Saturday, October 23, 2021
Title: God’s calling
Author: Pastor Andrew Lim
Translation: Margaret Ong
Little children know the feeling when they are called home by their father while having a great time outside: knowing that they are coming home late, still wet and dirty, stepping into the house tremblingly, waiting for their father to loss temper. What is it like! However, for us, the situation is just the opposite. We are not called to come before God the Father to receive the rod of discipline, but to receive His embrace with open arms.
People who are often sent on business trips by the company and those who have never had the chance to, have a very different feeling. When called, people will respond: because they feel that they have a mission on their shoulders, and they feel that it is a great honor. Remember, God’s calling to you is a calling of love.
After Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, they did not immediately confess their mistakes to God. Instead, because of shame they chose to cover their body with leaves, and also hid. Let us look at the people nowadays who seldom admit when they make mistakes. Most of them are trying to escape and they use methods to cover up their faults, and cover up one by one. It was God who took the initiative. He proactively called Adam and Eve instead of scolding them, but prepared sheepskin to cover them from the cold. Likewise, today when we stumble, He actively calls rather than rebuke us, and has prepared a lamb for salvation to cover our sins.
Jesus said, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” ( Mark 2:17) This is not to say that the Lord only came to gather a certain group of people. This calling applies to all human beings. All people need to repent and accept the gospel. However, those who can open their hearts to the same calling will be aware of their sins and their own needs, so that they can “hear” the Lord’s calling to them. Others turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the Lord’s invitation.
The human situation is that he cannot use his own ability and good deeds to meet God’s righteous standards and requirements. No one can say with certainty: I have done good for decades, and will definitely go to heaven. Man cannot be justified by himself. Because humans are separated from God in sin, they cannot rely on any of their own merits, but rely on the awakening and assistance of pre-determined grace to be justified: “For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”(Eph 2:8-9) The pride of human can be healed and people can be justified based on God’s “Born-again Grace in Christ”
The call of love is a sincere invitation, an invitation to salvation. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”(Matt. 11:28) Modern people often feel that they are carrying heavy burdens, and the pressure and suffering they endure in their hearts are sometimes hardly understood by outsiders. Faced with social transformation, global competition, increase in working hours, tension between people, economic pressure, and the invasion of viruses, etc.
If a person wants to shoulder heavier burdens, he must have a stronger physique and ability, just like a weightlifter, to make himself stronger and stronger. But Jesus’ approach is just the opposite. If we are to bear great responsibility while being light, then we must have His meek and humble heart. Because a gentle heart can accommodate others; a humble heart can hold God’s work. Not only can I entrust Him with the external burden, but also the inner pressure, struggle and suffering. A humble heart always believes that there is a God outside of oneself. He will be our help when we need it, find a way of breaking the deadlock for us, inspire us to think, and deal with problems from a completely different perspective.
We will not be alone and helplessly struggling. Because the Holy Spirit shall assist us at any time. God gives those who are saved the Holy Spirit as a seal to ensure that they are indeed God’s inheritance, and the Holy Spirit proves with our hearts that we are God’s children. In other words, the Holy Spirit acts as our guarantor in salvation, guaranteeing that we live a life of honoring God and benefiting others on the heavenly road. So we can abide by the rules of the new life on the road to heaven, we shall abstain from vice.
Whether we really hear the voice of God, the only way is to answer to God like little Samuel: “Speak, for Your servant hears.” (1 Samuel 3:10)The understanding of God’s will and the confession of sins are the result of God’s call to restore the image of the destroyed God in man. If people choose God’s calling, they shall “find grace in the eyes of the Lord.” ( Gen 6:8)
The reason why a man sins is not because he does not have the grace of God, but because he does not use the grace that he has. The calling of God is a door that God opens for man, so that everyone can start on the road of salvation by possessing, accepting, and obeying it. The calling of God is given to everyone. If a person rejects this grace, he will continue to live in the “natural” and anxious, fearful situation.
Man cannot rely on his own good deeds to redeem for his sins, and man can never be saved by his own deeds. To be saved, grace must intervene. The purpose of grace is to restore man’s image of the destroyed God, so that man can regain the ability to come to God. Grace restores the slumbering spirit of man, renews the ability to respond to God’s grace, and restores man’s knowledge of God and His laws.
God has given a calling to enable people to respond to the grace given by God. People must choose whether to accept God’s calling or reject this grace. If you reject this grace, people will perish by continuing to live in sin; if you accept this grace, people will be led into the journey of salvation and have eternal life. Those who accept God’s grace will begin to admit their sins, recognize their powerlessness in sin, and begin to hunger for God.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for your grace. Because of your calling, we come to you here not to be struck with a rod, but you are willing to open your arms to embrace me. Your calling and grace of love have made me in Your favor. Thank you for the salvation you prepared for me. Please untie the deadlock of my tangled mind and heart, take on my burden, and let me have complete rest in you. I sincerely pray in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.
人不能靠自己所做的善事来赎自己的罪愆，人决不能靠自身的行为得救。 人要得救就必须有恩典的介入。恩典的目的乃为了恢复人被毁坏神的形象， 使人可以重新有能力到上帝面前。恩典使人沉睡的灵被复苏，让人重新有回应上帝恩典的能力，人对神及神律法的知识被恢复。