Elder Calvin Perrigo

In Memory of Andrew Calvin Perrigo
June 21, 1925 - January 31, 1994

Stewardship Of Vocation

Stewardship of Vocation

Stewardship Of Vocation

By Calvin Perrigo

We would request an interest in your prayers while we consider The Stewardship of Vocation. Not vacation, vocation. Life’s calling.

Stewardship simply means managing something that belongs to someone else. It’s like being a tenant, as we have described before. Whether we believe it or not, God is involved in all vocations of the human family upon this earth. God created Adam and Eve. He gave those two individuals a commission, which was to replenish and also to subdue the earth. In subduing this earth, you’ll find the vocation of man. You’ll find his life’s work. Being involved in subduing this earth.

In the first Chapter of Colossians, we’ll read a few verses of scripture for a reading lesson. Before we read it, we would like to say that it is of utmost importance that a human being recognize that everything that we do on this earth, we do it as a steward or trustee of God. That we’re operating under his leadership. His orders. The way that He wants it. And if we could ever get that conceived in our mind to the point that it should be, all of our life would take on a different appearance. We’ll have a different purpose tomorrow. If we consider the fact that everything we do, reflects our God, as a steward of His. And I would, tomorrow, or this afternoon, or tonight, or Wednesday, Tuesday, whatever day that we may labor in this world in some vocation, or calling or occupation, everything we do, we’ll be doing it as one that is managing something of God’s. God has children scattered throughout the industrial plants of this city. In various office buildings of this city, God has children that are managing something for him, in their daily activities.

Colossians 1:9 “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That you might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him. And for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence.” This reads through the 18th verse of Colossians 1, beginning with verse 9.

You’ll note in here we’re talking about people that have been born again by the Spirit of God, walking worthy of the Lord. Paul, writing to the saints at Ephesus, made this plea; he beseeched those saints that they might walk worthy of the Lord in their various vocations. “Therefore the prisoner of the Lord beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called.” Now, if we’re going to talk about the stewardship of our occupation, if we’re going to consider that for a few minutes, we need to think about the aim of our life.

What is the goal of your life today, as far as what you do for a living? Or what you do as a vocation, or a calling, or an occupation. Do you just live for yourself? Is your aim just for your own self satisfaction? Is it just to feed your own stomach and to cloth your own body, to keep your own self warm? We need to think about why we work in this life. If we are going to consider being a steward of God, in our field of labor, we need to think about why we are working in life. If we’re just working for ourself, you can consider yourself to become a failure. If you have no other purpose in life than for yourself, then you can expect to fail in whatever vocation you may be involved in. Whatever aim you may have in your life, if you’re a younger person here today, if it’s all for you, write down the big word failure across the front of your forehead, and pursue that. Because that’s what you’ll be in life, a failure if it’s all for you. Life, and its vocations have to be for something else.

First of all, they ought to honor our God. Secondly, they ought to be for someone else’s benefit along with ours. If we just work for ourself, sooner or later we’ll be the only thing involved in life, and we won’t have much consideration for anyone else in life. In thinking about the aim of our vocations, or occupations in life, if it’s just to make money for the sake of making money, then you can expect trouble down the road.

What do we consider most important today? Is our aim in our occupation just for the sake of making money in order to make it? Are we that covetous when we think about the reason that we go to our various occupations from day to day? Is it just for the sake of making money?

Let’s consider the scriptures on one or two points, as we think about this particular question. If we are going to be swept up in our vocation, in our goal of a vocation, to the point that it’s just for the love of money, then we need to know what God says about that.

We had a very good Sunday School lesson this morning. Everyone that didn’t come, should have come. Because we began a new series of lessons today on the Articles of Faith. The first one started off about the scriptures, and what we believe about them. And this is from the scripture, as to God’s viewpoint of the love of money.

