Accepting Our Calling
(Eph. 2:1-10; John 17:1-5)
--Pastor Felix Tingson
We are called for a holy and noble purpose! You were put on earth
to make a contribution. You were not created just to consume resources,
to eat, breathe, and take up space. God designed us to make a difference
with our life.
While many best-selling books offer advice on how to "get the most
out of life", that's not the reason God made us. We were created
to add to life on earth, not just take from it. God wants you to
give something back. This is God's purpose for your life, and it
is called your "ministry" or service.
You were created to serve God- the Bible says, in Eph. 2:10b. God
has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared
for us to do" (Col. 3: 23-4; Matt. 25: 34). These good deeds are
your service. Whenever you serve others in any way, you are actually
serving God (Eph. 6:7). What God told Jeremiah "Before I made you
in your mother's womb, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you
apart for a special work" (Jer. 1:5). You were placed on this planet
for a special assignment.
You were saved to serve God, the Bible says. "It is He who saved
us and chose us for His holy work, not because we deserved it but
because that was His plan" (2 Tim. 1:9). God redeemed you so you
could do His "holy work." You are not saved by service, but you are
saved for service. In God's Kingdom you have a place, a purpose,
a role, and a function to fulfill. This gives your life great significance
It cost Jesus His own life to purchase your salvation. The Bible
reminds us, "God paid a great price. So use your body to honor God" (1
Cor. 6:20). We do not serve God out of guilt or fear or even duty,
but out of joy, and deep gratitude for what He has done for us. We
owe Him our lives. Through salvation our past has been forgiven,
our present is given meaning, and our future is secured. In light
of these incredible benefits, Paul concluded, "Because of God's great
mercy ... offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated
to His service" (Rom. 12:1).
The apostle John taught us, "Our love for each other proves that
we have gone from death to life" (1 John 3:14). If I have no love
for others, no desire to serve others, and I am only concerned about
my needs, I should question whether Christ is really in my life.
A saved heart is one that wants to serve.
Another term for serving God that's misunderstood by most people
is the word "ministry." When most people hear "ministry" they think
of pastors, priests, and professional clergy, but God says every
member of His family is a minister. In the Bible, the words servant
and minister are synonyms, as are service and ministry. If you are
a Christian you are a minister, and when you are serving, you are
When Peter's sick mother-in-law was healed by Jesus, she instantly "stood
up and began to serve Jesus" (Matt. 8:15), using her new gift of
health. This is what we are to do. We are healed to help others.
We are blessed to be a blessing. We are saved to serve, not to sit
around and wait for heaven!
Have you ever wondered why God does not just immediately take us
to heaven the moment we accept His grace? Why does He leave us in
a fallen world? He leaves us here to fulfill His purposes. Once you
are saved, God intends to use you for His goals. God has a ministry
for you in His church and a mission for you in the world.
You are called to serve God. Growing up, you may have thought that
being "called" by God was something only for missionaries, pastors,
nuns, and other "full-time" church workers experienced, but the Bible
says every Christian is called to service (Eph. 4:14; Rom. 1:6-7;
8:28-30; 1 Cor. 1:2,9,26; 7:17; Phil 3:14; 1 Peter 2:9; 2 Peter 1:3).
Your call to salvation included your call to service. They are the
same. Regardless of your job or career, you are called to full-time
Christian service. A "non-serving Christian" is a contradiction in
The Bible says "He saved us and called us to be His own people, not
because of what we have done, but because of His own purpose (2 Tim
1:9). Peter added, " You were chosen to tell about the excellent
qualities of God, who called you" (1 Peter 2:9). The Bible says, "Now
you belong to Him ... in order that we might be useful in the service
of God" (Rom. 7:4). How much of the time are you being useful in
the service of God? In some churches in China they welcome new believers
by saying, "Jesus now has a new pair of eyes to see with, new ears
to listen with, new hands to help with, and a new heart to love others
One reason why you need to be connected to a church family is to
fulfill your calling to serve other believers in practical ways.
The Bible says "All of you together are Christ's body, and each one
of you is a separate and necessary part of it" (1 Cor. 12:27). Remember,
there are no insignificant ministries in the church. Some are visible
and some are behind the picture, but all are valuable. Small or hidden
ministries often make the biggest difference. In my home, the most
important light is not the bright light in our dining room but the
little night light that keeps me from stubbing my toe when I get
up at night. There is no correlation between size and significance.
Every ministry matters because we are all dependent on each other
What happens when one part of our body fails to function? We get
sick. The rest of the body suffers. Imagine if your liver decided
to start living for its own self. "I'm tired! I don't want to serve
the body anymore! I want a year off just to be fed. I have to do
what is best for me! Let some other part take over." What would happen?
Our body would die. Today thousands of local churches are dying because
of Christians who are unwilling to serve. They sit on the sidelines
as spectators, and the Body suffers.
We are commanded to serve God-if we are saved. Jesus says "Your attitude
must be like my own, for I, the Messiah, did not come to be served,
but to serve and to give my life" (Matt. 20:28). Beloved, for Christians,
service is not optional, something to be tacked onto our schedules
if we can spare the time. It is the heart of the Christian life.
Jesus came "to serve" and "to give" - and those two verbs should
define your life on earth. Mother Theresa said, "Holy living consists
in doing God's work with a smile."
Serving is the opposite of our natural inclination. Most of the time
we are more interested in "serve us" than service. We say, "I'm looking
for a church that meets my needs and blesses me," not "I'm looking
for a place to serve and be a blessing." The mature follower of Jesus
stops asking, "Who is going to meet my needs?" and starts asking, "Whose
needs can I meet"
God wants to use you to make a difference in His world. He wants
to work through you. What matters is not the duration of your life,
but the donation of it. Not how long you lived, but how you lived.
If you are not involved in any service or ministry, what excuse have
you been using? Dr. Thomas, our guest speaker during the Asian Conference
in Hawaii said, "Abraham was old, Jacob was insecure, Leah was unattractive,
Joseph was abused, Mosses stuttered, Gideon was poor, Samson was
co-dependent, Rahab was immoral, David had an affair and all kinds
of family problems, Elijah was suicidal, Jeremiah was depressed,
Jonah was reluctant, Naomi was a widow, John the Baptist was eccentric
to say the least, Peter was impulsive, and hot-tempered, Martha worried
a lot, the Samaritan woman had several failed marriage, Zaacchaeus
was unpopular, Thomas had doubts, Paul had poor health, and Timothy
was timid. That is quite a variety of misfits. But God used each
of them in His service. He will use you, too, if you stop making