Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. In our staff prayer meeting this morning, our devotional reading came to Romans 10. Apostle Paul made it so clear for his readers a life cycle of discipleship, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?” (10:13-15) I see a cycle that goes like this (the cycle goes from 1 to 7 and should return to 1 again) :
1. Obey His commission
2. Preach the gospel
3. Hears the gospel
4. Believe He is risen
5. Confess He is Lord
6. Call upon the Lord
7. Saved by His Grace
The problem we encounter in churches nowadays is that Christians ignore the Great Commission of Christ after they were saved by His Grace. Even though they confessed with their mouth that Christ was their Lord, they did not act according to what they confessed. They did not obey. And when Christians continue to live such inconsistent life, they cease to experience the abundant life in Christ, and they cease to become light and salt of the world. On a contrary, they even stumble others from entering into the Body of Christ. There is a big need for revival today, and let it starts with myself... Have mercy on us O Lord!
"And all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished . . . And they understood none of these things" (Luke 18:31, 34). God called Jesus Christ to what seemed absolute disaster. Jesus Christ called His disciples to see Him put to death; He led every one of them to the place where their hearts were broken. Jesus Christ's life was an absolute failure from every standpoint but God's. But what seemed failure from man's standpoint was a tremendous triumph from God's, because God's purpose is never man's purpose.
There comes the mysterious call of God in our lives also. The call of God can never be stated explicitly; it is hidden. The call of God is like the call of the sea; no one hears it but the one who has the nature of the sea in him. It cannot be stated definitely what the call of God is to, because His call is to be in partnership with Himself for His own purposes, and the test is to believe that God knows what He is after. The things that happen do not happen by chance, they happen entirely in the decree of God. God is working out His own purposes.
If we are in communion with God and recognize that He is taking us into His purposes, we shall no longer try to find out what His purposes are. As we go on in the Christian life it gets simpler, because we are less inclined to say - Now why did God allow this and that? Behind the whole thing lies the compelling of God. "There's a divinity that shapes our ends." A Christian is one who trusts the intelligence and the wisdom of God, and not his own understanding. If we have a purpose of our own, it destroys the simplicity and the leisureliness which ought to characterize the children of God.
The problem of mankind is that we always think we know better than God; of course, as good Christians we will not explicitly say so. We analyze the work and plan of God. We try to discern with our own common senses, without knowing how limited our common sense or intelligence is in comparing with God’s. Not only we analyze God’s purpose and plan, we make decision as to whether we want to join His plan or not. We calculate the cost and we try to cut a bargain with God from time to time. Just as a disciple said to Jesus, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead" (Matt 8:21-22). In another word, there is something more important in life to do. You have no clue whether you still alive tomorrow or not. Take advantage of this present moment while you are still alive. Re-prioritize your lives and follow the plan of Christ.
Love you as fellow partners in Christ,