POSITIVE LIVING: CHOSEN PEOPLE: CALLED TO PROCLAIM!

anguillian
By anguillian July 3, 2017 11:32

 

 

 

Positive Living takes pleasure this week in publishing, in its entirety, the message presented by Mrs. Marilyn Hodge at the Bethel Methodist Church on Sunday June 25th, 2017 as part of the special service to mark MCCA Women Lord’s Day under the Theme: CHOSEN PEOPLE: CALLED TO PROCLAIM. Mrs. Hodge was invited by the MCCA Women’s Group to bring the message:

Good morning my brothers and sisters in Christ. It is indeed an honour and privilege to be here. I deem this as a great opportunity to share with you in your act of worship. I do hope that what I share will be a blessing to one of you or all of you. Thanks for inviting me.
I was asked to speak on the theme: CHOSEN PEOPLE: CALLED TO PROCLAIM
Let us pray: May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer, Amen
The topic today is: CHOSEN PEOPLE: CALLED TO PROCLAIM
In preparing this message, I first had to ask myself the question: Chosen by whom and called to proclaim what? You see, a person needs to know from the onset who is it that chose them and for what purpose. Knowing this is crucial because usually when a person has been chosen, the person or persons who chose them had a motive or a purpose in mind. Do you agree?

My brothers and sisters, it is important to note who has chosen you and why? It is important to question the motive or motives behind that call. It is vital for you to know, what is it they want from you and at what cost? You see, it just could be detrimental. With God, the act of choosing someone was no random choice. His selection was not haphazard or governed by nothing. His choice wasn’t driven by forces outside himself. God was not acting to conform to some external rule. There was always deliberate, calculated, reasoned intent on God’s part. He knew what He was doing when He chose one but not another. He said: “I want this person, but not that person.” That was shown when Saul was chosen to be king in 1 Samuel 9: 15-19: Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed to Samuel: 16“Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have seen my people, because their cry has come to me.” 17When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, “Here is the man of whom I spoke to you! He it is who shall restrain my people.”
Here we can see that the choice was a deliberate one.

And again when David was anointed King in 1 Samuel 16:1 – The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” 2And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” God further instructed Samuel about the task he had assigned him, listened to what God told him in verses 4- 13.“ 4Samuel did what the LORD commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, “Do you come peaceably?” 5And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. 6When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is before him.” 7But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 8Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” 9Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” 10And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.” 11Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” 12And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” 13Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward.”

No wonder later on in 1 Samuel 17 when David saw and heard Goliath taunting God’s people, David confronted him. 45David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
You see, whenever God chose someone, He was not only deliberate about it, God also filled them with his spirit. Multiple times in the Bible, David was recognized as a man who followed God and was sensitive to the leadership of God in his life. God knew that though David was young when he anointed him, he would grow up to be a man in tune with God’s heart and plan for Israel.

It is also equally important for us to understand that one’s calling is also an act of God! The Lord said to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in your mother’s womb I chose you. Before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.” I answered, “Oh, Lord God, I really do not know how to speak well enough for that, for I am too young. The Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ But go to whomever I send you and say whatever I tell you. Do not be afraid of those to whom I send you, for I will be with you to rescue you,” says the Lord. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I will most assuredly give you the words you are to speak for me. Know for certain that I hereby give you the authority to announce to nations and kingdoms that they will be uprooted and torn down, destroyed and demolished, rebuilt and firmly planted.”(Jeremiah 1:5-10).

Judas was also called so that the scriptures could be fulfilled. Jesus had to get to the cross to redeem us from sin. That was God’s plan. Jesus told the crowd in John 6:44: “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.” Therefore we can conclude, That God’s chosen people have the same spirit within them. When God hears the cry of his people, they will hear it too. When God sees the afflictions of his people, they will see it too because they have God’s spirit within them. You see, my brothers and sisters when God does the choosing, he has a divine purpose in mind and often-times it can be very costly. That was the reason why Luke 14:33 states, “Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”
In the reading of Luke 10, the word chosen in that context means to be “selected or marked for favor or special privilege.” The word “proclaim” means to tell the nations or to share the news. Seventy were chosen to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. They were a chosen people to fulfil a specific purpose. They knew who chose them and for what purpose. They did not have to guess or wonder what Jesus’ motive was, he told them the harvest is great but the labourers are few. Go, I am sending you out as workers to go and make disciples for me. They knew their mission.

