Monday, March 23, 2009

Galatains 1:1, 10-12 (The Call)

Luther talked about how, before he understood the Gospel, he used to dislike Paul’s seeming arrogance here. He came to understand, however, that Paul was merely expressing the confidence and authority he had in his calling. The Call is important. In Luther’s own words: “Those who have a certain and holy calling must sustain great many conflicts, as must those whose doctrine is pure and sound, so that they may constantly remain in their lawful calling, against the infinite and continual assaults of the devil and the rage of the world.”

In other words: you must be sure of your calling. Ministry is not a job for people who can’t do anything else: the skill-less, the uneducated, or the unsuccessful. It is not for people merely seeking power or a leadership position. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Spurgeon used to tell his ministry and preaching students that if they could imagine themselves doing anything else and being happy—they should abandon the ministry and do that other thing.

Vocational ministry is not a cushy job. It is hard and thankless at times. Those who think they may have that vocational calling need to be absolutely sure of that fact; cross-cultural workers even more so. There are days when that is all there is to keep one going.

In 2008 Southern Baptists sent out over 800 people as missionaries. Considering they are just one of many groups sending people out, there are a lot of people hearing a call every year. An interesting fact, though, is that 6 out of every 10 sent committed to a limited period of time, ranging from two to three years. Short-term involvement is a valid means of ministry, but how hard must it be to hear a call like that, knowing it is all just temporary?

You have to be sure of your calling.

1 comment:

  1. Remember, John the Baptist came for a short time to prepare the way for Jesus. Yes short term missions are temporary, but can make lasting impressions-think of your children and the impressions they get from you.You have them 18 years and then they are adults perhaps doing missions themselves. What kind of impression you give them will be lifelong! Keep on opening doors to those in darkness. Thank you for helping lead those who are short timers as well as leading others to Christ.


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