Sabbath, October 8, 2005
“The work above all work,–the business above all others which should draw and engage the energies of the soul,–is the work of saving souls for whom Christ has died. Make this the main, the important work of your life. Make it your special life work.” –Messages to Young People, p. 227.
• To realize that God calls His laborers into His vineyard.
• To pray for more laborers in the end times.
• To quickly respond to the call of God.
A DIVINE CALL
1. Name two men in the Old Testament who were called by God for a specific work.
2 Peter 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
Exodus 3:10-12 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.
2. Did Jesus also make direct and specific calls to certain men? Who were they?
Mark 3:13, 14 And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them
Acts 9:4, 15, 16 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?… But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
“Mark the features of Christ’s work. He moved in the greatest simplicity. Although His followers were fishermen, He did not advise them to go first into the school of the rabbis before entering upon the work. He called His disciples from their fishers’ nets, and said: ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ He called Matthew from the receipt of customs, and said, ‘Follow Me.’ All that they were required to do was to follow Jesus, to do as He commanded them, and thus enter into His school, where God could be their teacher.” –Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 359.
TYPES OF MINISTRY
3. In the end time, what divine calls are being made by God for missionary laborers?
Matthew 20:1, 4-6 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard…. And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
Isaiah 60:1, 3 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
“God calls for ministers, Bible workers, and canvassers. Let our young men and young women go forth as canvassers, evangelists, and Bible workers, in company with laborers of experience, who can show them how to labor successfully.
“The highest of all work is ministry in its various lines, and it should be kept before the youth that there is no work more blessed of God than that of the gospel minister.” –Messages to Young People, pp. 208, 224.
“Young men are wanted. God calls them to missionary fields. Being comparatively free from care and responsibilities, they are more favorably situated to engage in the work than are those who must provide for the training and support of a large family. Furthermore, young men can more readily adapt themselves to new climates and new society, and can better endure inconveniences and hardships. By tact and perseverance, they can reach the people where they are.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 393.
4. Is there a part for everyone in the work of representing Christ to the world?
1 Corinthians 12:14-20 For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body.
“Let your light shine forth in good works. Said Christ, ‘Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.’ I fear that there are many who are in this condition. All have not the same work to do; different circumstances and talents qualify individuals for different kinds of work in God’s vineyard. There are some who fill more responsible positions than do others; but to each one is given his work, and if he does his work with fidelity and zeal, he is a faithful steward of the grace of God.” –Reflecting Christ, p. 41.
EQUIPPED FOR SERVICE
5. When God calls His laborers into the gospel field, how will He equip them for service?
Matthew 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
“God takes men as they are, and educates them for His service, if they will yield themselves to Him. The Spirit of God, received into the soul, will quicken all its faculties. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the mind that is devoted unreservedly to God develops harmoniously, and is strengthened to comprehend and fulfill the requirements of God.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 251.
“One of the very best ways in which young men can obtain a fitness for the ministry is by entering the canvassing field. Let them go into towns and cities to canvass for the books which contain the truth for this time. In this work they will find opportunity to speak the words of life, and the seeds of truth they sow will spring up to bear fruit. By meeting the people and presenting to them our publications, they will gain an experience that they could not gain by preaching….” –Messages to Young People, p. 221.
6. After the laborers are called by God, through what agency are they then invested with, along with full ecclesiastical authority?
Acts 13:1-3 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
“God foresaw the difficulties that His servants would be called to meet; and in order that their work should be above challenge, He instructed the church by revelation to set them apart publicly to the work of the ministry. Their ordination was a public recognition of their divine appointment to bear to the Gentiles the glad tidings of the gospel. Both Paul and Barnabas had already received their commission from God Himself, and the ceremony of the laying on of hands added no new grace or virtual qualification. It was an acknowledged form of designation to an appointed office, and a recognition of one’s authority in that office. By it the seal of the church was set upon the work of God.” –Gospel Workers, pp. 441, 442.
SPECIAL PRAYERS NEEDED
7. While this earth’s history is nearing its end, what should we pray for that will contribute to the finishing of the gospel work?
Matthew 9:37, 38 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
“The world is in need of workers who will labor as Christ did for the suffering and the sinful. There is indeed a multitude to be reached. The world is full of sickness, suffering, distress, and sin. It is full of those who need to be ministered unto–the weak, the helpless, the ignorant, the degraded.” –Counsels on Health, p. 13.
8. What manifold blessings will be realized as the “called of God” take up their appointed duties?
Psalms 126:5, 6 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
Isaiah 58:8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward.
“While the great final reward is given at Christ’s coming, true-hearted service for God brings a reward, even in this life. Obstacles, opposition, and bitter, heart-breaking discouragements, the worker will have to meet. He may not see the fruit of his toil. But in face of all this he finds in his labor a blessed recompense. All who surrender themselves to God in unselfish service for humanity are in co-operation with the Lord of glory. This thought sweetens all toil, it braces the will, it nerves the spirit for whatever may befall. Working with unselfish heart, ennobled by being partakers of Christ’s sufferings, sharing His sympathies, they help to swell the tide of His joy, and bring honor and praise to His exalted name. In fellowship with God, with Christ, and with holy angels, they are surrounded with a heavenly atmosphere, an atmosphere that brings health to the body, vigor to the intellect, and joy to the soul.” –Gospel Workers, p. 513.
• Are you praying for more laborers to enter into God’s vineyard?
• Have you ever seriously considered working for God on a full time basis?
• What blessings have you received by serving others?