What Sort of Calling Leads to Deep and Delightful Bible Study?

I had a short conversation today that leads me to ask this question – I was asked about this past semester at Southern Seminary and the classes and studying that I will be doing for the upcoming J-term.  When I responded by listing an assortment of books to be read and hours to be spent studying and reflecting upon the Bible, my conversant replied with some exasperation that they simply could not do that; that it would overwhelm them.  The reason supplied for justification dealt with the matter of calling – I am “called” to do and enjoy such things that this person or other Christians are not or cannot.  I have thought about this enough to be concerned over the reply.  I do think that there is a supernatural call of God upon certain believers to vocational ministry; I do think that God gifts specific Christian ministers in very particular ways, especially in the area of teaching and preaching His Word; however, I do not believe that this in any way lessens the responsibility of the Christian that has not been called to vocational ministry to study and reflect upon the Bible and the things of God, much less his or her capacity for the enjoyment of such godly leisure.  I believe that the gospel call is the call to deep and delightful Bible study, to ministry in the lay sense of the word.  When the individual responds to the gospel, God has begun forming them into the image of Jesus – how then can they not enjoy studying His Word or ministering to the world?  It is not a good justification of the lack of depth in one’s Christian walk simply to assert that one is not called to full-time Christian ministry, as if the minister in this sense should somehow be more able to enjoy God or more apt to godliness.  I want to assert, again, that I do not believe that one should necessarily trust an ethereal experience as the primary source of the call to full-time ministry; rather, this call begins with faith in the gospel, is affirmed by the church, is evidenced by faith working through love, and should be sought out – not by the one so called, but by the elders of the church, who should be keeping a steady eye on those in the church giving the proof of such a call; but all Christians are “called” to enjoy God, to glorify God, to deeply and delightfully study the Bible, to be a royal priesthood.  So I would say that the member of the congregation should seek the Lord as fully as possible, even as his or her pastors seek the Lord as fully as possible, and that it is the effectual gospel call in general that should so reform our hearts that our greatest affection, regardless of vocation, is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever through deep and delightful communion with Him in Christ.

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