Calling and obedience

by Rev Jason Phua

Bible Readings: Ezekiel 33:31-34:31; Proverbs 27:21-22

READ (Verse chosen for reflection)
Ezekiel 33:8 “If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.”

REFLECT
Ezekiel was called to be God’s mouthpiece to declare His message of warning and repentance to the people of Israel. If Ezekiel heard the word of God and declare it to the people; and even if the people did not turn from their wicked ways, the prophet will be saved. If Ezekiel heard the word of God but failed to declare it to the people; and if the people did not turn from their wicked ways and perish, then the prophet will have to bear the consequences. It was a difficult assignment. Yet God’s calling of His workers is always purposeful and His will is not to be denied.

RELATE
This passage reminded me of my own calling from the Lord to be a minister of His Word and Sacrament. Have I fully obeyed God’s call to speak into the life of His people each and every time? No, I have not. Yet by His mercies, Christ’s work on the cross atoned for these times when I have failed to be faithful. However, I cannot take God’s grace in Jesus Christ for granted. Because of His grace and truth, I must grow in obedience and faithfulness for God’s call for my life as a pastor. Even if He has called me to do and say things which might not be popular or even offensive to some; i must obey in faith. I must trust in God’s heart for His people.

REST
Lord God, help me to be the minister that You have called me to be. Your call is purposeful and no laughing matter. Help me to treat it with sanctity and grow to be the person You want me to be. Amen.

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Day 79

by Rev Joel Yong

1 Samuel 19:4-7
So Jonathan spoke well of David to his father Saul. “You should not commit a sin against your servant David,” he said. “He hasn’t sinned against you. Instead, he has done some very fine things for you: He risked his life and killed the Philistine Goliath, and the LORD gave all Israel a great victory. When you saw it, you rejoiced. Why then should you sin by shedding David’s innocent blood for no reason?” Saul listened to Jonathan, and he promised, “I solemnly swear, as the LORD lives, he will not be killed.” Jonathan told David all of this. Then Jonathan took David to Saul. So David was returned to his former status in Saul’s court.

As family members, we have access that others who are not flesh and blood related, will not have.

Too often I hear of people complaining about a son or a mother, an aunt or a grandfather and they ask for an “outsider” – a person of no biological relation to speak to the family member.

The strange thing is that they themselves haven’t given it a real try – to speak to their family member and brush it off as “Oh they wouldn’t listen to me.”

The more accurate description would be that they are afraid to damage ties as they would still have to meet the difficult relative on a regular basis long term. And thus it would be better for an “outsider” to handle the criticism, however constructive it might be.

I think God makes us one family for a reason. And if we can’t open up to our kinsmen and tell them the truth that can set them free and prevent them from sin – then we are no better than strangers to such relatives. Our relationship is only skin deep.

Proverbs reminds us that as “… iron sharpens iron, so 1 man’s life shall sharpen another.”