Monday, July 4, 2011

Romans 9: When God calls, his sheep come - if they choose to

As I sat here at 3:18 pm on Monday, July 4, 2011, pondering Paul’s words about sovereignty and free will, the Truth struck me. Finally, I understood it! Calvin, Wesley, Augustine, eat your hearts out.

But….rather than write it down, I chose instead to go get a glass of lemonade. Hey, it’s hot and it’s the Fourth. So world, you will have to wait.

Juuust kidding! Of course I have as much hope of really solving the sovereignty of God/choice conundrum as I do of making the Chinese women’s gymnastics team. But I will say this: Romans 9:12 says election is by Him who calls (God) and not by works. And the entire Bible, from bowsprit to stern galley lantern, is one earnest plea for the reader to choose God. The Shepherd calls his sheep; his Spirit prompts them; the sheep must choose to respond. In the inner life, in ministry, in everything, we co-labor with God.  Trying to pretend otherwise gives me a headache.

And speaking of choices, I think God wants me to dwell less on this conundrum than on how I might better follow Paul’s example of “my brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they might be saved.”

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