“Set apart for me…”

Center Hill Community Church is about to ordain, ‘set apart’, their Pastor unto the ministry of our Lord.  The church in the New Testament followed the example set in the Old Testament of ‘setting apart’ their sacrifices, ‘setting apart’ their priests, and ‘setting apart’ there leaders unto the specific use and administration of God.  Examples of this in the New Testament are found in Acts 6 in which the church ‘set apart’ the seven for specific ministry and in Acts 13 when Barnabas and Saul are called by God and ‘set apart’ by the church to God’s  work.

I am most intrigued and humbled by the words of the Holy Spirit in Acts 13 ‘set apart for Me, Barnabas and Saul…’  Wow, to think that God had chosen specifically these two men for a specific task He had for them.  The God of creation, the great I AM had, for His pleasure and glory, chose two humble servants to minister in His name.  What an awesome, overwhelming responsibility and privilege.

So it is for those God has called into the ministry of His word today.  We call them Pastors, Elders, Deacons, Missionaries, Evangelists, etc.  Nevertheless, the responsibility and privilege is the same as it was for the first century church leaders and servants.  They …we… have been set apart for “Jehovah’s” purposes.  It’s not because we’re special in some way, holier, wiser, or possess more redeeming qualities than others.  No, God for His pleasure and glory has set apart certain of His servants for reasons known only to Him.

But when I consider this from a personal perspective, what a humbling proposition this becomes.  With Christ as the standard, I am not blameless, I am not a lover of good, I am not hospitable and to a degree I am violent and greedy.  All of which would preclude me from being ‘set apart for God’ to the ministry.  As I stated, it is a humbling proposition. What then makes a man worthy of  ‘the call’?

Grace, pure and simple.  It is by God’s grace I have been saved and it is by God’s grace I live.  And it is by grace that I have been called and enabled in the ministry.  It must become my commitment to the church which sets me apart and to My Lord who calls me to serve each moment at the point of God’s grace, humbly submitted to His enabling power and the standard of Christ likeness.  It then is not my ability to minister, my ability to preach and teach or my ability to live blamelessly but Christ who lives through me.

Pray for us and join our congregation on January 23rd as we  exercise our God given privilege and responsibility to set apart one for His service.  Pray for me, that I submit to our Lord’s teaching and His Spirit’s conviction in matters of leadership and personal holiness.  It’s all about grace, it’s all about Him.

soli deo gloria

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