Saturday, January 15, 2011

CALLED? Sunday 16 January

Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye

MEMORIZE:
“But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” (1 Cor. 1:24).

READ:
1 Corinthians 1:24-29

W
hile every believer in Christ is meant to lead as a co-heir with Christ and as a king and priest of God, not everyone, however, is expected to occupy ecclesiastical positions in the church. Church leadership is very sacred to God, hence standards must not be compromised. According to 1 Corinthians 12:17-21, every believer is a part of the body and has a unique function which blends with that of fellow believers. So, as the body has its head, so also must there be leaders to oversee the body of Christ in all local assemblies. To qualify for ecclesiastical leadership positions, you must meet with certain laid down conditions.

It is good to desire such positions. “This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work” (1 Tim. 3:1). Do you want to be a pastor or hold any of the ministry offices? It is a good desire. However, occupying a position of leadership in the church is beyond mere desire or wishes; it has to be backed up by a divine call. There are many people who out of a strong zeal backed by personal desire, have gone ahead to establish a church or ministry. This is dangerous. If God does not call you to a particular ministry, Heaven will not recognize your labour, let alone reward you. That then would mean that you only laboured for yourself while on earth. Do you know that many people are in self-ministries and there is no record of their works in Heaven? God will back up only those He has called. If God has not called you into that assignment, please wait a minute! Go back to Him. Not everyone the world has celebrated in ministry has a reward in Heaven. If you do not want to lose your heavenly rewards, ensure your call is from God and intact (2 John 8).

KEY POINT:
God’s call is the foundation of ministry. Any leader that lacks it may be engaged in self-service, not heavenly service.

Bible in One year:
2 Cor. 4-6