Personal Call From God (Blog # 1)
A Biographical Beginning
God called me into the ministry when I was 19 years old. After several months of deepening spiritual conflict, God brought me to the conviction that I must answer his call to become a preacher of the gospel. The Holy Spirit used Romans 5:1 to convince me that I was “justified by faith” and that I should give my life to preaching the glorious truth of salvation by grace. Thus, my assurance of personal salvation and my call to the ministry came at the same moment in my life.
I was a sophomore at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina when this experience with God became a wonderful reality to me. It has now been more than 60 years since that moment of personal encounter with God. Many things have changed. God has graciously given me many grand experiences with my wife and family and in a variety of roles in the ministry. I have experienced serious trials, wonderful blessings, dreadful disappointments and exciting challenges – all in the pursuit of my calling from God. Through all of this, the God who called, the Savior who redeemed, the Spirit who gave me life, have kept me assured that he personally moved my heart to embrace him as Lord and Savior, as master of my life, as the eternal lover of my soul.
This is RESURRECTION LIFE!
My calling to ministry was my first ADVENTURE IN RESURRECTION LIFE.
There is really no other way I can describe it. To be called into the ministry of the gospel is to be raised by God from the death of a hopelessly self-serving life style into Christ-like service to God and to my fellow sinners. It was the beginning of a grand adventure for me. Life before that call was death, living death because it was life lived in pursuit of petty little self-interests that led me further and further from God, further and further from friends and neighbors, further and further into the culture of death under the dominion of Satan. To be called into the ministry is to be called to life, called to Christ, called to RESURRECTION LIFE.
The good news for all of God’s children is that God calls all of us to RESURRECTION LIFE. I am by no means alone in this developing adventure. Just as he called me to the gospel ministry, thus to be ordained and to serve in public ministry, so he calls you to serve him in specific ways. The list of saints in Romans 16:1-15 is eloquent witness to this fact. There are at least 26 individuals named here with whole households and churches including many other individuals. It is obvious that God called all of them to serve in specific ways. All of these may be called “ministers”. Though only a few named in this list probably would have been ordained preachers, each of them had been called to serve in a remarkable variety of ways and all of these different “ways of life” are simply varieties of service to our King, varieties of RESURRECTION LIFE.
Believe this! Act on it! Embrace RESURRECTION LIFE now and always!
“Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” Colossians 3:1