Ordination of Bob Hellam
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Today we ordain Bob Hellam to the gospel ministry. This isn’t the first time He’s been ordained. Previously, a church from another denomination ordained him, but since he is a member of our church, he’d like his ordination to be from a Southern Baptist Church. After examining his faith, doctrine and intentions, our deacon body recommended to the church that we ordain him and at our last business meeting you voted unanimously to do so and to call him to be our Minister of Education.
For our text today, I’ve selected a passage of scripture that has been a source of strength to me in my ministry, Jeremiah 1:4-10. Bob, I pray that it will strengthen your calling as it has mine. Let’s read it:
“Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,  ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.’  Then I said, ‘Alas, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, Because I am a youth.’  But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not say, 'I am a youth,' Because everywhere I send you, you shall go, And all that I command you, you shall speak.  ‘Do not be afraid of them, For I am with you to deliver you,’ declares the Lord.  Then the Lord stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me, ‘Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.  See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, To pluck up and to break down, To destroy and to overthrow, To build and to plant."(NASB)
Bob, let me charge you with three things based upon this passage of scripture.
First, throughout your ministry, carry the conviction that God is the one who APPOINTED you to serve. The church may ordain you but our action is subsequent to God's--He appointed you. In parliamentary procedure, there is a distinction between an appointment and an election. An election is subject to the vote of the convening body, an appointment is not. An appointment is made solely upon the choice of the presiding officer. Our vote to ordain you, and this ordination itself is subsequent to the call God has placed upon your life. There will be times when Southern Baptists are unhappy with you, but God is pleased with you. Or the converse could be true. Southern Baptists could be happy with your actions but God could be displeased. Remember where your appointment comes from. It is far more important than where your ordination originates.
God knew Jeremiah and chose him before he was born. Look at verses 4-5 “Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.’"
Jeremiah wasn’t the only one with this experience. God knew Paul and chose him before he was born Acts 9:15 says, “But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;’”
God knew you and chose you before you were born. He chose you for salvation and He chose you for
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