Being Set Apart
We are going to look at something that The Bible sees as mature faith. Now there was a church mentioned in The Bible called The Church At Corinth.
Paul says that while he pastored there all he could ever do preaching-wise was to feed them milk.
They didn’t want to hear the deeper things of God and about God.
“Faith comes by hearing” the scripture says.
Talking with a husband and wife the other day. I don’t know them real well but they are both fun and amusing. And the wife said, “ I wish that I knew a scripture that I could give my son concerning respecting your mother.” She said this with a great smile. He is a fine young man, but he probably has his moments.
So I gave her a scripture that would relate to that. Proverbs 31. She said, “Thanks so much. I’ll read it – then I’ll give to HIM to read. My church doesn’t really get into The Bible much. Then, as an after thought she said, “I suppose that is why it has been losing members for the past years.
So, here is the scripture for today:
“But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace.”- Galatians 1:15
WHEN BEFORE? HOW MUCH BEFORE?
And Ephesians 1:4 “The LORD knew me and designed me and set me apart before the creation of the world.”
Before Adam and Eve. Before there were tweety birds. Before dirt! God had set us apart before the beginning of creation. And His setting us apart is His secret. A secret He has held since the beginning of creation. A secret that only He knows. Until………………
He has set us apart to be used for His Kingdom. To make His Kingdom better , stronger, fuller.
“Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.” -Isaiah 6:8 That was a conversation between Almighty God and Isaiah. The LORD already knew. He was hoping wanting that Isaiah was buying in so that the LORD could reveal what God had designed – before creation for Isaiah.
“The Lord gave me this message:
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
Before you were born I set you apart
and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:4&5
God did not set Jeremiah and Isaiah apart because of how talented they were. The Lord set them apart to be a part, a necessary part of His Kingdom. Within the Kingdom of God, the Holy Spirit has a role for all of us. A necessary role. If we are not looking for that role we have missed our purpose.
On judgement day I don’t want to hear God say, “But you never fulfilled your part of my Kingdom. And the fellow says, “Yea, LORD, but I had the nicest yard in town. Everybody said that. I made that neighborhood special! Or He asks a woman the same question. She says, “I put my heart and soul into my job. There weren’t many who could have pulled off that position and made it work. There wasn’t really time for anything else. You know what I mean?”
We do not create our own role. We ask the Lord for His purpose and for most of us there are a number of purposes along the way.
In Christianity there is no common sense. Only God sense.
Well, what happens if I come into His Kingdom a little later? Like Ed here, who just joined the church today. Well, praise God! The Holy Spirit will pick up on Ed right where he is right now.
I certainly came into the Kingdom of God later. At 37 years of age.
Jesus, in Luke says, when one is brought into the Kingdom of God all of the angels of heaven are shouting out praises to God. Ed caused the angels of heaven this morning at 10:32 EDT to shout praises at the throne of God. Because of Ed.
Ed has been set apart. Now he will have to see what role the Lord has for him in His Kingdom here at 2nd Presbyterian.
Most believers have gotten beyond lying, cheating, stealing, gossip, yelling and aggressive behavior.
We now want to see how we are personally set apart for some specific purposes in God’s Kingdom.
Jesus said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” What does that mean? We can do nothing that matters to Jesus unless He first has something for us to do. Meaning it is His choice, not ours.
In Luke 5:18 Jesus said to Peter who had fished all night, “What have you caught?” Peter replied, “Nothing.” I mean, Peter wasn’t fishing for a good time. He was fishing for a living. “Nothing” means no income, no productivity.
Then Jesus said to Peter, “Launch out again and to put down the nets again.
Peter must have been thinking, “You fish with nets at night so the fish can’t see your nets.”
Peter became obedient. He put all the nets down, and I believe that every fish in that part of the lake swam as quickly as they could to those nets.
Peter was so overwhelmed with the almost immediate catch that he said to Jesus, “Lord, depart from me for I am a sinner.” Peter realized the Lordship of Jesus at that moment. He saw that Jesus was even Lord over the lake.
Listen, when you, who have been set apart for God, put down all of your nets, amazing things will begin to happen.
What was the difference for Peter? At that net moment he broke from world thinking and completely made himself available for God’s thinking . The world thinking at that moment said:
This won’t work.
You are wasting your time.
It’s time to go to bed.
There are no fish in this part of the lake.
You don’t fish in daylight. The fish will see the nets.
Brothers and sisters, put out all of your nets for Jesus even when it looks impossible. Especially when it seems impossible.
That is where He knows to trust you. He wants each of you to be separated from the world’s thinking. Then He will separate you for His trusted and needed Kingdom work and understanding.
You want to hear this: Jesus never looks for the half committed to do His work. He speaks to the fully committed. To those who have put down all of their nets.
Now the test for you to know whether all of your nets are down is how you think. This is the test. Do you say,
“I can”, “we can”, “we must.”
“I can’t”, “we can’t”
That is the test. That, you see, is not God thinking or Kingdom thinking. Because that is how the world thinks or worldly minded people think.
To be set apart is to put down all of your nets, which means all of your will and wait. Wait for the nudge or urging of The Holy Spirit. Peter heard the very voice of Jesus. He could continue in the world’s way, world thinking, “I can, I can’t. I have other things to do like sleep.” Or he begins to live in God’s thinking. Kingdom thinking.
“Speak Lord. I am listening for You. I don’t care how unimportant it looks. I am waiting for you and your directing. My ‘I’ is now Your ‘My.’”
Then you are in process. Then, how The Lord has set you apart from before creation can take place. Can be in process!
Churches can be set apart. If they have the world’s thinking, they will sink. There will be few to no fish in their nets.
Where they have Kingdom thinking, “Thy will be done not ours, then there will be fish in the nets for Heaven bound glory—like the angels in heaven this morning praising God for Ed.
When we as individual believers or we as a church do not allow Almighty God to separate us form the world and it’s thinking , “I can”, “I will” thinking, it has road block implications.
“They will be done,” and then wait, has God implications. Far beyond anything that we can imagine in space and time. Like Peter,,,,,,, when he put down the nets in the morning —listening to Jesus.
Jesus Is Lord!