God's Promises of Ministry
Last week we talked a little bit about all the messed up people that God uses for his will and the kingdom of God. We read a list of all the sins and transgressions of all these spiritual mothers and fathers of the Bible and I said certainly that God of God can use them he can use us. So this morning we are going to talk about how God calls us how God gifts and how God sends us. He does all three of those through the New Testament this morning and this third Sunday after Epiphany. And for those that don't know where in the season of epiphany which essentially is kind of the the markers of Jesus and his ministry at how that impacts us today. And that's why we were green. We're in ordinary time for the remain most of the year. We are we're green this morning so Mister Rogers, And I was really sad that I didn't get to go see the new mr. Rogers movie, but I don't think Ricky Lee will sit there and watch it with me. So I'm going to have to wait till it comes on Netflix, but here's mr. Rogers and many of you know, he was an ordained Presbyterian Minister and when I was in seminary at United in Dayton, we had a lot of people from the pain class with me and some of them their family members actually attended Seminary with Mister Rogers. And it was during Seminary that he really felt called the public television to impact the lives of children. He didn't preach the gospel on public television, but he certainly talked about hot-topic issues how to treat our neighbors. And the sense of that time. And he did it very crackly. Every single episode and for children to understand these deep topics that their parents were going through. Now I look at Jesus and Jesus kind of did the same thing to us. He kind of gave us that brief overview of the kingdom of God. He took the Old Testament fulfilled it and told us how to make it better.
Kids today still learn the values taught by Mister Rogers cartoon show Daniel Tiger's neighborhood. Now how many of you have watch Daniel Tiger?
But it's just as great and it teaches the children values simple things like how to go to the bathroom. There is a poem called Everything. I learned I learned in kindergarten you guys have heard that before it truly is the truth. Everything important learned in kindergarten. Saint Francis of Assisi is Mark with this phrase. We don't really know if you said it but he certainly lived it. Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words.
That was mr. Rogers. That was the men and women and I can think of that brought me up in the Fate. Your places of employment you preach the gospel always. And your places that you shop and interact with people you preach the gospel. Are you preaching the gospel through your actions and when necessary using words? And sometimes it's hard because people make it difficult to love them all the time. It's difficult to always be Jesus to the base of this world. So what are the questions I asked when we were at Rock the universe was one of the staff members and I asked them if it was a better night during the year or a worse night because Chris was kind of got a bad reputation at Disney which is why they stopped by to Troy and I'm really sad because I'm Pro Disney, right? But I was really excited. I lost enough weight to ride the Harry Potter ride. Wish I could do a couple years ago, and it was fun.
But the staff member told me it's the one night of the year that here basically no complaining from the people there and it's cool going to the rides and they're interacting with Christian ideas. And and one of these rides was to the Fast and the Furious ride and the guy was asking us about even though we attend church and is there any past or present which I was so it was a good night. It was a good night. But how do we Tell the world that we're Christians you're our actions is what's important? So we had to take a lesson from Mister Rogers, I believe and the coolest thing with him was the people that knew him personally that he was the same person on television as he wasn't person said this a lot. You can't be one person at church one person in the community. We don't have multi personality disorder. We have to be the Christian that we are all the time no matter what do we take a lesson from Mister Rogers? We we take lessons from Daniel Tiger and Saint Francis of Assisi. There's that. Group Amanda and she might have found there, but she had to take the baby to my parents first the baby Ricky Lee and the dog. And she end up getting stuck in traffic. So it's like 8 at night after we took this so The first thing is that Jesus calls us. So we're going to look at that gospel lesson. What are these opening verses? You makes it very clear. He tells Simon Peter Andrew James and John the follow me. And what I think is interesting. Says right here right away, they follow and immediately so we have two words follow me and immediately and what is unique during that time. Really is that they had pretty middle class jobs, you know, they were doing pretty well for themselves is fisherman. When I was growing up in south, Louisiana, a lot of people were fishermen and some of them did really well for themselves, but these young men. didn't hesitate
