Summary: It is only as we recognize our place within the body of Christ and come to the realization that we do each have a specific, important ministry...it is only then that we will find the joy and fulfillment that comes from serving the living Christ.
A HOLY CALLING
A man once visited Tiffany's jewelry store in New York City He was shown a magnificent diamond with its gleaming yellow light, and then he was then shown many other beautiful gems.
But he noticed one that was completely without any luster and said that it had absolutely no beauty at all. The friend who was with him took the stone and held it in the hollow of his hand for a few minutes. When he opened it the man was totally surprised.
There was not one place on it the size of a pinhead that didn't gleam with the splendor of the rainbow. "What did you do with it" he asked?
The friend said, "This is an opal. It is what we call the sympathetic jewel. It only needs contact with the human hand to bring out its wondrous beauty.
Spiritually speaking, I believe we have many in our congregation who are like this stone. Inside there is something that is even far more valuable than an opal, but you need the touch of the Savior's hand to bring out what is hidden inside.
Those hidden gems inside are the gifts that each of us, as Christians, have been given. Let me ask you...How many here feel that they are called of God for specific service? What does it mean to say that we are called of God? What does it mean when we say that we are called to a certain ministry? How does my calling as a pastor relate or compare to your individual call?
In Christ there is neither Greek nor Jew, bond or free, male or female. So as far as our standing before God, we are all equal. And when Paul speaks to us as Christians, he means all who have been called "according to „ªHis„« purpose."
We are all ministers in the truest sense of the word, because a minister is simply one who serves. And our life of service is a holy calling.
But I think that each of us needs to hear the admonition Paul gave to Timothy...to fan into flame the gift of God that is within us. We need to rekindle that call that each one of us has because many times we forget just who we are...and whose we are...and what we're to be and to do.
We each have gifts...and we each have a call to ministry within the body of Christ. This morning I want to look at the call of God as it applies to each and every one of us, regardless of the specifics.
It is only as we recognize our place within the body of Christ and come to the realization that we do each have a specific, important ministry...it is only then that we will find the joy and fulfillment that comes from serving the living Christ.
I. Our Call is by Grace.
Look at v. 1 (2 Timothy 1:) The very first point that Paul makes in this passage is this: Our call has nothing to do with what we have accomplished.
In Ephesians we read that we're saved by grace, not by works...it is the gift of God. God doesn't save us because He realizes just how indispensable we are to the kingdom of God.
In actuality, we deserve nothing but Hell... yet it was because He loves us that we can call Him Savior, and He has called us to serve Him and allow Him to be Lord of our lives.
And we are called, not because we have greater gifts or greater natural talents and abilities than anyone else...or because we are more privileged than anyone else. We are called through God's grace.
God has called us according to „ªHis„« purposes...not according to our works...whether it's what we've done or what we've left undone. It's not something that we sit down and decide..."Well, I think I'll be a pastor...evangelist...teacher...If it were left to us we'd have far too many chiefs and not enough Indians
God, in His wisdom, knows what is best for us and best for the body of Christ. He makes the choice, and gives the gifts...but it is up to us to take what He gives and use it for His glory. And this is the very foundation upon which we must build our understanding of the call of God.
But I find that so many people have no idea what their spiritual gifts are...because they always associate that with natural talents and abilities. If it was something we were naturally talented at, why would God have to give it to us as a gift?
So how do we discover where God is leading and calling us? I don't think there are any "pat" answers for this question. But how many times have you said to yourself, "I wouldn't mind doing that" or "I wish I could get involved in ...(this or that).