“For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).
There is always a downside when doing what God commands, but that should not get in the way of what He calls every Christian to do “preach the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth.” A ministry that is centered on the preaching of God’s Word is a ministry that is, by definition, completely dependent on God. Instead of relying on gimmicks or ploys to capture the Christian imagination, it relies on God Himself for both its context and direction. This is the path that I have chosen to walk, oblivious to contemporary practices in certain ministries I am striving to follow the greatest example, Christ Jesus.
The vision and instructions I received from God did not say be like anyone, but “teach the truth so they may not be deceived.” I understand clearly the implied commandment—focus on teaching the Bible, accurately, consistently and deeply. Beyond that, I must commit to depend on the Lord, rather than contemporary theology or religious opinion. Furthermore, I finally understood that I had to be willing to do whatever faithfulness to my calling required, so that the message remains clear, plain, straight, understood and biblically faithful.
The apostle Paul speaking to the church at Philippi warned “Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from good will. The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains” (Philippians 1:15-16). After prayer and meditation to remove any residual doubt, the Spirit directed me to the word. “I do not speak concerning all of you, I know whom I have chosen” (John 13:18), Jesus spoke these words after washing his disciples’ feet. That was enough of a confirmation to put any lingering doubts about my calling to rest.
The Word of God is clear: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain” (John 15:16). When I step into the pulpit or sit at my computer to compose messages, my expectation is that I am the messenger of God. I speak on His behalf, not my own. As an ambassador for Christ, my task is not to promote my own ideas but rather to represent our King rightly. That means that all I should be doing is bringing the revealed truth of God to bear on the minds of my audience, in person and on-line.
Simply put, as a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ I am to be the voice of God on every issue, in every place. My commission is to declare the whole counsel of God. The Cross is the center of that counsel, and the travelers moving through the Bible landscape loses his/her way as soon as he/she loses sight of the hill called Calvary. “But I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:19). I pray that your reaction to my wish to fulfill my ministry is received with love and not hate—to our mutual benefit. Be blessed and bless someone in Jesus’ name.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
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