From: May 11, 2019
MUST THE ONE IN THE PULPIT BE CALLED TO PREACH?
One of the confirming signs that God had chosen Saul to be king over Israel was that he would prophesy. Saul had gone to the prophet Samuel for help in finding his father’s donkeys. But he left with the prophet’s anointing oil dripping down from his head and the prophet’s words ringing in his ears that he was soon to be king. As he left, all the confirming signs that Samuel had given Saul took place, including the sign of him prophesying.
When others witnessed Saul prophesying, they wondered at how he had come into such a calling. Who was his father or master that he could be able to do such a thing? At which school of prophecy had he studied? Who had given him the authority? So it became a proverbial thing to say in Israel when an unschooled preacher was heard prophesying, “Is even Saul a prophet?”
We still have a tendency today to overemphasize which seminary a preacher attended and under which church he was ordained. It’s not that these things are unimportant, it’s that the calling and anointing of God are so much more so. Biblical education and the affirmation of God’s calling in ordination are valuable in establishing and confirming a preacher’s calling. But it is the calling and anointing of God that is paramount. Yes, the one in the pulpit must be called of God to preach.
PRAYER: Dear Father, we pray for the pulpits in our city, in our country and in our world. May they be filled with called preachers, anointed of the Lord and filled with the Spirit. For You have ordained the Church as Your Body and Bride and You have given her the gifts of the Spirit to accomplish Your purposes. Lord Jesus, You are the Over-Shepherd of the Church. Cleanse our pulpits of false shepherds and fill them with Your anointed, God-called under-shepherds. Give them Holy Spirit boldness to preach the gospel in season and out. In Jesus’ name, amen.
From: May 11, 2016
‘ (John 6:64 ESV).
Many followed Jesus without truly believing. They had their own reasons. Some followed for the free bread. Others for the chance to see a miraculous sign. Still others followed because they hoped He would fulfill their own earthly ends. Yet, Jesus was not naive. He knew their hearts (Matt. 9:4). Today’s church is no different. It is a mixed congregation. The fellow members may not suspect, but Jesus knows who truly believes and who does not.
From: May 11, 2015
Psalm 107 opens with a call to worship inviting the “redeemed” to “give thanks to the Lord.” The psalmist then begins to remind them of God’s deliverance from Egypt. This call to worship is still relevant today. If we are among the redeemed, then we should “say so,” declaring what Christ the Redeemer has done for us and giving thanks to Him for our salvation.
From: May 11, 2014
The Psalmist wrote of the Lord’s redemption of Israel throughout history. He instructed the people to “give thanks” to the Lord for his “faithful love.” This love is described by the Hebrew word חָ֫סֶד, “chesed” (kheh’-sed), which could also be translated “steadfast, faithful, or covenantal love.” While the people were unfaithful, some found themselves as wandering, imprisoned, suffering from their own sin. Yet, God’s faithful love was always ready to answer when he heard their cry for help. When you look back over the history of your life, are you thankful for God’s faithful love?
From: May 11, 2013
Answering anger with anger leads to escalation of hostilities. The wise person knows how to turn down the heat of confrontation with soft words. What words will you choose today? Words that stir up anger and division, or words that calm and lead to unity?
From: May 11, 2012
We want to give back as we get. It’s hard to be the one who gives the “gentle answer.” Yet this is the best way to defuse an escalating situation. This isn’t being a “doormat,” letting someone run over you. It’s actually a position of greater control, speaking the truth in love (Eph.4:15), not seeking to win, but to understand one another.
From: May 11, 2011
When we answer anger with anger, we throw fuel on the fire of their response. When we answer with gentleness, we turn down the temperature. Be filled with the Spirit and bear spiritual fruit. Gentleness and self-control, for instance.