What I Read Today;
Genesis 10-12; Psalm 4; Matthew 4; Romans 4
There’s an interesting phenomenon in the scriptures. You will see it in several places. Funny thing is you see it in two places for our readings this morning.
Genesis 12, God calls a shepherd named Abraham to leave his county and his family to go to a place he’s never seen before.
Matthew 4:18-22, Jesus calls his first disciples. They aren’t priests or lawyers. They are just typical, ordinary fishermen.
God chooses to call the ordinary people of this world and then empowers them to do extraordinary things in the name of God.
In western civilization, we’ve fallen in love with the idea that to be called by God, one must have advanced college degrees. While I agree that training is important for those wishing to be minsters, counselors, and youth workers, I think that sometimes we’ve let our love affair with higher education keep others out of the mission and ministry of the church.
It’s become a double-edged sword in some denominations around the world. With fewer and fewer men and women entering into the ministry, we now see more and more churches closing. There simply aren’t enough people willing to spend several thousand dollars on becoming ministers when the world offers higher-paying positions in other careers.
The call to serve God doesn’t seem so appealing to a 24-year-old when he looks at the paltry salaries being offered and then trying to figure out how to pay off 200 grand in student loan debt.
But Jesus didn’t look at the pedigree of the people he was calling. He failed to notice the GPA’s of the disciples. Jesus ignored the rough language that I’m sure Jesus heard from them. He disregarded the rough unshaven appearance. He looked past all the things the world looked at and chose differently. If Jesus had an HR department, I have a pretty good idea that they would have disapproved of his new hires.
You see, Jesus looked at the hearts of those he was calling. Jesus chose those who knew they were unworthy. He wanted those who he knew would allow the Holy Spirit to mold them into God’s own image of what a minister would look like.
If Jesus was posting a job advertisement on linked in, I think it might look like this:
People willing to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a hurting world.
Short Term Pay and Benefits – Ok but not great, or maybe even non-existent in some places.
Long Term Pay and Benefits – Out of this world
Must be willing to endure persecution, rejection, and indifference.
Must have an active prayer life and be a devoted student of the Word of God.
While education and training are nice, the most essential requirement of all is a love for God, a passion for People, and, most importantly, a desire to spread the Gospel to everyone and anyone they come across.
Apply directly to Jesus by answering his call through prayer!