Aloha Friday Message – August 12, 2011 – Would you get that call, please?

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Read it online here.

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.

This verse is an excerpt from a passage about God’s call to, and covenants bestowed upon, Israel. The message to us is that whether called as a nation, a church, or an individual, God’s call and the gifts he offers are impossible to cancel, but not impossible to decline. The history of Israel demonstrates the fact that Israel repeatedly forsook the graces contained in the gifts and the calling. We also see the effects of failing to “honor the giver by accepting the gift.” Sometimes we fail to recognize both the call and the gifts,

They are gifts, not rewards. They are a matter of grace and not of merit. Such are all the favors which God bestows on sinners including forgiveness, peace, joy, holiness, and eternal life. It is an invitation (κλῆσις – klēsis in Greek), not a command; a beckoning rather than an imperative – and it is always with the intent of bestowing “grace beyond measure.” In this passage the gifts are things that make up the very core of all of us. They are gifts that allow us to more fully live our lives as he intended. They are not gifts that can be taken away. Are you in a ministry? That can be lost. We’ve certainly seen that before. Have you refused a calling to serve in the capacity for which you were created? You could miss out on a happy life because of it. No, these external gifts can be lost or refused, damaged or ignored. God’s deepest, oldest, and most wonderful gifts are part of us from the moment of creation and come to us by God’s perfect will for us.

In this passage about Israel, and by extension about you and me as well, God’s call to accept the gifts and the gifts themselves cannot be denied, cannot be changed. They cannot be subject to a recall. They will never be revoked, cannot be passed off to another, and most wonderful of all, they are part of every living soul that has or will walk the earth. God calls us – as sinners – and shows us that we have within us an affinity for him that draws us to become one with him. It is an everlasting call, and eternal gift, and a life of perfect joy which he has chosen for us and gives to us with no thought of ever changing his mind about it. God is faithful, the perfection of integrity, and he cannot lie. If he tells you, if he tells me, if he tells us “Come. This gift is for you,” you can rely on that “as Gospel.”

If you accept that call and those gifts, you participate in the inheritance of the Old and New Covenants. I believe that when that happens, you will find that God has placed “the desire of your heart,” your True Mission in Life, there for you to find. I cannot tell you that finding your true mission will not happen unless you accept the Gifts and The Call. Persons who are exceptionally gifted with talent or intellect or faith grow up knowing this external gift – a gift that influences the world, is their heart’s desire. Coupled with God’s most fundamental and irrevocable gift, these prodigious gifts become prodigious blessings to us and to everyone who meets us in this world. Sometimes we think the way we are gifted with knowledge, skills, and abilities is the whole purpose of our life on earth. I submit that without accepting and using the foundational gift of God’s covenant promises, whatever we do in life will be less than what it can be; we are all gifted, but some have accepted the Greater Gift – the gift of giving themselves to all as servants of God.

God gives us so many gifts! Life and health, faith and love and certainly hope, prosperity or poverty, shelter and peace, and all things of earthly life. All of these, if you think about it, can pass from our possession; but the calling to him and his righteousness, and the gifts of salvation are irrevocable. Everybody has them. Not all accept them. But let’s look at one man who did.

We’ve talked about Abraham before. God called Abram to become Abraham, to be the father of God’s chosen people, and to be a cofounder of an everlasting covenant between God and his chosen ones. Paul is referring to that here in this letter to the Romans. These three things are irrevocable, irreversible, permanent, and nailed forever to the fabric of time and space. God does not take back his call to us nor does he snatch away the gifts that come with that call. The special privileges given to Israel and passed to us as our inheritance through our adoption as brothers and sisters of the Christ and therefore sons and daughters of the Promise become forever ours when we honor the giver by accepting the gift and answering the call. And God seals the promise with his own word: “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (Numbers 23:19).

So here is my point (a long last you say!): God has called you, and you will know constant joy and peace in your earthly life when you accept that call because that call guarantees you will receive all of his abundant love and grace here and in eternity with him. God has called you, and you will know unmanageable sorrow and conflict in your earthly life when you ignore that call because while that refusal guarantees you may perhaps receive some of the blessings give to all people of good will, you will not partake in all of the abundant love and grace – not because he withholds it, but only because you refuse it. Do you remember Diana Ross’ big hit, “I’m going to make you love me?” God would never sing that song! He will never force you to accept his love, his protection, his eternal life, or his forgiveness. He will, however, allow you to wallow in the discomforts caused by self-righteousness, obstinacy, and arrogant proclamations of self-sufficiency. To put it bluntly, you’ll be left twisting in the wind.

To what mission were you called in life? What is the vocation God ordained for your happiness through serving others? Come on now, if you think you don’t know, then you are not listening. If you think you can pick one on your own and achieve success equivalent to what you would achieve going down God’s path, well, sad to say you’re dead wrong. Do you know your mission but never quite find a way to achieve it to the fullest? Look inside your heart and soul. If God truly is Supreme there, then you are on the path to fulfillment because your mission is to glorify him with your gifts. If he is not supreme there in your heart and soul, then you have replaced God with something impermanent. You can be happy in life, but your Joy will not be complete.

However, if you heard the call and accepted the gifts, you are happy with your life because “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) And what is his purpose? Beloved, it is simply to be able to spend all eternity with you, one of his all-time favorite bits of creation, so that your Joy will be complete.

Share-A-Prayer:

• Thank you for your prayers for Maddie. I received word earlier this wee that Maddie has experienced a 100% cure; she has joined the choirs of angels and gone to the Lord this past Sunday evening. Please remember her friends and family this week as they grieve her loss.
• Thank you for your prayers for FO. We’re still awaiting the test results from earlier this week, and still trusting in the Lord for the gift of continued full remission.
• I have received more than a few requests recently for prayers for persons who are dealing with serious addictions. These requests resound deeply in my heart, having seen the effects of addiction from both sides many times. Pray that they will rely on God’s compassionate grace to begin or sustain recovery, and pray that God’s compassion be also granted to the friends and family who feel so great a loss; it’s like dying of a broken heart when we see a loved on being destroyed but a thing that has become their master.
• Hundreds of thousands in this country and millions around the world are suffering from unprecedented weather phenomena. Pray that these changes will reverse soon to more normal and comfortable levels.
• And there is another “climate phenomenon” that affects even more people here in the U.S. and around the whole world: The economy. Pray that the extraordinary vacillations in the economy diminish to a point of sustainable stability quickly. Remember also that at the heart of this crises are lust, gluttony, and especially greed – the worldliest of sins. Pray for repentance for the perpetrators and for the nation that has dismissed God in order to elevate these sins to life-styles.
• Beloved, pray for one another. Pray for faith, discernment, patience and perseverance, and especially humility for yourself, for the MBN, for world leaders, and especially for every living soul that refuses God’s irrevocable call and gifts.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved.

chick

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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