A Summons to Decision

KEY VERSE: “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” —Psalm 119:105

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Psalm 119:97-105

OUR lesson for today properly stresses the importance of responding to the drawing power and the leadings of the Holy Spirit in our lives. On reading the Bible one cannot help but sense the majesty, wisdom, and power of the great Creator, and the love and mercy that motivate all his dealings and plans for his fallen human creation. And on learning of his gracious invitation to become members of a little company to be called out of that same class of fallen humanity to be prepared for high service in his coming kingdom by walking in Jesus’ steps, some promptly and joyfully reply as did the prophet of old, “Here am I; send me.”—Isa. 6:8

Others hesitate. They ask themselves, Am I worthy to aspire to so great a calling? They question their suitability, their want of education, their talent or temperament, their physical or financial means. They wonder if they would be able to endure to the end. In making choice of those whom he calls, the Lord does not regard any of these factors. In the first place, none is truly worthy; it is only by God’s grace through our Savior Jesus Christ that we have anything of value to offer in sacrifice. Jesus did not seek out the rich, the proud, the wise, the self-righteous, or the mighty of this world to be his followers. The Lord God does not need earthly wisdom, earthly power, earthly wealth, or earthly glory. Whatsoever we may in any wise lack in order successfully to follow in Jesus’ steps our Heavenly Father can richly supply out of his inexhaustible abundance.

Writing to those in the church at Corinth who had already made the decision to serve their Heavenly Father, Paul said, “Ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world … and … the weak things of the world … and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence. … For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.”—I Cor. 1:26-29

For the most part the apostles themselves were from the lower ranks of life, simple and uneducated. Four were humble fishermen, one was a peasant, one a tax collector, and of the others except Paul little is known. Regardless of their earthly status the Lord calls only those whose hearts are right—those who are reverent, humble, merciful, pure in heart, and who hunger and thirst after righteousness. When Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon, called Peter, and Andrew, his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. He said to them, “Follow me.” And at once they left their nets and followed him! A little beyond he saw two other brothers, James and John, in a ship with Zebedee, their father, mending their nets, and he called them. “They immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.” Jesus could read the hearts of these humble fishermen; and they straightway accepted his invitation.

As the ministry grew following Jesus’ crucifixion, the Lord sent his angel to Philip, directing him to witness to an Ethiopian eunuch who was earnestly searching the Scriptures concerning the Messiah. When Philip had explained the matter to him, the eunuch desired at once to be baptized. “And he went on his way rejoicing.” (Acts 8:26-39) On another occasion God sent his angel to Cornelius, the centurion, who was “a devout man and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.” The angel instructed Cornelius to seek out Simon Peter, who came and witnessed to him. “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” And the Holy Spirit was poured out on Cornelius and all his household, and they were all baptized.—Acts 10:1-47

Those humble men who became inspired apostles to the church; the Ethiopian eunuch; Cornelius, and the others—what did they all have in common? Their hearts were right, they loved righteousness, and they were all seeking after God, if haply they might find him. And they responded promptly to the leadings of the Holy Spirit—and went on their way rejoicing!

Dawn Bible Students Association
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