In other words Jesus said to them, “You did not choose me, but I chose you”. The questions today are – who chose you and for what purpose? Are you chosen by God? Is his spirit within you? That is important for you to know my friends. You see, oftentimes many people believe because they are called, they are chosen by God. But my bible tells me in Matthew 22:14 “For many are called, but few are chosen”. Judas was part of the Twelve, and he was not “chosen.” Jesus said, “I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me’” (John 13:18).
The Scriptures are also quite clear that among all the nations in the world, God chose Israel as the one He would work with. This was the nation that God delivered out of slavery in Egypt, the nation to whom God gave the land of Canaan, and the nation through whom would come Jesus, the Messiah. Was there something special about these people unlike others?

God Himself answered that very question. In addressing the ancient Israelites, He told them: “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your father, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 7:6-8).

God chose the ancient Israelites because He had promised Abraham that his descendants would become a great nation and occupy the land of Canaan (Genesis 12:3, 7; 17:4, 7-8; 22:17). God blessed Abraham and his descendants because of Abraham’s faith, a living faith that resulted in diligent obedience to God’s instructions and law (Genesis 26:3-5).

This promise was repeated to Abraham’s son, Isaac, and to Abraham’s grandson, Jacob (Genesis 17:21; 26:24; 28:1-4, 13).God’s purpose in choosing Israel was for them to be a model nation to other nations and that through them “all the families of the earth” would be blessed (Genesis 12:3). He wanted Israel to be “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6). Other nations would see that when the Israelites obeyed God, they were blessed (verse 5), and when they disobeyed God, they would be punished (Deuteronomy 28).

When God chooses you my friend, it is not a mistake, it is not by accident. He has a specific task that only you can do exactly how he designed it to be done. You see, He prepares us before launching us into our calling. In the Bible we see this happening with David’s training under Saul prior to him taking the throne. He gave him everything he needed to fulfill the task he assigned him. His only assignment was to use whatever time and talents he was given in a way that blessed others and gave glory to God. God’s people are characterized by what they know, what they are and what they do. Every believer is “called” to serve others, to share the gospel, and to glorify God. However, serving God requires sacrifice.

The person must be willing to make any sacrifice, pay any price, and forsake all. When Jesus Christ walked along the shore of Galilee, He called Peter and Andrew to follow Him. They had to give up their nets (their occupation) to do so. Jesus said to his disciples: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me”.

Denying yourself is surrendering control of yourself and yielding to God in obedience and trust. Denying yourself is absolutely essential if you want to follow Jesus. We cannot live for ourselves and live for him. He made it clear in the scripture, it states, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” (Luke 9:24-25)
God’s chosen people must be willing to do the things he calls them to do. Abraham, Jonah, Ezekiel, and Jesus had to be willing. What about you? Are you willing to do the things God calls you to do? Are you willing to say the things He wants you to say? Are you willing to deny yourself for him?

Moses was a great example in this regard. He was chosen by God to deliver Israel – the Lord said to him, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their task masters, for I am aware of their sufferings . . . . Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:7,10). That was a very tough assignment. However, Moses was filled with God’s spirit. That gave him the courage and boldness to accomplish the task.

If the Exodus story teaches us anything about God, it is that He is sovereign. He is in control. He is bigger than Pharaoh and the great nation of Egypt. He is able to fulfill His promises, to the very letter. He is the One who can harden and soften hearts. He is the One who is able to use man’s opposition to bring glory to Himself and to achieve His purposes. God always has a plan, when he chooses people.
What about you? What is your assignment? Are you filled with God’s spirit so that you will be able to accomplish it? Do you hear the cry of God’s people? Do you see their afflictions? If so, what are you doing about it?

God made a covenant with his people the Israelites, and gave them His law as a standard of His holiness to which they were to conform. We are no exception my friends, if we are indeed a chosen people, called to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, that is also our mission and mandate as well.
Those who wished to become a part of God’s people did so by faith, as they identified themselves with God and His people. This was shown by Ruth: She said to her mother-in-law Naomi, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” (Ruth 1:16).