From I Timothy, Chapter 6, God’s inspired, divinely inspired, recorded Word, from the pen of Paul to Timothy, says this; “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Now, that’s God’s viewpoint if you are just going to pursue something in life for the love of money. Be warned, by God, that those things can drown people. And that it will lead to their destruction, and that it causes people to err from the faith, and they pierce themselves through with many darts.

So, when we think about a goal of a vocation, or profession, we need to consider the money side of it to be secondary. Well, I surely didn’t come to Indiana for that purpose. Well, if you came for another purpose, maybe it’s time to change your reasoning, and get down to some basic things about God, and know that the vocation that you are in, that you’ve chosen, or that that you plan to choose, that you are only managing for God. And if you will look at that, I believe that it will help you to make some determinations.

So, let’s remember what the love of money will lead to. Let’s get an example from the writing from the Gospel of Luke concerning covetousness. Jesus taught this one; there was a man that had a farm, and a tremendous increase on his crop. Rather than to think about others, rather than to think about God, he pondered the question between himself and says, “what shall I do?” So, he decided he’d tear down his old insignificant barns, those that were to small to hold his harvest, and he would build newer barns. And then he would say to himself now, Soul, thou has much goods laid up for many years. Now you’ve got it made. And you can take your ease, you can eat and drink and be merry, and those things. Jesus taught this lesson, because he was discussing about covetousness. If our vocation, and our pursuit of a vocation is merely for the purpose of covetousness, then we may wind up one night like this individual did. After he made his determination, God spoke to him that night and said “Thou fool, this night thou soul shall be required of you.” Then who shall those things be that you’ve provided for? So we have then that example. So, when we consider an aim of a vocation, let’s be sure that it’s not just for the sake of making money, for the love of money. Let’s consider some more important things about it, rather than that.

Alright, we’ve read a lesson, let’s take a text now concerning our thought. One of the best texts that I know about concerning the stewardship of vocation is found in the Colossian letter also. In the 3rd Chapter of this short letter, we will take our text from the 17th verse. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Whatever you do in word or deed, do it in the name of the Lord. And if we here today, young or old, if we will consider the truth of that statement, whatever we do, whether it be in our vocation or whether it be speaking, talking, singing, or whatever it may be, let us do it all in the name of the Lord. And if we will do that, God then will be honored in any profession that we may find our self in. But, it will also come under His jurisdiction and His limitations, as to what we get involved in.

In order to be a good steward of a vocation, that God is involved with, we have to be faithful people. We have to be faithful people, in order to be a good steward of anything. I Corinthians 4:2, Paul says that it is required. Now that’s a requirement. You know some requirements to become a member of this Church? The first requirement is that you satisfy this congregation with a testimony of Salvation. That you can convince this congregation that you have born again. That is a requirement of membership here. There are other requirements, but that is the number one requirement. That you must be born again, and convince people here that you have been. How do you convince people that you’ve been born again? Sometimes it takes a little more that a personal testimony, but most of the time you can get into a Baptist Church by a personal testimony. But, I am sure in the hearts and minds of people gathered here today, if a stranger walked through that door right now, that no one knew about or had ever heard of, come down here and wanted to join this Church, that we’d listen very intently to their testimony of Salvation, before we voted on taking them into the congregation.

Although we’re talking about requirements of something. Well, Paul says that it is required that a steward be found faithful. So, maybe those jobs that you wanted, and those occupations you’ve desired to have, maybe you don’t have them because God knows that you’re not faithful, and would not be a good steward of His in that particular field. That may be so, and it may not be so, we’re just putting our thoughts there. But, the point we want to make is, that it is required as stewards that a man be found faithful. Now, as far as the calling to preach is concerned, that also applies. If a man is a steward of a calling to preach the Gospel, it also will apply to him. In fact, when Paul made this statement, he was having reference to himself. “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”

So, when we consider the vocation of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the number one issue with God, after a person’s been born again, and is baptized and a member of His Church, is that that be a faithful person. Paul thanked God that he counted him faithful by putting him in the ministry. So, you scratch unfaithful men, in a call to preach, if they don’t harmonize, forget it. Because the Bible is true and men have a lot opinions and feeling and ideas by the influence of Satan. So, we find a steward must be faithful. So, we know then that faith is required in order for our vocation to be pleasing to God, and for us to be good stewards of that, we have to approach those things by faith.