they immediately stop whatever they were doing. They didn't go and talk to Mom and Dad cuz at that time they would have been young like, you know, 1718 some of them work maybe a little bit older, but they dropped everything for Jesus. So be a disciple of Jesus it means to drop everything for him immediately. No hesitation. No question asked and again, I'm preaching to myself. And Methodist theology it teaches that Jesus gives us something called for being a great so in our Realm of the church. We had this term for being a Grace which literally means the grace that comes before. So, let's see we are so thankful that we cannot go to Jesus firecell this actually what it teaches. And almost every Christian Church believe the same thing. That we are so sinful that we need Jesus. Know this call that Jesus gives to these disciples. Is that grapes? It is that Grace of Jesus coming to us each of us and say I want you. I want you to follow me. and somehow All of us this morning, except that call. Regardless if that was done because you were raised up in the church or if you had a conversion experience like Paul and got you out. Whatever Master you were in all of us at some point said yes to the call that God put on our lives. And so this past Sunday, I got a little hot-headed now. I actually I got my mom's temper. So my mom is she was 4:11 and she'll tell you she's gotten smaller and so a my grandpa her dad was a small guy. That's why everyone's got a hot temper in the family. We're at the pastor's meeting and they were talking and I got up and I said well, what is God calling you to do? Because if we file our own will it will always fail. . We can want something to happen. But it's not going to happen. If it's not God's will for our lives and let me tell you I have done this repeatedly and my wife's looking at me because she was preaching this to me the other day. It is God's will not ours. Do we have to ask yourself? What is God calling us to do as people? The part of Letting Go and letting God. But I really have tried to end Brakes in all situations. Is immediately following Jesus without question or reservation?
It's not talking about the Jesus like these brothers that you do and Isaiah.
It says listen and hear my voice. Pay attention and hear what I say now. We probably don't have an audible conversation with Jesus everyday and I will say there's been a couple times in my life where I heard him clearly.
But God says to us and Isaiah this morning that he speaks to us. That he's not dead that if we disclose our mouths long enough just long enough to hear his words. He will be there. And it's an incredible journey when you can focus your mind and your heart on Christ, and he speaks to you and gives you Clarity and certainly me and let me tell you it is an amazing experience if you have not been there before because it seems to me it's always in those times of extreme difficulty. I have to get on my hands and knees and say God give up telling me what to do. and I he's there. I wish all the time was like that. I just heard God clearly. So we have to take this charge that God gave the first disciples. We had to put down our stuff. Because it also said, you know, if you want to follow me, what are you doing? You sell all your stuff and and you followed me. And what was that talking about? It was talking about the heart. Do we have the heart to follow Jesus? Not necessarily our stop. Being able to be silent for God. But we've decided no, we're going to follow Jesus. We're going to surrender to his call. We're going to move right now with Jesus, but what next what happened? Jesus gives us all a gift. We read this in 1st Corinthians 12 1 through 11. Now concerning what comes from the spirit Brothers. I do not want you to be unaware. You know that when you were pagans. So that's any of us before we accept Jesus. Used to be a lot off the idols, that could not speak. And therefore I'm informing you that no one is speaking by the spirit of God and says Jesus is cursed and no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the holy spirit. So that's Grace there we can't say Jesus is Lord on our own. We would never do it because the sin in our own lives. Now there are different gifts. But the Same Spirit there are different Ministries, but the same lord and there are different activities, but the same God activate each gift in each person. You're no one is excluded from the gifts of the holy spirit a demonstration of the spirit is given to each person to produce. What is beneficial? The one is given the message of wisdom through the spirit. There are lots of Lies people. To another a message of knowledge. There are some people that can think and conversate and open doors to another Faith by The Same Spirit. There are people here that have no question of who Jesus says, they don't question anything that God says and they move forward the way God tells you that's that's you. Gifts of healing Yes, there are still Gifts of healing and Christ's body to another the performing a miracles to another prophecy. Now. This is the one that get you in trouble. And I've been there. So when you have the prophetic gift, you tell people how it is and a lot of the prophets of the Old Testament. We know were killed for being in profits. But this morning there are some of you according to the scripture in each Body of Christ that are called to be a prophet. Distinguishing between spirits to another different kinds of languages to another interpretation of languages. So if someone's going to speak in tongues and our church, there should be must be an interpreter according to this verse.
