THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
GOD’S LOVE FOR HIS CHILDREN
loved His people Israel, whom He delivered from slavery in
Egypt. “When Israel was a child I loved him, out of
Egypt I called my son.” (Hos 11:1). Unfortunately, Israel
was ultimately ungrateful, rebellious and even idolatrous.
“The more I called them, the farther they went from
me, sacrificing to the Baals and burning incense to idols.”
(Hos 11:2). Israel was unmindful of the love and care and
protection extended by God. “Yet it was I who taught
Ephraim to walk, who took them in my arms; but they did not
know that I cared for them.” (Hos 11:3).
to their rebellion and disobedience, Israel would be overrun
by its enemies. “He shall return to the land of Egypt,
Assyria shall be his king, because they have refused to repent.
The sword shall rage in his cities” (Hos 11:5-6a). Israel
turned its back to God, and justly deserved its fate. It would
have been right for God just to abandon them. “My people
have their mind set on apostasy; though they call on God in
unison, he shall not raise them up.” (Hos 11:7).
how could God abandon His child? “How could I give you
up, Ephraim, or deliver you up, Israel?” (Hos 11:8a).
God is merciful and compassionate. “My heart is overwhelmed,
my pity is stirred.” (Hos 11:8c). Ultimately God raised
up from Israel the Messiah, a Savior. God sent His own Son
to redeem His children. Jesus went to the cross to die for
us. At the cross on Calvary, the soldiers “came to Jesus
and saw that he was already dead” (Jn 19:33a). With
his death and resurrection, Jesus conquered sin, darkness
and evil. “God indeed is my salvation” (Is 12:2a).
God delivered us from bondage and slavery to our own Egypt,
that is, sin and the dominion of the evil one. Jesus restored
us to our relationship as children of God. But we too, just
like Israel, have been rebellious and disobedient. We too
have turned our back on Jesus our Savior. As such, we are
once again enmeshed in sin and darkness, and are in great
danger of losing the salvation already won for us by Jesus.
needs to happen? Jesus has to be proclaimed anew, so that
so-called Christians can once again meet and know him. The
aim is “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through
faith” (Eph 3:17a). Then one who meets Christ anew,
in order to experience the fullness of God’s salvation,
ought to live Christ as well. The aim is “that you,
rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend
with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and
height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses
knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness
of God.” (Eph 3:17b-19).
does one get to meet Christ and live Christ? It is when someone
shares Christ. Just like Paul did, with all his imperfections.
“To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace
was given, to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches
of Christ” (Eph 3:8). To share Christ is to preach about
Jesus the Messiah and to tell people of “the eternal
purpose that (God) accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord”
(Eph 3:11). One is to share Christ with “boldness of
speech and confidence of access through faith in him.”
everything starts with God’s love. Out of love, God
sent Jesus the Messiah, who won for us our salvation. We are
to witness to Jesus, to share Christ, so that others may meet
Christ and live Christ, and thus experience that salvation.
Since God wants all to be saved, the task of sharing Christ
is intended to be a worldwide work. “Among the nations
make known his deeds, proclaim how exalted is his name. Sing
praise to the Lord for he has done glorious things; let this
be known throughout all the earth.” (Is 12:4b-5).