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Jesus Calls Us

Jesus calls us; o'er the tumult
Of our life's wild restless sea,
Day by day His voice is sounding,
Saying, 'Christian, follow me.'

 Peter said, "Lord, if it is really you, order me to come out on the water to you." "Come," answered Jesus. So Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he was afraid and started to sink down in the water. "Save me, Lord!" he cried. At once Jesus reached out and grabbed hold of him and said, "How little faith you have! Why did you doubt?" They both got into the boat, and the wind died down. Matthew 14.28-32

As of old, apostles heard it
By the Galilean lake,
Turned from toil, and home, and kindred,
Leaving all for His dear sake.

As Jesus walked along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two brothers who were fishermen, Simon (called Peter) and his brother Andrew, catching fish in the lake with a net. Jesus said to them, "Come with me, and I will teach you to catch men." At once they left their nets and went with him. He went on and saw two other brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in the boat with their father Zebedee, getting their nets ready. Jesus called them, and at once they left the boat and their father, and went with him. Matthew 4.18-22

Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world's golden store,
From each idol that would keep us,
saying, 'Christian, love Me more.'

Once when large crowds of people were going along with Jesus, he turned and said to them, "Whoever comes to me cannot be my disciple unless he loves me more than he loves his father and his mother, his wife and his children, his brothers and his sisters, and himself as well. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple." Luke 14.25-27

"No one can be a slave of two masters; he will hate one and love the other; he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." Matthew 6.24

In our joys and in our sorrows,
days of toil and hours of ease,
Still He calls, in cares and pleasures,
'Christian, love Me more than these.'

Some of the seed fell among thorn bushes, which grew up and choked the plants….. The seeds that fell among thorn bushes stand for those who hear the message; but the worries about this life and the love for riches choke the message, and they don't bear fruit. Matthew 13.7,22

"If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me." Matthew 19.21

Jesus calls us! By Thy mercies,
Saviour, may we hear Thy call,
Give our hearts to Thine obedience,
Serve and love Thee best of all.

"I am the vine, and you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me." John 15.5

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind…… Love your neighbour as you love yourself." Matthew 22.37,39


'Jesus calls us', like all the hymns that Mrs Alexander wrote (and she wrote 400 of them) is written very simply, in a way that a child could understand. She also wrote 'Once in royal David's city', 'There is a green hill far away' and 'All things bright and beautiful', and her collection 'Hymns for Little Children' was published 69 times in the nineteenth century. Living in Ireland, she married a clergyman who became a bishop, and the profits from her book were given to an Institute for the Deaf and Dumb [no national health in that century].

But, simply as it is written, this particular hymn is profoundly challenging. We wonder if she had experiences of her own in mind when she writes of 'life's wild restless sea'. Certainly, what we know of her life is in keeping with serving and loving Jesus best of all. The hymn echoes the words of Jesus, who was uncompromising in His call to his followers. It was a special time, and He had a special work for them.

We, in turn, need to discern what His call means for us, which varies with the individual. While He called the apostles to follow him, there was the case of the cured madman who was sent back home (Mark 5.18-20). The calling varies with the time and the circumstances - Philip, who went preaching the good news in every town (Acts 8.5,26,40) is later on settled in Caesarea with his family of four girls (Acts 21.8,9). The calling varies with the gift we are given - while as an apostle, prophet or evangelist one might be called to travel, pastors and teachers might serve in their own place (Ephesians 4.11), while encouragement, sharing, showing kindness (Romans 12.8) can be done always and everywhere. What is important is that we should hear His call to us, each one, whatever it means: and love and obey Him best of all.


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