Salt & Sonshine
By Pastor/Teacher James R. Paxton

It was the spring of 1978. I was a member of the West Virginia State Police and was working on Interstate 79. I was a little south of Burnsville, WV, when God spoke a word into my spirit.

I heard no audible voice but knew it was God that was speaking to me. He said “I have called you to teach My Word.” I was shocked.  God did not release me at that time but for the next three years He was teaching me. He told me to tell the people who He was in them and who they were in Him. God told me He was sending me to Ohio for a time and shortly after that I resigned from the State Police.

Approximately three years later I returned to Clay County, WV. Why am I sharing this information? As the writer of this article I identify myself as a pastor/teacher. It reminds me of my call and of my responsibility to God to be faithful to what He has called me to do. It also underscores why I write the articles I do. It is not with pride but with humility that I reach out in this manner.

Everyone is called of God in some sense to serve Him and one another. We are all called to believe in His Son. We are all called to love one another. We are all called to assemble ourselves together in His name. We are all called to forgive one another when we are wronged, offended or hurt. We are all called to worship God and give unto Him the praise due Him. Some are called to be a praise leader, deacon or elder. Some are called into what we call the 5 fold ministry which is listed in Ephesians 4:11 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;” We also know that in the last days in which we live there will be false teachers and false prophets, wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Titles are not important but the role is. Certification comes, not from a document on the wall but by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. I don’t know how much education Noah had but I do know that he had enough of God in him to do what God called him to do. The Bible doesn’t tell us much of Elijah’s background but it tells us much about his fulfilling the call God placed on his life. Peter failed big time but the God that called him was faithful, forgave him and made him a powerful Apostle. Saul of Tarsus was very busy and thought he was serving God but he was heading in the wrong direction. When he met Jesus on the road to Damascus he was quick to repent and God used him to write over half the New Testament. If you are called of God, don’t hide behind the document on the wall and don’t try to be like someone else. Just be faithful to what God has called you to do. If it is to sing a special song, do it as unto the Lord. If it is to teach a Sunday school class, give it all you got. It is God in your life and His Word stirring in your soul that makes the difference. Without Him we can do nothing  (John 15:5).