But one and the same spirit is active and all these Distributing to each person as he Wills.
so the question is where is your gift? So, how can we figure that out? Well, it's very small reading up there. But the apest test or a spiritual gift assessment is a really good place to start by going in the ministry a lot of churches require the whole church to take a spiritual gift assessment to know where you stand and of course mom is always said imma get I'm always ranking high and Apostle and Prophet because I don't like to sit still and I'm a guy and I like to fix stuff. Now if that's you if you like to fix stuff you're an apostle or a prophet more than likely. But I would challenge each person here to go on the internet and look up the spiritual gift assessment are the AP test test.
In order to figure out at least where God is calling you. Yeah, the scriptures tell us that each Body of Christ. Is filled with the gifts of the Spirit. So what all that tells us is we have no excuse to fail. Because God is with us. God is gifting us.
So now that we understand gather that God calls us. And God equips each of us in somewhere. What can we do with this information? We all need. To develop our god-given skills and utilize them for the kingdom of God. The question for me is what kind of Pastor I am. I'm always the type that wants to give permission. So if God is calling you to do a ministry here within the church, let's figure out a way to make it happen because God has gifted you. So again, I'm really excited about the new ministry that it may and. Have been running. That's incredible. What other Ministries do we have man that I've been talkin. So we have a 50 plus we have a but there's not a group for for younger folks. So maybe God's calling you to start that Ministry. God equips us, but lastly he sends us. So they call the equips and lastly he sends.
Mark 16:15, and then he's going to the all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation and preach the gospel.
God calls us and equips us for the purpose of growing the kingdom of God. And when he does that he does not want to waste our time or energy or our finances are none of that. You want to send us forth to the world. He commands us to go into the world and therefore he makes it possible to do just that as Believers of Jesus we have to ask yourself. Where is he equipping us to serve and for me it's often after the fact that I realized why I had to go through something how God Was preparing and building me up and when I'm in the midst of it, I'm very frustrated, but God later reveals to me. Well, it was necessary to get you to this next point in your life. How many of you have have live like you're retired and and you've got through your own tribulations and thanks, but that's what God did all of those things to prepare you for building up the kingdom of God right here in Chiefland. So again, I think about the last 10 years and I think about every Church location every person I work with and how we prepared the preach the gospel to build his church. I think about those people in my life that were spiritual mothers and fathers. And most often it was not a them preaching to me because I'm going to tell you as a teenage kid. I would have just turned them out. They would have been sitting there telling me I was going to hell for not believing in God, which I'm sure none of us would do to a young child. But I remember one summer. I was headed off Aviation Camp. So there I am I so loud that summer I was so proud. I think I was 16 or 17. You remember what one of that 16 or 17 autoload? And it's a piper Warrior II and I went to a camp called Obe at the organization of black airline pilots. So it was a great camp and I loved it and that's happened. My lawn. He was one of the first African American pilot for American Airlines and I think he just retired but I remember wanting to go to this camp and there was a $500 fee. So let me tell you that is a feel for flying right. I paid $500 an applied all day and night we are in ground school. If I would have just had the money afterwards. I would have just finished it but I did.
But it was a great pant. There was about 50 or 60 of us. So mr. Bill was this gentleman in our church that I only knew as mr. Bill. I knew nothing about him and I always thought he was old like ancient. And I now I realize you really wasn't that was just my perception. And he said, okay. I'll help you go to this camp. He's not what you to come to my house at this time, and we got some work to do so I get there and it gives me a shovel and we're digging trenches to gutters in from the front of the house that the ditch in the street because he doesn't want the water in his yard anymore and let me tell you it was a lot of work and I earned every dollar of that money.
