[b]Fulfilling Our Calling[/b][i]by Zac Poonen[/i]In Colossians 1:23, 25, Paul says, "I am made a minister", and in 1 Timothy 2:7, "I am ordained an apostle". Paul had been ordained by the nail-pierced hands of his Savior, and not by any man. It was God Who had called Paul to be an apostle. This calling, he says in Colossians 1:25, was given to him. It was God's gift - not something that he had achieved or earned. He also says in the same verse that this calling was given to him to serve others. It was a stewardship entrusted to him by God for the work of building up the church.God has a specific calling for each of us. It is futile asking God to make us into something that He has not called us to be - for the Holy Spirit decides what gift each of us should have. Paul was called to be an apostle. But not everyone has such a calling. What we do need to seek God's face about is for power to do that which He has called us to do. Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you fulfill it," was Paul's advice to Archippus (Col. 4:17).God does not put square pegs into round holes. He knows what His church needs at a particular time in a particular place, and He prepares each of us, (if we are submissive) for a specific task - which may be quite different from what we ourselves want to do. Is everyone an apostle? Of course not. Is everyone a preacher? No. Are all teachers? Does everyone have the power to do miracles? Can everyone heal the sick? Of course not. Does God give all of us the ability to speak in languages we've never learned (tongues)?...No (1 Cor. 12:29, 30-LB). But God has placed each of these gifts in the Body of Christ. The important thing is for us to recognize our gift and calling - and to exercise that gift and fulfill that calling. Spirit-filled service is service that fulfils that specific calling which God gives us.If there is one gift that the New Testament specifically encourages us to seek, it is the gift of prophecy (1 Cor. 14:39). This is perhaps the most needed gift in the church today. A prophetic ministry is one that edifies (strengthens and builds-up), exhorts (rebukes and challenges) and consoles (comforts and encourages) (1 Cor.14:3). We need to pray that God will give us prophets in our churches, who will speak the truth of God, without fear or favor - men of a different caliber from the professional religious scribes, who are more interested in their salary, status and popularity.May the Lord help each of us to seek His face earnestly to find out what our calling is.
_________________SI Moderator - Greg
Be ever mindful of your calling. You are called out of the darkness, and into His marvelous light. You are called out of this world, and into His glorious kingdom. You are called to show forth His praise, you are called to reveal His glory and virtue. You are called to be the salt of truth to the earth, you are called to be the light of His love to the world. You are called to be sons and daughters of the AlMighty!! by Brother Andrew :-D
_________________Martin G. Smith