In whatever work we are in. In whatever work we are pursuing. In whatever field we are educating ourselves to get involved in, always consider God as your senior partner. He is your senior partner, in everything that you do, if you are a good steward in your vocation. God is to be considered your senior partner. Now, when you have a partnership in business, or in anything else, in a home or whatever it is, what does the insubordinate partner do? When there are decisions to be made, when there’s changes to be made, the lesser partner always confers with the senior partner. Do you do it with God like that? Do you take it to God? We find in the 3rd Chapter of the I Corinthian letter where we are laborers together with Him. That makes us partners with God. And we known then that God has to be the senior partner. If we as human beings are laborers together with Him, he is the senior partner, and we ought to consult with him in that that we do in our vocation. Do you do that regularly? Do you ask him for direction and leadership and guidance in those things of life that we may never even consider Him to be an important aspect of?

What did Isaiah say back in his early ministry, when God had cleansed his tongue and his life from those things that plagued Isaiah? He came forth and said “Here I am, send me.” He came before his senior partner and said I’m here, you send me. And God did send him, and Isaiah did the work. When Saul of Tarsus came up from the dust of the Damascus road a saved individual, he asked the Lord, “What will thou have me to do?” Have you asked him lately what he would have you to do? Are you satisfied in your occupation? Are you satisfied with your calling? Is there a time when you feel like you need to make a change in life? Who would you go to before you’d go to God? Your parents? Your wife? Your husband? Your friends? Or someone that was fully prepared for whatever field you were thinking about getting into? Would not you take it to God first? You ought to take it to God. If you come out as a good steward of your vocation, or your occupation, you’ll take it to God first, He being the senior partner. And you’ll get instruction from Him.

When Paul asked the question there on the Damascus road, “What will you have me to do?”, God instructed him to walk on down to the city of Damascus and inquire of a man by the name of Ananias, and he would give him further instructions. Sometimes when God gives us the right of way to pursue an occupation, or to change an occupation, or do something else within our occupation, He may give us the feeling of direction, then he may have other people along the road that will advise and give us some details of things. So, we ought to consult God in our occupations in life. And we need to think about that.

You young people here, and there’s a lot of young people here, some of them are even to young to be thinking about life’s calling or a vocation in life, or what am I going to do for a living, how am I going to honor my God, in my life if I’ve been saved. I think that ought to be the number one question in any saved person’s mind, “What can I get involved in in life that I can honor my God in. Not which will make the best money, not which will give me the earliest retirement, not which will give me the most time off, but where and how can I best serve and glorify my God in my secular work in this world. How many pursue that on that angle. How many educational counselors, when you come down to decide as a junior or senior in High School, or maybe even before that, what you are going to do in life, how many of them would approach you as you sit down before them and talk to them, “Have you really talked to your creator about what you are going to do? What are you limitations, and this and that.”

Let’s consider some limitations on a vocation. We’re talking about being a good steward of our vocation. Well, first of all for a saved individual, the field narrows very, very sharply. There’s just a few things that you can do in life and honor your God with it. But there’s a multitude of things that you can do to dishonor him, and we ought to know the difference, and we ought to teach our children the difference before they ever get an idea in their minds about what their going to do in life. We ought to already lay out something, you cannot do this and honor God. You can do it, don’t get me wrong, you can go against God’s wishes, against God’s patterns, I’m not saying you can’t do it, but I say if you want an occupation in life, or a vocation in life that will honor God, the field is very, very narrow.

