Preparation for ministry follows call

  • Follow Your Faith

At Jesus's baptism, he received his calling. In Old Testament language, Jesus was anointed by God himself.

All of God's people are called and set apart by God to do the ministry he has in mind for them to do.

By so doing, we will fulfill the words of the Apostle Paul: "Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God the Father."

Peter states that we acquire an identity from God as we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior and are baptized. Peter went on to say," You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people ... once you were no people but now you are God's people (I Peter 2:9-10).

The next step was Jesus's 40 days of temptation by Satan in the wilderness. Being truly God and truly man, Jesus could not sin, but he did not know he could not sin; therefore, he felt the full force of temptation even as we would have felt it.

God wants us all to accept the fact that given the right circumstances, we all could fall victim to the wiles of the devil. No one is exempt.

Clergy can readily relate to this time of preparation for ministry, as they are sorely tempted during their seminary training to throw in the towel during times of discouragement, which, by the way, is the devil's main weapon.

When lay people first begin to serve on their church's official board, they, too, are tempted again and again to call it quits when conflict arises during heated debates and fellow members start acting more like the devil than Christ.

After his days of preparation, Jesus wasted no time beginning his ministry.

What helped Jesus to keep on keeping on and what we need to keep foremost in mind is that the gospel is truly Good News.

That one thought will lift us from the pits of discouragement and give us the strength to keep on doing our ministry in spite of the opposition and roadblocks and detours to fulfilling our calling.

One other belief kept Jesus going and should help us, too: It is not all up to us to get this ministry done: The God who called us will be with us to get the job done.

DR. GENE NORRIS IS A LOCAL PRESBYTERIAN PASTOR.

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