Summary: Let’s think about the importance of serving the Lord and how a person might get selected for specialized Christian service. 1- Realize that not everyone wants to serve 2- Remember God’s process for selection 3- Recognize evil and stand strong
INTRO.- ILL.- In New England, the long-standing custom was for a visiting preacher to have his room provided by one of the families in the church. On Sunday morning, the lady of the house had prepared a big breakfast of ham and eggs, biscuits and gravy, even pancakes, along with coffee and juice.
The preacher, however, apologized and said, "Oh, I’m sorry but I never eat the morning that I preach."
The mother and her young son attended the church service that morning and afterward, she asked her son, "How did you like the preacher’s sermon?" He said, "He should have et."
Admittedly, for some preachers, it doesn’t make any difference whether they eat breakfast or not the morning they preach. It’s all the same. That’s why I prefer ’to et.’ Fasting won’t help me much at all!
Of course, I’ve also heard it said that if you feed a preacher a lot of food he won’t preach as long!
We must admit that not every Christian is called into the ministry. And not every minister who has supposedly been called should be there!
ILL.- It’s like the article I read the other day about CEO’s, Chief Executive Officers. Many of them here in America are way overpaid for the work they do. I have often wondered, "What work?" I have, at times, wondered the same thing about some who are involved in the ministry.
Ray Sandy and his grandson, Spencer, were here at the church a couple of years ago to paint the front doors. As Ray and Spencer walked by my office, Spencer, asked grandpa, "What does he do in there?"
Not every Christian is called into the ministry or the service of Christ, but some are and many are excellent servants. I’ve known many of them and you have as well.
Why are some people called to serve as preachers, etc. and others are not? Is there a criteria that a person has to meet in order to be chosen by God? Or is it just a matter of coincidence? It is a matter of personal choice or what?
ILL.- After I was baptized when I was 20 years old a Christian friend with whom I worked at Safeway encouraged me to go to Ozark Bible College to get some Bible knowledge and Christian education. So I did. It wasn’t long before the excitement and spirit of Christianity began to grow on me. Of course, I was being bombarded with sermons and lessons from the professors, etc.
We had chapel services twice a week; every Tuesday and Thursday morning. We had a Wednesday night service at the college as well. And of course, there was always church on Sunday; both morning and night services. Going to church that much is bound to do one of two things: turn you on or turn you off. IT TURNED ME ON.
Eventually, I went forward at a missionary conference that the college sponsored and said I would be willing to do whatever the Lord wanted. And I am so glad that He didn’t want me in China or Timbuktu! By the way, it’s an actual place in Africa.
After going forward at that commitment time, I didn’t know what I was going to do until one day when someone asked me to preach for him while he was gone. I said "yes" and had no idea what I was getting into! Not everyone wants to get up and speak before the public and I really wasn’t too thrilled about the idea but I did say "yes." And I was very scared!
Regardless of the type of Christian service, preaching or otherwise, there will be some negatives to endure. But overall, it pays to serve Christ and that’s what we’re here to do!
PROP.- Let’s think about the importance of serving the Lord and how a person might get selected for specialized Christian service and serve in the midst of difficulty.
1- Realize that not everyone wants to serve
2- Remember God’s process for selection
3- Recognize evil and stand strong
I. REALIZE THAT NOT EVERYONE WANTS TO SERVE
ILL.- A new employee had been caught coming into work late three times and the fourth time the manager decided to find out what the problem was. He said, "Look here, don’t you know what time we start to work around here?"
The employee said, "No sir, I don’t. They’re always working when I get here."
Some people in the working world are not in a hurry to go to work because they don’t want to work! And the same is true for the church. Some people are not in a hurry to come to church for fear that someone will ask them to serve in some form or another.
This thought is not in our text, but it is true that not everyone wants to serve the Lord in a specialized way, such as: preaching, teaching, singing, leading, evangelizing, missionary work, etc.