Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Challenge and Commitment

Chuckle: Question: "Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible?" Answer: "Samson. He brought the house down."
Ponder This: "Conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit blots out every relationship on earth and leaves one relationship only -- 'Against you, you only, I have sinned.'" --Oswald Chambers

"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' Then I said, 'Here am I. Send me" (Isaiah 6:8 NIV).
When Isaiah found himself in God's presence, he saw himself as wretchedly sinful and unworthy to behold God's holiness. He cried out in desperation, "Woe to me for I am ruined! I am a man of unclean lips" (Isaiah 6:5). His repentant cry of confession led God to forgive him of his sin and cleanse him. This process of confession, repentance, forgiveness, and cleansing had prepared Isaiah to hear the voice of God. God had prepared him and made him a suitable vessel which He could use.
Up to this point, God had been teaching Isaiah and creating an awareness in him that he could never accomplish anything of lasting value without God's presence and power. Jesus affirms this truth in John 15:5 NIV, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." Isaiah was now ready to hear God's call and challenge. He was now listening for that call because his heart had been made over into one that God could use. I have had church members say, "I just don't hear (sense) God calling me to do this or that ministry." Without being judgmental, it could be that the reason one doesn't hear God's call is that he/she has not gone through the preparation process like Isaiah. When we have been cleansed, purified, and prepared, God will open our spiritual ears to his call.
Isaiah heard God's challenge: "Whom shall I send?" Because of the condition of Isaiah's heart, he never hesitated to accept the challenge, even before God had told him specifically what he wanted him to do. He was willing and committed no matter what the mission turned out to be. God's atonement cleanses and prepares us for God's service. Isaiah was ready!
"Here am I. Send me," should always be our response in obedience to God's call. Millions have heard God's call down through the ages, and have responded with "Here am I. Send me!" As a result, multitudes have come to salvation in Christ. Isaiah was motivated to accept God's call because he "saw the Lord." Wherever you are, and regardless of your age or status in life, God wants you to see Him for who He is, hear Him, and accept the challenge He lays before you. God has no plan "B" for drawing the people of the world to Himself. He uses people just like you and me as conduits of his great love that flows freely for all who will turn to him through faith in Christ.
Maybe you are sensing God's call on your life, but you are not yet willing to respond with, "Here am I. Send me!" I pray God will give you the strength to do so, because true happiness and fulfillment as a Christian comes from knowing one is in the center of God's will and living to please Him.
Love, Jerry & Dotse

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