Anglican Morning Devotion for 11 August 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.” (Matthew 20:22)
Are you, my friend, able to drink that same cup and be baptized with the same baptism of our Lord? May I answer for you? The answer is NO! You are not able until the time arrives and the Lord gives you the grace necessary to do those things. A reporter once asked the great man of God, Charles Spurgeon, if he had the grace to die for his Lord. Spurgeon? Spurgeon responded, “No, I have not!” “Do you mean,” responded the reporter, that the greatest preacher in England has not the grace to die for his Lord?” “That is true,” replied Spurgeon, “but I trust if such a sacrifice becomes necessary, the Lord will grant me that grace at the time required.” Such courage is inhuman. It is only granted by the grace and discretion of God.
No man or woman is able or even worthy to serve God. But whatever God calls us to do, He will make us able to perform it. I can assure you that I am neither worthy nor able to be a minister of God, nor even a Christian disciple; but God has called me to the office, and it is His power that sustains me in it.
Remember the reluctance of Moses to accept the calling God charged him to perform. “And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? 12And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.” (Exodus 3:11-12)
The young lad, Jeremiah, was called to preach the harsh judgments of the Lord to his elders of Judah. Jeremiah was only a boy unaccustomed to speaking with authority to his elders. He hesitated, but God said, “Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. 6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. 7 But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. 8Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. 9Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.” (Jeremiah 1:4-9)
Remember the prophet, Isaiah. Isaiah was a man unworthy for the call, and he well knew it: “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” (Isaiah 6:5) The One who is our Maker is able to re-make us into whatever vessels He deems necessary for the calling. “Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. 8Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” (Isaiah 6:6-8) Please note the immediate change in Isaiah once the Lord had removed all blots of sin. Instead of asking “how can I go?” Isaiah responded to the Lord’s inquest by saying, “Here am I; send me.”
When you are called of God, and every faithful Christian is called to special purposes, do not question your own ability to fulfill the calling. Why not? Because it is the power of the Lord working through you and not that of your own. He will enable His people to fulfill their calling in every instant. As Paul explains, “For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 2:15-17) The pure Word of God is our power, but any corruption of that word is a of that calling whether of laity or ordained office. Paul’s explanation grows even more stark in the next quoted text: “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:5-6)
The Lord has imparted to us courage: “Fear not, for I am with thee always.”