Equipping the Called

Equipping the Called

Introduction

Hebrews 13:20-21 NIVNow may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

  • There is a saying that preachers sometime like to throw around, one that I first heard and was encouraged by from Pastor Matt in Seattle after I was just recently saved. The saying says this
    • “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called!”
      • What this means is very simple, it means you do not have to be a mighty warrior of God, to be called by God to be a mighty warrior.
        • Instead, all you need to do is be available, and to whatever He calls you to He will equip you, He will train you, He will get you ready!
          • Hebrews 13:21 [May God]equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen
  • Today this sermon is for two kinds of people:
    • First it is for the Christian who has found their calling and is feeling horribly inadequate, feeling like “That can’t be me, I am not smart enough, strong enough, or faithful enough.. maybe if I was more like Amanda I could be a worship leader, maybe if I was more like Christian I could be a preacher, maybe if I was more like Shana I could lead Children’s church… but not poor little ol’ me, I must of heard wrong, God certainly could never use me for THAT calling!”
      • If that’s you then you are in good company, because that was me when I was called to be a pastor.
        • At just 17 years old God spoke to me clearly “Christian you are supposed to be a pastor”
        • The next night at church a little old woman came to me and told me “God told me you are supposed to be a pastor”
        • And then on Sunday a guest preacher from Texas came and preached and said “Someone here is supposed to be a pastor, come up here so I can pray for you” and I thought to myself “HE CAN’T BE TALKING ABOUT ME! I am only 17! If only I was older I would know He was talking about me!
          • Of course he was talking about me and I made a fool of myself by NOT going up.
    • So if you are that kind of person who is thinking “This calling can’t be for me, at least not now, I’m not old enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not good enough” then this sermon is for you!
  • But it’s for another kind of person too, this sermon is for the person who does feel equipped, who does feel smart enough, good enough, well trained and ready to go… because sometimes that person will rely on their equipment instead of the equipper… not only that, but sometimes that person can look down on the unequipped and think “Man if only they were more equipped, then God could use them!
    • If that is you, the you too are in good company because I found myself in this camp sometimes as well… LORD can’t you just send us some extremely faithful, Godly, wise, and passionate Christians who are ready to give up their lives for you so they can work full time for no pay here at this little church? THAT WOULD BE GREAT!
      • And what God has been telling me this week is “Look, look Christian at what I have given you in this church, you have tons of faithful people who love Me and are willing to serve, don’t worry if they are not equipped, I can equip them!”

Point One – Don’t make excuses, God can use you as you are, and if not, He can make you what you need to be!

  • I saw a poster online that said the following:
    • Do you SERIOUSLY think God can’t use you?
      • Noah was a drunk
      • Abraham was too old
      • Isaac was a daydreamer
      • Jacob was a Liar
      • Joseph was abused
      • Moses was a murderer and had a stuttering problem
      • Gideon was afraid
      • Rahab was a prostitute
      • Jeremiah and timothy were too young
      • David was an adulterer and a murderer
      • Elijah was suicidal
      • Naomi was a widow
      • Job went bankrupt
      • Peter denied Christ
      • The Disciples fell asleep while praying
      • Martha was a worrier
      • The woman at the well was divorced
      • Zacchaeus was too small
      • Paul was too religious
      • Timothy had an ulcer
      • AND LAZARUS WAS DEAD!
  • What’s your excuse for thinking God can’t use you? My excuses was “I’m too young”
    • Other excuses I hear all the time:
      • (I said I’m too young while others say) I’m too old
      • I’m too poor
      • I’m making too much money to leave my business
      • But I have kids, maybe when they are older
      • But I just want to have kids first
      • I’m single, maybe if I was married
      • I’m married, maybe if I never got married
      • People who are not educated say “but I’m not educated”
      • People who are in school say “I just need to finish two more years”
      • People who are out of school say “I need to go back to school!”
    • So what’s your excuse, and if it is not your excuse make sure you’re not putting it on someone else (I have a tendency to say “But that person is too young, that person is not smart enough, that person’s spouse makes it impossible).
      • And really it is that word IMPOSIBLE that is the problem, because really what you are saying is “It’s impossible for God to use me in this state, and not only that, it is impossible for God to change the state that I am in.”
    • Turn with me to Genesis 18 verses 10-13. This is the story of God telling Abraham he would have a son through his barren wife Sarah.
      • Genesis 18:10-13 NIV 10 Then one (who we find out latter is Jesus) of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
        Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”

