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Bezalel, the Holy Spirit, and the Call to Create

Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills—to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts.' Exodus 31:1-5 (NIV)

In this somewhat obscure passage in the book of Exodus, we meet a man named Bezalel who God is calling to create the Tabernacle of the Lord. This was an incredible call and responsibility, for the Tabernacle was meant to be the physical place in which God met with His people as well as home to the Ark of the Covenant, the beautiful, gold-covered chest containing the stone tablets in which God had inscribed the Ten Commandments.

God chooses Bezalel to do the hard, God-like work of creating the Tabernacle. But before Bezalel gets to work “to make artistic designs for work in gold,...

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New Series: The First Entrepreneur

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. Genesis 1:1-3 (NIV)

The first thing God reveals about Himself in Scripture is not that He is loving, holy, omnipotent, gracious, or just. No, the first thing God shows us is that He is creative. In Genesis, He brings something out of nothing. He brings order out of chaos. He creates for the good of others. In short, God is the first entrepreneur.

“Entrepreneur” is a title thrown around so much today that it has become very difficult to define. I would submit that an entrepreneur is anyone who takes a risk to create something new for the good of others.

Using this definition, the Creator of the universe certainly qualifies as the first entrepreneur. In Genesis, He is clearly creating something new. Before creation,...

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The Final Question When Discerning Your Calling

Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ The man...

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Passion – Competence ≠ Calling

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith. Romans 12:6 (NIV)

Last week, we saw that identifying our passions are key in the process of discerning our calling. But passion without competence is worthless. In Romans 12:6, Paul said, “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly.” We have largely ignored this verse in the Church today, choosing to define calling as simply what we are really passionate about, rather than the intersection of both our passions and giftings.

Our work won’t feel like a calling until we reimagine it as service to our Caller and the world. It’s impossible to serve someone well if you aren’t gifted at your craft. You may be really passionate about wanting to fly an airplane, but if you’ve never been to flight school, you won’t be serving others by taking...

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Unspeakable Joy in Our Work

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

Throughout Scripture, God reveals three primary pointers on the road to discerning our calling: our passions, our giftings, and our opportunities to use the combination of those two to glorify God and serve others.

Have you ever wondered why God created the earth and humankind? He certainly didn’t need to. So in one sense, it appears that God created for the pure joy of creating. It’s impossible to read the creation account in Genesis 1 without imagining the thrill God must have had bringing the earth into being, flinging the stars into the sky, and turning the oceans loose. This truth points us to the first question on the road to discerning our calling: What are you passionate about? In other words, what work brings you unspeakable joy?

Isaiah 64:8 says that...

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New Series: Discerning Your Calling

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’ Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.’ And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. Genesis 1:27-31 (NIV)

There is an unbiblical theme permeating the Church today which elevates the callings of pastors and...

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Our True Ambition

gospel driven ambition Sep 17, 2018

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the hip. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come. Herds of camels will cover your land, young camels of Midian and Ephah. And all from Sheba will come, bearing gold and incense and proclaiming the praise of the Lord. All Kedar’s flocks will be gathered to you, the rams of Nebaioth will serve you; they will be accepted as offerings on my altar, and I will adorn my glorious temple. Who are these that fly along like clouds,...

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Covering Up With Accomplishments

gospel driven ambition Sep 10, 2018

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (NIV)

As we saw in Genesis 11 last week, the Babylonians were driven by improper ambition to create a tower that would reach the heavens and make a name for themselves, a temptation that still plagues humankind today. When we create out of a desire to make a name for ourselves, or, to put it in more modern terms, to accumulate fame and fortune, we are essentially trying to save ourselves.

When the Babylonians invented the art of brick making, they weren’t content simply putting that innovation to work to build better roads and homes. They had to leverage their creation to make a name for themselves. Why? What is it about the human condition that causes us to use our work as a tool for proving something to the world? Deep down, all human beings...

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New Series: Gospel Driven Ambition

gospel driven ambition Sep 03, 2018

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, ‘Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.’ They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.’ But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, ‘If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.’ So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord...

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The Cure for Restlessness

trust-hustle-rest Aug 27, 2018

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord. Proverbs 16:33 (NIV)

As we’ve seen over the past few weeks, trusting is the difficult yet simple act of recognizing that we are not responsible for producing results through our work—God is. Once we have taken this critical first step, it is certainly right to hustle, to use our God-given talents to fulfill our calling. But how do we know if we are both trusting and hustling? Hustling is easy to spot. It’s found in our email inboxes, our to-do lists, and our cluttered minds. But how do we know if we are truly trusting in God, rather than ourselves, to produce results? Perhaps the best indicator is whether or not we are at rest.

Rest is what we are all craving. It doesn’t take long to realize that rest means more than simply spending time out of the office. With the lines between work and home almost totally blurred, it can seem impossible to disconnect physically and...

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