Tag: appointed by God

Opening blind eyes!

Scripture reading for June 4th:  Acts 22, Psalm 111, Proverbs 18

Key Scriptures: Acts 22:12-15 “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’  And at that very hour I received my sight and saw him.  And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know His will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from His mouth; for you will be a witness for Him to everyone of what you have seen and heard.”  

Paul was giving his testimony to the Jews in Jerusalem of his encounter with Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus.  He had been blinded physically and spiritually but God sent Ananias, a devout Jewish Christian, to bring him healing and a word of knowledge confirming His will.  Paul (Saul) saw Jesus and heard Him speak to Him, bringing about his conversion and understanding of God’s will for his life.

Faith Confession:  Lord Jesus, thank You for appointing me and calling me to be a witness for You to all you put in my path.  Empower me with the Holy Spirit today for boldness and clarity, with open spiritual eyes.

Proverbs 18:16 “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great.”  

 

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The Source of Eternal Salvation

Scripture reading for November 3rd: Hebrews 5:1-14

Nothing in this life lasts forever.  The law of entropy is at work.  Brand new automobiles soon wear out or break down.  Technology that is cutting edge today is obsolete tomorrow.  Our bodies that are young and vibrant are soon old and weak!  But God has given us something that will last forever:  eternal salvation!

“And He says of Him, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”  “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission.  Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered and, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him and was designated by God to be High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 5:6-10)

In order to become the source of eternal salvation, Jesus Christ humbled Himself in complete obedience to the will of the Father and became a man.  God loved the world and man whom He had made in His image and likeness.  (john 3:16) He wanted all men to be saved so He designated His Son, Jesus Christ as a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

Melchizedek was a priest who met Abraham after he defeated the king of Sodom.  He was a king of Salem and a priest of the Most High God.  As a priest, He had no recorded genealogy.  There was no record of his birth or of his death.  This priest stands out in history because of this as a type of priest without beginning or ending.  His was an eternal priesthood.  Abraham honored Him by giving a tenth (tithe) of the spoils.  (Genesis 14:18-20)

Jesus Christ was designated by God to be a priest forever after this eternal order of Melchizedek.  He earned this right through total submission and obedience to His Father.  He offered up prayers and petitions with crying and tears while offering His body and then His life-blood for lost sinners.  He was raised up after three days to become our High Priest and the source of eternal salvation!  He ever lives to intercede for those He saved!  He is King of Kings and will rule in Salem (Jerusalem)!  He blesses the children of Abraham through faith!

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Set apart before the womb!

Scripture reading for August 5th: Jeremiah 1-6

When does life really begin?  This debate has been going on in our nation for a number of years.  Some say life begins at conception while others say it begins when the fetus is able to maintain life on it’s own outside of the womb.  Others say that at birth life begins.  What does God’s word indicate about this question?

“The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:4-5)  This scripture and others in the Bible indicate that God knows each person before they are formed in the womb!  Ephesians 1:4 states that God chose us to be in Christ before the creation of the world!  God knows everything before anything visible was even created!  What amazing insight into each of our lives!  We are more significant than we might think to God and He has a plan for each of us!

Jeremiah was set apart by God for a specific mission before he was ever born into this world.  Jeremiah was appointed by God to be a prophet.  Prophets listen to God and then speak His thoughts and word to people.  God doesn’t do anything by way of judgment without warning people by the prophets.  (Amos 3:6-7)  When God spoke to Jeremiah he was only a child–we are not sure of his age.  God told him not to worry about his youth and inexperience, but to speak the word of God.

God promised to be with him and deliver him.  I don’t know about you, but if God told me that he would deliver me, I would be asking God what I would be involved in that called for deliverance!  When any prophet spoke the word of God, it always brought some kind of response.  God used that word to uproot and tear down or to build up and plant.  (Jeremiah 1:7-9)  These activities bring conflict that sometimes cause the need for God’s deliverance!

God gave Jeremiah a vision of an almond tree and asked him what he saw.  The almond tree was the first tree to bloom in the spring in Israel and it was watched by all the people as a sign that spring was coming.  God spoke to Jeremiah through that vision that God Himself would watch over His word to bring it to pass.  (Jeremiah 1:12-12)

Jeremiah is one of my favorite prophets!  I believe that as we read through this book God will speak to us about our time and day!  Listen closely for God speaking to you and confirming His call.  Let Him show you how He has watched over His word and is still watching over it to bring it to pass.  It will revolutionize your faith and daily walk.

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Abimelech, the self-appointed leader!

Scripture reading for March 12: Judges 9-12

All authority come from God and the Bible declares that God places people in authority. (Psalm 75:6-7)  When God places someone in authority, His anointing and counsel guide that person.  The person must stay under God’s anointing and follow His directions closely.  As we have observed the various leaders so far in Scripture, we see how God has placed them where He wanted them and used them as they followed Him.

For example, Gideon was a man placed by God in a position of leadership.  Gideon interacted with God to be certain of what to do and how to do it.  He certainly was not perfect and made some glaring mistakes, but brought peace to the land for a period of time.  He had 71 sons and a large family.  When Gideon passed away, a leadership crisis arose.  The Israelites went back to idol worship and one of Gideon’s sons sought to take over.

Abimelech arose to take over his father’s place.  Abimelech was the son of a slave girl.  He had 70 brothers who were produced through his father by other mothers.  He went to his mother’s town and relatives and proposed to take over leadership.  They paid him some money from an idol temple and he hired mercenary soldiers. They then killed 69 of his seventy brothers.  Jotham, the youngest, was the only one who escaped.  Jotham spoke a word of prophesy from Mt. Gerazim at Abimelech’s coronation ceremony then quickly escaped.  He basically pronounced a judgment on Abimelech’s leadership and those who followed. (Judges 9:7-21)

The Scriptures state that God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem.  God did this to avenge the shedding of innocent blood of the seventy brothers.  Abimelech and the citizens of Schechem had conspired to commit that murder and now they would become enemies themselves!  (Judges 9:22-24)  This evil spirit would destroy them both and was God’s judgment on a self-appointed leader and those who joined with him in rebellion!

What can we learn from this today?  God does place people in leadership for our good, protection, and blessing.  When a leader follows the Lord, the people and leader are blessed.  When someone tries to place themselves in leadership by his own power, craftiness, or manipulation, then both the leader and those who scheme with him come under God’s judgment!  We must be vigilant today in our country.  Politics and media are always at work trying to manipulate people.  Politicians use religion and try to destroy their rivals.  In the workplace, people scheme and plot to get advantage.  In the church at times, people seek to appoint themselves.  Beware– God’s judgment will come on those who appoint themselves!

Shechem’s punishment: “So all the men cut branches and followed Abimelech.  They piled them against the stronghold and set it on fire over the people inside.  So all the people in the tower of Shechem, about a thousand men and women, also died.” (Judges 9:49)

Abimelech’s punishment: “Abimelech went to the tower and stormed it.  But as he approached the entrance to the tower to set it on fire, a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull. Abimelech had his armor-bearer kill him so he did not die at the hands of a woman.

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