Finding your Vocation
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
- Wreaked Havoc upon the early believers
- Held the clothes of those who stoned Stephen.
- Shaper of the early church:
- “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” 2 Tim 4:7
Emphasize the Middle (Message Bible Version reads)
The Apostle’s Goal:
I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back (Philippians 3:12-14).
To Philippian Church INSPIRE when your down and out.
Beginnings: Reluctant to hear Paul
Additional Scripture: Acts 9:21
Saul spent a few days getting acquainted with the Damascus disciples, but then went right to work, wasting no time, preaching in the meeting places that this Jesus was the Son of God. They were caught off guard by this and, not at all sure they could trust him, they kept saying, “Isn’t this the man who wreaked havoc in Jerusalem among the believers? And didn’t he come here to do the same thing—arrest us and drag us off to jail in Jerusalem for sentencing by the high priests?” 22 But their suspicions didn’t slow Saul down for even a minute. His momentum was up now and he plowed straight into the opposition, disarming the Damascus Jews and trying to show them that this Jesus was the Messiah.
II. Word: Intercessor
We were all called to be intercessors
Scripture: The Apostle begins his ministry
Barnabus brought him under His wing (intercede) (Acts 9 26-7 Message Bible) “Back in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him. They didn’t trust him one bit. Then Barnabas took him under his wing.”
- Not of Pedigree
He empathized the importance of grace/spiritual edification (building) and placed no confidence in the flesh. (Not of works that any may boast.)
2. Not because of pedigree: (confidence in the flesh). This confidence may include Pedigree may include family background (4th generation COGIC)
………………………. Come from wealth
………………………. Occupation (zealous as Paul persecuting the church)
Able to speak several languages have a certain discernable gift or anything that may cause you to drift away from God as a source placing confidence in the flesh.
a. Circumcised the eighth day,
b. of the stock of Israel,
c. of the tribe of Benjamin,
d. an Hebrew of the Hebrews;
e. as touching the law, a Pharisee (Philippians 3:5).
f. Gifted several languages and also a Roman citizen.
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
- High Calling (spiritual endeavor)
- Low Calling (natural endeavor)
For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. I Timothy 4:8
When high calling and low calling merge this is full time ministry or it could be doing what you love getting up for work with joy being a witness for the Lord.
• Make the Main Thing the Main Thing
• Don’t Major in the Minors
• Tripping over dollars chasing pennies
• Vocation = Ministry (purpose)
an emphasis is placed on the calling:
“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” Ephesians 4: 1
• Ministry requires Sympathy/ Compassion
1. feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune.
2. understanding between people; common feeling.
For an effective ministry you must sync with God.
Aligning yourself with the wisdom of God
• Gives you a momentum that allows you access to excellence and supernatural happenstances.
• Many times, we want God to conform to us and our desire instead of having sympathy with his desires (the things which are Jesus Christ’s.)
Scripture II: Philippians 3:8
“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.
Revelation I The Personhood of Christ is Excellency
Leadership in Ministry
• Leadership is an action not a position
• True Leadership must be for the benefit of the followers not to enrich the leader.
• Leadership comes and is developed through diligence and a strong work ethic.
Revelation: Leadership is a result of aligning with God as a result excellency is produced.
• You become example/leader by living your life in the will of God. And you teach others by your actions
• Leadership idiom often said in churches made popular by preachers that a man a man who thinks he is a leader without followers is simply a man taking a walk.
Charles Mason in Mason sought a name that would be ‘set apart’ from others. In 1897, while in Little Rock, AR, Mason believed that God had given him the name the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). Mason believed it was divinely revealed and biblically inspired taken from I Thessalonians 2:14, He believed God promised him, “If you take the name that I give you, they would never build a building that would hold all those who would come.”
Word: Vocation/Your calling
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, Ephesians 4: 1
Defined: the special function of an individual or group
Change one letter and vocation can be confused with vacation. not functioning in your divine vocation FRUIT.
Competition breeds haters: when you operate in your divine vocation there is no competition but yourself.
Cain kills Abel “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh”. Hebrews 11:4
Out of the will of God doing it your way not God’s way
Two of the oldest vocations know are that of a farmer and of a shepherd Abel brought of the flock and Cain brought of the fruit of the ground
And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen(Genesis 4-6)?
God gave the key to us in Genesis in order to align with Him. When he told Cain.
If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. Gen 4:7
“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” Rom 11:29
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” Eph. 4:11-12
6. word of wisdom
7. word of knowledge
11. gifts of healing
12. working of miracles
13. discerning of spirits
14. divers kinds of tongues
15. interpretation of tongues
17. then gifts of healings
1. “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.” I Cor 14:1
2. “Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” I Cor. 14:12
3. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
“Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching.” Rom 12:6-7
4. “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues” I Cor 12:8-10
5. “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” I Cor 12:28
6. “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.” I Cor 14:1
7. “Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” I Cor. 14:12
Your life is what God gave you to glorify his kingdom upon the earth.
Word: The Press to succeed.
Diligence in your Higher Calling:
Be led by the Holy Spirit then lead others.
Don’t drive others lead them from your higher call.
Press and receive from God a greater grace towards your vocation.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Rom 8:35 def of hell
I press for the prize of the high calling of Christ Jesus.
Scripture: 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I press now to be accepted by God and obtain the goodness of God while in the land of the living.
And yet while here I will seek to merge with my vocation and serve my gift to the world to effect change.
The Law of Reciprocity: you reap what you sow
Receiving what you Give out into the universe teaches you in life to respect boundaries you grow in grace and in humility. Wanting to have knowledge is an admiral thing but there are some things that come with age. As you live and grow in grace picking yourself up and dusting yourself off you learn many things about God and about human nature.
Forgetting those things in the past:
God and he is the only one that you need to please (proof)!
When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. Prov 16:7