Recently, four of our congregation’s children completed their study on baptism. These were the four who were baptized on Easter Sunday. What a day of rejoicing that was! In preparation for their baptisms, each student completed a study book on baptism in which they answered questions about Bible stories and passages relating to baptism.
One of the questions asked the children to read Romans 8:28 and write what it says in their own words. Here is Romans 8:28 (NIV):
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
And here is one student’s summary of that verse:
As long as we love him, he will call us.
Take a minute to think about that statement! As long as we love him, he will call us. While that thought might not be exactly what Paul intended when he wrote those words, I think it’s a beautiful way of describing the relationship between our love for God and his call on our lives. I have never thought of this relationship in quite this way, but it really interests me. It might even help us adults answer some important questions that we face:
How can you tell if God has called you? Well, if you love him, then he has called you according to his purpose. It’s as easy as that!
What has God called you to do (or be)? That’s a tricky question that each of us answers differently based on our talents, skills, interests, and situation in life. But anything God has called us to do (or be) will be rooted in our relationship of love with him. That’s the starting point.
Has God’s call on your life run out? Have you completed your tasks? Is it time to retire from the service? No! Remember, as long as we love him, he will call us.
God is always up to something new. Sometimes God is making our lives new; at other times, it might be our families or our church or our community that he is calling to become new. But we can rest assured that for as long as we love the Lord, he will indeed call us according to his purpose. And we may be comforted to know the truth of the rest of Romans 8:28 – that in order for his purpose to succeed in our lives, God works all things for our good. (The emphasis is on God’s purpose being fulfilled in us, not in our experience of all things working out.)
Friends, be encouraged by this child-like restatement of a scriptural truth. Love God, listen for his call, and ready yourself for new avenues of service in his kingdom!