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June 2022

God Is Calling My Friend

God is calling us to himself. This alone encourages me to go and become a witness for Jesus. I go and share Jesus to others because God’s calling is before me and moving in the lives of the people whom I am with. There are some verses from the Gospel of John that illustrates this truth about God’s calling and his missionary character. Let me cite John 20:21-22 to you.

“Again [Jesus] said, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.’ Then he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” (John 20:21-22) The question here is not: How is Jesus sent? Or Where is Jesus sent to?, but rather, Who is sending Jesus? The Great Commission in John 20:19-23 speaks of the Father sending the Son. Who is the Father? What will help us in our answer is to go back to our definition of mission. What is mission? Here is a simple definition based from the John’s text. “God calls us to himself, shows us his salvation in Christ, and leads us by the Spirit to a celebration of the kingdom of God.” In this definition, everything goes back to who God is and what he is doing.

Now, to our question: Who is the God the Father? He is the one who calls everyone to himself. We shall call this as God’s creation call. In the first three chapters of Genesis, we see God calling Adam and Eve to a life here on earth. He breathe into humanity giving them life. He coaches Adam to call the animals, and to give them names. In the beginning God called all creation to life. And in Jesus was life, and he was the light of the world. (Genesis 2 and John 1)

Some people forget that God’s call is a creation call. They think that God calls people to salvation only after they have committed sin or after offending God. No. God’s call was already there at creation, even before sin entered the world. This means that his desire to have fellowship with us is based, not on our need for salvation or the depravity of sin, but from his very being which we can see at creation. 

What does this mean in everyday life? A good example is our way of helping others. When we begin with the creation call of the Father, then we do not start with sin or the person’s offensive behavior. We do not say, “You need Jesus because your life is in disarray.” No! We tell people: “You need Jesus because God loves you and has a beautiful plan for your life.” We help others by leading them to the Father who have already called them from the beginning of time, even before that person was born. God is calling each person to himself. This missionary God the Father is going before us.

Pentecost Sunday, 2022

A story is told of a young boy hearing for the first time the story of the Pentecost from his pastor. The pastor shared the events of the Spirit coming down and the disciples speaking in many languages. The young boy exclaimed: “Pastor, we must have missed that Sunday.”

Today is Pentecost Sunday. The Bible tells us that “Peter and John came down and prayed for the [disciples] that they might receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:15).” Pentecost is the time when the earth is renewed (Psalm 104:30), young people prophesy (Joel 2:28), followers of Jesus speak different languages (Acts 2:4), and forgiveness is proclaimed throughout the land (John 20:22-23). I see God’s Spirit coming when church members practice a life of forgiveness and compassion, young people go out protesting in the streets against violence in the land, and missions workers learning new languages in order to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. 

My prayer is that as you face this week of the coming of the Spirit of God, may you experience Pentecost again, and not be like that young boy who said: “We must have missed Pentecost Sunday.”

"The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit" (Romans 8:16).

Here is a prayer, a longing for the Spirit's coming, I want to share with you:

"Dear Lord, I want to see the wonders in the heavens above, and Your signs on the earth below.

I want to hear everyone who calls on Your name and love, and witness salvation, You bestow.

I long to be with the young people who see visions revealed today, and the grandmothers and grandfathers who dream of Your coming day.

My heart’s desire is to be there in the last days singing, and be here when Your Spirit comes pouring.

Dear Lord, I am praying.”

--(DWC, a prayer based on Acts 2:17-21)

God reigns, as the Psalmist reminds us. “All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; all gods bow down before him" (Psalms 97:7, RSV). Do we usher in God’s reign when we turn weapons of war to tools of peace-making?

I am sure the acts of remaking weapons of destruction to tools of nurturing life would involve a lot of suffering, as well as moments of power-sharing. Are you ready to suffer for Christ and to share in the Spirit’s power? Paul speaks of the witness of God’s Spirit in our hearts.  He says: “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” (See, Romans 8:14-17)

"The Spirit renews the face of the ground" (Psalm 104:30, ESV). Let us go forth and nurture this earth, bring healing to our communities, and receive the Spirit when He comes pouring into our lives.