13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

  • Now why did Sarah life? Because God just told her that she would have a son by next year… She was 90 years old at the time, and if that was not enough, she was barren her entire life…. But GOD called her!Now to understand the importance of this, Sarah was called to bare a son, the son of who all of the Hebrew nation would come from. In fact, Sarah was about the 40th great grandmother of Jesus, that’s 40 “Greats” before grandmother”
    • God used and 90 year old barren women to have a baby, and through that baby a nation was born, through that baby thousands of years later Christ Jesus was born!
  • If God used a 90 year old barren woman to have a child, what can he not use in you?
    • You could be the next big evangelist, leading millions to Christ, you could be the next major theologian, you could be the scientist that proves that God is real and created the earth, but you don’t even have to be that, Sarah was simply a mother, she just had a baby and that changed the world… maybe God is calling you to be a humble Sunday school teacher who simply loves on children, or maybe He is calling you to clean toilets, or raise a family, whatever it is God’s wants to use you in His plan, don’t tell Him you are not good enough, and certainly don’t tell him you are too good!

Point Two – Stop trying to do it yourself, allow the Holy Spirit to equip you.

  • I want to read you this passage from Act’s chapter 4 about Peter and John. In the previous chapter God had just used Peter to heal a crippled beggar, and this made some people pretty angry, that’s when this happens…

Acts 4:1-13 NIV While Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees. 2 These leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead. 3 They arrested them and, since it was already evening, put them in jail until morning. 4 But many of the people who heard their message believed it, so the number of believers now totaled about 5,000 men, not counting women and children.[a]

5 The next day the council of all the rulers and elders and teachers of religious law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, along with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other relatives of the high priest. 7 They brought in the two disciples and demanded, “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?”

8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, 9 are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? 10 Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene,[b] the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. 11 For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says,

‘The stone that you builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.’

12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”

13 The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing right there among them, there was nothing the council could say.

  • What’s important for this sermon today is verse 13 “The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures.”
    • The boldness and wisdom of Peter and John was mind blowing to the Pharisees, here were two men who had never studied scripture, and yet they healed a man and moreover were able to quote scripture in the midst of their trial? How is that possible, they must have thought, how do these guys know scripture?!
  • The answer to that question is found in verse: Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them…
    • It was not Peter’s wisdom, but it was God’s wisdom coming through Peter. The Holy spirit took uneducated unworthy men and equipped them to completely SCHOOL the most educated men in the land!
  • I want to read you something Jesus said before He died and I want you to let it sink in as truth:
    • John 14:26 “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
  • 1 Corinthians 3:16 NASB “Do you not know that you are a [a]temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
    • So we as Christians have the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, the Helper living inside of us, and according to John 14:26 He will teach us ALL things! Not some things, not whatever we can understand, but ALL things! And He will remind us what God has taught us!
  • That’s exactly what happened to Peter and John, and that is exactly what happens to us if we simply follow our calling!
    • I still remember when I was a young Christian and talking to people about Jesus, I had never read the entire Bible and really only read little bits here and there, but I loved the Lord, and was trying… I would be in church every Sunday and do what I could… but I was young and uneducated.
    • I still remember sitting outside of my high school talking to a girl I had never met before, because God led me too… and she started asking questions about Jesus… all of the sudden I started quoting scripture, something I had never done before, I would remember scriptures word for word that I heard in a sermon or read in the Bible, then I started quoting scripture that I had not ever remembered hearing… God just took over me, and He used me to minister to this young woman.
      • In college I had an atheist professor who did not like me, and failed one of my papers stating “It is obvious you are religiously brain washed” I walked into his office sat down, and the Holy Spirit took over me again, this professor came at me with everything, and I was not smart enough to stand up to him… but the God who lives within me is, and He took over and schooled that poor professor.

Folks you don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to be strong, or smart, or equipped, you just have to be called, and say yes to that calling! Amen!

  • Brandi, you are called to teach! God will equip you for that!
  • Will, you are called to preach! God will equip you for that!
  • Dez, you are called to help the youth, God will equip you for that!

And for those of us who understand this let us be excited that God will equip others too! That the same Holy Spirit who equips us also equips others, and that is a reason to celebrate!

Conclusion

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 ESV

26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.

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