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Daily Devotional Genesis 1:1–13

What comes to mind when you hear the word “calling”? Your vocation? Your mission? The particular work God has given you to do?

God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.


Certainly, we can use “calling” to refer to our primary occupation or a special assignment given by God. But the biblical concept of calling is broader and richer, more complex and more nuanced than that. It involves both salvation and sanctification, worship and prayer. Biblical calling presumes relationship. It is two-way communication between the called and the caller.

For us to understand what it means to be called by God, we must start at the very beginning. In Genesis chapter 1, we find the word “called” as first used in Scripture. It’s a familiar passage. In it, God spoke the world into being. He created light and firmament, earth and sea, and then He “called” them such.

The English word called in verses 5, 8, and 10 is the Hebrew word qara. It’s a common word, used over 450 times in the Old Testament. But it has many shades of meaning: to call out, to summon, to appoint, to cry out, to invite, to preach, to proclaim, to publish, to pray, and to name. Sometimes God is the subject of the verb, but more often the actor is human. And in each occurrence, we understand the particular meaning of call based on the context.

In Genesis 1, God created and ordered the world. Then He called, or named, each element. The naming is an important—if sometimes overlooked—part of the process because it revealed, from the very beginning, an important aspect of God’s character. In the act of calling or naming, God demonstrated His authority and superiority over His creation. Genesis 1 reminds us that the One who calls is God Himself. He is sovereign over all.

>> Have you experienced God’s calling? What questions about calling are you asking right now? Pray that God will open your heart and mind and eyes to His words and His call this month.

Pray with Us

Lord, we who desire to follow You ask for Your guidance. May You grant us wisdom in our choices, confirm us in our calling, and redirect our steps in accordance with Your will.

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