What would we eliminate first when we think about limitations on a Baptist working out in the world? You’ll find no place for a Baptist to run a Tavern, attend bar, gamble, have a house of gambling, or pursue a life of crime. You’ll find no place for that for a Baptist. Those are just a few things that come to our mind. Many are the “no no’s” as far as a job is concerned for God’s people, especially for his Church that are ambassadors for him in this world. So, young people here today, old people about to change an occupation, don’t worry about learning how to tend bar, don’t worry about how much you might invest in a liquor store. Don’t worry about going out here and getting a job driving a truck delivering beer. Just forget about those things, because that vocation will not honor God. Don’t even argue about it. And there are a lot of other things, and I’m not really allowed today, in the time I have allotted me to mention all the occupations that are off limits to Baptist people. But, there are so many, that we need to know about them, and if you need a private session, I’ll be glad to set down and to elaborate upon a lot more of those than I have mentioned here this morning.

If your vocation is going to require you to pick, and sing and grin in a honky tonk, forget it. If you have a good talent of singing or making music, and you want to go into the field of honky tonks and bars, rock music, and all those things, forget it. If you want to be a Barbara Mandrell, forget it. If you want to be a Johnny Cash, forget it. Because you cannot pursue those things and remain true to God’s Church. And the people that do that are making a mockery of God. And we need to know those things while we are young, and we as old people, need to tell our young people, “You just can’t pursue those vocations that will lead you into those fields.” You can’t become a professional athlete and please God. Why not? Because every professional athlete has to perform on Sunday, thats why. The number one reason. Another reason is before you get your feet wet, into professional athletics, you’ll be hooked up with some type of gambling device or machine and you’ll come under that influence. Along with drugs and all those other things that go with it. So, you can forget about being a professional athlete today. I never thought about playing baseball as a young boy, because baseball, in my community, was played only on Sunday, and I knew better than to go to a ball game on Sunday. I knew better than to try to play ball on Sunday, so baseball never did enter my thinking, when I was a young boy.

And there are numerous other things. I think it would be very difficult for a Baptist to become a criminal lawyer, and remain true to everything. It’s difficult for a Baptist to even be in the military system. I know that it’s required, and I know that when they are inducted into the services, that there is a lot of prayers being offered up for them, and a lot of concern for them. But, we find as we pursue the fields that are open to Baptist people, that they narrow down to, as the old song says about September, a precious few. There just aren’t many of them available.

All we have to do is to search the scriptures, and see if you find people in those particular professions, that God was dealing with, and they were honoring God. What was Peter, James and John doing when Jesus called them? What kind of profession were they in when He called them to preach? They were fishermen. What was Paul? Paul was a tent maker. What was Aquila and Priscilla? They were tent makers. You find those types of professions mentioned in the Bible. You’ll find people that were seamstresses, women mentioned in the New Testament about being good seamstresses. And you’ll find those kinds of occupations, but you won’t find those types that we have mentioned briefly here to reflect the people of God.

So, young people, talk to your parents, talk to your deacons, talk to your preachers, and ask them what field could I go in and still honor my God as a good steward of my profession.

What methods are to be used in our occupations? What type of employee are we to be? What type of manager are we to be? What type of foreman are we to be? What type of supervisor are we to be? Whatever, if we are working for someone else, there is a way for you and I to honor God in our vocation. If we have people under our authority, there are ways to handle that that God would be glorified in. And one that will cover about all aspects of it is, is also found in the Colossian letter. In the 3rd Chapter of that Colossian letter, I believe we can find a way to pursue our profession in life. We’ve already said we ought to do it in the name of the Lord. We ought to say it in the name of the Lord. But the 23rd verse of Colossians Chapter 3 tells us, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”

Now, you can get by in any occupation as long as you consider doing it for God and not men. You can haul the garbage of this city, if you consider doing it for God and not men. You can clean out your cesspools, if you consider it for God and not men. But, you ought to do that heartily, whatever it is, it ought to be done heartily. God does not like at ease in zionism. He doesn’t like lukewarmism. He wants it done heartily. What does it mean to do it heartily? It means to do whatever we do with enthusiasm, as you’re doing it to God and for God. So, when you punch in the clock in the morning, just remember, God, today I’m going to put in my day’s labor as to you. You can get by with any employer in this city if you’ll do that. There’s not an employer in this city that will call you on the carpet it you go to it in the morning, as doing it for God. So, do it heartily, as unto God.

