Life was designed to be lived in community.

09/08/13 Enable Me!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 Under: Sermon

Licensing Service for Heath Jackson

Text: 1 Timothy 1:12-16 (NKJV)

12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.

“God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his entire message to you.” Colossians 1:25 (NLT)

Intro: “Because He counted me faithful.”

It is an honor and privilege for any church to have in its own ranks a man who has been enabled from God to receive and except the call into the ministry. Ocean View Baptist Church in just a little over a year has another man who accepts the call. Richard Heath Jackson is a man of God called to the task of equipping himself for a future in the ministry. It is an honor for me today and I am sure a blessing for the membership, to endorse and License Heath Jackson.

Application: Be forever grateful for God’s appointment into ministry.

Be Grateful to the God who appoints:

1. God equipped you: vs. 12 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me,”

Say what you want, or do what you want, but unless God enables you, you can do nothing. When God calls, He enables. He doesn’t hold the past over a person nor should anyone else. In the case of this man present here today at Ocean View Baptist Church to be Licensed, Heath Jackson is called and I look forward to how he will be used for the glory of God to enhance the ministry of Ocean View.

Christ Jesus enabled Paul. The power of Paul's ministry came from Christ. Christ gave him the strength to minister. Paul's strength and power to minister did not come from his trying to stir up power within himself. Christ Himself put Paul into the ministry; Christ Himself strengthened and empowered Paul for the ministry. No person has the power to do spiritual warfare; no person can penetrate the spirits of other people. If a person is to minister to people, he must be empowered by Christ, for only Christ can penetrate the spirits of people. Therefore, the minister must possess the power of Christ. He must be enabled! God equipped you!

Heath when God equips you that doesn’t mean it will get easier. It doesn’t mean you give up or quit doing so much because you have too much on your plate. A calling comes at a cost, the question is, can you pay that cost? Are you willing to pay the price for this high calling?

Be Grateful to the God who appoints:

2. God called you: vs. 12 “He counted me faithful.”

“I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.” Ephesians 3:7

No matter how far down a minister falls he should always remember that Christ Jesus counts him faithful. Christ knows that the minister of Christ will arise and begin to serve with renewed fervor. This is the reason Christ called the minister: because in the final analysis the minister will be faithful. How do we know this? Because of the forgiveness and power and faithfulness of Christ. Therefore, any minister who has fallen must arise and seek the forgiveness of Christ and begin to walk anew in the strength and power of Christ.

This is a Gift of Grace - when God calls you, He calls because he counted you faithful!

Be Grateful to the God who appoints:

3. God appointed you: vs. 12 “Putting me into the ministry.”

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” John 15:16

A person cannot make himself a minister nor can other persons choose him to be a minister - not a true minister, not a minister who pleases Christ and can be blessed by Christ. Why? Because no person can carry on a successful ministry in his own strength, not a ministry that truly reaches people for Christ and delivers them from sin, death, and the judgment to come. Only Christ can do this. This is the reason the minister must be enabled by Christ; he must minister in the strength and power of Christ.

A person who is in the ministry because he has chosen the ministry as a profession or because people thought he would make a good minister is only serving a humanistic religion. Of course, a humanistic minister - a minister who ministers only in his human strength - does some good through social and emotional development. But he does much harm in that he leads people into a false security. He is not able to spiritually save a person - not a single person - from sin, death, and the judgment to come. Only Christ Jesus can do this. The only way a minister can be what he should be is to be put in the ministry by Christ Jesus.

Don’t ever forget who appointed you.
Don’t ever forget who you serve.
Don’t ever forget!

Be Grateful to the God who appoints:

4. God cleansed you: vs. 13 “I obtained mercy.”

Paul assessed his own life and concluded that he was utterly unworthy of God’s grace and calling. In fact, he declared that he is the worst sinner of all. The thing to remember with what was being said by Paul he knew where he came from. Listen called ones, never forget! Never forget! Never forget! When God makes you a new creature He cleans you! “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” That’s not done at Liberty, that’s not done in a Seminary - God cleanses. Be ever grateful, be grateful. Paul reminds every minister that the same level of dependence on God that He used to grant entrance into a saving relationship with Him is also required of us as we serve as ministers.

Conclusion: “Jesus Christ is not valued at all until He is valued above all.” Augustine Are you enabled? The issue is simple: The basic qualification for lasting ministry is found in an overflowing love relationship with Jesus. Love for Jesus is the only motive for ministry that will endure.

Nothing is more important than our relationship with Jesus. Three times Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love Me?” he asked this question before giving Peter the commission to shepherd his sheep. Jesus wanted Peter, and us for that matter, never to forget that the chief criteria of enduring, effective ministry is loving him above all else. It is central; all else is minor.

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