“There’s a place for everyone in the service of the King. There is work that must be done if Christ to all we bring. Be your talent one or ten, keep a heart that’s brave and true. There’s a place for everyone, there’s a place for you!”
Be careful what hymns and songs you learn in your childhood and youth. They may just come back to haunt you as an adult! The above hymn, from the Tabernacle hymnbook, a favourite at TCBC–Thornloe Crossroads Baptist Church for many years, describes the theme of today’s post. I sang it as a child and as a teen. Now I’m seeking to serve the King and learning lots in the process.
There is a place for everyone. The Apostle Paul found his place, and you can find yours!
He writes in chapter three to the Ephesian church as he unpacks his testimony – “I became a servant of this gospel, by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.”
Let’s stop there – this testimony is packed with truth as any testimony should be!
1. Our calling is to be servants. Paul had authority but his authority was expressed in service. Authority that ‘goes to one’s head’ making them authoritarian is not Biblical authority, but personal pride.
2. The gospel calls us to service–full unreserved service with total devotion to one Master!
3. Ministry requires grace and the empowering of God. Yes, we may attempt to serve God in our own strength, stumbling along and building our own kingdoms, but genuine ministry is by the Spirit of God for the glory of God as we represent the Son of God.
4. Ministry requires humility. A proper self-image is affirmed in relationship to who God is and who we are as made in His image. A good question to ask yourself would be – “Where do you rank yourself in relationship to other Christians?” or how about “What have you learned from other Christ-followers that you desperately lack in your own life?”
5. Preaching is the task of preaching in a limited time and space the boundless riches of Christ. I always feel ‘somewhat disappointed’ when I preach. I could have used better illustrations, my outline could have been sharper, etc… but the real assessment of any true sermon is – “What did it reflect about Jesus Christ?” Were those who heard left looking to Jesus alone for what He alone can provide? John the Baptist nailed this when said of Christ, “HE must increase, I must decrease!”
6. Preaching is a ‘making plain’ the truth of God. We are not called to ‘make up messages’ but rather proclaim the account of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ! Granted some are deeper thinkers with larger vocabularies, but simplicity is often the order of the day. I wonder ….has anyone written “Preaching for Dummies?” Sermons should ‘shed light’ on what God has already revealed, not add confusion to the hearts and minds of the congregation.
Well enough food for thought. May God help us to serve Christ and His people wherever He calls us to do just that. I’ve been more than amazed at God’s gracious kindness to me in allowing me to take the message of God’s Word to others. I value immensely the prayer support of those who sense ‘calling’ in my life to be a proclaimer of truth, one (I Peter 4:10,11) speaking the very words of God.