1. It is God – (The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit) – who has called and chosen you to belong to Him.
– Is.43:10; Amos 7:14-15; Jer.1:5-7; Jn.1:6; Jn.15:16; Jn.20:21; 1 Tim.1:12
– You have been given the highest privilege in all the world
– He has chosen you so that He can live within you – chosen you to be His instrument, His channel, His person through whom He can live and work upon earth.
– He wants to use your body and your life to show how a person is to live upon earth.
– He wants to conform you to the image of Christ – to make you an example for the world, an example of how God wants people to live: in all godliness and righteousness.
– He wants to use you to preach, teach and proclaim the gospel of Christ to a world lost and reeling under the weight of enormous need.
2. You are counted faithful – counted trustworthy – by Christ.
– 1 Tim.1:12; 1 Cor.4:2; Col.1:25; Is.6:8
– It is indeed a wonderful thought, that Christ Jesus counts you trustworthy (1Tim.1:12).
– He trusts you to be faithful and He knows that you will be faithful to Him.
– The power of your ministry comes from Christ.
– You must always remember this: ‘No matter what may confront you or how far down you may fall, Christ counts you faithful and Christ will give you the power to be faithful. Christ knows that you will arise and begin to serve with renewed fervor.
3. You have been called by the gift of God’s grace.
– Eph.3:7-8; 1 Cor.4:1
– To be slaves of the Master. You do not and cannot serve anyone else.
– God has showered His grace upon you and made you a minister (Eph.3:7-8) God has been merciful to you, forgiven you so much. You owe God your life, to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ.
– It is a gift, a free gift of God’s grace. St Paul says, “There was no merit, no worth, no value within me that caused God to choose me as a minister and as a preacher.”
– Paul simply exclaims, “What a privilege! What a responsibility! The less of the least called by God to minister and to preach!”
4. You have been called to be steward – a servant – of God.
– 1 Cor.4:1; Tit.1:7; 1 Pt. 4:10
– You are the steward of God. The word “steward” means the overseer of an estate. The steward was always a slave, subject to a master, but he was placed in charge of the other slaves throughout the master’s house or estate. He controlled the staff and ran the whole operation for the master. He was set over others, yet he himself was still a slave of the master. His work was not closely supervised; therefore, he had to be trustworthy and responsible.
5. You have been called to be an ambassador for Christ.
– 2 Cor.5:18-21
– God has called you to be His ambassador to the world.
– He has given you the ministry of delivering the message of God to the whole world, the message of reconciliation.
– The “ambassador” is a person who is sent forth as an official envoy to represent the sender and to announce the message of the Sender.
– Four things are always true about the ambassador:
· You belong to the One who sent you out.
· You are commissioned to be sent out. You exist only for the purpose for which you were sent.
· You possess all the authority and power of the One who sent you out.
· You are sent forth with the message of the Sender. The message is not your own.
WHAT MUST BE YOUR AIM AS A TEAM MEMBER?
1. You must know, believe and understand God. (Is 43:10)
– This is the reason God created you, saved you, and called you into discipleship: that you may know, believe and understand Him.
a) Your aim must be to know God: know Him personally and intimately – grow to know Him more and more as you walk day by day. (Ph 3:10-11)
b) Your aim must be to believe God –
· Believe His love for the world.
· Believe His salvation and call
· Believe His promise of eternal life.
· Believe His Word, the Holy Scriptures, the sacraments and the life of communion in the Church
· Believe He is with you no matter the trial or temptation: that He will never forsake you, that He cares for you and is looking after you
· Believe he has called and commissioned you to proclaim His word to a lost and dying world, a world reeling in desperate need.
c) You aim must be to understand God –
· understand that He alone is God, the only living and true God, the Sovereign Lord and Majesty of the universe.
· Understand that God is loving as well as holy and righteous – that God is merciful and gracious as well as just – that God will forgive sin as well as judge sin
· Understand that God loves and cares for man, that He has demonstrated His love in the most supreme way possible: He has given His Son to die for sin so that whoever believes in Him might not perish but have everlasting life
· Understand that God alone saves man; therefore, He alone is to be worshipped and served by man.
2. Your aim must be to deny yourself and put your desires and flesh to death and to do only the will of God. (Lk 9:23), (Rom 12:1)
3. You must guard and keep your body from…
· Wondering and questioning God and His world
· Becoming discouraged and depressed
· Becoming complacent and slothful
· Becoming lazy and undisciplined
· Sinning and failing
· Denying and turning away from Christ
· Overeating and drunkenness
· Immorality and drugs.
4. You must commit your body totally to Jesus Christ …
· So that you will not be ashamed of anything
· So that you will exalt Christ, whether it be by life or by death
5. As a team member, you must have consistency. You must not be a cause for anyone to reject or turn sour on the Lord Jesus Christ; that you will never cause a person to stumble or fall; that you will never be a poor reflection upon the ministry.
6. You must prove that you are a true witness of God, no matter the severity of the trial or temptation. You must be strong against all trials and temptations, struggling to conquer them all. You must not offend anyone in anything. This must be your great concern, you great aim in the ministry.
7. You must fulfill the supreme requirement of God: that you be faithful. (1 Cor 4:1-2). As a disciple of Christ, God requires one thing of you: faithfulness. Faithfulness is the one essential demanded of you. You are not required to be eloquent, brilliant, intelligent, loaded with ability, or successful. You are required to be faithful. You are not required by God to be an administrator, counselor, visitor, door-greeter, or socialize – as important as these ministries are. You are required to be faithful
8. You are required to be faithful in ministering the mysteries of God. By mysteries is meant the truths of God’s Word. You are held accountable and shall be judged for how well you minister the truths of God’s Word and Sacraments.
– You must not hold back or fail to share the truths of God.
– You must not substitute some other message for truths of God.
– You must not mix some other message with the truths of God.
WHAT ARE YOUR RESOURCES AS A TEAM MEMBER?
1. Grace and power of Christ (2 Cor. 12:9-10)
a. The grace of Christ is sufficient for you. The presence of God and His grace are sufficient to help you walk through any suffering
b. The strength of Christ is made perfect in your weakness. If you are self-sufficient, you do not need Christ; but is you are weak, you need Christ: help, provisions, and sufficiency of Christ.
c. The power of Christ will rest upon you through all your infirmities and trials.
d. When you suffer some infirmity or weakness, it gives Christ the chance to infuse power into you and to overcome the weakness for you.
2. You are given the presence and power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8), (1 Cor 2:12). You have been given a task by God, a mission to carry out on earth. You do not have the power to carry out that task, not within yourself. The power of God Himself, of His Spirit, is needed. Therefore, Christ promises: “Ye shall receive power after the Holy Spirit is come upon you” (Acts1:8)
3. You are given faith to sustain you in the ministry (2 Cor 4:13)
When nothing else sustains you as a disciple, your faith will sustain you. You may be tempted to give up: the trouble and pressure against you may be so great that you are tempted to leave the ministry, to never again share the gospel. However as stated, when nothing else sustains you, your faith will sustain you. (Eph 6:16)
4. You are given the love of Christ to compel you in the ministry (2 Cor 5:14)
As a disciple, the love of Christ, constrains you to hold fast to the ministry.
5. You are given the hope of the resurrection to sustain you in the ministry. (2 Cor 4:14), (1 Th 4:16-17) (Tit 2:12-13).
You serve Christ for one great reason: you know that you are to die someday, and you know there is to be a resurrection of the dead. (Ph 3:10-11) “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead”
Dr. (Fr.) John Parankimalil, SDB
Session given to the Team Members at
Nairobi Vincentian Prayer House
on January 3, 2013