Summary: God has a calling on everyone, and it's vital for our spiritual health and growth to discover that calling
Scripture: 1 Tim 3:8-13
End of summer 1999 I was listening to a sermon on being a bondservant when God called me to the ministry with the words “Study to show yourself approved, and I will make you a minister to my people”
Many of you have heard my testimony of my calling, but one part I didn’t mention was this-
I spent the next 30 min, and many years after questioning God on the wisdom of choosing me to be a pastor.
After all, I had quite a past, and most of it was very public knowledge-
I was a drunkard- I had wasted my high school years pursing the next bout of intoxication with alcohol and occasionally drugs. IF I had applied myself I could have been an honor roll student but I wasted the gift God had given me for partying
A fornicator. I had the “Oscar” syndrome- my self-worth was tied into how many women I could sleep with. In fact, looking back into my family history there hasn’t been an Oscar who had held a marriage together in 4 generations due to infidelity. Hardly a qualification for the ministry.
A thief- I have a conviction for shoplifting. The only way I could get new shoes or clothes for school was to steal them. Same thing with school supplies or food some days.
A liar- lying used to be reflexive to me. IF anyone questioned me about something I did or said I’d automatically lie about it. Ironically, it was my mom who taught me this at an early age when she had an abusive boyfriend- if you are doing something you shouldn’t be doing, always have a good and believable story ready in case he questions you about it.
These were just a few of the things I brought to God’s attention on why I can’t be called to be a pastor- In my thinking at that time God was calling me to be a spiritual superman when I’m not even a good Clark Kent.
After spending time arguing with God I spoke to my senior pastor at the time. He encouraged me to pursue the call of God reminding me that God does not call the qualified, God qualifies the called.
So we are going to look at the calling of God today, and start with one of the ways people can serve in the Kingdom, and that position is of deacon.
1 Tim 3:8-11
8 In the same way, deacons m are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.
11 In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.
12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. 13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.
The first thing I want to say this morning is this, and it’s critical you understand this-
Everyone has a call of God upon their lives.
Yes, even you.
God created you for a purpose. Pew sitting is not a spiritual gift nor a position to aspire to in God’s Kingdom. You were saved to serve in His Kingdom. After accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, this is nothing more important for your eternal soul than finding your place of service in His Kingdom.
When the enemy attacks your mind and heart- it’s for one purpose- to derail you from serving. If he can neutralize your calling, the devil has open and free access to your mind and heart.
I want to share a few points about the idea of service in the Kingdom of God-
I. You’re not Worthy
Never forget that point. It seems counterintuitive to the way the world tells us to think about ourselves. There are way too many feel good preachers out there masquerading as pastors telling people I’m ok, your ok, God loves you and thinks you’re ok while never showing people who they really are.
Who are we? I use the term “We” on purpose because I include myself in this list-
Rebels against the King of the universe
Criminals and violators of the divine law.
Criminality in God’s Kingdom has only one sentence- death and consignment of your eternal soul to hell.
It’s critical for you to always remember that, and to keep that in the back of your mind. Why? Why would we want to focus on such a negative viewpoint about ourselves?