Tuesday, March 8, 2016, 3:30 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “Servant of The Lord.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read John 1:19-23 (NASB). This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.” Our Calling of God If someone was to ask you this question, “Who are you?”, what would be your response? Do you know who you are? Do you know why you are here, and what God has called you to do? Do you know your purpose in life? Would you have to think about it for a while, or could you immediately give a reply, as did John? I believe these are very important questions we need to ask ourselves. If we don’t know the answer to these questions, then we should go to God in prayer and in the study of his word, and we should seek his face, and ask him to reveal to us what purpose he has for our lives, and what it is that he wants us individually to do. He has both a general purpose for every one of his followers, as well as he has specific assignments and gifts for each one of us individually. We won’t all be the same. We are all parts of one body, but we are different parts of that body. And, each one is necessary! So, what are we all called to be and do? First of all, we are called of God to believe on His Son for salvation from sins through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth (Jn. 3:16; 2 Thess. 2:13). We are called to die with Christ in death to sin and to be resurrected with Christ in newness of life, free from the power of sin and Satan over our lives; free to now become servants of the Lord and of his righteousness (Lu. 9:23-25; Ac. 26:16-18; Ro. 6-8; Eph. 4:17-24). We are also called to be holy, which means to be set apart from (different, unlike) this sinful world, because we are becoming like Christ (1 Pet. 1:14-16). We are called according to his purpose for our lives, not for our own purposes (Ro. 8:28). We are also called into fellowship with God’s Son (1 Co. 1:9), which means every day we talk with our Lord, and we listen to him, we find out what pleases him, and we do it. We are not called for impurity, but to live holy lives, pleasing to God (Ro. 12:1-2; 1 Thess. 4:7). We are called to be a holy nation, set apart for God as his own special people, for his possession, and to proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Pet. 2:9-10). When Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, he redeemed us, i.e. he bought us back for God with his blood. Now God is the owner of our lives, and we are his bond-servants (slaves), to do what pleases him. Therefore, we are to honor God with our lives, for he called us out of darkness (sin) into his light (truth, righteousness). And, he has called each one of us to give testimony to others of his marvelous grace in saving us from our sins. We are his witnesses to take the message of the gospel of salvation to a lost and dying world (Matt. 5:14-16; 28:18-20; Ac. 1:8). Our Unique Gifts God also has very specific assignments and gifts for each one of us which are uniquely for us, as our parts of the body of Christ (See: Ro. 12:3-8; 1 Co. 12; Eph. 4:1-16). These are not to be confused with natural talents and abilities with which all people are born. These are for believers in Jesus Christ only, and they are of the Spirit, and are spiritual and supernatural in nature. These are also not the same, necessarily, as work assignments given to us by someone in authority within the organized church. Church work or ministry within the church organization may or may not be spiritual in nature, i.e. it may be of the Spirit, but it may be of the flesh. Just because you fulfill some position in organized religion does not mean you are fulfilling God’s purpose for your life or that you are using the Spiritual gifts he has given you for his purposes, and for his glory. So, we need to know the difference. Spiritual gifts are given of the Spirit of God as He determines, not as we choose. Now, the Bible does teach us to seek Spiritual gifts, but to seek the greater ones, especially the gift of prophecy. Paul told the Corinthian believers that he would like every one of them to speak in tongues, but he would rather have them prophesy. Why? Because, he said, anyone who speaks in a tongue speaks to God, not to humans, but everyone who prophesies speaks to human beings for their comfort, strengthening, edification, exhortation and encouragement (See: 1 Co. 14). Still, it is the Spirit who decides which gifts we receive, for the common good. In other words, spiritual gifts are given to us so we may use them to benefit others. Our Unique Assignments Just as God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – determines which gifts we receive, he also is the one to assign us our parts within the body of Christ. And, again, these are spiritual functions, not of the choosing of humans, and not of human origin and imagination. Thus, these body parts (assignments) may be “outside the box” of many institutional churches and their church structures, much as John’s calling was. So, don’t expect that God’s assignment for you will necessarily fit within today’s modern idea of church and church ministries. God may call you to something “outside the box.” We have to remember here that “church” is not a building or an organization of human origin and design, nor is it a corporation (not-for-profit) under the federal government of any nation. The church is us, the people of God. It is a living organism, not an organization. And, the church (the body of Christ) is everywhere throughout the world, so our assignment may or may not be in one specific location. Even if a local congregation rejects you or your gifts and calling, it does not mean God rejects you. He may just have another place for you where he wants to use you for his purposes, and for his glory. So, seek his face, and let him lead you in the way in which he wants you to go, and trust him to open and close doors. God may use the rejection of humans in your life in order to lead you through another door. The main thing here is that first and foremost we are to be in Christ Jesus, by God’s grace, through faith, and that daily by the Spirit we are to be putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and we are to walk in the Spirit (See: Ro. 8:1-14). We need to daily be in fellowship with our Lord, sitting at his feet, listening to him speaking his truths to our hearts, and we need to be walking in obedience to what he teaches us, not necessarily in sinless perfection, but consistently and purposefully living for our Lord, following him wherever he leads us. If we do sin, we immediately repent of our sin, confess to anyone we sinned against, and then we need to keep walking in fellowship with Jesus. Daily we put on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil attacks and his wicked schemes against us (Eph. 6:10-20). Then, we are in a position to hear from the Lord, and to receive what assignments he has for us, and then to do them, in the Spirit, walking by faith. Yet, if we are floundering in our faith, and we don’t yield to God’s ownership over our lives, and if we are not willing to submit to his purposes for our lives, and to do whatever he has called us to do, then we are not ready to receive the assignments he has for us. And, that would be very sad indeed. So, if today, you don’t know who you are, or why you are here, or what specific gifts and assignments God has for you, humble yourself before God, repent of any known sin in your life, and choose today to follow him in everything he has for you to be and to do. Servant of the Lord / An Original Work Based off Romans 1:1-17 / July 26, 2012 Servant of the Lord; For the gospel you’re set apart. Promised through the prophets of old: Jesus, Son of God. Through Him, and for His name alone, We receive His grace To call people, Him to obey; Coming from their faith. You belong to Christ; Loved by God, and called to be saints; Serving God with whole heart and mind; Preaching Jesus Christ; Always praying for others’ needs; Helping hand to lend; Giving courage to others’ faith, For the praise of God. Servant of the Lord; Of the gospel, I’m not ashamed; For salvation, power of God To those who have faith. In the gospel find righteousness: Being right with God. Turn from sin, and trust Jesus Christ. By faith, live in Him.