Numbers 1-2 It has been two full years and still, the people are no closer to the Promised Land than the last experience of the Passover night or their exodus from Egypt. Yet, God’s plan is to bring the Israelites to the Promised Land. As part of that plan, He has Moses begin numbering the men twenty years and older to be His servants in peacetime and in war. What we lack in comprehension, the Holy Spirit reveals to us in our understanding. God wants us to know that He is a God of details. He knows when a sparrow falls; He knows each hair on your head. God has a plan, and your name was on it from eternity past.
God knew that Moses needed others to serve, and God devised a plan for His people. From every tribe, men were to be ready to serve in whatever capacity God had planned. That was then, and it is the same today. God cares for you, and He has chosen you for His kingdom’s work. He calls you His servant. A servant serves others even when inconvenient, whether he or she dislikes the duty. The circumstances are unimportant. God is looking at our heart’s attitude towards His work.
In eternity past, He chose you and me for His work, and God did all of that so men who are in spiritual darkness will hear the good news. He uses people like you and me. Amazingly God wants to be glorified through us. Stop and think about that today and praise God for His lovingkindness that He chose you for His work. It is called evangelism.
What work are you doing today that will glorify Him?
Exodus 33 to 35 Prayer is the believer’s entrance into the Most Holy Place of God. The Tabernacle building held the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place, which held the Ark of the Covenant. The High Priest passed through the Veil to the Most Holy Place only once a year – the Day of Atonement. The cry of Jesus, ‘it is finished’ tore that Veil from top to bottom so that all may enter. “He entered once for all into the Most Holy Place not by the blood of goats and calves but by his own blood, and so he himself secured eternal redemption.” [Heb 9:12] The prayers of God’s people are now heard, not through an intermediary, but all are welcome into the most sacred place.
In this most sacred place, we are confronted with the character of God: “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, and abounding in loyal love and faithfulness, keeping loyal love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” [Ex 34:5-7] In our time of praise to the Most Holy Father, we are comforted and reminded that we are, as He said, “a stiff-necked people” in need of His sovereign grace.
Spend time in prayer today thanking Him for the sacrifice of Jesus so that we may enter His presence, as a people who have been rescued from the coming wrath. [1Thess 1:10]
John 1 How often do we not “recognize” the Messiah? And so it was that God, after 400 yrs. of silence, sent John the Baptist to reveal Him. John testified: “This is the One!”
The news reverberated around Israel, so the Jewish leaders sent priests and Levites in their flowing robes from Jerusalem to find this man they had heard about. They joined the many that walked miles through the desert to find this man everyone was talking about.
“Grumble, grumble, complain! Why are we out in this god-forsaken desert? Why doesn’t he come to the Temple?” On top of that, when they found him, John was dressed in his camel-skin garment, eating locusts and honey, and baptizing others in the River Jordan! This is the man with the answers? With eyes rolling, they stood on the riverbank and peppered him with questions: Who are you? Are you Elijah? Are you the Prophet? Why are you baptizing? John answered no to each question.
Are you at the place of the questioners? Like the religious leaders you too may not have recognized the Messiah yet, but if you are willing to allow God’s Spirit to speak, He will reveal Him to you. Then if you receive Him, you too will become a child of God.
It is just that simple! Recognize Him. Receive Him. He will reside in you!
Luke 24 It is good to rehearse Luke 24 and the Resurrection story to remind us that Jesus has power over life and death and especially in this COVID scene when so many have perished. In the first century, the deceased’s names were marked only by a stone. On the morning of the first day, the women returning to anoint the body of Jesus were astounded to find the tomb disturbed and the seal broken. What would you think? Instead of a deceased body, two angelic figures asked them why they had come to the graveyard. Why are you sad? He is not here; he has risen just as he said.
Jesus was not, as Paul reminded the Athenians, a deity like gold or silver, an image made by human skill or imagination [Acts 17], but He, the very God of the very God, has risen from the dead.
The women and the two Emmaus walkers were asked; have you forgotten His words? Like them, we are slow of heart to believe. We have forgotten because we have not studied the OT scriptures which speak of Him, but when we open His Word, the Holy Spirit speaks, and our hearts burn within us.
The women and the two Emmaus walkers excitedly returned to tell the good news—HE HAS RISEN JUST AS HE SAID! How does this truth affect your heart?
Isaiah 61 Have you ever said: What does God want me to do? Messiah didn’t have that problem. He knew that the Lord had chosen and commissioned him. We may be centuries apart, but the Israelites to whom Isaiah was writing and speaking had the same questions you have.
Listen as Isaiah allows Messiah to speak. “I have been anointed for the service of the Lord.” Centuries later, the Apostle John wrote: “Nevertheless you have an anointing from the Holy One,” [1 Jo 2:20] Peter wrote: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” [1 Pet 2:9]
Messiah knew his calling, his anointing, and the reason God chose Him. He would encourage the poor, help the brokenhearted, and free those imprisoned by sin. God gave him spiritual insight to see men’s desperate need for healing of the soul, mind, and body. Today, this same Holy Spirit has anointed you to fulfill these same areas of need in the lives of those around you.
Has God shown you someone that needs a refreshing word from the Lord? It might be a parent who has a child that has made a wrong choice, or someone has lost their job, a pastor who has heavy responsibilities, a missionary in a far off land that is lonely—or just perhaps a friend or an acquaintance.
Remember, God has called each of us to fulfill the Great Commission.