“Calling and Ministry”
By: Mrs. Annalyn Tina-Galvez, RN
January 19, 2011 (5:00 PM)
Mary Johnston College of Nursing Chapel
” For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future. Then, you will call upon me and come and pray to me,
That I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
I will be found by you…” – Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NIV)
CALL – (from NIV compact dictionary of the bible by JD Douglas & Merril C. Tenney)
is one of the most common verbs in the Bible, representing over 20 Hebrew and Greek words with four different meanings: (1) TO PRAY – “Call to me and I will answer you” (Jeremiah 33:3). (2) TO SUMMON OR APPOINT – “I Am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms” (Jer. 1:15). (3) TO NAME A PERSON OR THING – “God called the light ‘day’” (Gen. 1:5). (4) TO INVITE PEOPLE TO ACCEPT SALVATION THROUGH CHRIST. This is a call by God through the Holy Spirit; it is heavenly (Heb 3:1) and holy (2 Tim 1:9. This call comes to people in all situations and occupations (1 Cor. 1:26; 7:20).
CALLING from the Webster dictionary (n.) is a profession or occupation. A spiritual summons, a deep impulse to carry out some missions.
When Mrs. Manimtim told me that the title of my message for today was Calling and Ministry, I remember my book given to me by my friend Jing. It was entitled “Called by Name: Discovering Your Unique Purpose in Life” by Robert J. Furey. According to the author, Calling may also be referred to as missions or visions. Everyone has a calling. Everyone is called to fulfill a purpose. People have callings sent by God. Calling pull us to think, feel, and serve. Those courageous enough to answer their callings reap a variety of rewards.”
We are called to emerge and contribute in our own special way. We are called to be special, and we are each called to sacrifice. There is no small calling. Each calling invites us to do wonderful thing with our lives. Some visions lead to fame and fortune; others do not. But each calling is equally significant and necessary. If we listen to our callings and live the missions we have been given, we will receive the power, courage, awareness and passion to move the mountains that wait for us.
According to Christine Quintasket, a Salish Indian in 1888-1936, “Everything on earth has a purpose, and every person a mission. This is an Indian theory of existence.” Our purpose in life is to follow our callings. If we do not, we will never utilize our full potential, now will we move toward the source of our callings. If however, we accept our tasks and work to fulfill them, we also fulfill the purpose of our lives, and in the process, move toward the force that has designed our purpose.
Abraham was called by God and he obeyed. He believed in the promise of God. He was even ready to sacrifice his own son, the son through whom the promise was to be fulfilled.
Mother Theresa of Calcutta was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, received a call of vocation to serve God when she was still in her early teens. She said, “As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus. ”Small of stature, rocklike in faith, she was entrusted with the mission of proclaiming God’s thirsting love for humanity, especially for the poorest of the poor. “God still loves the world and He sends you and me to be His love and His compassion to the poor.” She was a soul filled with the light of Christ, on fire with love for Him and burning with one desire: “to quench His thirst for love and for souls.”
In 1950’s, she provided care for the sick and dying, lepers, mentally ill, prostitutes, and terminally ill. She had a devotion to the well-being of children which prompted her to establish a home for abandoned and unwanted youngsters. She helped the destitute and the poorest of the poor. By 1985, she started to devote her work towards helping people with Aids and HIV. Her faith in her calling, her trust in God never faltered. She has been truly a woman of faith. She always repeated tirelessly, “Let us do something beautiful for God.”
Let me share with you my journey on how God called me in serving Him and in sharing my faith to others. When I was your age, roughly 20 years ago, I felt the calling from God to serve Him. It was also the time when I received Christ and made Him my Lord and Savior. I remember during my college days, I was actively participating in a weekly charismatic group. The experience allowed me to
share my faith and God’s word to my classmates. Then He led me to a group of Evangelical Christians where I learned a deeper what “faith” is and served as one of the Sunday school teacher. A time came when I desire to go abroad for work to meet our family’s financial need, God closed the door. Eventually, God revealed His perfect and better plans for my life. God led me to a sick female missionary who needed my professional skills. I took care for her for over a month. During those times that we were together, sharing about the goodness of God, my yearnings to serve God was revived. God used her to encourage me to pursue my heart’s desire. I remember praying and kneeling before God asking for His guidance. My prayer was to be used as a Christian nurse in whatever capacity. Specifically, I prayed to be of service to our local Filipino nurses. I believe, at this point, that this was the “calling” God is impressing in me. I asked my husband’s opinion and he said that as long as I work here, he has nothing against it. A day after my prayer, I found the book “Spiritual Care” by Shelly. Inside the book is the telephone number of NCF Philippines and then I called them up immediately. I became a member of the organization and got acquainted with my first mentor, Mrs. Alice Baňas. During our NCF meetings, I shared one dream I had in the past wherein a short old lady was holding my hand. An old lady with a big heart walking beside me in the mountain. In another scene was, I’m standing in front many people sharing about my faith in God. One matured counselor Christian in the group explained to me that it was mother Theresa whom I saw in my dream because she was always described as having a big heart for people. She said further that the vision means that God is preparing me for another mission, a bigger one. And now, I’m here at MJ standing here in front of you, sharing my faith and my journey with God. I consider this a special blessing for me whenever I share His goodness in my life and how He works unwaveringly in my own and yours as well. Even my other previous work experiences, God is using wonderfully in this perfect place God intended for me to be in. For a while, my Iife seems to be leading in no direction until the Lord took hold of it and made it useful for his glory! I thank God for leading me to this institution and for people here, my second family, where I’m learning more and more of His faith, His great mercy and compassion. So if you think you’re useless, don’t believe those lies. Pray hard and allow God to work through your deepest longings and be ready for all the good things God has prepared for you. For those who seek Him wholeheartedly He said in Jer. 29:14, He can be found….
