We were asked to memorize scripture, Acts 20:18-35. In doing that exercise I got to repeatedly hear Paul speak to the Ephesians. What I read continually rocked me.
Here is a little sample:
“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
I wondered to myself, “God, is this my course?” Have you called me in this time to become a pastor at 7 mile. If it is, will I put finishing that course above all other things in my life? I thought about my life and how selfish I can be in my marriage, as a father, as a friend, or a coworker.
I read another verse.
“Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”
Paul looked over his time with the Ephesians and said of himself, I am innocent of the blood of you all for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. I heard this and I thought, “am I able to declare the whole counsel of God to 7 Mile Road church?” Ajay said that he was declaring to 7 mile the whole counsel of God. Now obviously we haven’t gone through the whole Bible here, but if you think about it neither did Paul. But he preached Christ, the one who fulfilled the law by living a life that was pleasing and acceptable to His heavenly Father. How he offered Himself up as a sacrifice for all so that those that believe in Him inherits everlasting life. How he sends His Spirit to live in his adopted children, as well as change us more and more now to the likeness of His son Jesus. God, have you called me to declare the whole counsel of God to 7 mile and will I shrink from it? I do not wish to be guilty of anyone’s blood. How serious is this call to be an elder! If ever a sentence required an exclamation point it’s that one.
But the hits kept coming.
“Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears.”
This much I know, with tears comes love. Will I love 7 mile road church so much that I wouldn’t cease to admonish everyone with tears? At first I thought, I could do that. I thought of different people that I knew and love here and I thought I could. But a word caught my eye and stuck with me. EVERYONE.
God would I love everyone in this church that I would not cease night or day to admonish them with tears? Oh God my selfishness, my cowardess, my lack of a strong theological framework, my small heart.. I would have despaired except for this, I am His possession, his child. If this is his call for my life then he will take away my selfishness and be self-sacrificial with my wife, sons, friends, coworkers, anyone. He will make me bold and help me learn more of Him. He will give me a heart for His people so I can love them as he loves them.
So I need to be sure of this calling to be an elder. In this season, especially with this sermon series on prayer, I would ask all of you to be prayerful for Siby, Dennis, Binu and myself. Pray that God would make it clear whether or not He is calling us to be elders at 7 mile church.