Summary: A message to pastors to remind them that God has called them.
September 24, 2005 Annual Sermon
Tri-County Assoc. Annual Mtg. First Southern Fort Scott
I will be taking my text from Nehemiah 1: 3.
It was on May 10, 1968, when God called me to surrender my life to him and be part of the family of God.
My life was forever changed and my eternal destiny sealed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
God began to work in my life and on November of 1971, I committed to studying and memorizing God’s Word.
Little did I know how much of an impact that would be on my life.
Then on August 27, 1972 God called, used those memorized scriptures to tug on my heart and I surrendered to the ministry.
God has spoken to me to serve him in many different capacities, over the years.
However, prior to coming to First Baptist Riverton, the past twenty years has been the ministry of rebuilding, while holding a full time job in upper management.
• Rebuilding churches that have disbanded
• Rebuilding those that have gone through a split
• Rebuilding those in financial straights
• Rebuilding those in physical disarray
• Rebuilding those in turmoil
• Building new ministries
In all of these churches, the objective was to bring the flock to a healthy pasture, with secure walls and strong gates, in preparation for a shepherd.
I learned something about serving in all of these places of ministry.
Most pastors only stay two to three years with a flock.
In fact, the average stay for a pastor in the association in Oklahoma that I ministered in was sixteen months.
Why did those shepherds leave the flock so soon?
I have always thought that they probably ran out of sermons.
However, in all likely-hood, they faced conflict and they ran.
When God calls someone to be a shepherd he gives them, three objectives and they are;
• Feed my sheep
• Feed my sheep
• Feed my sheep
Over three years-ago God called me out of the secular arena to become a full time shepherd.
This is the greatest ministry I have ever been called too, that of being his shepherd to his local flock, in good times and bad times.
The question I ask you this afternoon is this; “Has God Called You to be a Shepherd?
Because of the awesome power of the written Word and the fact that Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of our salvation, please join me by paying respect to “To God’s written Word” by standing as we read from Nehemiah 1: 3.
And they said to me, "The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire." Nehemiah 1: 3
Father I come before your awesome presence this afternoon and recognize how little I know about your grace and mercy.
Father as I prepare to bring this message to your shepherds, I ask you to open our hearts and minds to your Holy Spirit.
May we gleam from your holy scriptures the food we so desperately need.
May there not be one soul that leaves this place who has not been touched by your presence.
Father, I pray that the words of my mouth and the meditation of my soul be acceptable in your sight O’ Lord.
May we rejoice in your presence, for I ask all these things in the precious name of my Savior and King the Lord Jesus Christ.
As we just read in the book of Nehemiah, "The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire."
In the 9th chapter of Daniel, we see a prayer Daniel offers up to his people. In the later part of verse 12, Daniel describes the condition of Jerusalem.
Never in all history has there been a disaster like the one that happened in Jerusalem. Daniel 9:12b
Nehemiah went to Jerusalem to take a survey and found that the inside of the Temple had been restored over seventy years prior, but on outside around the Temple in the city of Jerusalem there was great distress and reproach.
The walls where broken down and the gates were burned.
God called Nehemiah to a task.
The task of rebuilding!
Rebuilding the walls and gates of that great city.
As shepherds, God has called us to shepherd his local flock, we are a type of Nehemiah.
Just as God called Nehemiah to a task, God has called us to a task.
We have been called to a task that God desires us to complete.
It may be at First Baptist, Cavalry, Bethel, Immanuel, Fellowship, or some other name, but we have all been called.