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K a i a o

The Lord will enlighten

 

"And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved"

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.

For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother,

and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.'

He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter

more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me

is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it."

Matthew 10:22…34 - 39

 

     As God's call is irrevocable it is also inexplicable. The natural mind's deepest probing and understanding is incapable of discerning the direction of all of the implications of His call.

     This is clear when we examine the irrevocable call of God in the life of Paul. God, even before Paul’s birth had set him apart; yet while he was far more zealous then his contemporaries for the traditions of the Law, and still when he breathed threats of murder against the disciples of the Lord, God irrevocably and inexplicably set Paul apart.

     Then...at the right time, inexplicably by His grace, in an audible voice Jesus called Paul; whereupon at Paul’s response, God was entirely pleased to reveal His Son to him, so that Paul could proclaim Christ to the Gentiles, kings and the children of Israel; in his suffering for Jesus.

     Paul’s response was not to an intellectually reliable fact and/or to a metaphysically satisfying experience, rather his response was to a personal transcendent reality that fashioned in him an astonished reverential fear of awe and wonder. There was not the slightest hint or expression of doubt and resistance to the voice which cried out, Saul, Saul…” Then after calling Saul, the voice indentified himself as Jesus.” Next, the voice of Jesus commanded Paul to go into the city.

     The men traveling with Paul heard the voice, yet it is not recorded that their lives, though impinge upon, were changed at that instant as Paul’s life was changed. God called Paul by his given name, Saul, which made it implicit, individual and personal. His call was not to the men traveling with him although this may have been a prelude for them; as it is for you and me.

     The call of God can never be stated wholly explicitly; it is also implicit. It is a call that rises up from the depths of His eternal immutable omnipotence and omniscient sagacity; which is His profound knowledge and understanding, coupled with foreknowledge and wisdom. As steeped as Paul was in the Law, he intuitively responded to the voice, Who are you Lord? in an astonished reverential fear of awe and wonder. Paul’s response was more than asking for the voice’s identity. Explicitly Jesus did not only identify Himself as the voice who called, He implicitly distinguished Himself as the what that Paul was persecuting. With hatred toward the Lord’s disciples, Paul was implicitly persecuting Jesus: you will be hated by all for My name's sake.

     Jesus identified with His disciples in an intimate and personal relationship for the obvious reason that His disciples identify with Him in the same way. Paul’s hatred for the Lord’s disciples, derived from their worship for Jesus, who unequivocally claimed to be God. Jesus’ claim went against everything that Paul stood for as a Pharisee of the Pharisees. Jesus represented an impious blasphemer and degenerate pretense of the prophetic Messiah understood in the Law. Jesus accomplished nothing Paul anticipated; in fact He failed in every respect. Paul was looking for a Messianic kingdom as a reward for his life as a Pharisee and would stop at nothing to protect this great expectation; even to the extent in the murdering of the Lord’s disciples.

     However, though not stated categorically, the Pharisee in Paul was instantly transformed; followed by the command of Jesus’ call that in fact directed him to a union of companionship with His resurrection, where Paul must loose his life for Jesus’ sake, so as to enable him to find it. Paul’s life was turned upside down and inside out. His ideas of God and His kingdom would forever be transformed: This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 1 Timothy 1:15

     As with Paul’s relationship with the risen Christ, when I am in a union of companionship, in the Spirit He takes me into His purpose and I am lifted to a place where I find no need to determine what His purposes are. As His call is irrevocable so is His purpose inexplicable, which is meant to shape me. In the manner of Paul’s transformation the Spirit will shape me, provided that I trust only in the wits and wisdom of God and not in my own. When I determine to have a purpose of my own, it will distort the simplicity and the leisureliness which ought to characterize me as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

     The oft-repeated phase “self-mastery” is misleading; profoundly speaking, a man can never master what he does not understand. And if the Law is used for this purpose, as Saul had practiced before he became Paul, then it results in gallingly kicking against the goads. Therefore, the only master of a man is not man himself, or another man, but God whose sword divides asunder soul and spirit.

     It is well to remember that our examination of ourselves can never be un-biased. Therefore, it is important to know that we are only safe in taking the full estimate of ourselves from our Creator instead of from our own introspection, which makes us either depressed or conceited. Though personal introspection cannot profoundly satisfy, it does not follow that introspection is wrong; it is acutely right, because it is the only way in which we, as Paul discovered, will discover our need of a Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the introspective examination and inexplicable power that is made alert by the conviction of sin. WBC Tour: “From Cana to Calvary” – following the ministry of the Savior as recorded in the Gospel of John; the Messiah and Son of God. This format tour to Israel is meant to help not only in identifying the locations of Jesus’ ministry but also to view the significant teachings and events at each location; as He sought to authenticate His Messiahship for Israel, which they rejected, eventually concluding with His crucifixion offered to all who would believe in Him. I hope to have the tour take place, September 2012.

Alex

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