This is also my pledge to you my friends. In my heart I believe that I was sent to live among you, therefore your people are my people and I hope my God is also your God as well. My friends, nothing happens by accident, or by chance, everything happens for a reason. God in his wisdom placed me here among you for a purpose. I was chosen to deliver this message this morning. I don’t know the reason why I was chosen or the motive or motives behind it. Do you think it was by accident or a mistake? I don’t think so. I truly believe God laid it upon the hearts of those who chose me to do so. It was my assignment.
Therefore I have come with the courage and boldness to fulfil it. I have to do what God calls me to do and I have to say what God tells me to say. My brothers and sisters, people like Ruth and Rahab of Jericho (Joshua 2 and 6) not only became part of the people of God, they actually became a part of the promised line of the Messiah (Matthew 1:5).

God made miracles out of what seemed insignificant: fragile faith, a little kindness, and ordinary people. When God chose people he always had a purpose in mind.

We are speaking this morning about a chosen people: called to proclaim.

? If indeed we are a chosen people called to proclaim the message of Jesus Christ, we have to have the same spirit of God within us.
? We have to be united in purpose to fulfill God’s plan for our lives and for this nation.
? If indeed we are a chosen people called to proclaim, why are we so divided as a people?
? Why are we allowing the enemy to keep us bound?
? If we are chosen by God, we must be united. We must have a forgiving spirit. It is imperative that we forgive each other and live in harmony.
? We cannot be right with God until we are right with each other.
? Matt 6:14 instructs us, “If you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
? If indeed we are a chosen people called to proclaim , why is it so difficult for us to stand up and speak out against all the evil and injustices happening in our country regardless of who is committing them?

My friends this ought not to be. If we are chosen by God, we need to denounce all forms of evil. Amos spoke out against the injustices and the depravity which had become prevalent in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He stood up and decried the empty religious practices of Israel. He said although they were rich in ritual, they were insincere empty shams, they were poor in worship, truth and love. He spoke out forcefully against the injustices of the rich who exploited the poor, denied them justice in the courts, and drove them into slavery and economic ruin.
Amos used history to prove his point. The Israelites felt that because they had been chosen by God they were special and could do as they pleased, literally ‘get away with murder’. By recalling the history of the nation, Amos pointed out that the Israelites were indeed special but rather than giving them the right to do as they pleased, he reminded them that they had a special and sacred responsibility to God.

For Amos, God speaks in the present through the remembrance of the events of a sacred past. And if they forget the past events, the plagues, the lost battles, the divisions, they will live by the consequences. Isaiah also said when Judah was struggling under the weight of injustice The LORD looked and was displeased that there was no justice” (Isaiah 59:14–15).
He said God’s message for them was simple: “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow” (Isaiah 1:17). Later, God tells them to “loose the chains of injustice” (Isaiah 58:6; Psalm 82:3), indicating that injustice is a form of bondage and oppression.

Jeremiah 22:3-5 also states, “Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.
For if you will indeed obey this word, then there shall enter the gates of this house kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their servants and their people. But if you will not obey these words, I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that this house shall become a desolation.
Micah 6:8 states, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Leviticus 19:15 states, “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.”

So why are we as God-chosen people not saying those things as well in our land today? Amos was one of God’s chosen; he was a man against corruption. God sent Amos to denounce the social and religious corruption in Israel, and to warn them of His impending judgement.

As God chosen people, we too must be on the side of justice as well.
? If indeed we are a chosen people called to proclaim, why is it so difficult for each of us to feel the hurt and pains of our brothers and sisters in this land as Moses did for his people?
? Why is it so difficult for us to forgive each other and bring about restoration and unity that is needed in our homes, in our churches, our villages, communities and in our land?
? If we are a chosen people called to proclaim by God, where is our compassion and love for others?
Compassion beckons us to go where people hurt, to enter into their places of pain, to share in their brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion is the full immersion in the condition of being human.
When people are overwhelmed, we must give them not only physical relief, but it is equally important to encourage their spirit through a constant show of love and compassion. It is appalling how often we fail to see that what people really require is human affection. Deprived of human warmth and a sense of value, other forms of showing we care are meaningless. Our spiritual care models should be based on honour and dignity, contributing to justice, and promoting compassion to our fellow human beings.

When we who are chosen partner with those who are suffering, we are answering a deep sense of call, the motivation to serve others. The glue that will hold us together is compassion, love, and a powerful passion to try to make a difference in the lives of others. That is what our work is all about.
Paul stated very clearly in Colossians 3:12-15 the responsibilities of the called or the chosen. He said: “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful”.
If we are indeed called by God, we not only have a responsibility to make spiritual changes in our lives, we also have an awesome responsibility for helping to create the necessary changes that are needed in our nation.

MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS BE CAREFUL AND BE AWARE OF WHO CHOOSE YOU AND FOR WHAT PURPOSE!
The first thing we notice about the appointment of the seventy in our passage is that they were appointed by Jesus (Luke 10:1). It is dangerous for anybody to enter into ministry without the commissioning of Jesus. Only the Holy Spirit is capable of calling God’s chosen people. When God calls, it is time for action. Acts 1:8 said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” The people God chose went with urgency and singleness of purpose (Luke 10:4)

? You see when God chooses us; he has high expectations of us.
? He expects us to be obedient,
? He expects us to be bold,
? He expects us be courageous.
? He expects us to be strong.
Scripture declares that “the people who know their God will display strength and take action” (Daniel 11:32). He expects us to stand against the ills in society. In spite of the fact he sent his disciples out as lambs among wolves, he expected them to do great exploits for him. He prepared them for the reality of suffering and death! Every one of the twelve disciples died for the cause of Christ.
He told them to take no extra provisions but to trust God for their provisions. He told them there will be both acceptance and rejection. They went out with a made up mind. What gave them the power to face hardship for the sake of the kingdom was the reward of a better future. You see, the Mission of the kingdom requires the Right focus.

He has a task for each one of us and that is to spread the good news and make disciples for him. The Lord said to His disciples in John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.” We are chosen for a purpose. If we only see our lives in that way, everything will change. We cannot find this purpose by looking at ourselves, or derive it from this world. It all begins with Jesus Christ. We are made to worship God. We are created to become like Jesus. We are shaped for serving Him. We are made for a mission – to introduce people to Christ and get them on this same journey.
You see my brothers and sisters, God works through people – individuals like you and me. He chooses His disciples. He chooses them for a purpose. We saw that in Stephen, Philip, Saul, Ananias, and Peter. God is doing the same today. He is calling us, because we are chosen for His purpose.

If you feel unqualified or not good enough, look again for a moment at the people whom God used profoundly – Moses not only had a stuttering problem, he was also a murderer, David and the woman at the well, were adulterers. Rahab was a harlot. Noah was a drunk, Jacob was a liar, Samson was a womanizer, Peter denied Christ, Joseph was abused, Abraham was old, Leah was ugly, Judas was a traitor, Zacchaeus, the tree-climbing tax collector was a thief, but when he met Jesus, he was changed. Zacchaeus’ eagerness to pay back the money and to donate half of what he owed to the poor showed significant change of heart. He had once been a taker, but after meeting Jesus he was determined to make restoration and be a giver. Zacchaeus’ example can inspire us to make the same kind of change. When God reminds us about items we have taken, taxes left unpaid, or ways we have wronged others, we can honour Him by making it right.
And if you have to look further my brothers and sisters, look at Saul. He was the most unlikely candidate. He was an enemy of God! It did not begin with what he had to offer; it began with what God had to offer him – a new life. God reached out to Saul and changed him! He turned His greatest enemy into His greatest advocate. He changed the greatest threat into His greatest voice.

No one is beyond the reach of God’s grace my friends. No one can stand up to God’s grace. God said, “This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.” (Acts 9:15) Saul was unaware of this: that he was on God’s radar screen. God wanted him! He was chosen by God’s grace. We too are all chosen BY GOD’S GRACE. God did it for all those people and He will also do it for you. God is no respecter of persons. You are not the only one that has fallen into a mess.

The Bible says in Ps. 37:24, that though the righteous falls, he shall not be utterly cast down. Also Ps. 34:19 says “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all”. Prov. 24:16 also says “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again.
The enemy would want to convince you that God can’t use you because of your weaknesses, when in fact the opposite is true. If you are willing to give God your mess, He will turn it into your message.

It does not matter where you are or how big a mess your life is today. God has a comeback plan for you. Refuse to accept a setback! Turn your mess into a message! God wants you to use it to help someone else walking through a similar situation.
Refuse to live under condemnation. Don’t let the devil paralyze you with guilt and make you too ashamed to talk about it. Don’t give the enemy power over you. Do not let him cause you to miss out on opportunities to share your testimony.

God has a plan for you. He is just waiting on you to step out on faith and trust him to lead you. He is waiting for your first move. He will meet you when you move.

