One night as I prepared to go to sleep, I asked a question of God concerning my future. I asked what God wanted me to do with my life. Then I asked, “Do you want me to be a minister?” I was clearly impressed with the answer, “Yes.” This happened on March 16, 1964. I have never forgotten that night or that call. Sometime later I clearly heard one of my teachers say that the bottom line for doing ministry is remembering and being faithful to your call. That no matter what you face in life or what challenges beset you – remember your call.
When it comes to discipleship, it’s all about the call from God. I believe God is calling out to everyone on earth first to find salvation, and then to serve God. That is the call. Some hear and act on the call. Some hear and run from the call. Some hear and purposefully ignore it. For others the call is overwhelmed by their circumstances and the challenges of life. But I believe God continues to call out to us unless we say, “Stop.”
I was licensed to the Gospel Ministry by my home church almost exactly three years after my call. I was ordained to the ministry 40 years ago this past May. My mentors and friends in ministry participated in a beautiful service where I was set apart, consecrated is the old term, for the vocational ministry. My pastor, Dr. James Harris, and the deacons of University Baptist Church in Ft. Worth, Texas, tested me concerning my understanding of the principles of the faith. The challenge of the sermon that night, by Dr. James Dunn, was to follow the call of God “through it all.” He gave me a written copy of that message which I cherish dearly. What is the call of your heart? Are you living out God’s call today?
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Answer the call. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.