Recognising Your Call

(audio sermon by Gary Sampson)

Apollos wasn’t knocked off a horse like Paul. His moment of calling was more normal. It came through a recognition of ability and desire. This can assist most of us.

Speakers notes follow –

Recognising Your Call

Acts 18.24-28

‘One says “I follow Paul” and another “I follow Apollos”..What is Apollos..what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe’ (1 Co 3.4-5)

Apollos was not struck off his horse like Paul – I’ve often prayed for that – it leaves no place for doubt – most called like Apollos

Apollos – Jew from Alexandria (Oxford|Cambridge) to Ephesus – Priscilla & Aquila from Rome impressed

Learned (scriptures/ philosophy/ cultured speaker) + Fervor (passion/zeal) for God

Then shock – spoke about Jesus accurately – but only knew concept of Johns baptism (repentance) not concept of cross (gift of righteousness) – had to have ‘way of God’ explained – the ‘crux’ was missing!

Desire (wanted) to go to Greece (Achaia) – encouraged to – why? Athens & Corinth there – Epicurean & Stoic philosophers debated Paul in Athens (17.18)..’All the Athenians..who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas'( 21)

Decision proved right – ‘vigorously refuted’ his opponents in public debate – ‘a great help’ to those who had believed

What’s this teach about calling and purpose

Apollos discovered his call the way most do – natural abilities + inner passions – opened doors – invited more!

Works with any ability – baking cakes gets you invites – people talking about you – center stageLinda at HG – kingdom is like a Black Forest cake

Martha’s house – Bethany outside Jerusalem – great host – ‘Are you THE Lazarus?’ – instant Gospel discussion

Paul – Roman, tent making, rabbi – perfect for traveling preacher of Roman empire!

Some calling shows in the natural – God knew you before conception – personality – ability – works all for good

Unbelievers follow their calling without knowing God – they say ‘this is me – what makes me tick’

Unbelieving Psychologist – ‘we’re all ment for something – follow inner voice – you’ll pay if you don’t – be miserable – regret in later you missed it – a divine spark within’

Unbelievers use passion + gifting for self – connect it to Creator

Having a job is not following a calling – its survival – a calling you’ll do even if unpaid – its what drives you

Life is hard – knowing your purpose overcomes that – ‘He who has a why to live can bear almost any how’ – Nietzche (philosopher) – first there is the why for all – then the why for you – God’s purpose for all, God’s purpose for you

Jesus said “The reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth” (Jn 18.37) “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work” (Jn 4.34)

A calling isn’t about preaching – its being God’s hands + feet – Adam was a gardener, Joshua was a soldier, David a shepherd-king, Paul a tentmaking rabbi, Martha a B&B owner – God will show how to use it for him

Apollos could have been a phylosopher/lecturer/poet performing in arenas – connected to God he used his skill for eternal things

People say they don’t know their calling – well, whats in you? What would you do even if unpaid?

Fiance – speech therapist to teacher – often we only discover calling after qualifying in something else

I want to write a book – will it be good – I don’t know – two people have said ‘just start’ – thats the way – give your passion a shot

Paul was compelled (feeling), Peter had a vision, but Apollos just wanted to go to Achaia – listen to desires – it may be the call of God

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