A number of years ago I had the privilege of officiating at my cousin’s wedding. Up to that point I had used the phrase, “I’m going to marry so and so,” but it sounded a little too red-neck to say that next weekend I was going to marry my cousin. So here I proudly tell you that last weekend I had the profound privilege of officiating my oldest son’s wedding.
As you can imagine it was a wonderful day and a beautiful ceremony, and we are way beyond pleased to have Nicole as part of our family. During most of the ceremony they were all but oblivious of me, completely enraptured as they held hands and had eyes only for each other. What a joyful celebration of their love for each other. But it was also a celebration of God’s love for us.
Marriage, in part, is intended to be a picture of the love relationship between Jesus and us. One author has put it like this: Jesus chooses you, pursues you, and woos you. One aspect of this is expressed in the last phrase of 1 Thessalonians 2:12, “. . . God, who calls you into His kingdom and glory.”
Did you realize that God has called you, and continues to call you into His kingdom and glory? We often talk about people making a decision for Jesus, like that old gospel song says, “I have decided to follow Jesus.” To a point that is valid, but we usually put all the emphasis on our decision and completely miss or at best mostly neglect that God initiated this.
Not only did God initiate this, but he continues to initiate relationship. God continuously calls you into His kingdom and glory. I’m no language expert, but I believe the way it is phrased is in the present continuous tense. So in other words this wasn’t some invitation given thousands of years ago and now God is sitting back waiting to see if anybody will show up. God has called and unceasingly calls to you, to invite you into his kingdom, into his glory, into relationship with him.
But this call to his kingdom and glory doesn’t end when we respond. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, God invites, even urges us to go higher and further into his kingdom, and to experience more of his glory. Do you hear God calling to you? If not maybe you need to stop and listen.