Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: God wants to use us beyond our ability.


Part 2-Because I Can or Because I’m Called

January 13, 2008

Pastor Brian Matherlee

Video introduction from “Stewardship Ministries of the Wesleyan Church” entitled, “Gifts”.

There are two ways to serve:

1. Out of the gifts I know I have

2. Out of the call of God beyond my gifts

Key point:

God wants to use us beyond our ability.

Today, God wants us to understand His calling:

A. God Calls Us to Service

1. He saved us for that reason

i. Revelation 5:9-10, “because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God”.


2. He equips us for that reason

i. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

ii. God is looking for us to trust him and start moving. He’ll give you what you need when you need it. It’s like McGyver…there was always a roll of duct tape around when he needed it.

3. He fills us for that reason

i. Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

ii. John 15:4, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

iii. Many things keep us from remaining in Christ:

• Spiritual laziness, greed, sin, etc.

B. God’s Call is Sometimes Resisted

1. Across the centuries, many others have made similar statements when faced with the call of God: “I am too young.” “I am too old.” “I am too poor.” “I come from the wrong background.” “I am too shy.” “I don’t have the talent for this.” “I don’t have anything to offer.”

2. Many such statements rise out of feelings of inferiority and poor self-images. Maxwell Maltz said he believed 95 percent of people have some feelings of inferiority. Why do we feel inadequate and ill-prepared for the work God calls us to do? (based on some thoughts from Stan Toler)

i. Past failures

• How many times have we thought, “I tried that before and failed. There’s no point in trying again”? In that regard, I think about James Irwin, a pilot who was injured in a terrible plane crash. He experienced painful suffering, a loss of memory, and various other problems. But Irwin refused to let that keep him down. He applied to the corps of astronauts and was rejected. He tried again and was rejected; tried again, rejected. Tried again . . . and became the eighth man to set foot on the moon. He refused to allow his past failures to limit him.

• There are many reasons for failure. Perhaps we weren’t preparing. Perhaps we lost our focus. Peter was successful to the call of the Lord to walk on water until he lost his focus.

ii. Faulty Theology

• Many people think that God gives a couple of gifts and then we are to serve him only in that capacity. That isn’t how God usually works.

• Sometimes he does. He wants us to be like granny in the video and use the talents we already know about.

• But God called Moses beyond his ability. God called Gideon beyond his ability. God called Solomon beyond his ability, God called Peter beyond his ability.

• God wants us to set out in faith and allow him to work through us to meet a need. Let me tell you about a man named Mike. I spent some time with Mike earlier this week. Mike hasn’t been a Christian very long. He had a rough life before Christ but God saved him and Mike began attending church and got involved in Sunday School. He had only been attending a few months when the Sunday School teacher told the class she was worn out and needed someone to take over. No one spoke up. Mike had a sense that God was asking him to volunteer. He thought, “God, I’m just a baby Christian, I don’t know as much as these people.” He had never taught anything before, much less the Bible. But Mike obeyed the leading of the Lord and has found God helping him every Sunday since. His class is one of the best at his church. His mother in law comes to our church, Betty Bumgardner.

• Mike didn’t wait to be gifted to serve. Mike started serving and God gifted him.

iii. Unwilling heart

• We don’t want to give something up

• We don’t want to invest the time

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