Summary: A sermon on the calling of every Christian
Sermon for 5/4/2003
The St. Bernard Dogs in the Alps who seek out travelers lost in a storm take their mission very seriously. One of these dogs returned late one afternoon, wearied from fighting his way through the drifts. He went to his kennel, lay down in a corner, and acted thoroughly despondent, despite the efforts of his master to encourage him. Was he sick? Well, no, not in body, but in heart. He had failed to find anyone to help and had come back ashamed. May this be the attitude of every Christian?
A. The dreams of a servant from Ray Fulenwider in The Servant Driven Church.
B. God has called us into the Kingdom for “such a time as this.” With a childlike faith, the servant believes God can use him to make a significant difference in today’s world.
C. The servant believes very strongly in the care, guidance and control of God. He believes in Providence.
D. He believes that God has providentially called the church family together.
E. Providence is the hand of God in the glove of history.
F. He believes that each person in the local church has been called together for such a time as this.
G. A servant plans, but he does not leave God out of the planning.
H. A servant enjoys seeing God at work.
I. Let’s take a look at how God works.
1. How many of you were members of this congregation when this building was built? Raise your hand. A servant is thankful for their faith, sacrifice and perseverance. Many stories of the difficulty of building this building and building the church. They needed a lot of faith and needed a lot of help. God provided the increase! Many people here and we see God working.
2. How many of you have moved here from another state or country? God knew that we need you.
3. How many came here from another congregation within the state?
4. How many have been taught the gospel and been led to Christ by someone in this congregation?
5. How many of you when you first came to church here planned to be here today? You said the first time you walked in the door, yes, this is the place for me.
J. Many of us move from one place to another “kicking and screaming.” We don’t want to move. However, the servant realizes that God has called many different people from all over the world with incredible gifts, talents and abilities. Since God has called this great volunteer army together in the local church, He expects great things to happen!
K. Last week we talked about Acts 6 and we see that the Twelve, the apostles, knew that their calling from God did not involve waiting on tables. How did they know this? What is the call of God for our lives? What is our calling?
L. Some people believe that for them to have a calling from God it must come to them like it came to the Apostle Paul.
M. Read Acts 9:1-19.
1. How Paul was saved.
2. How Paul was called. He began to fulfill his calling immediately.
3. Yes, Paul was called kicking and screaming but if we wait for an experience like this one, most of us will be waiting a long time.
4. We will never be saved.
5. We will never do what God wants of us if we wait for him to come in a vision or with an audible voice.
6. I dare say that no one in this room was saved or called this way. I wish it would happen this way!
7. In the English language, there is an exception to every rule. Paul’s experience is not the rule it is more like an exception. I suppose it might happen to you in some dynamic fashion like Paul’s, but don’t count on it.
N. We shy away talking about God’s call or calling on our lives because of things like this. Wild experiences that people claim from the Lord!
Thesis: This morning I want to talk about the calling of God on our lives.
1. We are first going to talk about calling and election.
A. First we will begin with election.
1. The question here is who is electing whom.
** In an election, the people elect individuals for offices in the government.
a. One side says that God elects some to salvation. He predetermines who will be saved and who will not be saved. If we are a member of the elect, then we are one of his children. If we are not, then we are going to hell. God elects us and we do not elect God! There is nothing we can do to get elected!