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My Call to His Service
An Unexpected Response
It happened in the same church where I met Him, and it was the second most important event of my life.
The morning started out with me picking up Anita (we were becoming good Christian friends by now), and going to church, and it was to be a very unexpected day for me. We arrived at the church a little early to this special building that had a big neon sign on the front that said: “Christ died for our sins.”
As we stepped inside the front door, we were greeted by My Gyron (the adult Sunday School teacher and greeter) and we headed for Anita’s regular spot. I had been coming now for several weeks and had gotten to know only a few of the Brethren.
As the service began I had no idea that this was the day Pastor Farrell had picked to give a young man in the congregation an opportunity to be recognized as someone who wanted to study for the ministry and to acknowledge it publicly.
I do not remember the message that day but after the last song was sung everyone got very quiet as Pastor Farrell waited up front and then asked if he could have everyone's attention. This was quite different and I was intrigued.
Pastor said a few words about the need to prepare for the Lord's work and take seriously the few short days we have to labor for Him. He then asked if there was anyone in the audience that wanted to serve the Lord more fully and begin to study for the ministry. He continued that it was an opportunity to publicly acknowledge that they want to serve Him.
I looked over at Anita and thought to myself, "I want to serve the Lord!" "I want to study to serve Him more fully." I then looked around the auditorium, up and down the rows and remember wondering to myself, "why isn't everyone in this room standing up!" "What is the matter with these people (I was still thinking to myself), don't they want to serve the Lord?" It was like something welled up inside me and I could not resist--so I stood up!! I was nervous, I was a little uneasy, but I knew the Lord wanted me to stand up. Of course the other young man also stood up (Rickey Kurth) but the audience response was surprising.
Suddenly everyone did a double take and turned to look at me, including Anita, and they stared as if to say, "what are you doing standing?" Everyone had expected Rick to stand up as they were all in on the plan, But no one knew that the Lord was working in my heart and that I would take that call, that invitation to heart and respond, but I did!
Pastor Farrell joined in on the surprise and said, "praise the Lord, we are so pleased to have two men stand and begin to study for the ministry." I soon joined the pastor training class and began to study the Word rightly divided and join the other men in witnessing and even some small teaching responsibilities like youth group and Sunday school lessons. I also was invited to begin to guest speak in other small churches in the area.
Since then I have continued to study and serve God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I have never been sorry for the decision that day. Do I have any regrets? Only that there are times when I fail Him, but thank God my relationship with Him is not based upon my performance but upon the gift of His grace! The sense of gratitude I feel toward Him makes me want to live for Him in everything I do and also continue to tell others about Him and serve Him in whatever way, small or large, that He asks. This truly was the second most important event of my life—answering my Savior's call. Do you hear His voice? How will you respond?
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