The calling is from Christ Himself…and then there is the commitment to that calling. The latter also comes from Christ.
Christ sets Himself up as the Model for that commitment. We find His words in Luke 9, right after Peter identified Him as the “Christ [Messiah] of God” (vs.20b). Jesus went on to say this regarding His commitment, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chiefs priests and teachers of the law, and He must be killed….” (vs.22)
The calling from Christ, modeled by Him involves submission, suffering, and sacrifice. This is also a full commitment within discipleship! It’s where we find ourselves as present-day disciples.
We need to grasp the meaning of the words Jesus went on to share about the life of discipleship, “If anyone would come after men, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it.” (vs.23-24).
Yes, the call is to Christ…the call is to commitment -- following in the footsteps of Christ! It is to “abandon all”…to “live and die for the sake of the call” as Steven Curtis Chapman sings of in the song, “For the Sake of the Call.”
This is essentially the “what” behind the calling…the commitment. Now for the all-important “why” -- a common question is our postmodern culture -- what many want to know before the “go” of discipleship takes place.
The first answer to “why” has already been highlighted above -- we are following in the footsteps of the Master, prompted by His calling. Secondly, when we are “found” in Christ, we are “bound” to be His faithful messengers. It is in the commissioning that Christ pronounced (Matthew 28:19-20a).
The apostle Paul summarized the top priority (where “what” and “why” come together) this way -- “The important thing is that in every way…Christ is preached” (Philippians 1:18).
We are committed to be a part of a living legacy -- where our lives made a difference for Christ. We took a stand for Christ, regardless of the challenge… and to Christ be the gain and the glory!