Monday, September 27, 2010

Bloom Where you are Planted

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  –Ephesians 4:1, 2 

I was reflecting recently on when I first began ministry as a vocation in 1985.  I served for three and a half years as Youth Minister at First Baptist Church of Dent in Cincinnati, Ohio, and I have some wonderful memories from serving in that church.  Every so often I would lead a worship service on Saturday morning for the residents of a local nursing home.  One Saturday I was getting ready to start the service and I overheard two ladies talking nearby.  They probably thought they were whispering, but I could hear every word.  One of them said, “Who is that young man leading the service today?”  The other replied, “That’s the Reverend Birchfield!”  “Reverend Birchfield?”  I thought; it seemed odd hearing myself being referred to with that title.  That was the first time I recall being confronted with who I had become in regards to my calling.  For those dear elderly residents at the nursing home I wasn’t “Dan” or “Mr. Birchfield;” rather, I was “Reverend Birchfield.” Honestly, that took some getting used to.

As followers of Christ, this issue of the call of God upon our lives is extremely important.  We are all called to serve the Lord in some capacity based upon the spiritual gifts with which the Lord has blessed us.  For me it was a call to preach the gospel and be a pastor, but for you it may be something else.  The Lord doesn’t call everyone to be preachers, but He does call us to some form of ministry.  For you it might be singing in the choir, teaching a Sunday school class, working with children in the nursery, working with Sr. Adults, helping out with the youth, serving on a committee, or leading outreach visitation.  The possibilities are numerous.  Consider also that as followers of Christ we are all called to serve the Lord where we are.  Regardless of whether you are a teacher, banker, plumber, construction worker, salesman, mechanic, farmer, doctor, or a lawyer, God can empower you to be a witness within your vocation.    

Many years ago a lady in another church I was serving told me that her desire was to “bloom where I’m planted.”  That is a nice thought, isn’t it?  Wherever you are and wherever God has placed you, be the best witness for Jesus Christ you can possibly be.  We are called to serve the Lord with glad hearts and to let His light shine from our lives.  As we are doing so, let us strive to live in such a manner that Christ is honored.  In Jesus we have received a blessed calling; to serve Him with integrity and faithfulness. 

Wherever you are, serve the Lord with joy and be faithful.  Let the light of Jesus shine through.

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