Chosen, Gifted, and Authorized for Ministry!

If you have been following along in the GIFTED series, we have seen God call us out of the darkness into light, ensuring that when he calls he also equips, and today all that is left is putting the gift to work. As he…

Authorizes us for ministry- (Exodus 31:6, 11b) 6 Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you… They are to make them just as I commanded you.”

God as he did for Oholiab gives us ability that is in line with his commands. In fact, our giftedness gives us the freedom to do ministry in our own unique way. Christ in the Great Commission gave clear commands, without micromanaging. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit teaching them to obey everything I have commanded. God does not work through us as a computer programmer works on a new piece of software, each an exact replica of the past; instead our unique gifting corresponds to the unique needs of others. Together the diversity of the church is called to reach the diversity of the unchurched. All across the world this manifests itself in unique ways: microloans to single mothers, Heifer International providing animals for family businesses, social justice-feeding, clothing, and healing the sick, a dental clinic, free of charge, in the Red Zone of Baghdad,. Each expression helps spread the love of Christ in a way that is contextualized to the specific needs of the people.

Sir Nicholas George Winton, now 104 found out the power of turning from apathy—to authorized to do ministry! As tensions were building and the Nazis continued to show their aggression, many people shook their heads, made speeches, but few felt empowered to act. Winton, a British humanitarian foreseeing what was happening on the ground began organizing transports for children of mostly Jewish families in Czechoslovakia, getting 669 children permits to London, sometimes legitimate, other times forged knowing the risk of staying. In fact, the risk became real when his ninth scheduled transport and largest carrying 250 children was stopped from leaving with the outbreak of war—none of the children are believed to have survived!

In our authorization, we have the command to serve, but are free to serve in our own unique way. God oftentimes uses our past experiences to meet his future expectations. Oftentimes, it is the simple acts of service which can change lives in ways that we might never know in this life, but can play out for generations to come.

The job of building the church, of sharing the saving message of the Gospel, of growing in our faith is a job that is never over, that at times can seemingly wear us down, appearing too large a task. Yet, it is service which creates an impact that we often don’t get to see, the results which at times can be staring at us from all directions (see the video). As J.B. Lightfoot, scholar and church leader told a group preparing for ministry, “Transport yourselves in thought from the initial to the final inquiry. The great day of inquisition, the supreme moment of revelation, is come. The chief Shepherd, the universal bishop of souls is the questioner…The “Will thou”…is exchanged for the “Hast thou” of the judgment day.” You’ve been chosen! You’ve been gifted! You’ve been authorized! Alone it doesn’t mean you can do everything, but as part of the body it means that doing nothing is no longer an option!

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