce Larson)

"Through our work we can love others and love ourselves. We can love others by serving their needs through the goods we help produce or distribute, or through the services we help provide. And we can love ourselves by gaining an income to provide for our needs and the needs of our families.” (Doug Sherman and William Hendricks)

“Any work we do here on earth is God's work. However, we always work with reservation, without sincerity. Not only can God not bear that, but no human being can. We know that the universe belongs to God, that the Earth is God's planet, and that everything belongs to God, no matter what type of work we do." (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“Work in a normal, healthy human context, work with a sane and moderate human measure, integrated in a productive social milieu, is by itself capable of contributing much to the spiritual life. But work that is disordered, irrational, unproductive, dominated by the exhausting frenzies and wastefulness of a worldwide struggle for power and wealth, is not necessarily going to make a valid contribution to the spiritual lives of all those engaged in it.” (Thomas Merton)

“The highest reward for a man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.” (John Ruskin)

“At birth, He [God] gives each of us a unique, authentic self. As we mature, God encourages us to discover that unique self he made each of us to be. He wants us to nurture it and then to let others see it as His handiwork …” (Stan Mooneyham)

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