Amidst these trying times, there is hope for better livelihood—plentiful harvest, success in work or business, and others. However, such promise is reserved not for anybody but just for the chosen people of God.
NOTWITHSTANDING THE CONCERTED efforts of world leaders to address the worsening global economic condition, no concrete measures have so far proved successful in alleviating the miseries of mankind. Adding to these are the calamities, pandemics, and wars taking place in different parts of the globe. Cries for the betterment of society and for the solution of its many ills are prevalent not only in poor countries but also in the richest and most powerful ones. Seeing no clear indication that things will soon improve has led many people around the world to lose hope, unable to cope with life’s vicissitudes. Others blame leaders of nations for their failure to take the proper action. Worst, there are people who come to the point of blaming God for mankind’s sufferings.
Such events, however disheartening, come as no surprise to God’s faithful servants, for they completely understand that while such horrific occurrences happen as manifestations of God’s curse to the world for its wickedness, they firmly believe that they will be spared from these occurrences because the Almighty reserves for them His blessings.
Manifestation of God’s blessings
God promises to pour out His blessings to the livelihood of His people whom He deems worthy. The Scriptures say:
“The LORD your God will bless your work and fill your barns with grain. He will bless you in the land that he is giving you.” (Deut. 28:8 Good News Bible)
Thus, amidst these trying times, there is hope for better livelihood—plentiful harvest, success in work or business, and others. However, such promise is reserved not for anybody but just for the chosen people of God. As the Holy Bible attests:
“Salvation belongs to the LORD. Your blessing is upon Your people.” (Ps. 3:8 New King James Version)
The Bible ascertains that there are those whom God recognizes as His people. They enjoy exclusively the right to attain God’s promises. Thus, those who aspire for God’s blessings should make sure that they belong to His people or those whom God recognizes as His.
The chosen people of God
A person may easily claim he is of God and that he belongs to His chosen people because he calls and prays to Him in times of need. Or he may claim he performs worship services for the Almighty. But, who truly are God’s chosen people? God Almighty, Himself, introduces His people, as:
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (II Chr. 7:14 NKJV)
One characteristic of the chosen people of God is they are called by His name—a name He owns. In these last days or the period called “the ends of the earth,” there are also people whom the Creator acknowledges as His and are indeed called by the name of God, thus:
“Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, And gather you from the west; I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth—Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.” (Isa. 43:5-7 NKJV)
In these last days, the chosen people of God are those whom He called by His name. Which is the name owned by God and by which His people are called? Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
“And now I am coming to you; I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world. Holy Father! Keep them safe by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one just as you and I are one.” (John 17:11 GNB)
The name from God by which His people are called is the name given to Jesus—the name Christ. As the name Israel was given to God’s first nation, so was the name Christ to God’s chosen people in the Christian Era. Thus, how did the apostles call the members of the Church founded by Christ? In Acts 20:28, this is stated:
“Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.” (Lamsa Translation)
Thus, God’s chosen people in these last days are the members of the Church Of Christ. They are the ones assured by God of His promises to bless their living.
Condition to attain His blessings
But membership in the true Church Of Christ does not suffice to receive God’s blessings. There are conditions set by God for His servants to be assured of His blessings. What does God require of those who wait for His blessings? In Exodus 23:25:
“So you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you.” (NKJV)
God requires His people to serve Him for Him to bless them. On the other hand, those who refuse to serve God shall surely face His wrath:
“’If you will not hear, And if you will not take it to heart, To give glory to My name,’ Says the LORD of hosts, ‘I will send a curse upon you, And I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have cursed them already, Because you do not take it to heart.’” (Mal. 2:2 NKJV)
A curse awaits those who refuse to give glory to God. Therefore, members of the Church Of Christ must at all times give glory to God.
Giving glory to God
How do the servants of God give glory to Him? The Holy Scriptures answer:
“Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.” (Ps. 96:1-3 NKJV)
Singing hymns of praises to God and declaring His glorious and wondrous works are among the ways we can give glory to Him. When do the members of the Church Of Christ perform such? During the congregational worship services as the Book of Psalms declares:
“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. For He is our God. And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice.” (Ps. 95:6-7 NKJV)
Therefore, the people of God should give utmost importance to their congregational worship services, for by this, God is glorified. For this reason, the Administration commissioned by God to oversee His flock in these last days untiringly admonishes the members to uphold worthy worship services of God. Responsive to the call, the members never abandon their obligations to the Almighty. When hard times come, they approach God in the houses of worship. There they cry for help and receive renewed strength from the Most Powerful to enable them to traverse this wicked world. And whenever they receive God’s blessings, they never forget to thank their Maker, offering Him hymns of praises and thanksgiving.
It is no surprise, therefore, that worshiping God is given utmost importance by the Church Of Christ in these last days, amid difficulties, afflictions and adversities that confront the world.
This article was originally published in the Pasugo: God’s Message magazine.