God is merciful and willing to help you. His mercy is so powerful that it will cover all your mess and change you in the process. He will preserve your life in order to preserve the purpose for your life.

The things we are called to do are different but we can do a mighty work for him. If you are in the right place and at the right time, you may just become the right person God calls, to do the right thing for Him.

Offer yourself and God will make you His disciple. We are chosen to represent Him while on earth. There is no insignificant work, when it is done for God. And there is no insignificant disciple of Christ, only those who refuse to let God use them.
Don’t undermine what you can do. Or rather, don’t underestimate what God can do, through you, when you take the step of faith and obey Him.
God transforms a person — to transform a community — to transform a nation.
God wants to transform our lives because God wants to transform our nation. As God’s transformed agents we carry the kingdom wherever we go by declaring and demonstrating the kingdom.

God has placed us here in Anguilla as missionaries to engage this nation. We need to reframe and rethink how we live here. It is not just about us and our lives but it is about God and his heart for this nation, Anguilla.

If we are chosen and called, we are models for others. The question is – What are we modeling? What are we modeling to our children, our relatives, our young people, our friends, and our neighbours? Every day of the week we are a model. We are a model everywhere we go and in everything we do. We are models to others whether we want to be or not.

As a people called- Anguillians, what are we modeling to the Region and to the World? Are we modeling that we are liars, traitors or thieves or honest God-fearing people? How is the outside world viewing us? Let us as a people be careful what we are modeling to the region and to the world.
Let us be known as God fearing people, who do what is right in God’s sight. Let us not take people or things for granted. We are living in serious times. Just watch what is happening around the world. The hearts of men are becoming extremely wicked. We need to be vigilant my friends.

One of the greatest moral issues that we all struggle with is that of telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Two of the main reasons for our lying are: to save face, and not to offend people. If we are a chosen people called by God to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, we have to learn to be truthful no matter the cost we have to pay for it. God expects nothing less. If we are to effect change in our nation, we have to start first by being honest and truthful. Proverbs 28:13 says, “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.”
Proverbs 19:5 warns, “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who tells lies will not escape” If we sow falsehood, we won’t reap God’s blessing. My brothers and sisters, telling the truth is costly – John the Baptist lost his head for being truthful, but that is what God requires. Let us not bend the truth or give half-truths, my friends, God’s people are expected to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Honesty is not the best policy; it is the only policy, and one of the marks of a man or woman who lives in God’s presence. David writes, “Lord…..who may dwell in your holy hills? He who walks uprightly” (Ps. 15:1-2). As God’s chosen people, we must make truthfulness an integral part of our nature.

The Bible is brutally honest in exposing the failures of some of the great men and women of faith when it comes to lying. Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Aaron, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, Rachel, and David all lied, along with Peter in the New Testament. If these saints struggled with being truthful, then none of us are exempt! So we all need to take Paul’s exhortation to heart (Ephesians 4:25): “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.” Truthfulness is important to God because He is the God of truth who hates lying and falsehood. Truthfulness is important to God because truth is the basis for all communication. At the heart of good communication and close relationships is trust. Lying is part of the old life of corruption and deceit. When we are chosen by God we have become new creatures. Therefore it behooves us to model truthfulness. We must be models of the truth.
Women were instrumental in building and preserving God’s kingdom. Mary the mother of Jesus modeled an attitude of obedience and trust. She was about the most humble and submissive servants of God mentioned in the Bible. She was chosen by God to give birth to the deliverer of the world. (Luke 1:28) states , an angel came to her saying that she was highly favored by the Lord and that the Lord was with her Who among us would not be terrified at this?
Esther modelled faith and courage. When her nation Israel was in jeopardy of being wiped out (Esther 3:13), Mordecai told Esther “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this” (Esther 4:13-14)?
After the entire nation fasted, Esther said that “I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16b). Queen Esther risked her life when she went before the King. By Esther’s bravery, the Jews were saved.

Just as God used women’ courage to be an instrument of salvation for his people in times past, he still uses women today who are willing to proclaim his name. MCCA Women He can use you too. MCCA Women are you willing to be used by God? MCCA Women are you living intentionally, mindful that every moment is a gift and opportunity to know, love, and serve the living God? Are you ready to give an answer when someone asks the reason for your hope? Do you count it a privilege to encourage and equip other women to live for the glory of God?

