Reading: Romans 1:1-
[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
AND STILL GOD CALLS TODAY!!
[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!!
[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.
[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
[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!!
[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
Prayer chorus 57
531 Prayer Song 383
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