A Bible Study by Rev. Henry Paul Roa
during the Philippine Lutheran Youth League 3rd National Conference on
February 24, 2019 at the Lutheran Center, Sta. Mesa, Manila
“What is the difference between existing and living?”
To Exist – is a physical presence without any use or good effect to other people
To Live – is a physical presence but have a good spiritual effect to the lives of other people
Share your thought/s on this saying: “The unsearched life, is a life not worth living.”
It is important for everyone to understand and know the difference of this two words, and from there we can start to evaluate our life, knowing how other people values our life by making their lives valuable to us, and how we value our lives. The two statements presented to you will guide us, as we ponder upon the Words of God and helping us to understand our purpose the purpose of God of giving us life. In our study, may we be guided to answer the three basic questions of life:
The Three (3) Basic questions of Life
1. Where did I come from?
2. Why Am I here?
3. Where Am I going?
Let us now begin, are we here to exist or to live? It is important to know the difference not only by definition but by looking at our daily life. Many of us must have not considered this question, many also must have thought about this, many have struggled to find an honest answer to it, some must have already an answer for this.
Many of us must have known and looked at our life as living in terms of happiness based on material things, fulfillment based on earthly understanding (having a good job, family), surrounded by friends, etc. This is how the man of this world perceives his/her life. But life is more than existing, and life should be understood not only with its physicality but with the sense of spirituality.
Let us now begin to look at our life and let us know how well do you know your life by answering the three basic questions of life.
1. Where Did I come from?
– Genesis 2:7 – I come from the hands of God. God created me.
2. What Am I doing here?
– to glorify God with other creations – Psalm 148
– when we glorify, we share the goodness of God (words and deeds) – Matthew 28: 18-20; Romans 10: 14-17
3. Where Am I going?
– I am going back to kingdom of God where I belong – John 3:16, John 14:2
The Bible provided the answers for us, we are created by God not just to exist but to live. A life with a purpose. The life of a Christian is a life of worship, it worships God in the church. Spiritual life is a life of worship. Again, we go back to our first question:
– Are you an existing being in the church? Or Are you a living being in the church?
As a Christian youth, you cannot separate your identity from the church, you cannot separate your secular life from your spiritual life or worship life. Your spiritual life should always define your secular life (Matthew 5: 14-16, Ephesians 4:17).
God calls every Christian to a purpose, often times we missed in hearing the calling because we are so pre-occupied with the earthly calling, maybe we just ignore the calling of God deliberately.
God calls people to different functions and services in the church.
This calling may be intended to an individual, and to a family.
Let us now look at some instances in the Bible where God called the whole family and gave them specific mission or function in the church. Let us read these following bible narratives, observe or take note of how God called them, and on what purpose did God call them and what is the effect of their mission to other people who attends worship.
1. The Sons or Tribe of Levi – Numbers 3: 5-10
2. The Sons of Kohath – Numbers 4: 1-15
3. Sons of Gershon – Numbers 4: 21-28
4. Sons of Merari – Numbers 4: 29-33
5. Eleazar son of Aaron the priest – Numbers 4:16
HOW DID GOD CALL THEM?
1. God spoke to Moses and Aaron. He did not speak to the concerned individual or family directly but through His chosen servants/leaders. When God calls, He makes that calling through your Pastors. This is the reason Pastors invites and encourages church members to be part of a certain church office or function. The Pastor is being led by the Holy Spirit to identify people and their gifts, that can be used by God, for church purposes.
2. God gives the functions or works. God calls, God identifies the ability, God prepares the task. All of us were given abilities for definite purpose. (1 Corinthians 12:1-11)
3. The purpose of God in this call
• To make worship convenient for the people of God.
• Christian life is a life useful to God.
• What will happen to those who will not function the calling of God to them?
• Matthew 25: 25-30, Romans 12:11
• When God Calls and the one who is called refuses to take the task
There were times as narrated by the Bible that men who are called refused to listen to God, take note on their answers, and observe the persistence of God.
Moses – Exodus 3:10-14; 4:10-17
Isaiah – Isaiah 6: 1-8
Jeremiah – Jeremiah 1: 4-9
They all have their excuses but God was persistent. Why do you think God forces Himself to these people who refuses His calling?
GOD CALLS YOUNG PEOPLE
Most if not all of the prophets and apostles of God are called when they were young. Being young means full of vigor and freshness. There is always this wrong conception especially in serving God in the Church, we always looks at this calling exclusive for the adult or older men and women and not for the youth. But the Bible is full of proof that belies this wrong conception, instead, revealing to us that God’s call knows no age limit, it includes the youth. The 12 disciples were called by Jesus at their younger age as tradition puts it, from 13 yrs. Old to 25 yrs. Old, perhaps except for Peter, who was already married by that time. Jesus started His preaching ministry at the age of 30 (LK. 3:23); 1 Timothy 4:12; 2 Timothy 1: 5-6; 4:1-2;
GOD CALLS YOU TODAY
Read Luke 6: 17-16.
Consider this in our reading:
-Who are you in this gospel narrative?
The Disciple or the Crowd?
HOW CAN I BE USEFUL IN THE LORD?
You are called to be useful in the Lord. No Christian youth can say that there is nothing he/she can do in the church for God. No one should dare to say that I am young. Everybody in the Church has his/her calling, a function that God has prepared. Young people should be active participants in the ministry of the Church, especially in the Ministry of the Word.
1. Believe that God gives you talents to be used in the church.
2. Believe that God gives you talents not for your glory but firstly, it is for the glory of God.
3. Believe that God calls you to bring people to His loving presence.
4. Believe that God calls you to help people to worship Him in the Church.
5. Listen to Pastors and other Christians when they recognize your talent and encourage you to be in active service to God in the Church.
6. Prepare yourself for the greatest gift God gave to the church – Gift of speaking the Word of God ( 1 Corinthians 12: 2; 13:1 )
7. Part of preparation for this great task – attend Christian education and Theological Training by Extension (TEE)
8. Take theological course at the Seminary, to become Pastors and be able to train and prepare others to become pastors. (Matthew 9:37)
It is indeed a great privilege to be called by God, to be part of His work force, and to be the co-worker of Jesus in saving souls.