“Called By God…!”(Gal.1:11-24).
During our student days at Akrofi Christaller Institute, Akropong, Masters students in African Christianity qualified to move to the second year through an integrated examination. Each candidate had a question to answer within twenty four hours. The answer was prsented before all the lecturers. It was a kind of defense. The uniqueness of the integrated examination was that each candidate’s question was different from the others. But each question was aimed at seeing how the candidate could integrate all the taught courses of the programme in one essay.
The integrated examination can be likened to the examination of life. Each person’s question relates only to his/her life. Many fail this examination because of copy work or stealing another person’s answer.
The Bible is mostly about how Israel as a people understood their relationship with God and that God was the one who had the final say in their story.
Interspersed in this collective history, are the stories of individuals whom God used to reach the many. Some of these stories are relevant to us only in so far as we appropriate them and use them as analogies that helps us understand the stories of our own dealings with God..
The way God called MosesEx.3:1-12) is different from the way Jesus called Philip and Nathanael(Jn.1:43-51). The way he called Paul is not the same way he called the Twelve. The way he called me cannot be the same way he called you. Each called person has a special assignment, but all the assignments end up as integrated examinations. Having known this, I took a conscious decision that nobody has control over my ministry; and that nobody can frustrate my ministry; except the one who called me. Some who do not know this may call me a coward, but what I know is that I was called by God for a purpose which must be accomplished. Those he has called to preach should make sure the gospel they preach is not something that man made up. In defense of the gospel he preached Paul made a statement that some have capitalized upon to feel comfortable in mediocrity. Concerning the gospel he preached he said,“I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.”* This cannot become an excuse for not seeking to learn further so as to understand the gospel better. Paul was a highly learned theologian except that he had not yet come to the full knowledge of Jesus as the Christ.
“The essence of the gospel is that God accepts us as we are, on the ground of Christ’s work alone, not on the ground of what we have become.” On the other hand God in Christ does not only take people as they are.“He takes them in order to transform them into what He wants them to be.”
It is expected that when such a transformation has taken place, people may hear the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” Let the people hear and praise God because of you.
Yes, let the report people hear about you be one that would cause them to praise God because of you!
Sunday prayer: Holy Spirit lead me in my work so that people may hear the report and praise God because of me. Amen!
Have a blessed Sunday! Peace be with you!
Rev. Babila Fochang.