But the whole time he told me stories of his relationship with God. He told me stories of you know, the hard times that him and his family went through it because when I went to his house and again, I guess perception we going to this community called willowdaile, which at that time was the fancy homes in our community in south Louisiana. There's not a lot of fancy Homes at least at that time, but you go to willowdaile. There's a country club there and I just thought you know, he had an easy life. You just would assume as a teenager. But he didn't he didn't have an easy life. He went through his fair share of struggles and hardships. He came from poverty. And God use mr. Bill in our church, and you know my home Church. Was he not enough to this and the church? I was baptized it was Presbyterian. And the reason I share this is mr. Bill served on the leadership team that allowed those two churches to merch All the Presbyterian Church was dwindling and numbers, but they had a great piece of property. And right there in the main strip of town and they didn't want to see it close. And the Methodist Church had a bunch of people but not a great facility in a really bad part. And so they said well, let's do ministry together and my home pastor Wayne Taylor. Vs. Permission. He was always getting in trouble. So he just decided I know what we're going to start worshipping there on Sunday mornings didn't tell anybody and now it is when the fastest growing churches in south Louisiana in the Methodist church, and I'm really proud of them from the 30 people that I grew up with going to church and so People never know how God is equipping you semester bill went through all that in his life and then served as one of the head leaders to bring that church forward to be a Beacon of Hope for a community where to be honest with you. There was no basic Catholic churches in one big Baptist Church. It was nothing really else. And so I'm really proud of their work. But you never know how God is using you. Each week. We have an opportunity to preach the gospel to the whole creation. even if it's only our small part of Chiefland your words can be a driving force to lead someone to know Jesus Christ. We have to spend our time wisely the reach this community. We have to get beyond our walls here in the local church. And I know at some point you guys created this mission statement says we're a Church, Without Walls. What does that really mean? You know John Wesley was accused by the Anglican Church for not really preaching because he wasn't doing it from a Pulpit. And he got a lot of trouble from his bishop and he said to his Bishop the famous words. The world is my Parish. And he preached and Barnes and barrooms know a lot of these hands in here or bar Tunes with Christian words. So my friends in the Lutheran Church told me we have the good hints cuz I sound really great night because that we use weight. We adapted modern music modern things to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus. So we're still doing some of this. So this morning?
The opportunity to Ministry no matter who you are is there. If you are a member of Christ's body his church. You don't have an excuse. He told the disciples Follow Me Now basically, right follow me and they immediately gave up what they were doing. Your words can get me this driving force to the community. We are called by God for a specific task as his church who have to figure out what that task is. We are gifted with unique abilities for God and his church. And we are set to proclaim the good news to the world every single one of us. You don't have to be a preacher that proclaim the good news. The basically it comes down to how are you going to engage Ministry that God has called each of you to this morning. Are you going to be like Mister Rogers and packing the world for Jesus and the work out there outside these walls? By not using words, but your actions.
Are you going to be? Dina get up here in the Pulpit once in awhile to preach and teach him maybe lead a Bible study. Maybe do something within the walls of the church. That's an option to are you can do both.
Whatever it maybe let's figure out together how to make it a reality. You know one thing I really want to drive Amanda and I were talking about visioning. You know, there's all this stuff going on in the denomination and really we need to worry about us and our vision for the future and one of that part of that vision for me is intentional discipleship, you know, the Christian church for too many years has failed a Christian education. But you know what? I'm really proud, you all study your Bible. There's multiple groups in this church at me and read God's word the let's do more of them and let's get some outside chairs that don't know the word of God to come study with us. I want some of these Christians in this church that have studied his word for years that's around younger people that don't know the word and be mentors and spiritual mothers and fathers grandparents, and I'm not talking about just the youth group. So let's partner together. Let's figure it out. And please let's schedule a time to have a in-depth conversation. Let us pray. Got to be thank you for the calling on our hearts that you have given us. God you say as disciples. We are to give up everything and follow you God. We thank you for the spiritual gifts that you have gifted every single person here this morning.
Can we we praise you for the permission? The go forth into the world regardless of who we are what things we've done in our past God because you have sent us forth to proclaim the gospel to the four corners of the Earth. Help us be your hands and feet. Papa's preach the gospel always and when necessary use words. guide our steps. We pray this and your holy name. Amen.