Apr. 6, 2017

How Should A Person Respond To the Call of God?

Ministry is more than preaching a sermon on a Sunday morning. All disciples (followers of His teaching and principles) of  Jesus Christ are called to minister or serve. Each person has a different ministry so no two are exactly alike. Be careful not to compare your assignment with someone else's. Just do what He has commissioned you to do and do it well.

Paul's opening statement in the book of Romans is a good indicator of a sincere and healthy perspective of ministry.

Romans 1

1) Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

1. Serve with humility - Paul identifies himself as a servant. He hasn't elevated himself to a lofty position based on his education, family background, personal associations or any other earthly attributes.

2. Serve with assurance of the Lord and who He is - Paul doesn't state that he is a servant of the gospel or the church or the people. He knows that he has been bought with a high price. Jesus Christ is his Master and Paul is loyal to the One who purchased his salvation by His obedience on the cross.

3. Serve with assurance of who you are in Him and because of Him - Paul acknowledges that he is called and seperated. He is appointed to be an apostle. Because of that appointment, his life is separated from his own ambitions and is submitted to the whole will of God.

4. Stay focused on what is vital and true: the Gospel - The separation of Paul's life didn't leave him dangling on the edge of nothingness. No, rather, this distance from his past freed him to immerse himself in servitude. Paul is committed unto the gospel. He is fully determined to publish and practice the Good News of Jesus Christ!

 2) (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)

Note these additional thoughts regarding a positive response to the call of the Lord.

5. Know that your calling and assignments are ordained by God and didn't begin just when you became aware of them. His plan for your life was established even before you were born.

6. Other people are connected to your calling and ministry. So your fulfillment or rebellion affect many others, not just you. When you excel your examples of obedience strengthen other people. In a similar fashion, negligence in ministry, laziness and carelessness weaken the body of Christ.

3) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;

4) And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

7. Know who you are serving and why. Study Him. Be a lifelong student. Spend time with Him. Deepen your relationship with Him. There is always more to know about Him and He is pleased when we demonstrate our love for Him and interest in Him.

5) By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name

8. Understand that we are not entitled to anything based on our own merit. We are called because He chose us. Period.

9. Because of His grace toward us, we are responsible for being obedient to the faith. We are charged with walking in and by His Word. Walking "in" it as we would walk in the rain. The atmosphere that we surround ourselves with should be charged with the Word of God and what pleases Him. Walking "by" His Word like as a guide: similar to how a blind person may utilize a service animal, or a white cane or their senses of hearing and smelling to determine their steps. Those are used to guide, warn and protect them. The Word of the Lord is given to us for the same reasons.

10. Using the illustration of a person who is visually impaired, the tools they utilize make them recognizable to other people and set them apart. Anywhere they go, they are observed as being somewhat different from most of the population. All nations should be able to note that we are different. In any setting, we should maintain our commitment, demonstrate the grace of God on our lives and display our obedience to the faith.

11. IT'S ALL ABOUT HIM!!! We are here to serve, not to be served. He is the focus and He is the reason for all of what we do.