BE MORE THAN ALL YOU CAN BE

 

At the reception station a GI is assigned to a Military Occupational Skill.  Do you know your calling in the Army of the Lord?  The US Army used to say “Be all you can be…in the Army.”  You know that the army of God enjoys more abilities than what we were issued.  God increases our abilities as we grow in him.  Last week I suggested that fitness training can be a team effort through encouragement.  What does this Army need to apply that new strength in combat? 

 

CRUSADERS NEEDED

 

God is recruiting, and he needs a wide range of skills for his army.  This is how we go on the attack into enemy territory.  You bring assets needed to bring the team together.  Your life experiences are of interest to others.  Solomon went in search of life experiences. 

 

17And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.   18For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.  Eclesiastes 1:17-18

 

Solomon got this wisdom only at the end of this vain education process.  God allowed him to waste his time so we don’t have to.  He summed the whole answer up for us:

 

 13Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

 

We all pursue some of this madness, in hobbies and careers that are slightly off-course.  God allows us to explore our interests until we can identify our calling.  Not all of us are called to preach, or to missions though.  Joseph and Daniel were administrators in the secular job world.  Michael Faraday was the father of modern electronics, but gave the glory to God for all of his inspiration.  He was a scientist, but also brought souls to Christ through his calling.  We can do the same when we identify our true calling.

 

BE INSTANT IN SEASON; quick to answer

 

 2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.  2 Timothy 4:2

 

BE ALL THINGS TO ALL MEN

 

    19Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. 1 Cor 9:19-23

 

So we can preach if we can be open to the interests of other people.  Solomon explored a lot of vanity, but got to know the ways of people.  This gave him an audience with us because we too were in some vain pursuits.  Paul taught as a Rabbi to the Jews, an expert on the law for their arguments and disputes with Christ.  He was instant in season to reach the lost Jews.  His calling was wisdom, earned the hard way. 

 

ESTHER SAVES

 

Queen Esther saved her nation by her beauty.  The king of Persia was charmed, and provided her an audience against the plotting of evil men.  Surely, beauty is vanity, but God can use it.  This was Esther’s calling.

 

ROCKET SCIENCE

 

I have worked for rocket scientists as a designer.  Some dream of building a commercial aircraft that can fly passengers to space for an adventure vacation.  They are beginning to find wealthy investors to make the dream possible.  But they often lack the business knowledge and political savvy to see their dream happen.  Geeks have a problem with people skills at times!  God and the brethren may help here if they are instant in season.

 

Perhaps some of you have dreamed of making the voyage to the Moon.  Astronauts have to be athletic and well educated.  Dreams are possible if we find the right encouragement.  Could your friends or your children be dreaming of things that you could encourage?  Or are you in need of direction to find a dream of your own?

 

Similarly, there are adventures in church that will happen only if we have help from people with unique callings.  We may even bring people from the community if we can learn to listen to their interests.  We can bring assets to the Kingdom of God by recruiting from the world.  God has a lot of lost sheep who can make a difference when they hear their master’s voice.

 

Your conversation can start with a common interest like sports.  Your sports knowledge can draw their interest.  You may find their business or hobby skills worth listening to.  As a recruiter, you may be able to point out a ministry they can share in your church.  Do you have a Christian motorcycle club?  Or is there a bowling league, youth camping, or a special choir in your church?  Listening to their interests will bring out the passion they are exploring today.  God can help them identify how their calling will serve him.  My pastor back in Michigan got baptized in the Holy Spirit as a youth, because he wanted to investigate a church where the girls were going.  He discovered a relationship he hadn’t bargained on!

 

VANITY AND WISDOM

 

Maybe bodybuilding is considered vain, but beauty worked for Esther.  It saved her people from persecution and death.  But geeky Rocket Scientists have big egos too!  Your interests can open doors for conversation.  You have a special gift to converse with anyone; the word of God is ready for any audience.  God’s sheep know his voice, so the words of the bible are their favorite food.  We should feed his sheep the bread of life.

 

LEND ME YOUR EAR

 

Being different does not make you unimportant or less able to reach the world.

 

And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?   If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?   But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  1 Cor 12:16-18

 

If you can fellowship with a foot, you can really step out!  Are you ear-ing me?  Eye think so!   Who are the eyes and the feet?  They are athletes, geeks, hobby crafters, gardeners, business owners, bikers, hunters, campers and artists.  Let’s recruit and train them all to have a place in our line of defense!

 

BORROW MY EAR!

 

Tell us about your career, hobbies, travels, and interests.  Are there Bible stories that relate to these?  What bible stories or characters do you relate to?  Do you have skills that others could learn from? 

 

 

 

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