Pastor’s Corner: Saved to Serve

Pastor Glenn DeSilva

This week’s sermon is entitled, “An Incredible Moment with Lazarus.” This Sabbath, as a congregation, we will journey with John in the eleventh chapter of his gospel. In this chapter, John will share the captivating, culminating, and crowning miracle of Jesus’ earthly ministry, the raising of a dead man from the clutches of the grave. The story is forty-four verses in length. It will be impossible for me to preach an expository verse by verse sermon with the time allotted for the message in our worship hour. Therefore, I am encouraging everyone to read the story before coming to worship at church.

As I read John 11, one phrase, “take away the stone” found in verse thirty-nine, along with insights and comments from Ellen G White arrested my attention. Sis. White shares the following, “Christ could have commanded the stone to be remove, and it would have obeyed His voice. He could have bidden the angels who were close by His side to do this. At His bidding, invisible hands would have removed the stone. But it was to be taken away by human hands. Thus, Christ would show that humanity is to co-operate with divinity. What humans can do divine power is not summoned to do. God does not dispense with man’s aid. He strengthens him, cooperating with him as he uses the powers and capabilities given him.” The Desire of Ages, p. 535.

Wow, did you notice the following punchline, “What human power can do divine power is not summoned to do.” As members of the body of Christ, we have a work to do and God will not do the work that He has entrusted to us, nor will He call the angelic host to do our work. Working for God and His Kingdom is a privilege to every born-again believer. Our service and commitment should align with the gifts and talents (powers and capabilities) that God has blessed us individually with. These truths will be next quarter’s pulpit preaching topics (Discipleship and Spiritual Gifts). In volume nine of Testimonies to the Church, the following statement is made, “The work of God in this earth can never be finished until men and women comprising our church membership rally to the work and unite their efforts with those of ministers and church officers (vol. 9, p.117). The General Conference initiative of “Total Member Involvement” speaks to the inspired quotation and is our marching order for end-time ministry.

The spring is a perfect season for ministry renewal. Opportunities for service are available this spring, and Jesus is not calling angels, but He calls on us to be co-labourers in the greatest work assigned to humanity, connecting lost, broken, and hurting people to a God who has resurrection and redeeming power. In two weeks (April 6), we will begin the church officer nominating process, where giftedness, commitment, and service all come together and find completion in Christ, the head of the church. Take time today to pray for a humble and obedient spirit and a desire to be spirit-led and filled by the indwelling Holy Spirit.

In closing, I want to say thank you to every member who cooperates in saying yes to the call to service. You may not recognize that your service helps to “take away the stone” that prevents others from experiencing Jesus for themselves. Thank you to our elders, children, and adult Sabbath School teachers, our club ministries (Adventurers and Pathfinders), leaders, and staff who “take away the stone.” Thank you to our greeters, deacons, and deaconesses who “take away the stone.” Thank you to our hospitality, kitchen, communication, and music team members who “take away the stone.” When we collectively participate with Jesus in “taking away the stones” we are helping to bring renewal, comfort, and support to those who have been called to a new life in Jesus. Our worship theme song says it best, “Jesus, your name is power, your name is healing, your name is life. Break every stronghold….” Lord help us as members to “take away the stones.”

Pastor Glenn DeSilva


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here