May 11

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‘And one of those standing there said, “Can anyone become a prophet, no matter who his father is?” So that is the origin of the saying “Is even Saul a prophet?”’ (1 Samuel 10:12 NLT).

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.

“At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him” (John 6:66 NLT).

From: May 11, 2018

THE “666” OF JOHN’S GOSPEL
In John 6:66, the shocking statement that Jesus made concerning His body and blood as spiritual food, made many so-called disciples desert Him. Just as Moses had led a “mixed multitude” (Ex. 12:38) into the wilderness from Egypt, so a mixed multitude followed Jesus. On this day in the synagogue in Capernaum, Jesus separated those who only followed for the free bread, from those who followed because they truly believed.
 
In John’s Revelation, he wrote of another “666” (Rev. 13:16-18), the mark of the beast, which in the last days will cause many to turn away from God and turn to the Antichrist, in order to buy bread. Those who receive this mark will come under the “wrath of God” (Rev. 14:9-11), for they will have rejected the Bread of Life in order to eat the temporal bread of this world.
 
I suppose there are many “666” moments when those who follow Jesus must count the cost. In those moments, true believers will continue to follow Jesus no matter the cost. But false believers will turn away and desert Him.

“Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man” (1 Samuel 10:6 NKJV).

From: May 11, 2017

Samuel anointed the young Saul to be king over Israel as the Lord had commanded him. Saul had sought the prophet’s help in finding his father’s donkeys, instead he found his true identity.
 
When Samuel began to tell Saul of his God-given identity, he resisted, saying, “Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak like this to me?” (1 Sam. 9:21).
 
Saul’s identity was tied to his tribe, race, and nation, as all traditional identities are formed. Yet, God wanted to give him His Spirit and turn him “into another man,” the man who would rise above his former self and lead Israel as king.
 
Traditionally, identity has been formed by external cues, as Saul’s had been. Today, our modern culture encourages people to look within to find their identity independent of external realities, relying on whatever dreams or desires they possess. However, both of these approaches are poor mirrors of discovering the true self.
 
The true, Creator-given self can only be found in Christ. Come to Christ and He will give you a new name and a new identity. Looking to Christ, you will find your true self reflected in His face.
 
As the apostle John wrote, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).

‘But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)

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.

“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so” (Psalm 107:2 NKJV)

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.

“Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord” (Psalm 107:43 NLT)

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?

“A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare” (Proverbs 15:1)

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.