A Personal Call to Preach

by Johan du Preez
(Roodepoort, South Africa)

Good evening friends,

I greet you in the gracious and wonderful name of Jesus Christ and a special welcome to all our visitors tonight. Shall we pray?
Father God, our Creator and provider,
Jesus – the darling of heaven, our rock, redeemer and our Saviour and Holy Spirit our assistant, our helper, our little voice….

We invite you in tonight…. to come among us….. and to share in our Joy, our happiness in you, knowing that we are saved.
Knowing that you call us into your presence and want to have fellowship with us, even though we are not always obedient to your commands…..

We cannot fully comprehend your love for us and we can never understand why, knowing full well that you would have to die on that cross, you still created us.
Knowing full well that we will choose the wrong, the wicked, the un-loving to fellow man and You, You still created us, because you love us…

Tonight we pray for the sick, the elderly, the lonely, the hungry and the thirsty. Those in prison, those in situations where they seem to have no hope left.
You know the needs out there Lord.
As our King and Master, we again lay our hearts and our lives at your feet and we ask “ what is your will” Your will be done……..

Thank you for this family of fellow believers, thank you that we can come together for fellowship in your name, thank you for the wonderful opportunities to share with each other. Yes Lord, we have our different talents, views and opinions, but as part of the family we are one in You and You in us.

Please bless each and every member of this family and also all the visitors and their families.
We pray all of this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen
The music team will now lead us in worship to the Lord.
Thank you guys, a blessing as always….

I commend the notices, as received when you came into the church and remind you that there will be hot dogs and muffins for sale again. Even if you are not hungry, please join us for a cup of coffee or tea after the service.
The stewards will now wait on you for the offerings.
Shall we pray?

The music team will lead our worship as we celebrate and sing

Tonight there will be a very different approach to the teaching for those of you who have attended some of my previous teachings…. There will be no slides on PowerPoint, just a message from my heart and a share of my joy to what the Lord has called me………. In sharing His story, His love, His Grace and His everlasting life with others……

My calling from God to share His word and to proclaim the Good News, started off through other Christians, pointing me in the right direction.
At Emmaus, during Walk 88, a fellow pilgrim said to me that he is sure I will preach the Word of God one day.
I did not take much notice of this, ignoring it for two years, but it was always there - in the back of the mind,

Gnawing, The Holy Spirit was working, but I was ignoring it, running away like Jonah.
After reading the book The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson, I asked God to show me what He wants from me, and boy was I in for a shock!
At our fathers meeting last year, it was suggested that the fathers lead the service on Fathers day – obviously with the assistance of both Richard and Nqaba – being fathers themselves. (OWEN)

I was allotted the middle part of the service and when it was my turn I started shakily,
Encouraged by the fellow fathers in the front row – “You are amongst friends here….” (SHANE) but God had a plan and took my hand and led me in the sermon.
He had a message for His people…… and used me to relay it.
But, this was the day when God called me and I heard His voice…
He had a message for me…… and used other people to relay it to me.

After the father’s day sermon, He sent numerous people to ask if I ever considered the ministry –
If He sent one or two, it would have been OK, I guess, but He sent so many that I eventually started wondering if someone was playing a practical joke on me. I actually started looking around to see if someone was standing sniggering in some corner somewhere…. But no, they were serious…. God also has a sense of humour – and isn’t it quite wonderful?

So Again, Noah & me – Nineveh is that way, we’ll go THIS way……..but God kept on sending one particular church member (MIKE) and that member made it his “mission” to get me listening to God – and today I thank God for that person, also, with God’s help, pointing me in the right direction.
Still I resisted……………….. – like Moses –

First I asked – Who am I? You see, I doubted that I could be used in such an enormously important task… who….me??
God answered me through sermons at DMC on the twelve disciples and their respective personalities….I could identify with all of them and they were mere fishermen and there was no plan B! No awards, no diplomas, no degrees, no tertiary qualifications, mere fisherman…..

Then I asked – But what if I make a mistake and say something or do something which is not true or in accordance with Jesus’ teachings….
God answered me by providing the message that He will equip the called, I am not alone, there are other Lay preachers, two ministers and my Bible study group, with numerous wonderful children of God – and that I should go study.

No ways, I thought – I am over 40 already! – Way , He answered and placed a burning passion in my heart, which caused me to get so excited that I could not wait to enrol and …….on the evening of getting my books, I would have finished my first assignment ………..that’s if I did not have to go to work the next day….
Still very unsure if this is for me and again doubting I asked God,

But God, please I am Afrikaans, what if I can’t pronounce certain names or words in the Bible, what if I make mistakes and my tongue let’s me down….
I can’t do this… what if I do not convince these people – some of them have walked with God for longer than I have lived….. What if I embarrass not only myself, but also my family

His answer came in the format of one of the guys in our fathers group, who took the time to explain to me that nobody comes to church to see the preacher fail or make mistakes, they come to church for God’s message….. Once again, I believe, I was provided with an answer to my excuse, by someone sent by God (ASHLEY)

Lastly I asked God to once again show me His will – as by now, I was sort of running out of excuses –
I was invited to attend the Lay minister meetings – come and see – they said, you can always decline…
The Sunday evening format was amended, to a teaching instead of preaching and this provided an opportunity for anyone who has a message to share with the congregation.

I was granted some wonderful opportunities to relay God’s Word and during these I once again realised, more than ever before, that this is God’s will.
Even with all my “human shortcomings”, the nervousness, the lack of “the right words” at times, “falling apart”, crying whilst reading of Jesus’ flogging and even getting way too excited at times,…. There is a blessing, sometimes hidden, but it is there, even for just one of God’s family – and that makes it all worth it….

At times when I thought, OK that went “BAD”, people come and say, Wow, now that was great ….
You see, it’s all OK, because through all of this, we should realise:
This is about HIM, ………
His message,………..
His Love, …………
His Grace ……………
and His salvation through Jesus Christ
________________________________________________________________

So, Tonight I want to ask you …
Is God speaking to you, is He calling you ……
Can or do you hear His voice or even just a whisper (however faint)
Are you resisting because you doubt your own abilities?
Benjamin Franklin said “ If in doubt, don’t”
But I say “If in doubt, do”

If there is a calling to be a fisherman of men, whom you have ignored for a long time, because you believe that God cannot use you, I implore you tonight not to let your anxieties and fear trip you up.
Speak to Richard, Nqaba, Dave Myhill, John Campbell, Mike Laubscher or me … you might be surprised at where God will lead you……

Amen
Music group
Shall we pray?
Lord we ask that You would open our ears to hear your call,
we ask obedience to heed that call,
we ask for courage to stand and deliver,
we ask for guidance and wisdom to discern what, where and when we should should be talking and also Lord, when we should be listening. For it is in listening that we hear your voice.

As we all go our own way, please be with us, keeping us safe in your arms until we meet again.
Thank You Lord for your mercies that we receive each and every day.
Amen

Benediction

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