When God wanted to prepare the way for His people in Egypt, He sent Joseph, a man. When God wanted to deliver His people and carry them to the Promised Land, He sent a man. When God wanted the walls restored in Jerusalem and for worship to be reestablished, He sent a man, and when God wanted to announce the arrival of His Son Jesus Christ, He sent a man. While men spend time looking for better programs, God is looking for better people. As we elect new deacons and deaconesses this morning, we can see in the life of John, the herald of Jesus Christ, several characteristics that must be in place in the man or woman that God uses.
First, the man God uses must be a man that is totally sold out to God (Matt. 3:1-2). “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea.” The word translated as preaching means “to herald, to trumpet, to proclaim, to preach.” It is a word filled with passion. John was on fire for Jesus; he was totally sold out to God. He identified so completely with God’s position on things that he was willing to serve as His mouthpiece. He saw life from God’s perspective. There was passion; there was fire in his words and in his heart. He was on fire for Jesus. The tragedy of the times in which we live is that many of those who claim a relationship with God or who call themselves servants of God do not share God’s perspective on different issues of life. Jesus demonstrated the kind of holy zeal that John the Baptist had when he chased out those buying and selling in the temple.
Second, the man God uses is a man who is ready to pay the price (John 1:23). When asked who he was, John said, “I am a voice of one crying out in the wilderness.” John spent most of his adult life in the wilderness. Matthew chapter 3 tells us that he ate locusts and wore camel-hair clothes. We read in Luke’s Gospel that John never drank alcohol. In other words, John lived differently than others around him. God said, “I’m going to use you, now this is how I want you to live.” Brethren, if you are going to be used by God in a great way, it’s going to cost you something. You may never have to eat locusts. You may never have to wear camel-hide clothes or live in the wilderness, but it’s going to cost you something.
Third, the man God uses is a man who knows his place (John 3:27-30). Brethren, God has gifted and equipped each of us differently. He has given each of us a different ministry. God has gifted everyone in this church. He has given each of us a job and He has given each of us different talents in order to carry out the work He’s given us. God has called you brethren, for a season, to serve as Him in this church, but none of us are above any others. The man God uses knows he is but one part in the Body of Christ. He doesn’t look down on others because they don’t do what he does. He doesn’t build himself up because of how he serves God or the church. He isn’t jealous, advertising everything he does so people will know what a great guy he is, afraid that others will get more recognition than he. The man God uses is a man who knows his place: a servant in the Kingdom of God.
Fourth, the man God uses is a man who serves to bring glory to God (John 3:30). Since God is the One that gives the power to serve, all the glory must be His alone.