Called To Serve

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "In The Sweet By And By"1 (Lyrics)

Unlike its summer counterpart, I prefer watching the Winter Olympics because snow and ice are great equalizers when it comes down to individual performances. Even the best winter athletes can slip on the ice or fall on the snow, so you never really know who is going to win an event. There also doesn't appear to be as much self-promotion and personal aggrandizement that you now sadly get with the Summer Games. In fact, I stopped watching the Summer Olympics years ago because it was more about good looks, commercial success, and money marketing than the sports themselves.

1 Samuel 16:7b – The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (NIV)

This verse derives from a special event in the life of the Old Testament prophet Samuel and that of Israel's most famous king, David. Samuel has been sent on a special mission by God to anoint a successor to the failed King Saul. When Samuel sees the sons of Jesse, he initially thinks that the most powerful and strongest among them should become king.

But God intervenes and reminds Samuel that He looks at the heart of man and not his outward appearance when He chooses a person for a special purpose or calling. Samuel should have easily remembered this because he was chosen by God as a lowly child to become a great prophet.

Churches often call upon their members to take up ministries, missions, and tasks for which the individuals may not feel worthy or best-suited. In my own time as a minister, I have seen some people turn down a request or invitation to do something special for the church, simply because they do not feel adequate. But if the calling ultimately comes from God, then He believes that the person can fulfill the task, and He will provide them with the ability and strength to carry out His plan. Feeling unprepared or unworthy shows both integrity and humility, two beautiful qualities that actually delight the Lord, and also enable Him to work with that person to fulfill their calling.

Questions for personal reflection:

Have I been asked to serve the church in a special capacity? How did I respond?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You call all of us to follow and serve You in our churches and communities. Open our hearts, minds, and lives to do Your bidding, even though we may feel anxious and unworthy about being asked or called. Guide us, and grant us the ability to accept and to do whatever we can for You and Your church. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen John. Good word of encouragement.

    Thank you John, as with all your devotionals, you deliver a good “sermon” on Daily.

    Dear John;
    Wonderful devotional! I would like to share your devotional with our church.

    Thank you, John. I liked the part of your devotional when you said that if God calls He will equip.
    God bless.

    Thank you John.
    You have touched me.
    I have been called twice, and the last time I accepted.

    Wonderful lesson, especially for someone who often gets lost along the way in feelings of inadequacy and low self worth. Our God knows better than we do, about our own capacity, strength, gifts and abilities, and especially about what He wants to do for others through us. Thank you Lord!

    Hello Mr. Stuart, Your message today had great resonance for me. Now we are retired we are blessed with good health & enough funds to spend our winters away. But I still get my daily devotional from my tablet.
    When my church was first established, I was chosen as one of the initial elders. I was shocked & truly didn’t feel up to the task. I was definitely not management orientated; but the good Lord did use me in many interesting ways. I am thankful for that challenge.
    Thank you for your contribution to the devotional program. Blessings.

    Thank you for this morning’s devotional. I am 90 years old and in a new church for the past few years where I am getting to know people. I have been active in the past but I am slower and less energetic now but I can help with a few things like after the service fellowship and telephoning.
    However I am really sad right now because I hear of the passing of so many of my old friends and even some of my friend’s children. This is really hard. I liked your little thought “People, like trees, are best measured when they are down.”
    I will try to help those around me by being cheerful and positive. No one is helped by a sad face.

    Good Morning Rev. Stuart:
    What a challenge you have laid before us. If reconciliation is important to God and made effective through Christ’s sacrifice, then we, as Christians, need to become reconcilers in the world. It’s a hard role to play, as well as a humbling one, but if our mission is to be like Jesus, aren’t we supposed to follow His example.
    Often, this is indeed a hard role to play, but by His marvelous grace and His never ending support it is often so much easier, in the end, when we turn the other cheek and allow that which has caused turmoil and unrest in our lives to be accepted and know He will be there to soothe our wounds and uplift our hearts.
    As always a great message.

    A great message assuring us God in His marvelous foresight knows what we are able to accomplish with His blessing.
    Over and over again I have witnessed people, with very little confidence, come out of the woodwork and become great church leaders after receiving a bit of encouragement and assurance from Christians around them.
    This was indeed a message of assurance and challenge for those who “want to try” but are hesitant because they feel they are not qualified or “just not good enough.”

    Dear John Stuart,
    Thank you for a comprehensive, challenging, and assuring devotional.
    I pray that those God chooses will say yes where God would have them do so. And that God will urge and guide them.
    Keep writing.

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