A Call to Arms
Hello Church on the Hill! I am so excited to start my internship. To give background to those who do not know me too well, I have grown up going to this church and have finally gotten the chance to practice ministry within its walls. I received my calling to ministry through the Holy Spirit at the moment of my salvation. With that calling happening around 6 years ago, it brings me joy to have this internship as my first ministry experience.
I’ve talked about my calling. Now let’s talk about yours. Romans 12:6-8 says, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully” (NIV). My gift is leadership, so I am using it. I am starting this position to lead and develop my leadership skills.
To find your calling in the Kingdom, you should first pray. Pray that God opens up your mind to the gifts He has given you. When you have a good idea of what your gift is, talk to Pastor Winters or any other leader within the church to get a good idea of how to use it. How will you fulfill God’s calling?
Focus on the Spirit
Wow! This internship has had its biggest challenge: the Sunday Service. Anyone who knows me well can tell that I am a big talker, but walking up to the pulpit and speaking in front of a group of people I have known my entire life is a different story. As Pastor Winters introduced me, I felt a rush of nervousness. I was working myself up over just talking to forty people. All I had to do was read a projection and pray, but it felt like so much more.
Spiritually, this was a failure. Romans 8:6 says, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace” (ESV). I set my mind on worldly things and only thought about trying not to embarrass myself in front of my friends. I really should have thought about how to use my words in a way that glorifies God.
Most of the things that we do are not Christ-centered but rather self-centered. Have you ever noticed that when we focus on our own benefit, we seldomly succeed, but when we focus on God, everything becomes easier? Maybe it’s not actually harder to do things when we are doing them for ourselves but instead, the Holy Spirit is not giving us our “life and peace.” Your mindset leads to your success, so what is your mind focused on?
We Need a Revival
We need a revival. The entire Kingdom of God needs a revival. It seems as if today's Christianity is absent–absent of spirit. What happened to the fire we all felt at salvation? I see many Christians (including myself) at some points just put on their church face every Sunday morning to return to work or school the next day acting like their old self. Everyone is guilty of this at some time or another.
We need revival. Ephesians 5:13-14 says, “But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’” How will Christ shine onto us and through us to others when we act in a worldly manner? How can others see Christ in you if you are even trying to be Christlike?
We need a revival. Revive your lives! Awake from your death! Christ is shining his light on us so why not embrace it? Rise from your dead ways. Rise from sin. Instead, walk in the spirit. You are called to be the salt of the world so be it. What do you have to lose? Your worldly pleasures? Those mean nothing after death. The only thing that matters is how much you love Christ so show it.
The Best Laid Plans
John Steinbeck said in his book Of Mice and Men, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Life is not perfect. For those of you that came to 1Night, some technical difficulties made it… interesting. Despite the technical error, the presence of God was still with us. A little bit of feedback did not hinder our worship of the one true God.
The devil often makes things hard for us but God is always there. John 16:33 says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (ESV).
Things don’t always go perfectly. It’s just part of our cursed world, but there is something that can bring us joy with His presence in times of tribulation. That something is Jesus. If everything around you comes crashing down, you still can have hope and peace in Jesus.
Overcoming sin can be one of the hardest things to do. It is human nature to sin, but when we live a life of it, we tend to fall down a dark hole. This dark hole for some can lead as far as depression. Sin makes us happy when doing it but then empty and sad afterward. Sin is a deceiver sent from the Deceiver.
Sin is a trap. It traps us in slavery, and there is only one way to break free. Romans 6:22 says, “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life” (ESV). The truth is that, no matter what, we are all slaves, but we do have a choice.
We can choose to be slaves to sin or God. I don’t know about you, but being a slave to God seems a lot better. The following verse says, “the wages of sin is death” (v. 23, ESV). I would rather take life in Christ than death in sin. We can only obtain sanctification and life if we decide to change who our master is, so who’s your master?