What do we find scripturally speaking, then about God despising halfheartedness? That just old haphazard stuff, lukewarmism. Why, the Church at Laodicea is absolute evidence of that. They were lukewarm in their attitude about things, and he said, “Because thou art neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.” In other words, we could say then that God gets sick at his stomach for halfheartedness labors of people. So, let’s do it heartily as unto the Lord. Let’s do it in His name, let’s do it heartily, as unto him.

If we do not do it heartily, if we do it haphazardly, we’re going to loose power. Not only with God, but also in the field of labor. I know that union contracts cover a lot of things today. I know that you can’t hardly fire a school teacher if he or she gets in five years of work, you just can’t hardly get them out of there, unless there’s some dreadful crime. We know all of those things. But, we’re talking about being a good steward of your vocation. We’re not talking about average, we’re not talking about poor, we’re talking about being a good steward of what you do for a living.

If you can persist in being unconcerned, and not doing it heartily, then, its going to cost you some power. We find this statement in the 5th Chapter of the Book of Matthew. What does it say concerning salt? “Ye are the salt of the earth.” Now, consider yourselves that in your occupation, today or tomorrow. “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted?” It you loose your strength, whatever it is, then you have damaged yourself and others. So, be enthusiastic about what you do. Do it heartily, as unto the Lord. What are tools of trade, as far as a vocation is concerned? They come from God. They may be developed, but he gives the talent, and he gives the ability to develop them. But, the tools of our trade come from God.

Listen to the 12th Chapter of the Roman letter, the 6th verse. “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the grace the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministry: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.”

These three verses give us some tools of our trade. And if we are bound and determined to misuse those tools, it’ll work just like it does with a natural tool of life. If we abuse the tools that we work with, we’ll have to get other ones, or we’ll have to repair them. So, whatever God has given you in life, use that in your vocation, to His honor and His glory. And he does give those things. He gives the ability to perform certain tasks in this world. He was instrumental in James, John and Peter being able to fish for a living. He was instrumental in causing Aquilla, Priscilla and Paul to be able to make a tent. And He was instrumental in those seamstresses we mentioned a while ago. And all the other types of occupations recorded in the Bible. God gave the ability or the talent for those things to be pursued.

We have to be educated in something, but the ability, the underlying ability is there, and the opportunity to be educated is also given from God. When you have found your life’s occupation, and you know that God is involved in it, then we are taught in the scriptures to stay put. When we are absolutely sure that we are doing what God can be honored in, and everything is satisfactory with us, we need to think about staying put.

I Corinthians 7:17. In this passage, Paul writing to the Church at Corinth says this; “But as God distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.” Down in the 23rd and 24th verses, “You are bought with a price; be not ye the servant of men. Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.” So, we need to think about standing, when we find our place in life, and honoring our God in pursuing that to the best of our ability, to the honor and the glory of God.

