SUNDAY, MARCH 9, 2014.
CHOSEN FOR A PURPOSE
‘For thou art a holy people unto Jehovah thy God: Jehovah thy God hath chosen thee to be a people for His own possession, above all peoples that are upon the face of the earth, Deut. 7v6.
THE Old Testament idea of the election of the people of Israel by God was based on His love. They were a treasured group of people, very dear to God’s heart. He stated their election was not based on number for He had said: they were the fewest of all the families on the face of the earth. Yet, He chose them maintaining the oath He swore to their forefathers to give them a future and a hope. They were, therefore, to serve as a vehicle of blessing to all the people on earth.
It is interesting to note that God chooses men and women for His work. In Acts 9v1-19, we read how Saul had his conversion on the road to Damascus. It was there that he was made a chosen instrument to be a vanguard in the ministry of reconciliation, bringing perishing souls to the shelter of the Lord’s house. Conscious of this fact, Saint Paul set out clearly to achieve it.
Paul, the chosen instrument, could boldly say in the course of his ministration: ‘I decided to know nothing among you except Christ crucified,’ I Cor. 2v2. He was not ashamed to talk about Christ and the cross. Being convinced, he also said: ‘for me to live is Christ and to die is gain,’ Philip. 1v21. With this picture, we can appreciate that Paul knew that he was chosen to preach Christ and Him crucified to the perishing world. Yes, he was focused and never distracted throughout his ministry.
People of God, it is God that still chooses men and women for His work. From diocese to diocese and in different ministerial locations, people are called, chosen to do the work of ministry and the aim always is to win souls for the kingdom of God. That purpose must be fulfilled. However, those who are called should take not according to Jesus: ‘you did not choose me but I chose you to go and bear fruits,’ and more importantly He added: ‘…Apart from me, you can do nothing,’ Jh. 15v5.
It is but sad to note in today’s ministry that some among those chosen for the great ministry of reconciliation have lost the essence of the call and many have allowed themselves to be distracted. Today’s distractions include but are not limited to: materialism—worldliness, competitive spirit, the quest for power and positions. In 2 Tim. 4v10, we saw how Demas fell in love with the present world and never made it to the ministry. In I Timothy 6v10, we saw the condemnation that: ‘too much love for money is the root of all evils. And many in pursuit of it have pierced their souls with many a sorrow. But it should not be so.’Ven. Ernest Onuoha Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.