In my sermon last week, I talked about Acts 6 how the early church overcame a serious complaint between the two cultures. The twelve disciples appointed seven leaders to serve the widows.
This solution shows how the Holy Spirit's wisdom is without equal.
The twelve disciples gave their full attention to prayer and preaching of the word. It is the disciples' act of surrender to dedicate to prayer and preaching of the word that advances the move of God.
In Acts 6:5 it says they chose seven men. They were chosen to serve tables. Serving tables involved distributing money to the poor widows. The chosen were called upon to make sure that all of the widows in the community were getting equal shares of the offering.
The twelve disciples recognized that leadership is everything. They quickly realized leadership is the key to meeting needs, solving problems, and expanding the kingdom.
What we need right now is leadership, biblical, God-centered leadership. Leadership is the answer to our problems today. We cannot underestimate how important it is that God would call upon people to carry His move in this hour as well as back then.
What were the qualifications for the chosen?
3. Full of the Holy Spirit
Think about those three simple qualities. Those are powerful qualities. Being honest means you could trust them and count on their word and follow through. Being wise means they are mature and have had experiences that could add value to situations. Being full of the Holy Spirit guarantees the first two qualities would be automatic.
Why did Jesus say, "Many are called, but few are chosen"?
In Matthew 20:16 and 22:14, Jesus repeats the same statement to conclude a parable.
These are parables on which the entire kingdom hangs. Many were invited to the wedding feasts, but the invited did not show up. They had more important things to do. They did not take it seriously. They said they would but did not.
In our culture, how are people responding to God right now?
We have a bunch of things that are shifting within our culture.
Jesus says the chosen are different groups of people. Many people are called in other words many people are invited. You have probably sat in church next to many people who are invited. Jesus shows us in this parable that He invites many, but that many people do not want what He is offering.
There is a great separation happening.
The chosen have a motivation that you cannot kill.
No matter how much you attempt to oppress the chosen they will continue to rise.
The chosen know that they have a purpose. They know that this purpose is much greater than their own personal fulfillment.
The chosen are those who are found worthy of the calling.
The worthiness is based on their willingness. They were willing to be obedient to the calling. The willing were those who responded with joy in their hearts. They did not make a million excuses. They joined the move of God.
My daughter, Andelyn, said this to me the other day when we were talking the other day about selecting a mate:
"I didn't realize the significance of being fully equally yolked until I dated someone who was raised by traditional, Southern Christians. I thought if you believed in God it was the same. He was raised by good Christians to live a good life as a good person with a good job. There is nothing wrong with that, but I was raised by Spirit-filled Christians who challenged me to change the world and use my spiritual gifting for the kingdom. This had a major impact on how we made decisions. He was trying to be good. I was trying to change the world."
That is the difference between a called Christian and a chosen Christian.
I propose to you that there is a big difference between the called and chosen.
You do not have to motivate the chosen to fulfill their purpose. The chosen have a frequency that they operate on. Their passion defies the risk of failure. They brave hard times and courageously do the hard things.
The chosen have made choices over and over to fulfill the call on their lives.
I want to share something personal with you to share how I got to this place in my life.
My experience being called as a young man.
I suffered from severe abuse as a boy. My dad was a very angry man who would come home from his long truck driving trips and drink until his sorrows turned into fits of rage.
There was no escape when my dad was mad.
But Jesus poured out His loving presence on me when I was twelve years old.
I walked forward at a church service in a little Baptist church. I sat and I listened during this church service and I listened to what I could not understand, but I could feel. I felt the love of God, and that was the first time I had ever encountered love before.
After that day, I fell in love with the Bible. I read the Bible, went to every service I could, and wanted to serve God the rest of my life. I would sit at the top of the stairs on many nights praying for my dad to be saved while I listened to him threaten my mother. But how was I going to going to make it out of my family prison?
One day my teacher and football coach came and got me out of class. They told me about a man who lived in the community who knew and was willing to give me a place to live named Wilson Crump.
I said goodbye to my mother at her job at the grocery store. She was happy for me and wished me well. I packed a bag and went to Mr. Wilson's house. He told me in the living room of his giant white house that God called him to look after me. I was a teenager who had no idea what that meant, but God answered my prayers.
It turns out that he became like a father to me. He loved me and I loved him. I was delivered by God through Wilson. He was the best man at my wedding. I have named my only son after him. Right before he passed, I told him he was the only father I ever knew and he told me he was proud to call me his son.
So whenever people ask me why I do what I do it is because I saw the Father's love. I wanted to tell the whole world what God had done for me. I have known for a long time I was chosen. There have been times in my life where I have tried to wipe that tattoo off of my heart.
But it is in those moments when you feel the most disqualified, the most of a disappointment to God that He wants you to know your position as a son and daughter did not change.
This passage of scripture is for the chosen in Romans 8:28-31:
"And we know that all things that work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?"
It is the chosen that are called to the harvest.
When you are armed with the love of the Father you know how to fight for those who are in bondage.
God is gathering the chosen to remind them of His love and challenge them to tell those who are in bondage so then the chosen can bring in this amazing harvest for the kingdom.