Sep19MonSeptember 19, 2022
It has been a very busy summer and I was so glad to have been given the opportunity to share the message while Pastor Jonathan was away. I remember the very first time I was asked to preach, I almost said, "No thank you" because I was unsure; not of my ability to speak in public, but of my readiness and worthiness to stand in the pulpit. After all, I had no training in homiletics and could barely understand what Matthew Henry had to say. The idea of unpacking a portion of scripture was simply out of the question.
It didn't help that the devil was whispering in my ear and reinforcing all my concerns. "What if you make a mistake?" "What if you get all choked up?" "What if no one appreciates the message?"
One night, a few days before the "Big Sunday", as I was praying before sleep, I just poured out my concerns, my fears and asked God to guide me through this crazy task that so foolishly accepted. Having unburdened my soul, I fell sound asleep knowing God would be with me.
The next morning I awoke and knew the exact subject I would share. I knew where to find the scripture references I would need and shortly thereafter, I had written my first sermon.
When Sunday came, I shared the story of how, in my darkest hour, Jesus came to me, grabbed me by the scruff of my neck and pulled me back from the edge. I told the people, in no uncertain terms, that Jesus had saved my life that day and that he could save theirs – if they were only humble enough to ask.
At least I think that was what I said.
I really have no idea of the exact words I spoke, or how long I was there. I do know that when I finished, I was physically exhausted, but at the same time, completely invigorated.
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: "Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 1: 26-31 (NIV)
Paul often wrote about how God calls the unprepared, the untrained, or the unworthy to perform a task that draws them way out of their comfort zone.
Has God ever called you to do something? What was your response?
So many shy away from doing what God is asking. Not because they wish to be disobedient, but because they, like I was with that first sermon, are afraid of what others might think, or that they lack the skills. We allow the devil to reinforce our shortcomings rather than trusting God to take us through what is calling us to do.
We are approaching a challenging period in the life of our congregation. God will be calling on many of us to step out of our comfort zone and to serve him in ways we may not think we can. Believe me, we can.
God chose Moses, Jacob, Paul, and many others who had serious character flaws or weaknesses. So if God calls you, trust that there is a reason; be like Samuel and simply say, "Here I am!"
And you too can boast in what the Lord has done in you!