Accepting the Call


If you are reading this, then you have at least heard the call of Jesus Christ on your life. You may not have answered that call, but you’ve heard it. And upon hearing that call, you have been chosen. Chosen by God. Think not?? There are billions in this world who have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some simply live outside of modern civilization, still using ancient ways and methods. Some live in regions where the Gospel has not reached yet. Others live in vast regions that are simply dominated by other religions – Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, or are under control if governments that greatly limit the sharing of the Gospel.  


So if you’ve heard the Gospel, you’ve been chosen. You’ve been called. But sometimes the phone can ring, and we just don’t want to answer. We look at that caller ID, and we just don’t want to accept that call.
(All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.). It says here that all who heard Jesus, even the worst sinners in society, those nasty tax collectors (traitors to their own people joined with the Roman oppressors for their own benefit), acknowledged and accepted God’s way because they had been baptized by John. But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves…  They were part of Israel, Hebrews, God’s chosen people. Yet they chose their own free will over following God’s will in their lives. Jesus called, but they held onto their nets. They didn’t drop everything and follow. God had a purpose and call on their lives, but just as they had rejected John, they rejected Jesus. Other translations say they “frustrated” the will of God.


God does not call by force, but by love. Imagine what might have been if these teachers of the law, with all the respect they had in society, had accepted the call of Christ themselves. G.K. Chesterton once wrote – “God had written not so much a poem, but rather a play; a play he planned as perfect, but which necessarily had left to human actors and stage managers, who had since made a great mess of it.” “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬. God has big plans for you. Are your plans bigger?


Jesus went on to say, “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other: “ ‘We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.’ Some people look for any reason to “opt out”, don’t they? They hear the call on their lives, they see the people out on the floor, they hear the music playing – but they just don’t dance!!   


For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ A stark contrast between John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth. The first building that highway in the desert, pointing us for eternity to the second. John living in the wilderness, eating locusts and honey, emulating the great prophet Elijah. Jesus living among the people, joining in the lives of men, participating in all their activities. Both rejected by those whose hearts were hardened. John rejected by the Pharisees and scribes, written off as a crazy eccentric who’d lost his mind. Jesus rejected for loving the pleasures of the world too much!! Two completely different methods for reaching the lost, both rejected by those who would reject. There is much that could be said here about our modern day line of thought that we need to change our methods to reach all of our sophisticated, modern day sinners…


But wisdom is proved right by all her children. God could have simply made a world where everyone obeyed, where everyone followed his will. A world without free will, a world where man had no real choices to make. He could have taken that route, and we could live in a world without trouble, a world without pain. The world did not need to be broken. But He gave us a free will to make real choices, and all the way back to the garden, we chose not to trust Him. So we were kicked out of paradise into this broken world of pain and suffering. Why the world had to be broken, why we have all this pain and suffering, I d not know. But I do know the He did not exempt Himself from the suffering. He came down and joined His creation, walked among us, and lived the day to day struggle. Then He stepped out, announced He was here, and we did to Him just as Plato predicted 400 years earlier. If the perfectly just (i.e., righteous) man were to come into the world…“He will be scourged, racked, bound. He will have his eyes burned out. And at last, after suffering every kind of evil, he will be impaled.”   
He announced Himself and gave us a way out. Has it ever occurred to you that just as we were expelled from paradise for not trusting God, the only way back in to paradise is…trusting God.


Who, or what, are you trusting?

“(All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.) Jesus went on to say, “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other: “ ‘We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.’ For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by all her children.””

‭‭Luke‬ ‭7:29-35‬ ‭NIV‬‬

http://bible.com/111/luk.7.29-35.niv

John Lewis

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3 thoughts on “Accepting the Call

  1. Excellent! I find John The Baptist to be one of the most amazing people in scripture. I believe many have difficulty hearing the called because in general terms, we ( myself included ) are so immersed in ” noise” life, work, family and 24 internet, that we have lost the art of being silent. It is a huge struggle for me for me to calm my mind to the point where I can listen to ( as my Christian mystic poet, Dan reminds us) “God’s whisper.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Rick. I know all about the “noisy” life, so many distractions from the true goal at hand, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and making disciples of all the nations! Sometimes it’s hard enough just to maintain my own focus, much less share in such a way as to be useful to the Kingdom.

      Like

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