Pastor John Rhodes
A. Know your Calling
A. Know Your Calling 1 Timothy 1:1-4 (NIV)
The apostle Paul was so impressed by the dedication a young man named Timothy that he invited him to join his mission (see Acts 15). Many years later, Paul writes to Timothy entrusting him with a special task.
Finding your calling and special purpose is the most rewarding experience in life. And it’s not impossible to achieve. First, you need to know three things about it.
1. You are called to represent Jesus. v1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Saviour and of Christ Jesus our hope,
At the start of his letter, Paul describes this own apostolic calling at the command of God. An apostle is like an ambassador, sent to represent the interests of a home country to a foreign nation. This last week, a new ambassador for China arrived in Australia. Thankfully, he is reported to be reconciliatory and not a ‘wolf-warrior’! We are like ambassadors, called to represent Jesus and the spiritual kingdom of God on earth.
Paul was appointed by God our Saviour. Whatever your life situation, the first priority is to be saved and in God’s spiritual kingdom. God saves through Jesus our hope, with forgiveness and eternal life.
2. You are called to pass on a blessing v2 To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Paul passed on a blessing to Timothy. A blessing is not simply saying something nice. It’s a spiritual reality passed on personally by being in the presence of God. Bless others with your prayer and your words. I say, “Have a good day!”, meaningfully to people such as my son on his way to work. I’m impressed how in the Bible Boaz greeted his workers by declaring, “The Lord be with you! The Lord bless you!” (see Ruth 2:4). How good it would be to have a boss like that! It is your calling to be a blessing to others.
3. You are called to specific tasks v3-4 …stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer…
It is helpful to know that, although God calls us to a higher purpose, this is made up of many smaller tasks along the way. Paul’s letter to Timothy is an example. The tasks all add up and fit into the big picture of advancing God’s work.
Here are three instructions on accomplishing a task… (1) Aim to complete a task v3 … stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people…. For every task you have – and especially the more important tasks - make a concerted effort to complete it. My 2 year old grandson wanted to be with me when his grandmother called him in another room. He turned, pointed at me, and commanded, ‘stay there!’ Is God calling you to stay somewhere until completing an unfinished job? (2) Don’t get caught up with distractions. ….not to teach false doctrines any longer v4 or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Don’t get endlessly caught up with narrow focussed, conspiracy theories! Focus on your calling. (3) Do the things that advance God’s Kingdom, by faith. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith.
Don’t waste time and eternity on earth – be active in doing things for the good and the kingdom of God. Be careful with your feelings. Learn to keep in step with the Spirit, by faith. Thousands of thoughts may go through your head but put them aside and look up – God is real! He’s in control. He is also gracious, merciful and peace imparting to you and through you. Know your calling!