Pastoral 2017

Divine Cheer to His Dear Servant

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 02 April 2017

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But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child. Jeremiah 1:7

The LORD is teaching Jeremiah, the young preacher, to overcome his timidity, sense of inadequacy and reluctance to enter the ministry to which he had been called. His response to the LORD’s call was: “Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child” (Jeremiah 1:6). Jeremiah feared that his inexperience and lack of knowledge would render him ineffectual in the ministry.

Such a situation is common even today in the church. The sense of unworthiness has caused some to dread the duties and responsibilities of the ministry. They become timorous and unwilling to accept any duty in the church. The feeling of incompetency has compelled many to decline responsibilities in the Lord’s work.

However, we notice that the LORD’s word to Jeremiah (who feared the call of duty) was: “Say not, I am a child”. The LORD would not let Jeremiah sink into despondency and remain unfruitful in the ministry. The LORD graciously addressed his fear and prevented him from further sliding into his sense of inadequacy.

God’s word to the prophet – “Say not, I am a child” – implies that Jeremiah should not linger any more. He must ignore his own feelings and get into action, just as the LORD had spoken to him. He must believe that the LORD would be able to supply him with wisdom and strength fully equal to the task he had been commissioned to do.

The LORD is able to take a timid man, such as Jeremiah, and equip him for His work so that the glory may be His. By calling and empowering such “ill-adapted tools” for the accomplishment of His purposes, the LORD manifests His great wisdom and power. When God takes a man, who is plagued by a debilitating sense of utter inadequacy, and accomplishes His design through him, all human reasoning shall be thrashed and the magnificence of His wisdom and power shall be exalted.

Many children and young people have been called by the LORD to accomplish His purposes. Samuel, David, Jeremiah, Daniel, Timothy, and many more had been called and separated by the LORD from their childhood or youth, in order to accomplish His great purposes which far surpassed their stature. No one is too small that God cannot use him. ■

 

Testimony of Calling to Full-time Ministry
Juvy Lynn Anaviso

I want to thank God for leading me to Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church. I also want to give thanks to God for the way He had used Pastor Koshy and Preacher Dennis in my life. Through their preaching, the Lord ministered to me. The Lord now fills my heart with the burden to fear, love and serve Him. I am very happy that now I know God’s will for my life.

It was never my plan to come to Singapore to work. The Lord knows and has a different plan for me. It was in Gethsemane that the Lord restored me from my backsliding four years ago. I also believe He placed the burden and desire to surrender my all to Him that I may serve Him. I then approached Preacher Dennis and shared with him my desire and burden to serve God. When he asked me if the Lord was calling me to serve Him full-time, I did not know how to answer him. As a young believer with little knowledge of the Bible, I really did not know what “calling” means at that time. I replied that I didn’t know, although in my heart and mind I knew very well that the Lord wants me to surrender my life to Him. Preacher Dennis explained to me and emphasised the importance of being called before one should consider entering the full-time ministry. He encouraged me to seek Him in prayer and live a godly life. From then onwards, I started to pray that God would make clear what I should do with my life. The burden and desire to serve God continue to increase as the years go by; however, the Lord was “silent” about my calling.

After three years of waiting, the Lord gave me an opportunity to join the mission trip last year to Manila and Pangasinan, where I had the joy to teach the children in Manila and be an assistant teacher in the DVBS held in Pangasinan. This led me to pray again for God’s leading in my life.

After our return from the mission trip, my heart was stirred when the hymn “Go Labour On” was sung during one of the prayer meetings. The first stanza goes as follows,

“Go labour on; spend, and be spent, Thy joy to do the Father’s will; It is the way the Master went; Should not the servant tread it still?”

I was blessed by the hymn and I was convicted in my heart that serving the Lord is the best thing that I can do with my life. However, the question whether God is calling me to the ministry has yet to be answered. During the church camp in June 2016 (a month after the mission trip), the Lord convicted my heart from James 4:14, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” This verse made me realise that I was just wasting my time, strength and life by pursuing my earthly ambitions, and not really giving my all to God.

After the camp, it was still not clear to me whether God is calling me to the full-time ministry. I decided to approach Sis Carolyn Koshy to hear from her how she came to know of God’s calling for her life. She shared with me of her experiences and advised me to really seek the Lord, even to fast and pray, which I did. On June 12, 2016, Pastor Koshy preached about “Christ’s Tenets for the Ministry” from Matthew 10:7, “And as ye go, preach saying. The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” I believe God used that sermon to speak to me. After the service, I was rejoicing in the Lord with tears, praising God for His mercies in my life, even calling me, an unprofitable servant, into His sacred ministry! Praise the Lord!

Being very sure of what God wants me to do, I believe the Lord has graciously called me to teach children about God’s kingdom. And as I make this step to obey His call, my prayer is that God may enable me to fight a good fight of faith and serve the Master faithfully until I see Him face to face. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, please uphold me in your prayers and remember me before the throne of grace. I cannot do this on my own. May all glory be to God. ■