Opportunity & Ability
Call the children up
The Adults can turn to Genesis 45 (NIV)
Tell the story of Joseph to the children: Genesis 37
From his home, to the pit, to his master‘s house, to the prison, to the palace. It took 23 years, from 17 to 40, to get to:
5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.
7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
8 "So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God …
Children can go back to their seats
God does not call you where His grace cannot keep you.
Calling is the opportunity God gives us
Grace is the ability God gives us to seize the opportunity
So many are ready and willing to curse the darkness but few seem to be foresighted enough to search for a way to light a lamp.
Still many today seem so eager to hold up the future’s unfolding with questions of Why?, while some rise to the future’s need with the resounding courage saying, Why Not!
All in all it is still not man’s plan or time table we are operating on, but God’s.
God has a plan
He will succeed
We have been called and graced to participate
A person can be called and graced and still not know what it is they are accomplishing.
This is why it is so important to:
Bloom where you are planted!
Key Scripture: Jeremiah 10:23 O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps. (NKJV)
We cannot succeed by our own design or under the influence of our own wisdom or even the collective votes and/or vetoes of others.
To be called, proven, placed and kept in a position by the Holy Spirit is God’s choice, and for reasons only He needs deem valuable.
There is only one qualifying factor for every position man holds: It’s God.
* THE WHY ceases to be important when THE WHO is God.
Neither Peter nor Judas would have qualified to be invited & included if only seen through their eyes or the eyes of other men.
Let’s look at Peter’s resume:
A Jewish fisherman with no formal education, quick tempered and prone to violence.
A long history of run-ins with the law; arrested several times, considered to be a notorious rioter, was sentenced to death by the highest court, but escaped prison the night before execution.
A reputation for being a cussing, lying betrayer of his friends, who sometimes quit when the going got tough and retreated to his parents house, spending his time fishing.
A church splitter, dividing congregations on issues which had been long established, culturally embraced and widely taught.
A legalistic hypocrite as discovered by the Apostle Paul at Antioch when Peter withdrew himself from eating with gentile Christian brothers considered to be unclean. Galatians 2:11ff
Without regard as to how we arrived in the position we are in, let’s look at some common threads that run through each.
Some of you hold positions as mother; father; friend; school teacher; bank teller; policeman; fireman; college student; homemaker; painter; pastor; lawyer; employer; waiter; actor; doctor; truck driver or secretary. It is safe to say that each of you serve in some position of life.
As such, the position you hold carries with it an obligation, a duty beyond just getting through the day and meeting the quota.
God has qualified you to serve His interest right where you are. He and He alone has supplied you the opportunity and He is supplying the grace. Now …
Let’s look at the Three Common Duties each person owes the position they currently hold.
I. We Have A Duty To Protect
A. Our Lives & Our Families
B. Our Friends & Our Communities
C. Our Nation & Our World
1. From the enemies of the soul
* mental anguish
* emotional trauma
* Stinking Thinking
> worldly appetites
> false doctrine
> self absorption
* Romans 12
1 ¶ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
2. From the enemies of the body
* Sickness & Disease
* An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
3. From the enemies of the spirit
* The flesh
* The devil
* Other people’s evil influence
II. We Have A Duty To Prepare
A. Ourselves & Others
1. For Life
2. For Death
3. For Eternity
B. John 14
2 "In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
C. 1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."
D. Revelation 21:2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
E. Ephesians 6:15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
F. Well over 200 times in the bible we are in some way reminded to prepare.
III. We Have A Duty To Promote
A. The Top 7
3. The Holy Spirit
B. We Promote Things
1. By talking favorably about them
* How shall anyone know if they are not told? Romans 10:14
2. Through participation
* One of the first things I ask when someone tells me how wonderful something is, is: are you going?; do you have one?; have you tasted it? If not … perhaps their advice is not as valuable as it could be.
* Philippians 2
3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
* 1 Corinthians 10:24 We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well. (The Message)
When was the last time you did something solely for someone else’s benefit?
God has qualified you and allowed you to hold the position you have.
He has given you the opportunity and the ability to serve.
Now it is up to you to perform the duties that the position requires: