Called to Minister

The gospel that you have heard . . . was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

–Colossians 1:23

When J. L. Kraft was a young man, he had one desire: to be the world’s most successful seller of cheese. He traveled with his pony named Paddy up and down the streets of Chicago, trying to sell cheese. Unfortunately, despite days of hard work, Kraft wasn’t making any money. One day, he became discouraged, and he felt a great conviction in his heart. He said to his pony, “I’m trying to succeed just for my sake, trying to do this just to be famous, and rich, and successful. I’ve left something out of my life, and it’s God. Paddy, we’ve got to turn around, and we’ve got to do it right! We must serve God. Then if God wants us to succeed, glory to His name.” When Kraft went home that day, he gave his dream of becoming a successful cheese seller over to God.

You know what happened: Kraft’s cheese company began to prosper and eventually became the largest in the world. Today, Kraft is a household name. But you may not know that in addition to leading his successful business, Kraft was a faithful layman at North Shore Baptist Church in Chicago. For many years, he served as superintendent of the Sunday school. Kraft once said, “I had rather be a layman in the North Shore Baptist Church in Chicago than to be head of the greatest corporation in America. My first job is serving Jesus.”

Take a moment to think about your own life. What is your goal in life? When you consider all that Jesus Christ has done for you, it only stands to reason that your first objective, your highest calling, would be to serve Him. That is the theme of the passage we’re going to look at this week in Colossians 1.

Last week in our study of Colossians, we looked at God’s provision for our salvation. Though God had every right to allow us to suffer the eternal consequences of our sin, instead He instigated a rescue plan to reconcile us to Himself. As a result of what God did for us on the cross, we have been declared holy, blameless, and beyond reproach. We have been saved and secured. Paul said that’s the message he had given his life to proclaiming.

Next, Paul wrote in verse 23 that he “was made a minister” of the gospel. And for the next six verses, he described his role as a minister of the gospel—not to give us his autobiography but to remind all of us that our number one calling in life is to be ministers of the gospel.

***

Today’s devotion is adapted from “Called to Minister” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

J. L. Kraft, as quoted in W. A. Criswell, “Idolatry in the Church” (sermon), First Baptist Dallas, June 12, 1977, https://wacriswell.com/sermons/1977/idolatry-in-the-church.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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