Jubilee Weekly July 10, 2018

“My Calling and My Passion”

In June, fifty-eight years ago, I began to fulfill God’s call on my life as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When I was quite young, the Holy Spirit etched the following words into my heart —

“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me, no god was formed, nor will there be one after Me.

I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from Me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed -– I, and not some foreign god among you. You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God. Yes, from ancient days I am He. No one can deliver out of My hand. When I act, who can reverse it?” (Isaiah 43:10-13)

If God had spoken these words audibly, they would not have been stronger. I know from that moment on that the Holy Spirit wanted to use my life as a promoter of the Truth and a proclaimer of God’s Truth. Since then, there have been numerous times that I was called by God to serve as one of His ambassadors.

In John 15:16, the Holy Spirit reminded me, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name.”

In 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, Paul wrote, “All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.”

The word “reconcile” means to “restore to a harmonious relationship.” The unsaved person is out of harmony with their Creator. Sin separates us from God. He sent His Son to give His life as an atoning sacrifice for our sin. Christ died for us. He died in our stead. Now, through faith in Him we can be reconciled to God.

Now, let’s see what Paul just wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:
1. God is reconciling the world to Himself through Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:18a
2. He has given us, who have received Christ, the ministry of reconciliation. 2
Corinthians 5:18b
3. He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
4. We are each to be an ambassador of reconciliation. That is the means of
reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:19-20
God is making His appeal to the unsaved, through us. 2 Corinthians 5:20

Now, let me remind us of something that Jesus made very clear to His followers just
before His ascension.

In Acts 1:4-5, 8, Jesus said, “… Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father
promised, which you have heard Me speak about … But you will receive power when the
Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and
Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Folks, we cannot be effective Ambassadors without the enabling of the Holy Spirit. When
we welcome Jesus into our lives as Savior and Lord, we are born of the Spirit. (John3:5-
8) The Holy Spirit comes into our lives and His role is to work in us and through us to
the glory of God.

In 1 Corinthians 2:14, we read, “The man without the Spirit, does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The term “spiritually discerned” means “originating by the Holy Spirit and having the quality of the Holy Spirit.

Again, in Romans 8:5-9, we see how important the Holy Spirit is in our coming to Christ. “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law; nor can it do so.

Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however are controlled not by sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ he does not belong to Christ.”

Note: The person who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit is blessed with the ability of spiritual discernment. Now, let me bring this meditation to a close by a final word about “My Calling and My Passion” … I have been called by the Spirit of Christ to be a minister of
the gospel of Jesus Christ. My passion is to know Christ and to make Him known.

Folks, I can’t do any of this without being continually filled or controlled by the indwelling Holy Spirit – and, neither can you. Dr. John Piper wrote:
1. The Holy Spirit raises those who are spiritually dead. Ephesians 2:5
2. He reveals the truth of Christ. Matthew 16:17
3. He removes our blindness to the glory of Christ.
4. 2 Corinthians 4:4 tells us that He shines “in our hearts to give the light of the
knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ.
(2 Corinthians 4:6)
5. He enlightens the eyes of the heart. Ephesians 1:18
6. He unveils our face and reveals the beauty and worth of Jesus and transforms the
beholder; “this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

I love this closing statement by Dr. Piper —
“Without the sovereign, life-giving, blindness-removing, heart-illumining, glory-revealing
work of God’s Spirit, our ministry and message are lifeless.”

Trusting in the Holy Spirit,

Pastor Leonard