CALLED....

                              Reading: Romans 1:1-

 

     INTRODUCTION

 

    [a] Abraham was called from the heathen UR OF THE  CHALDEAS  to  become

    the father of a whole nation, and to be known as the very FATHER OF FAITH.

[b] Ur was totally heathen – they worshipped the moon god Nannar, and yet it was from this source, that those to be known as the ‘people of God’ would come!  

[c] Gideon was called as he threshed wheat by the winepress, to  become

    the man to lead the Children of Israel to victory over the Midianites!

    [d] The murderous Saul of Tarsus, was called on  the  Damascus  road  to

    become the chief amongst all the Apostles!

    [e] William Booth was called from a pawnbrokers shop in  Nottingham  to

    become, under the hand of God, the founder of the  worldwide  Salvation

    Army! 

    AND STILL GOD CALLS TODAY!!

 

     CALLED TO BE SAINTS!

 

    [a] Paul says much in our Bible Reading about being CALLED!  In  verse

    one, he speaks about his own call, "CALLED TO BE AN APOSTLE"  he says!

    Now we are not all called to be apostles - but he tells us in verse  7,

    that we all are,  "BELOVED OF GOD,  CALLED  TO BE SAINTS!"

    That means  "ONE OF GOD'S HOLY PEOPLE!"

    He mentions in verse 6, WHO it is that calls us,  "THE CALLED OF  JESUS

    CHRIST"  he says!

    [b] The realisation that each and every Christian is called  to  be  a

    SAINT is of paramount importance!

    It doesn't mean we'll be perfect! We wont!!

    It doesn't mean we are to be too heavenly minded to be of  any  earthly

    use. It is speaking of our relationship with God, and the  holiness  He

    imparts to us through the shed blood of Jesus.

    [c] One of the important things that happened during  the  Reformation,

    was the realisation of the SAINTHOOD OF ALL BELIEVERS!

    SO WE DO NOT APPROACH GOD THROUGH SAINT THIS THAT OR THE OTHER!!

    AND NOBODY CAN DE-CANNONISE YOU! HALLELUJAH!!

 

     CALLED TO SERVICE!

 

    [a] Often in our Salvation Army halls up  and  down  the  country,  the

    emphasis is upon the CALL OF GOD TO THE INDIVIDUAL!

    [b] For some,  IT  MEANS OFFICERSHIP! When God calls, believe me, you know about it, and refusal, or delay is not an option!

 [c] For others it may mean GIVING OUT TRACTS ON OUR OUTREACH!  TAKING A SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS, OR AN ACTIVE PART IN SECTIONS! PUB BOOMING! It can be any number of things.

    A man said to me in a club one night,  "People used  to  buy the paper to get rid of you - but NOW THEY BUY IT TO READ IT, AND  YOUR     MESSAGE IS MUCH STRONGER THAN IT USED TO BE!"

    [*] Yet, we would  be  pushing it to say we even reach a quarter of the people in the pubs and clubs every week!

    On top of this, there are all the clubs and hotels  in  outlying  areas

    which are never touched!

 

 

     PEOPLE ARE ON THEIR WAY TO A LOST ETERNITY AND WE MUST WARN THEM AND TELL THEM OF A LOVING, LIVING CHRIST!! Indeed that is the call of Christianity itself.

[*] We have been so encouraged in our door to door outreach on a Tuesday evening. What do you need to join us?? Just a real experience of the Saviour, and a desire to share it! Nothing more – ask any of those involved – God does the rest! People have spoken to us; we have been able to pray with some; and just on Tuesday past, two of our team led a little old lady to the Lord. Praise God!

    WE NEED PEOPLE TO ANSWER THE CALL TO THIS MINISTRY - FOR  MINISTRY  AND

    OUTREACH IT IS.

    [d] For others, the  call  could  mean  going  to  visit  the  sick  or

    housebound, perhaps reading the Scriptures to them, praying with  them,

    or playing them a tape recorded meeting, or a video.

    [e] For some in recent days, it has meant taking on a local officer’s commission.

     CALLED TO MINISTER THROUGH THE SPIRIT'S GIFTS

 

    [a] In the Army at present, you find coming to the fore, in corps

    up and down the country, those  who  will  be  called  to  minister  in

    wonderful new ways through the GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT!

    Let me read to you what they are from 1 Corinthians 12:4-11.

1Co 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

1Co 12:5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

1Co 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

1Co 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

1Co 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

1Co 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

1Co 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

1Co 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

1Co 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

 

    [b] The operation of these gifts is being  enthusiastically  encouraged

    and expected, at every level of Army administration.

    [c] In our Bible Study and prayer meeting in one corps,  we  had  God

    speak to us through the GIFT OF PROPHECY, and  tell  us,  He  had  been

    trying to break into our Army for some time, but now that we  are  open

    to Him, He was going to work in a mighty way in our midst in  the  days

    ahead. HALLELUJAH!!

    [d] Some  of  YOU  are  going  to  be  CALLED – in fact I think some already are, to  bring  HEALING  AND DELIVERANCE to others!! Perhaps through the GIFTS OF HEALING, THE  GIFT OF MIRACLES, OR PERHAPS THE GIFT OF FAITH, where the Lord gives to  you  the ability to EXPECT THE IMPOSSIBLE - AND RECEIVE IT!! HALLELUJAH!!

    [e] Whatever it may be, we have entered into a NEW  ERA,  when  God  is

    going to do A NEW THING in our midst!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

[a] But new things can only happen, as we allow God to lead us, guide us, call us!

[b] He is, and always has been, a God of new things.

[c] Our God is not cemented in His position. Neither is He stuck in the mud. That’s OUR DEPARTMENT, and because of it, often, He is hindered from working in our midst.

[d] How often could we honestly sing the words of the Gowans/Larrson musical, when it says, “We never have done it like this before, no never like this before!”

[e] sometimes officers go back to special at a corps after many years, and they are hard pressed to find anything that has changed or improved!

[f] It is within our grasp, to allow God to do a new thing in our midst!

Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

[g] If you are willing that the Lord do a new thing through you – why not make that commitment just now

 

Song          Tune

757           797

Prayer chorus 57

686           651

531  Prayer Song   383

962           487

 

 

 

    Some time ago, I shared with you something William Booth  had  written,

    published in a War Cry of November 21st 1914. But it could be that perhaps some were unable to be present. It’s important enough to repeat again.

 

 

         He says, speaking of the Apostles,

 

           "They had the gifts of healing; that is they cured the sick

         .... without the use of ordinary means........ There is not a

         word in the Bible which proves that we may not have  them  at

         this present time, and there is nothing in experience to show

         that they should not be as useful today as  in  any  previous

         period of the Church's history.....Far be it from me  to  say

         one word that would stay the longing of  any  heart  for  the

         extraordinary  gifts  already  mentioned.  I  long  for  them

         myself. I believe in their necessity, and I believe they  are

         already amongst us." 

 

      BE OPEN TO THE CALL OF GOD TO YOU HERE IN THIS MEETING