FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2011
CALLED ACCORDING TO GOD’S PURPOSE
July 24, 2011
Today’s reading: Romans 8:28-30
According to God’s eternal plan for our lives, He proceeds according to a process. First, He knows about us from all eternity, and according to that foreknowledge, He predestines us (Rom 8:29). Then God calls those whom He has predestined, then He justifies those whom He has called, and finally He glorifies those whom He has justified (Rom 8:30). The process flows like this: God foreknew –> predestined –> called –> justified –> glorified.
We see this process at work in our 2011 theme verses from Isaiah.
Isaiah 49:1b — “The Lord called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.” This speaks about God’s eternal plan for us, and the destiny to which we are called. God knew from all eternity that in this third millennium there would be a great need for a community that would evangelize massively and do worldwide mission, while renewing the family and defending life. This is CFC-FFL.
Isaiah 49:2 — “He made of me a sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of his arm. He made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me.” Because God has an eternal plan for us, He justifies us, that is, He makes us right in our relationship with Him, He forms us according to “the image of his Son” (Rom 8:29b), and He molds us to become His fitting instruments. Because we are to be at the cutting edge and at the forefront of His spiritual work, then He makes us sharp-edged swords and polished arrows. Because we will be afflicted in spiritual warfare, then He protects us by hiding us under His arm and in His quiver. In offense and defense, God is there for us.
Isaiah 49:3 — “You are my servant …. through whom I show my glory.” When God makes us His properly-formed instruments, then we are able to serve Him effectively and be instruments for His glory to shine forth. We too share in that glory, as we stand in for God and His work. Thus we are “made glorious in the sight of the Lord” (Is 49:5c).
We could view it this way.
|“For those he foreknew he also predestined …. and those he predestined he also called” (v.29a,30a)||“The Lord called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.” (v.1b)|
|“and those he called he also justified” (v.30b)||“He made me a sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of his arm. He made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me.” (v.2)|
|“and those he justified he also glorified.” (v.30c)||“You are my servant …. through whom I show my glory.” (v.3)|
Why is all this important to us? Well, first of all, because we want to do God’s will. We want His will to be accomplished in our lives. Too many times so-called Christians go their own way, with their own direction, agenda, priorities, preferences, etc. But God has already predestined us. We simply need to realize His call and give ourselves fully to Him.
Second, God gives a wonderful promise. “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:28). If we allow God to work His will in and through us, then we know that everything will work out for our good. No matter what is happening to us right now, especially if we are facing affliction and suffering, we know that God will make things right.
Now there are two conditions to this promise being fulfilled. One, that we love God. Two, that we are called according to His purpose. Well, we know we love God, even as we are still far from loving Him with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength. The second condition can be problematic. Are we living our lives according to God’s will and purpose? Have we discerned and heeded His call? Are we allowing ourselves to be His instruments as His servants?
God has made known our call in all of our 30 years as CFC. The vision and mission God has given us ought to be clear by now. But we need to continue giving our “yes” to God, and allowing Him to form and mold us, simply for His own purposes. Then God’s eternal plan for our lives, as CFC-FFL, can unfold. Then we can truly be God’s “light to the nations, that (His) salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” (Is 49:6d).
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