WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–Embrace a passion for proclaiming the simple message of Christ crucified and a dependence upon His power in doing so, Kevin Ezell exhorted in a chapel message Jan. 28 at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Ezell, pastor of Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., where Southeastern’s new president, Daniel Akin, was a member before his move to Southeastern on Jan. 21, preached from 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. Ezell encouraged students at the Wake Forest, N.C., campus to “know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified,” as the Apostle Paul described his ministry to the Corinthians.
A believer does not need to be a flashy and persuasive orator or a renowned figure to proclaim the simplicity of the Gospel message, Ezell said; a faithful servant in love with the Savior will do.
“A man who understands the Gospel and has had a life-changing experience with Jesus cannot help but share the Gospel,” he said, pointing out Paul’s fervor in communicating the message.
“The message of Christ crucified — that is the only message that can comfort broken hearts, that can heal broken families, that can turn a sinner into a saint,” Ezell said, reminding students of the efficacy of God’s grace.
However, God’s call on one’s life to proclaim that message often will be accompanied by an assignment beyond that person’s human capacity to fulfill, Ezell noted.
“We are often tempted to operate in our comfort zone,” the pastor said. “We need to get out of our comfort zone and allow God to do things that we don’t think we can do because then He gets the glory and we don’t. …
“Never fool yourself in believing that when you leave here, you’ll only do those things that you feel qualified to do,” he said, “because God wants to use you to do things for which He is qualified.”
The best qualification in being used by God, Ezell pointed out, is a realization by the servant that he is indeed unqualified for the task, driving him to an utter dependence upon the power of God for its accomplishment.
Thus, feelings of inadequacy that often accompany a Christian’s call to serve in a certain capacity are many times the forerunners to the power of God being made great in his weakness in such a way that demonstrates His glory in a person’s life, Ezell said.
“God’s got greater things than you can even imagine for you,” he encouraged students as he closed his message. “God has called us to prepare ourselves and to use that with boldness and fervor.”
Before Ezell’s message, Akin spoke fondly of his pastor and the impact Ezell’s ministry had on him during his time in Louisville when Akin was a vice president at Southern Seminary and dean of the school of theology.
“It has been my great honor for the last seven and a half years to call Dr. Ezell my pastor,” Akin said. “Not only is he my pastor, but he is one of my dearest friends. I do not know a more faithful and godly pastor than Kevin Ezell. He is deeply respected and admired by all those who know him.”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: LEADING IN PRAYER.