What about you? Do you feel the calling from God? DO YOU EVER WONDER WHAT LIFE IS ALL ABOUT? WHAT’S THE PURPOSE? It seems like such a big, complicated question. But the answer is very simple: God created us for his glory. And you will find the truest joy and peace and satisfaction in life when you fulfill that purpose. As you make decisions about your future, remember that we were created to bring God glory-that’s what it all about.
You need to prayerfully seek God and ask Him to help you to discern His special plan and calling for your life, and ask Him to give you the faith and courage to follow, wherever He leads you. You will be happiest and full of joy when you are in the middle of God’s will and plan. If God has a call in your life, he will make it evident to you. If he called you to become a nurse in the future, be the best that God wants you to be. Be led by the Holy Spirit. Immerse yourself in the word of God.
Some guidelines from the word of God are the following:
1) GOD’S MAIN CALL IS FIRST TO A RESTORED RELATIONSHIP AND THEN TO CLOSE FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM: * Only by accepting and receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior will you ever be reconciled to God and be able to have a personal relationship with Him.
“I (Jesus) am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”- John 14:6 ” to all who received Jesus, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” – John 1:12. * Eternal life and being a Christian is not just about accepting Jesus as your Lord & Savior, then waiting around to go to heaven where you will live forever. It is about a relationship with God, and getting to know Him , and serving Him and obeying Him because you love Him. ” I have called you friends.” – John 15:15. ” You are my friends if you do what I command.” – John 15:14. “God’s call is for you to be His loyal friend, for whatever purpose He has for your life.” – Oswald Chambers “My Utmost For His Highest”
2) GOD HAS A SPECIAL & UNIQUE PURPOSE AND CALLING FOR OUR LIFE: ” For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11. God has special plans for our lives, plans to bless us and prosper us; The next two verses spell out the necessary conditions for us to receive the benefit of His plans, “Then when you call upon Me and come and pray to Me, I will hear you. When you search for Me, You will find Me; if you seek Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:12-13)
3) GOD PLACES A DESIRE AND A PASSION IN OUR HEARTS TO DO THE THINGS HE CALLS US TO DO: ” For it is God who works in us to will and to act according to His good purpose.” – Philippians 2:13. We will have a love & joy & passion for doing the things God has created us for & calls us to do.
4) GOD GIVES SPIRITUAL GIFTS TO EQUIP YOU FOR YOU’RE CALLING:
Romans 12:6-8 gives another list of gifts : prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving to others, leading others or showing mercy. Some of these service gifts should be found in all Christians, but some people are distinctly better at certain activities than other people are. None of the lists in the Bible is complete, and various other abilities may also be spiritual gifts, such as the ability to write psalms (1 Cor. 14:26; Eph. 5:19). As God gives us these abilities, we should apply them as best we can for the common good of the Body of Christ.
5. GOD’S PRESENCE & POWER WILL ALWAYS BE WITH YOU WHEN HE CALLS YOU:
The Greek word for called means that God “called them unto Himself”, first to a love relationship with God, and next to where His presence and His power would be at work. We only need to respond in faith and obedience, and God will provide the power and whatever else is needed to get the job done. Moses being called to help lead God’s people out of Egypt is another good example of God’s call and how God provided everything (see Exodus 3 & 4).
6. THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT GOD CALLS ALL CHRISTIANS TO DO:
“Come follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” – Matthew 4:19
“Then Jesus came to them and said “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” – Matthew 28:18-20. We are not truly following Jesus unless we are being a fisher of men and an active witness for Jesus Christ, telling the lost about Him and sharing His plan of salvation with them. He also wants the church to teach and help others become fully devoted and passionate disciples (learners and followers) of Jesus Christ, so they will be fruitful witnesses and servants of His.
We are all nurses, who are called to care through the ministry of healing like Jesus Christ. We are called to provide spiritual care. Spiritual care means putting people in touch with God through compassionate presence, active listening, witness, prayer, bible reading, and partnering with the body of Christ (the church, the community and the clergy).
We are called to serve like servants of the Lord. In Matthew 25:40, ”truly I tell you, just I did it to one of the least of these who are members of the family, you did it to me. We are servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, who also said to us, “I do not call you servants any longer, because the servants does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have known to you everything that I heard from my father. (Jn 15:15).
All of us are called to use our gifts and talents that are needed in the church and in the world. Within the body of Christ, we are all equipped with various gifts for ministry. All of us are called to use our gifts and talents the best we can. In the church, we call this ministry. Some of us are called to ordained ministry. Romans 12:6-8 lists ministry (diakonia) among other gifts: “If a man’s gifts is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously, if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”
We are also called to minister and our mission is to share the word of God through all generations (Matthew 28:19). May we all be inspired by Mother Theresa’s life and example how she called by God in serving Him and glorifying His name. Let us all do something beautiful for God. To Him be the glory! Amen.