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Summary: Through the usage of Rebekkah being blessed to become Isaac's wife, this sermons highlights the blessings in going above and beyond the call of duty.

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ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL

Rev. Troy Denson

Preached at Full Gospel Baptist Church’s Installation of Officers

January 25, 2015

GENESIS 24: 17-20

"The servant hurried to meet her [Rebekah] and said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.” “Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink. After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.” So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels." (Genesis, 24:17-20)

ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY

Introduction

Beloved, in the extensive history of the Lord’s modern church we find that many people went above and beyond the call of duty. For example in 1517, Martin Luther could have comfortably lived his life as a young college professor in Germany, but his fellow Catholic priests’ and bishops’ selling of indulgences as a method for alive and deceased church members to perceptually receive forgiveness for their sins, moved Martin above and beyond the call of duty of being a teacher. And he simply wrote and posted a document on the doors of the churches called “95 Theses”; which explained that people could find forgiveness and grace by faith alone in Jesus Christ (Jones, 2012). Who would have known that his simple “document” would lead to the beginning of Protestant Christianity in which we worship today, and the translation of the bible into languages whereas the common person could read the Word of God for him/herself?

Similarly, around 1600-1603, John Smyth could have lived peacefully practicing medicine, studying at Christ College in Cambridge, England, and pastoring his humble church, but his desire to see his parishioners move away from the Book of Common Worship and back to the bible, away from baptizing babies, and away from hierarchies outside of the local church, he went above and beyond the call of duty. How? He shared his convictions of the book of Acts 2 to the Anglican Church in England that “believers ought to be baptized upon the profession of their faith”, and then re-baptized himself (Smyth, 2008). Who would have known that his single “witness” would eventually lead to the establishment Baptist Church throughout the world? All because one person above and beyond the call of duty.

Likewise, in the Black Church’s history we find that many folk’s went above and beyond the call of duty. In 1787 Richard Allen could have simply been obliged to attend the White Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (St. George Methodist Episcopal Church); however, when his fellow black parishioners were pulled up off of their knees while praying, he was called to go above and beyond the call of duties of an a black church member. How so? They simply walked out of the church and later on into a humble metal shop [down the road and around the corner]. And in 1794 Bethel AME was dedicated, and in 1815 the church was incorporated (Dennis, 2014). Who would have known that simply walking out of the racist church would have led to the to freedom of Blacks to worship in their own churches, sit or pray where ever they chose in their churches, select their own Black pastors, elect their own Black bishops, and plant churches worldwide? This is because one day one man went above and beyond the call of duty. Similarly, in 1955 Martin Luther King, Jr. could have comfortably lived his life as pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, in Montgomery, Alabama, but the suffering and injustices due of his fellow people due to racist White folks and Jim Crow laws called him to go above and beyond the call of duty of just being a pastor, husband, and father. Who would have known that simple peaceful protests, or boycotting a bus ride and walking, and/or preaching the unmitigated gospel message, all would convict the heart of the President of the United States, the government, and people worldwide and lead to the African American’s freedoms of the right to vote, right sit where we chose on a bus, live where we want to in a community? Just as Martin Luther King went above and beyond his call, just as John Smyth went above and beyond his call, just as Martin Luther went above and beyond his call, and just as Richard Allen went above and beyond his call, in our text today, at Genesis 24: 17-20, God is calling us to go above and beyond the call of duty, of being parents, of being employees, being church members. And who knows what great things God will do in our lives, in our church, and in the community, when we go above and beyond the call of duty? In our scripture today, Rebekah not only gave the servant water from her hands, but she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.”, and her entire life changed (Gen., 24:19a).


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