What about the profession of the ministry? What about the position that deacons find themselves in? Do we find a responsibility among the preaching ministry, and also among the deacons of the Lord’s church as to stewardship of vocation? Can you be a good deacon in a Baptist church and be haphazardly involved in your vocation, or be involved in some vocation that does not bring honor and glory to God? There has to be some responsibility thought of. In the ministry, we are to forsake all. The pattern is taught throughout the New Testament. I believe, you can find it also with many of the Prophets in the Old Testament. What did Moses have to forsake in order to go back to Egypt and to bring God’s people out? What was the Apostles required to forsake? They stated plainly that they had forsook all to follow the Lord. So in order to be a good steward of God, as far as the preaching ministry is concerned, the first step after calling, is to consider the forsaking of all and following that heavenly, divine call to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul, in looking back on what he gave up, considered his life prior to the call to be an Apostle, as a pile of manure. Is that forsaking all? Let’s read it so you won’t think that I’m up here being vulgar. Philippians Chapter 3, here’s what he said concerning what he had given up. In the 3rd Chapter of the Philippian letter, we’ll skip what he says there concerning his previous life. He says that he had more to trust in prior to his Salvation and calling than anybody else, “Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” So, there has to be a forsaking, as far as a man that is called into the ministry is concerned. And the quicker that that is realized by everybody, and the quicker that’s understood by everybody, it’ll all work to the honor and glory of God.

If this Church, the entire membership of 211, had a full understanding that when God calls a man to preach, and that’s been proven, and that whole 211 people knew that he had to forsake all to do that, he wouldn’t be hungry. He wouldn’t be hungry. But, it has to be known not only by the preacher, but also by God’s people, how the system works. So, to be a good steward of the vocation of preaching the Gospel, first of all it requires a forsaking of all and following the Lord. It also requires some preparation. Paul taught Timothy, a younger preacher, to prepare himself for his ministry. And he encouraged him to do that. And that same message rings out from this pulpit today. For anyone that’s been called to preach the Gospel, prepare to do that. Because that’s a high calling of God. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.” He told Timothy that from II Timothy Chapter 2. Two other things he mentioned to this young man, and it will apply today to young men especially. “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord, out of the pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.”

So, along with preparations to fulfill the vocation of a called ministry, study, pray, flee youthful lusts, if you’re a young person, follow righteousness, faith and charity, along with some people that are called on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Alright, the stewardship of deacons, as far as vocation is concerned. We’ve already mentioned, can a deacon just do anything in life for a living, and be a deacon in a Baptist Church? What if his job requires him to work every Sunday. Can he do it? What if his job requires him to do something that’s dishonest. Can he do that? And do the other too? Cannot we see the importance when we look at the qualifications of deacons, their vocations in life. That they have a narrower road to walk than the laymember does. That their road is almost as narrow as the preacher’s road. And they must also maintain a reputation in life as far as their vocation is concerned, that they might fit the qualifications required by God, that are recorded in I Timothy; “Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;” I have to work on Sunday, because I get double time. The deacon is not to be greedy of filthy lucre. Whatever that means to you. I think it will apply to the 6th Chapter of I Timothy where we said the love of money is the root of all evil. To be greedy of filthy lucre, I think would be a way off the deep end of that type of life. But he’s not to be that type. “Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.” The deacon’s wife has a position as far as your vocation is concerned. She can’t do everything. She can’t just go out here and pursue any job in the world and honor God. She can go out and pursue any job she wants to, but we’re talking about an honorable stewardship of your vocation. The deacon’s wife, her qualities, her qualification, I Timothy 3:11; “Even so must their wives” having reference to deacon’s wives, “be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacon be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.” And now here is there perfection, as far as stewardship is concerned. “For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

So, we have all aspects of the church involved in a good stewardship of our vocation. When we come to the place where we recognize, and admit, that we are junior partners with God, in the way that we make our living, you’ll find us to be more pleasing and on acceptable terms from our Lord.

Sinner, what are you going to do with your vocation in life? “Don’t apply to me, I’m sure glad I’m not in a church where I have to live like that.” There’s a lot of people who are members on this church roll, that feel that way about it. “If I don’t go to Church, I can feel better in sinning, but if I go, it keeps gnawing on me. And if I don’t get involved with the Church, then I don’t have to go to Sunday School, and I don’t have to go on Sunday night or Wednesday night, then I have an advantage over people.” They teach our young people that. You know one of the goals is to get old enough, not to be made to go to Church. That’s one of the goals of young people today that ought never exist in anyone’s mind or thinking. It ought to be a desire to be there, rather than; “When I get old enough I won’t go.”

