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beloved

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Jul 25 13 5:35 AM

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     Has God called you to ministry? Though all Christians are called to serve the cause of Christ, God calls certain persons to serve the Church as pastors and other ministers. Writing to young Timothy, the Apostle Paul confirmed that if a man aspires to be a pastor, “it is a fine work he aspires to do” (1 Tim 3:1, NASB). Likewise, it is a high honor to be called of God into the ministry of the Church. How do you know if God is calling you?

     First, there is an inward call. Through His Spirit, God speaks to those persons He has called to serve as pastors and ministers of His Church. The great Reformer Martin Luther described this inward call as “God’s voice heard by faith.” Those whom God has called know this call by a sense of leading, purpose, and growing commitment.
Charles Spurgeon identified the first sign of God’s call to the ministry as “an intense, all-absorbing desire for the work.” Those called by God sense a growing compulsion to preach and teach the Word, and to minister to the people of God.    

     This sense of compulsion should prompt the believer to consider whether God may be calling him to the ministry. Has God gifted you with the fervent desire to preach? Has He equipped you with the gifts necessary for ministry? Do you love God’s Word and feel called to teach? Spurgeon warned those who sought his counsel not to preach if they could help it. “But,” Spurgeon continued, “if he cannot help it, and he must preach or die, then he is the man.” That sense of urgent commission is one of the central marks of an authentic call.
Second, there is the external call. Baptists believe that God uses the congregation to “call out the called” to ministry. The congregation must evaluate and affirm the calling and gifts of the believer who feels called to the ministry.  As a family of faith, the congregation should recognize and celebrate the gifts of ministry given to its members, and take responsibility to encourage those whom God has called to respond to that call with joy and submission
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     These days, many persons think of careers rather than callings. The biblical challenge to “consider your call” should be extended from the call to salvation to the call to the ministry.

     John Newton, famous for writing “Amazing Grace,” once remarked: “None but He who made the world can make a Minister of the Gospel.” Only God can call a true minister, and only He can grant the minister the gifts necessary for service. But the great promise of Scripture is that God does call ministers, and presents these servants as gifts to the Church
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     One key issue here is a common misunderstanding about the will of God. Some models of evangelical piety imply that God’s will is something difficult for us to accept. We sometimes confuse this further by talking about “surrendering” to the will of God. As Paul makes clear in Romans 12:2, the will of God is good, worthy of eager acceptance, and perfect. Those called by God to preach will be given a desire to preach as well as the gift of preaching. Beyond this, the God-called preacher will feel the same compulsion as the great Apostle, who said, “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Cor 9:16, ESV).

     Consider your calling. Do you sense that God is calling you to ministry, whether as a pastor or as another servant of the Church? Do you burn with a compulsion to proclaim the Word, share the Gospel, and care for God’s flock? Has this call been confirmed and encouraged by those Christians who know you best?

God still calls . . . has He called you?

By Albert Mohler, 7/19/13
http://www.albertmohler.com/2013/07/19/has-god-called-you-discerning-the-call-to-preach-2/



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quasar

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Jul 25 13 7:32 AM

Thanks for sharing the above article, Beloved.  Many long years ago, before WW2, I did have a desire to become a missionary.  Then WW2 came along, followed by the development of my family after returning from two years of service, overseas, with the USAAF Air Transport Command, before the war ended.  When it did end, nearly a year later the time had come when finding a job to support my family was a top priority.  Unfortunately, I got no further than doing a lot of study for the ministry later, which never materialized again after that.  At this stage of the game, the ship already sailed without me long ago.


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beloved

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Jul 28 13 2:49 AM

Thanks for sharing the above article, Beloved.  Many long years ago, before WW2, I did have a desire to become a missionary.  Then WW2 came along, followed by the development of my family after returning from two years of service, overseas, with the USAAF Air Transport Command, before the war ended.  When it did end, nearly a year later the time had come when finding a job to support my family was a top priority.  Unfortunately, I got no further than doing a lot of study for the ministry later, which never materialized again after that.  At this stage of the game, the ship already sailed without me long ago.

Quasar  

-quasar

Quasar. IMO the ship did not sail without you. Your studies, and your sharing them, have enriched many lives. You have been a missionary by sharing the Lord with many people, myself included, and are still doing that. You certainly haven't let any health concerns keep you from "soldiering" on. You may never know how many lives you have touched and changed. But the Lord knows.

Romans 1:17, For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written:"The righteous will live by faith."

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quasar

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Jul 28 13 5:11 AM

   
Quasar. IMO the ship did not sail without you. [image] Your studies, and your sharing them, have enriched many lives. You have been a missionary by sharing the Lord with many people, myself included, and are still doing that. You certainly haven't let any health concerns keep you from "soldiering" on. You may never know how many lives you have touched and changed. But the Lord knows.

-beloved



How very kind of you for the praise I hardly feel worthy of, Beloved.  But I am certain of one thing, there aren't very many who try any harder to get the Word of the Lord out as it was intended to be done.


God bless you!


Quasar

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