Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Called by God's Grace


But when he who had set me apart before
I was born, and who called me by his grace,
                                    Galatians 1:15

First Century A.D. 

     The birth of a child usually brings great joy and many expectations of fulfillment and happiness. I am confident that Saul’s parents expected much the same as any Jewish family of the first century. Surely they were pleased as they watched their son climb the corporate ladder of Judaism. Perhaps they cheered him on as he endeavored to wipe out those Christians of the Way.

     Never in their wildest dreams could any of them have imagined that Saul would encounter the mind-blowing presence and power of the Almighty God in the form of a face to face meeting with Jesus, and that what would follow would forever change the complexity of life for both Christians and Jews.

     How could Saul the Christian hater, the persecutor, the one who approved the stoning of Stephen (Acts 8:1) ever be considered usable for the purpose of God’s Kingdom? But in stepped God’s grace and Saul became Paul. The persecutor became the persecuted. The trusted Jew became one of those Christians of the Way. Called by God’s grace, he became an obedient follower, servant and leader, and his life shook the world. 

21st Century A.D. 

     Look around! They are everywhere—those people who appear unusable for God, who do not meet our test for salvation possibility, who we believe need to clean up before coming to Jesus. Some of them smell bad. Some of them look as if they just stepped off a horror movie set. Some of them constantly appear dazed. They take God’s name in vain. We might even cross the street to keep from getting too close to them. At the very least we turn our faces from theirs.

     Then there are those we think might make perfect candidates for Christianity. Rich! Powerful! Beautiful! Intelligent! Morally sound! God could really use them in His service.

     Some seated beside us in the pew week after week—Sunday after Sunday, have never answered yes to God’s gift of salvation. Perhaps we neglect them most of all. They look like us, act like us, talk like us…they must be one of us! Christian! 

Today

     Revelation 22:17 says, “The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And “let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.”    

     The call of God’s grace is freely extended to all. It is for me, for you, for the drug addict and the alcoholic—for the sex offender—for the murderer— for the rapist—for the friendless—for the homeless—for the penniless—and for those who appear to have it all together.

     But how will they know, unless we go and tell them that they too are called by God’s grace? 

© Joyce Powell
Repost

1 comment:

  1. THE ELECTED! BY STEVE FINNELL

    Can those elected by God resist that calling?


    ELECT-ELECTED-ELECTION: Defined (Adjective, signifies picked out, chosen.) (Noun, denotes a picking out, selection, then, that which is chosen).


    Elected means chosen. There is a view held by many that when God elects or chooses people that they cannot resist God's calling. Israel was God's elect or chosen people. God did not just select certain Jews to be saved and other Jews to be lost. Salvation was offered to the whole nation of Israel.


    Deuteronomy 7:6 For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the people who are on the face of the earth.


    The Jews were God's elect. Did any of them ever reject that election? Yes they did; because they had free-will.


    1 Samuel 8:7 The Lord said to Samuel, "Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.


    They rejected God as king.


    Numbers 14:11 The Lord said to Moses, "How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst?


    These people were the elect of God, but they would not believe in Him. Even though they were God's elect He did not force them to believe and obey Him. THEY HAD FREE-WILL.


    Acts 7:51 "You men who are stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.


    Israel was God's chosen people; they were His elect, however, they always resisted the Holy Spirit. Most of them rejected Jesus as the Christ. THEY HAD FREE-WILL.


    Does God arbitrarily condemn some men to hell and elect a chosen few for salvation? NO, HE DOES NOT!


    WHO ARE THE ELECT OF GOD TODAY?


    Acts 10:34-43 Opening his mouth, Peter said: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, 35 but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. 36......Jesus Christ....43 Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness from sins.


    WHO ARE THE ELECT OF GOD TODAY? All who believe in Jesus Christ. Yes, everyone has the chance to become the elect, the chosen of God.




    Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.


    WHO ARE GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE? WHO ARE GOD'S ELECT? EVERY JEW AND EVERY GENTILE WHO MEETS GOD'S TERMS FOR PARDON UNDER THE NEW COVENANT ARE THE ELECT OF GOD. THEY ARE ALL GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE.


    GOD HAS OFFERED SALVATION TO ALL WHO BELIEVE IN JESUS THE CHRIST.

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http//:steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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