God’s Words are not suggestions to be considered and heeded if needed; these are the words of God to help us govern our lives to the honor and glory of our Lord.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
This is the last repeat of previous published blog posts in this Follow Me series. Thanks for bearing with me while I got my life caught back up.
We could say a lot about Isaiah, but we won’t. This sort of series, Follow Me, isn’t really designed to give a full biography of any person or to do an exposition of all the Scriptures around them. All I want to do with these is capture a brief devotional-like thought that maybe we can apply to our lives.
Isaiah 6:5-8 King
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
“Here am I, send me.“What a great line, right? We should all be that way. When God calls, that should be the response of all of us. I have talked on that passage before; today, however, that won’t be the point. There’s some other important stuff here that we should all take notice of because it is critical information. The thought behind it is critical.
There is an order here that matters, and it matters a lot. I don’t see that God called, Isaiah answered, and later at some point became purified. Friends, that’s not how it works. That would be a works/merit-based system, and that’s not the Grace program.
Isaiah lamented his sin, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips” That’s repentance, right there my friend. Jesus told us, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 5:3. The realization of our sinful condition and separation from God is necessary for salvation. Note here, that nobody says we have to stop sinning for salvation. Isaiah was poor in Sprit.
“thine iniquity is taken away” The Prophet’s sin, his iniquity, was TAKEN away. It was taken, or washed, by God. Again, Isaiah did absolutely nothing to make this happen, other than his realization of his state and his apparent faith.
It’s important to see here, that God didn’t call Isaiah for a work until he was pure. That matters a lot. God calls the impure and unsaved for one thing, and one thing only; He calls us to repent and believe, and from that comes salvation. Then, and only then is God going to issue a call for us to work.
Friends, understand this. If you are working and striving in hopes that you will make yourself clean enough for God…..stop. It won’t work. Be made clean first by the blood of Jesus Christ. Then, get to work! Say those words, “Here am I , send me.”
by Robert Brock
Friday, June 14
The Priesthood of Every Believer
“And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father,” Revelation 1:6.
A Kohen (priest) is called upon to direct himself, and others, in the proper service of God: “And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons” (Exodus 28:1). The Aaronic priesthood led in worship, prepared the animals for sacrifice, administered the sacrifices, read the Scriptures and took care of the Tabernacle and Temple.
God expected the priests of Aaron to live holy lives because they reflected God to the worshipers. When Christ was crucified, He took the old ceremonial laws and sacrifices, which pictured Jesus’ sacrifice, and nailed it to the cross. “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” (Colossians 2:14). Therefore, the Jewish priesthood was no longer necessary since Jesus fulfilled the ceremonial law. He was the Passover Lamb of sacrifice that took away the sin of the world.
Peter explains that Jesus’ churches are now the priesthood. “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar [purchased] people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:5, 9). “Shew forth” means to demonstrate the faith that we preach as God’s priests.
THOUGHT: Are you the kind of priest that reflects the Savior you preach?
God does hear us, and here are some great verses from Heather to remind us!
- 2 Samuel 22:7 ESV
“In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I called. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry came to his ears
- Psalm 4:3 ESV
But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.
- Psalm 17:6 ESV
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my words.
- Psalm 18:6 ESV
In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.
- Psalm 28:1-2, 6
To you, O Lord, I call;
my rock, be not deaf to me,
lest, if you be silent to me,
I become like those who go down to the pit.
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God has a plan for our lives. What a joy to know that we are not just living according to a series of random uncontrollable happenings.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
“So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee? And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.” 1 Kings 19:19-20
So, now Elijah is finished with his crisis and is ready to move on. As we can see from the text, once he and God were done, he moved quickly to begin the tasks he had been assigned. The following has been published a couple of times around this blog, just never as part of this Elijah series. So, here it is again, as it is part of Elijah’s story and if we don’t tell it again, it will be an odd gap in our story. So, enjoy!
As we read this story, we see the great Prophet Elijah nearing the end of his ministry; in fact, he had been commanded by God to pass his mantle on the man God had selected to be his successor, Elisha. Elijah did as he was told, and encountered the future prophet Elisha plowing his fields, and cast his mantle upon him. In this way, he signified the calling of Elisha. The mantle or cape of a prophet was a sign of his station; Elisha would have known immediately what the casting of it on him meant.
Elisha was plowing with a 12 yoke of oxen. This would be in today’s frame of reference, the biggest, fanciest combine a farmer could buy. Actually, he was really not likely actually plowing on plow with that many oxen; in reality, he was probably overseeing and managing 12 others plowing with 12 yoke of oxen. Elisha was NOT some small-time farmer; he had stuff and was likely not a poor man. He was also a gainfully employed, very busy man. The future prophet was not looking for something to do; he had plenty to do.
Notice how Elisha had to run after Elijah. Elijah didn’t wait around talking, he just tossed the cape and kept on going. Elisha understood and had a decision to make. He immediately ran after Elijah and asked to tell his mother and father goodbye. He did just that apparently. He also did far more than that; he burned his oxen, his plow and all his equipment. Clearly, Elisha was never going back; he was committed!
When God calls us, do we turn our back on what and who we were and answer? Nobody is suggesting we necessarily burn our house down, or set fire to our car; the thought, however, remains the same. Too often we “follow” God but keep a handy back up plan in place in case things don’t work out. If the calling is a true one, we don’t NEED a backup plan. If we answer, God will equip and provide.