October 2016

Drawn by God

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:44)

          What have you and I drawn? No, I don’t mean with pencil and paper, but work done to move something.  We have likely drawn some curtains open, drawn the hose off the lawn, or maybe drawn an anchor onto a boat. These, and any other drawing examples, involve us as we are active, and the thing we are drawing is passive. Apply this concept to our Christian life and Christ raising us up on the last day. “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!”

          While drawing, there are situations when caution is needed. To use more force is sometimes the proper answer, yet not always. The curtain, hose, or anchor might be stuck; then more force could cause damage. At times, when I think I have used reasonable force and the drawing does not occur, then I will analyze the situation and provide more intimate care. After the problem is recognized and dealt with, then the drawing action begins again.

          There are also situations in which we do not draw the item all at once.  We might partially open a curtain to let some light in, draw a hose a little to water a dry segment of grass, or draw the anchor just a bit in order to move the boat a short distance.

          Let us consider God’s means of grace as He draws us to Himself. The Pharisee Saul had the Law applied heavily with a direct rebuke and a physical affliction--blindness. He was cared for by Ananias and urged to receive Baptism. Saul, who took the name of Paul, was presented with the Gospel. Further force was relieved, for a while, as he was strengthened with the Gospel. Paul was drawn into the proper relationship as a Baptized child of God. Fourteen years after being drawn to this environment, Paul began to serve on missionary journeys. More force and great care was applied to Paul as he was drawn through the challenging situations recorded in 2 Timothy 11:24-27:

          Five times I received at the hands of the Jews forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I  was shipwrecked; a night and day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.         

         As you have the Word of God in your life and are Baptized, realize that God is drawing you to Himself. God continually provides opportunities for us to be further comforted and strengthened for the challenges of life. He does this through His Word and Sacrament ministry. “Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth” (John 17:17). We are to daily drown our old man in our Baptism and be regularly nourished with Christ’s own body and blood. In so doing, we receive continual assurance of God drawing us in order that we will be raised up. We are in His intimate care as we are being drawn with some force and then some proper care as we get stuck. He takes us to new levels on our Christian walk to do His will. God is at work; gladly receive His care.  

The Lord be with you,

Pastor Sam Wiseman