Those called by God sense a growing compulsion to preach and teach the Word, and to minister to the people of God. This sense of compulsion should prompt us as believers to consider whether God may be calling us to the ministry. Has God gifted you with the fervent desire to preach? Has He equipped you with the gifts necessary for ministry? Jeremiah experienced the burning desire to preach the Word of God. When someone told him he could not preach he responded, “But His Word was in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was very weary with fore-bearing, and I could not stay (keep quiet)” (Jeremiah 20:9).
As a Congregation, what are we modeling to our community and to the nation? Is our faith showing? Is our commitment to Christ evident? What are we proclaiming? What is our message? Are we messengers of the Gospel? If we are chosen and called by God, we should not be quiet. We should be the agents of change. We need to be the change agents in Anguilla.

We need to start solving the problems in our island like David, Daniel, Esther, and Moses did in the Bible. We need to be Change Agents like William Wilberforce, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. They inspired others and brought about a shift in their society. If there were ever a time we needed a Nehemiah ‘change agent’ in our land to rebuild our walls with a solid foundation, it is now. My brothers and sisters, if we are really and truly chosen and called by God, we can tip the scales the other way. The time is now to do so! It can start right here at BETHEL!

Your calling will always be connected to an unmet need or an opportunity to do good. It was in listening to the cries of an enslaved people that Moses discovered his calling. So did William Wilberforce. He devoted his life to seeing slavery eradicated in Britain. Nelson Mandela was a lawyer with the potential to make money. But he chose a different path – one that involved years of imprisonment. And when he was finally set free he didn’t seek vengeance, he sought justice and equality for his people, and changed his country. We can change our country too!

Ezekiel writes: ‘I came to the exiles…And there, where they were living, I sat among them for seven days – overwhelmed. He said, at the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me. It said, 17Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself. (Ezekiel 3:15-19). You see, my friends, God in His wisdom chose people who would obey Him faithfully and He gave them authority to speak on His behalf.

If you want to discover your calling, start praying about situations that trouble you deeply. Allow your heart to be moved; carry within you the conviction that things must change, and keep praying, say these words, ‘Lord, make me a change agent.’ When Jesus called His disciples, He chose people from different backgrounds: a doctor, a government worker, a group of fishermen.

In essence He told them, ‘I believe in you. What I know I’ll teach you,’ and promised them that ‘he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also.’ Jesus empowered His followers to go out and live like He did. That is the challenge to you. That is what He is calling you to do.
My brothers and sisters, look around you. Look around at what is happening in our island – Anguilla. Our island is in a mess, the things that are happening around us are symptoms of a disease, but it is not a physical disease – it’s a disease of a moral and spiritual nature which is affecting our people. There is crime and violence in our midst, many people are dying, many people are perplexed, angry and hurting. Many people are hungry, not only for food, but for the unadulterated Word of God. What are we doing to help them? As a church, what are we doing to help? The harvest is great my friends. We need to go and reap that harvest. Are you willing? Do you have a burden to reach the lost? Are you passionate enough about the Gospel and the Great Commission?
Do you burn with a compulsion to proclaim the Word, and care for God’s flock? God is still calling, He is still calling us. Is He calling you? Are you willing to answer his call today? Are you willing to surrender to Him? Anguilla is crying out! God is in need of us.

Are we ready and willing? The choice is yours my friend! God is in need of you.
My brothers and sisters, my task here this morning is done. I have fulfilled my assignment. What you do with the message given to you is upon your shoulders now. The rest is up to you!

Let us pray
Lord, You give the great commission:
“Heal the sick and preach the Word.”
Lest the Church neglect its mission,
And the Gospel go unheard,
Help us witness to Your purpose
With renewed integrity,
With the Spirit’s gifts empower us
For the work of ministry.

Lord, You call us to Your service:
“In My name baptize and teach.”
That the world may trust Your promise,
Life abundant meant for each,
Give us all new fervor, draw us
Closer in community.
With the Spirit’s gifts empower us
For the work of ministry.
Amen

About the Author: Mrs. Marilyn Hodge owns and operates the Wellness Centre in the Farrington. The Centre offers Counselling Services by Appointment Only. Contact information: Cell: 1.264.476-3517 or email: marilynb@anguillanet.com. www.facebook.com/axawellnesscentre

anguillian
By anguillian July 3, 2017 11:32

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