I’ll never forget when God called me into the ministry. I was 18 years old, freshly graduated from high school and the call was clear. God impressed upon my heart in an undeniable yet indescribable way that He wanted me to go to college, get my degree in Christian counseling and spend my life ministering to those who were hurting spiritually and emotionally. I will also never forget when He impressed upon my heart that the unanswered call was in fact disobedience, but that He was calling again and desired to know what I would do this time. The second call came 25 years after the first. I was determined that I would not be disobedient again, this time I would do everything in my power to make sure I answered the call. Nothing was going to stand in my way. This time I would watch where I was going, and not end up going where I was watching. It’s a long story, but to be brief, after going back to school and graduating, I soon found myself ministering here at Crossroad Community Church. I am now, and will be forever grateful that God saw fit to give me another opportunity to be obedient to His call on my life.
As a pastor, counselor, and simply a Christ follower, I look around at all of the strife and difficulty our nation is going through right now and I wonder what can be done. What can be done to turn all of this around? What can be done to take such a splintered and fractured people and bring them to a place of healing and comfort, from such dysfunction and pain? As a pastor and counselor, I don’t really have a good inroad to be of great help, my sphere of influence in the arena is very small. However, as a part of a much larger group, a Christ follower, there my sphere of influence if overlapped by yours and the others of our church, and the churches of our community, of our state, of our nation, there you and I and all of the other Christ followers have great influence across the land. So what should we to do?
Say yes to the ministry God has called you to.
2 Corinthians 5:16-21 (NLT) Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
We have all been called to the ministry of reconciliation. What does that mean? Simply put, it means we are all called to live our lives in such a way, and to treat others in such a way that the love of God for them is made evident in undeniable terms. Think about it, what made you desire a relationship with Christ if ultimately it wasn’t His love for you? If that was what drew you to Him, it is what will draw others to Him. Loving others with His love is what you can do…and are called to do to reconcile others to God.
So, what might happen in our local communities if you and I took our ministry of reconciliation seriously? What might the results be if we stopped espousing every thought we have on one subject or another and simply tried to learn to truly love the people on both sides of the issue. Not only with thoughts and prayers, but with loving words and actions, valuing and trying to understand the way others feel even if we don’t happen to agree. What would happen in our county, our state, our nation if every Christ follower took their God given ministry to love others as seriously as they take their own thoughts and opinions? We can choose to not answer the call as I did so many years ago…but ultimately that is simply disobedience. Jesus said, “If you love me you will follow my commands” and “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
So now go be awesome!