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8 A CALL TO CHRISTIAN SERVICE by Rev Dr Henry O Alloway, PhD.

Some quotations of Jesus really highlight our call to Christian service. “When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, he shall he sit on the throne of his glory, with all the nations gathered before him. He will separate men into two groups, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right hand, “You have my Father's blessing; come, enter and possess the kingdom that has been ready for you since the world was made. For when I was hungry, you gave me food; when thirsty, you gave me drink; when I was a stranger you took me into your home, when naked you clothed me; when I was ill you came to my help, when in prison you visited me.” Then the righteous will reply, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and fed you, or thirsty and gave you drink, a stranger and took you home, or naked and clothed you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and come to visit you?” And the king will answer, “I tell you this: anything you did for one of my brothers here, however humble, you did for me.” Matthew 25:31-40 NEB

Then his mother and his brothers arrived, and remaining outside sent in a message asking him to come out to them. A crowd was sitting round and word was brought to him: “Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you.” He replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” and looking round at those who were sitting in the circle about him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of God is my brother, my sister, my mother.” Mark 3:31-35 NEB

“And to all he said, “If anyone wishes to be a follower of mine, he must leave self behind; day after day he must take up his cross, and come with me. Whoever cares for his own safety is lost, but if a man will let himself be lost for my sake, that man is safe. What will a man gain by winning the whole world, at the cost of his true self? For whoever is ashamed of me and mine, the son of man will be ashamed of him, when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and the holy angels.” Luke 9: 23--26 NEB

I heard a preacher ask recently, “Would you trade something you can't keep for something you can't lose?” He went on to say that he was talking about a person's life. If a person chooses to keep his life, he loses it somewhere along the line -- but if he gives his life away unto Christ, he is given new life that lasts for eternity.

Another preacher once said, “Once born, you die twice. Twice born, you die once.” He was talking about what Jesus had to say, when he said, “You must be born again.” If we surrender our lives to God, we have the promise of eternal life. Who could not make that trade? And yet many remain dead in their trespasses and sins, not allowing the new life of Christ into their hearts.

We have such a short span of years here on earth, and who can tell when those years will pass. Only God knows fully the time of man, even though promises are made regarding those who would honor God and their own mother and father.

You know if it were only a matter of “Pie in the sky, by and by,” then being a Christian would be a real cop-out. People would be deciding to live in misery on earth in exchange for an eternal life -- but I do not believe this is God's way. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

I believe the life that God has for us now is the most exciting, the most thrilling, the most awesome, the most wonderful -- and indeed -- the most lasting. When Jesus said, “I am come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly,” he meant precisely that!

If you can dare to really give your life to God, he will take it and make life exciting, beautiful, and wonderful for you.

That doesn't mean that you won’t have trials -- He said the rain would fall on the just and on the unjust -- but you will have the joy of seeing how God can transform your trials into triumphs, valleys into victories, fears into faith, and defeats into deliverance. Our God is able to change our whole outlook if we can only look to him.

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