‘Thou shalt be called, Sought out.’ Isaiah 62:12
Suggested Further Reading: Matthew 4:17–25
You that have ability, and have talents, devote yourselves to God’s cause. Give yourselves up to his ministry. I would to God there were more of those who are successful in professions, men who either in medicine or law would attain eminence, who would consecrate their talents to the ministry; they need not fear that in giving themselves to God he will not take care of them, and as to honour, if it be found anywhere, it is the sure heritage of the faithful ambassador of Christ. If you have been sought out, my brother, I do not blush to recommend you to give up the most lucrative employment to seek out others. If you have the power to stir others’ hearts, if God has given you the tongue of the eloquent, devote it to the plucking of brands from the burning; become a herald of the cross, and let the whole world, as far as possible, hear from you the tidings of salvation. The preaching of the gospel is not the only means; it is a way of seeking out most commonly used, but there are other methods. We are not to preach merely to those who come to listen. We must carry the gospel to where men do not desire it. We should consider it our business to be generously impertinent; thrusting the gospel into men’s way, whether they will hear or whether they will forbear. Let us hunt for souls by visitation. There are thousands in London who never will be converted by the preaching of the gospel, for they never attend places of worship. We may shudder when we say it; it is believed there are thousands in London who do not even know the name of Christ, living in what we call a Christian land, and yet they have not heard the name of Jesus.
For meditation: What lasting good would have been done by the New Testament writers Matthew, Luke, Paul and Peter if they had ignored God’s definite call to the ministry and remained a tax-collector, doctor, tentmaker and fisherman respectively? Even without a call to a specific office, every believer is called into the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12) as an unofficial ‘deacon’ with gifts to minister to others (1 Peter 4:10). How are you advancing Christ’s kingdom?
Sermon no. 525
23 August (1863)