Summary: This is a sermon used for a licensing service.
Series: “Special Services”(Licensing Of John M. Small)
After a church service on Sunday morning, a young boy suddenly announced to his mother, "Mom, I’ve decided to become a minister When I grow up."
"That’s okay with us, but what made you decide that?" "Well," said the little boy, "I have to go to church on Sunday anyway, and I figure it will be more fun to stand up and yell, than to sit and listen."
This morning, we have the great privilege of licensing Mikie Small to the ministry. By doing so, we as a church are affirming our recognition of the evidence of his call to ministry.
What To Do When Trouble Comes
This was a sad time for the Nation of Israel because Uzziah was one of the good kings and he had died. I’m sure Isaiah was thinking, “Here we go again, things are going to get bad”. With that in mind, Isaiah makes his first correct decision; he goes to the temple, where the presence of God was.
When trouble comes, go to God.
Once Isaiah is in the right place, He sees 3 very important things: 1) God is on the throne; 2) God is still in charge; and 3) God is the only One worthy of our worship.
When trouble comes, put your confidence in God; not man who can die at any moment.
When we place ourselves in the presence of God we then see how dirty we really are and how desperately we need God’s cleansing. Praise God, through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for us, we can be washed clean of our sins.
When trouble comes, don’t forget who saved you and Who cleanses you from all unrighteousness.
When The Time Comes
It is interesting that up to this time Isaiah had never heard the call of God. I think many Christians have never felt like they were called to do anything for God because they have never been cleansed. God is not going to use a dirty vessel, I can assure you of that.
Allow God to clean you up, so you can hear the call.
Once you hear the call, then what? As Nike says, “Just do it!” Notice that God did not make Isaiah go, He simply asked a question.
Once you hear the call, you need to accept the call.
Isaiah heard God’s call for the first time and responded to it, as a cleansed individual will do.
When God calls: Listen, accept, and follow!
As I told Mikie, Tony, and others who have surrendered their lives to vocational ministry- “If there is anything else you can do and be happy, you probably should”. You may be thinking, “Is Shawn trying to talk these young men out of going into vocational ministry?”; but the truth is that the only way they will survive is that they are called to that by God.
Once Mikie made his decision public I told him the same thing I was told about ministry: “There will be times that the only thing you will have left is your call”.
I read a story in the Baptist New Mexican which was written by the editor, John Loudat. I would like to share this with you this morning.
“PASTORS MUST WORK HARD… AND SMART”
Did you hear the one about the surgeon who was sent to a hospital in a war zone? This made-up story (though it certainly could be true) is no joke- it’s deadly serious.
When the doctor arrived at his assignment, he was alarmed to discover that he was the lone physician among more seriously wounded soldiers than he could possibly treat. He wasted no time scrubbing up and getting busy repairing the bodies bloodied by the conflict.
He worked diligently until about noon, but he had only gotten around to a small fraction of those who needed his help. Nevertheless, after stitching up his latest client, he abruptly pulled off his gloves and dismissed his staff, telling them to take the next hour off for lunch. He was back at his post promptly one hour later, but the man who had been next in line for surgery had died.
Moving on to the next soldier, the doctor led his team in treating patient after patient for the next several hours. Still, though, a majority of those who required the expertise only he was qualified to give waited for his attention. But again, he abruptly walked out of the hospital, dismissing his staff until the next morning, and not one but several of the maimed military members slipped into eternity while he slept.
While many would be tempted to accuse the doctor of being uncaring and lacking compassion, the reality was that because of his diligence to take the time to take care of himself and to get the food, rest and time away from the job he needed, he was able to give more people a greater quality of the care they needed. And he was able to carry out his ministry of compassion over a much longer period of time than he would have had he dropped dead from exhaustion, and, because he had been careful to avoid working while impaired by fatigue, he hadn’t failed to remove any medical instruments from his patients before stitching them up or made any other mistakes that could have landed him in court for malpractice.