But sinner, we’re going to talk to you for just one minute concerning your vocation in life. We want to look at a statement that Job made toward you. Job Chapter 27, verse 8; “For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul?” Will God hear his cry when trouble comes upon him. We’re taking about your vocation in life sinner, versus neglecting salvation from God. Matthew 16:26 Jesus asked the question, what have you gained, if you did become a millionaire in life, what have you gained in life, IF you die lost. Here is the exact words of it in Matthew 16:26 “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Now, when you think about life, sinner, and how important it is to make a dollar and be on the job, I want to ask you this one question today, point blank to your heart. If you gain the whole world in pursuing that occupation, and lose the sight of God’s salvation and his plan, what have you gained? If you gain the whole world and lose your soul in Hell, what has been the profit of your labor upon this earth. Why, would you let Satan influence you that your job is more important than soul salvation, if you’re here today and have never been saved. To be a stewardship of a vocation, involves God completely. And God requires that you forsake all in order to find him precious to your soul. So don’t let a vocation that you are aiming for, don’t let a vocation that you’re involved in today, keep you from Heaven’s portals, Because if you gain the whole world, and lose your soul, you haven’t gained one thing. You’ve lost it all, and thought that you were doing what you had to do. There are teachings throughout the earthly ministry of Jesus that shows the folly of all those things. When I have a convenient season, I’ll call for you, is what the governor said to Paul. And those people that were invited to the feast, I married a wife, therefore I cannot come. I bought a team of oxen and I’ve got to try them. I bought a parcel of land and I’ve got to try that. All these things are involved in some type of an occupation, or vocation. And we know that the man that built his new barn, laid down at night for his soul to take its rest, woke up in the pits of Hell. The rich man that fared sumptuously every day. He pursued his occupation. He had a vocation as far as the world could see. For a purple garment to be worn and to fare sumptuously every day versus the poor beggar Lazarus, you’d said; “Why it wouldn’t take me one minute to relate to those men. Here’s success and here’s failure. But, let’s flop that thing right around and get it in eternity and see where the success was. Who was a success in eternity? Lazarus was. He was really a success in life too, although he was a beggar. The rich man was a success in life, and in Hell he was tormented, and is still being tormented. So, what did it profit him to wear the purple fine linen, and lose his soul in Hell?

The vocation of stewardship. The stewardship of vocation is of utmost importance to people in this world. We need to teach our children that there are certain things that you cannot get involved in and honor God, as a saved individual, especially as a Baptist individual, don’t even think in those directions. But, if we just say, “With gusto, go for it, regardless of what it is, I believe you can handle that thing, I believe that you can do that, because that I’m going to help you do that.” You are heading them down a terrible pathway of life. But, there are vocations that are honorable with God. And he has, from the very beginning, required his creation to subdue this earth, and to overcome it. And we are still in the process of that, and we can do that along with the work of the Church, as we pursue our occupations, and bring that forth that God would have us to be. So, what we do, let’s do it heartily, as unto the Lord. And let’s do that as if we were doing it to God, and not unto men. I Appreciate your attention. Are you aware that God’s people are limited into what fields of labor that they might pursue. Do we believe that there’s any way of making a living today that’s dishonorable to God, or does all things go today? What certain religions will condone, God does not condone. There are very famous religions today, that have not up until this time, seen the sin of gambling. But, that is sin. What is not of faith is sin. And can gambling be faith? Tell me, does buying a lottery ticket take faith, Tell me, can playing a punchboard be faith, NO. Taking a chance on a raffle is of faith? No. You don’t know whether you’re going to win or not. If you did there wouldn’t be any chance on any raffle. So, we need to teach our children the evils that are being accepted today by God’s people, just right and left. Nothing wrong with that. But there is something wrong. . .

Review

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