Summary: “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you”. (Phil. 4:9)
Theme: Obedience to God’s call
Text: Ex. 32:1-14; Phil. 4:1-9; Matt. 22:1-14
God has created every individual to fulfil a specific purpose in life. God knows what that purpose is and how we can achieve it but we often make choices based on our perceived priorities that are contrary to God’s will. Our priorities in life dictate our choices and our choices determine the outcome of our lives. Our choices are often between alternatives that appear equally attractive but lead to entirely different results for “there is a way that seems right to a man but its end is the way of death” Pr. 14:12. Adam and Eve made the choice to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil rather than the fruit of the tree of life. Their choice affected not only their own lives but also affected ours for in Adam “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). But “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”. (John 3:16) God continues to give us the opportunity to change our destiny by making the right choice “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. (Rom 6:23). “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17). All that we need for our salvation is to make the right choice and accept Jesus Christ as Lord in obedience to God’s call.
God’s call is an invitation to freedom. His call is to free us from slavery to Satan, sin and death. God does not want anyone to “perish but that all should come to repentance” 2 Pet. 3:9. Jesus Christ paid the penalty for sin to redeem us from destruction and reconcile us to God. God’s call is not only to free us from slavery but also to bless us with His presence. God created us to worship Him and enjoy His presence and since He is holy His call makes provision to make us holy and righteous. The righteousness of God is one that has never known sin before. God’s righteousness restores our godly image and the authority and dominion that Satan stole from man.
God kept His covenant with Abraham when He sent Moses to deliver His people from slavery in Egypt. They experienced God’s awesome presence when He humbled and defeated the gods of Egypt through the ten plagues and parted the red sea before their eyes. In spite of these miracles they still wanted a god that would fit their expectations and were quick to make and worship a golden calf. Although unbelievable we are no better than the Israelites of that time. Every time we change the message of God we are changing the God who gave the message and every time we make God out to be who He is not we are also committing idolatry and idolatry leads to unbelief and rejection of the true God. God has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ and we have no need for any other god. Let us accept God’s invitation to accept the One who died for our sins so that we can enjoy His abundant blessings.
The call of God is often resisted by opposing forces trying to keep man in his sinful condition. An effective weapon of the enemy is to promote an attitude of trusting in one’s self. Trusting in one’s self will always lead to disobeying God. It is trusting in self that makes many people not to believe God and still believe they have to do something to deserve salvation. Another weapon of the enemy is to promote an attitude of indifference. The enemy very subtly instils pride into a person making him think that he is deserving of God’s invitation. Pride makes us so busy impressing the world that we become indifferent to God. The enemy is an expert at promoting an attitude of rejection. He just has to convince a person of what they are capable of doing when they are in control of their own lives. The attitude of the world is to do what they like without being held accountable and they believe this is possible by rejecting God. An attitude of rejection leaves no room for acknowledging sin and seeing the need for repentance.
Incredibly, the enemy has prevented many people from accepting God’s invitation. It was not a question of forgetting because they were not only invited but were also reminded. The invitation to the celebration, in their view, was just not important enough. They had no idea of its eternal value. When the intended guests refused to attend, the invitation was extended to other people who came in their numbers. This is a direct reference to the Jews who believed in their religious heritage and godly lives. They believed they met the requirements of the Law and did not need the grace of God. Are some Church members not making the same mistake today? Do some of us not put our trust in our Christian background and Church membership? Do some of us not put our trust in our support of and involvement in Church activities? Do some of us not put our trust in our own righteousness? We all need the grace of God for God would not have allowed Christ’s sacrifice on the cross if there had been any other way. Have you accepted God’s invitation or are you presuming on a relationship with God because of your background and privileges as the Jews did? If you are here today and you have never accepted God’s invitation then today’s invitation is to you. Accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour and be saved.