A Costly Calling

Café Church, St Barnabas, 12 June 2009

  • Have you ever been asked to do something you thought you couldn’t do? How did you feel about it?

In our readings today, we’re going to hear about some people who were asked by God to do things they had never done before. We’re going to think how they reacted, and how God responded to their fears.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Spend a few minutes answering the following questions:

  • What did God call Jeremiah to do?
  • How did Jeremiah respond?
  • How did God meet Jeremiah’s concerns?
  • What can we learn from this encounter?

One of the most important things we can learn is that we’re never too young to serve the Lord. God can and does use children, and I want to affirm that the young people in our churches have gifts and talents God can use. And we as the wider church family need to help them learn what God is calling them to do, and encourage them to use their gifts.

Of course when you’re young, it’s very easy to feel afraid that God might be calling you. Who, me? Surely you’ve got the wrong person, haven’t you? But what is the promise God makes to Jeremiah?

Do not be afraid of them for I am with you and will rescue you. (Jeremiah 1:8 NIV)

But it doesn’t mean that it will always be easy to do what God asks of us. Let’s listen to our second reading, and particularly the second half where we hear how Jesus sent out the twelve apostles.

Mark 6:1-13

So using similar questions to the ones we looked at earlier, let’s ask:

  • What did Jesus ask the twelve apostles to do?
  • How do you thing they felt when they were asked?
  • What happened when they obeyed Jesus?
  • What lessons can we learn from this passage?

The whole theme of this passage is faith. Jesus wanted the apostles to go out completely depending on Him – which is what faith is all about, looking to Jesus to provide what we need. But unlike the apostles we may not see dramatic results. Because the response we get depends on the faith of those who hear us, and where they have little faith, then there will be little fruit. It’s all too easy in that situation to beat ourselves up and say that it’s our fault no-one believes, but this passage shows that is not the case. Our part is to do whatever Jesus asks of us, and leave the rest up to Him.

So what might it mean for us to share the good news today?

Casting Crowns – Does anybody hear her?

So the crunch time… how might we hear God speaking to us today? Now I think it’s important when asking this question to be realistic. Some of us might receive a call to a particular task or ministry within the church, and we are always looking for people who want to receive training for a particular task. But most of us are called to the really difficult thing Jesus did – to live out the good news among our family and our friends.

So for our prayer time – think about where you will be over the coming week. If you find it helpful, write down (or draw) some of things that you’ll be doing this week, or the people you are seeing. And then pray that you might know how to be faithful to Jesus Christ in the situations you are facing. And if that sounds all a little too hard, a little too daunting, let’s remember that promise to Jeremiah…

Do not be afraid of them for I am with you and will rescue you. (Jeremiah 1:8 NIV)

We have a God who provides for us in each and every situation, and who knows our fears and questions. Somebody once said that God does not call us to places where He does not keep us. So whatever the coming week holds, we can go out with joy knowing that He is with us.

Rev Tim

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