“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.’ ‘Ah, Sovereign Lord,’ I said, ‘I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.’ But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not say, I am only a child. You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the Lord. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, ‘Now I have put my words in our mouth.’” (Jeremiah 1:4-9)
In Old Testament times God selected certain individuals to proclaim His message. This call to proclaim was vital to effective proclamation. God set Jeremiah apart even before he was born! On the other hand, God called Jonah in his adult years to proclaim a certain message to a certain place. In New Testament times God called people to preach His revealed truth in the manner of the Lord Jesus Himself. This call established these men as servant leaders of the Christian movement. In addition, in the New Testament as the early church was scattered in persecution, each believer became a preacher of the good news.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, today we recognize the gift of God’s Call on specific persons to preach the Good News. Let not the Gift of God’s Call go to the heads of those so blessed, but rather to their heart and mind to humbly obey the call of our Father. Today we also pray those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, for those we don’t know, especially the people in Ukraine, as they are fighting for their very lives and way of life. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Be thankful for stumbles, for they prevent falls.”
“Then Amaziah said to Amos, ‘Get out, your seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread thee and do your prophesying there. Don’t prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and he temple of the kingdom.’ Amos answered Amaziah, ‘I was neither a prophet nor a prophet’s son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore fig trees. But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ Now then, hear the word of the Lord. You say, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel, and stop preaching against the house of Isaac.’ ‘Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘Your wife will become a prostitute in the city, and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword. Your land will be measured and divided up, and you yourself will die in a pagan country. And Israel will certainly go into exile, away from their native land.’” (Amos 7:12-17)
Amaziah wanted Amos out of his territory because the prophet represented a truth he did not wish to hear. The king though of the sanctuary as his, not God’s. A messenger is often sent away for bearing the truth from God to those who most need to hear it. Amos contradicted Amaziah’s definition of a prophet. The priest saw prophets as professionals on the king’s to Temple’s staff serving the purposes of the institution. Amos saw himself as a lay person answering God’s roaring call. Jeremiah and Isaiah had very close ties to the priests and the Temple when God called them. Amos denied any such ties. He was a rural man of the soil. God can and will call any person from any vocation to proclaim His Word.
“‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.’ Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city—-a visit required three days. On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: ‘Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned. The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.’” (Jonah 3:2-4)
Jonah was initially obedient to God’s call on him to go to Nineveh and proclaim to them that in 40 days God would overturn the great city of Nineveh because their wickedness had been recognized by God and He would destroy the city. Upon arrival, he saw the large city and was afraid and instead left on a boat to avoid God’s task, but a storm came up that almost sank the boat and he was thrown into the water, thinking he was the cause of their distress, and he was swallowed by a great fish and spent 3 days and nights inside the fish. Jonah cried out to God and repented for his lack of obedience and asked for help and the fish spit him out and he was saved and back at Nineveh. He had observed the sailors praying to their gods and were full of fear; they threw him overboard to save their ship, but God provided a fish to save Jonah; Jonah remembered his task and re-entered Nineveh, proclaiming God’s message and the news found its way to the king and he ordered everyone to put of their sackcloth and pray for repentance. God witnessed the people of Nineveh obeying the proclamation he sent with Jonah and they responded immediately. Jesus was sent to this earth without much fanfare, much like Jonah, but the people began to believe Him to be the long awaited Messiah, for He preached and taught and healed people like no one else.
2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve—-designating them apostles—-that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach.” (Mark 3:13-14)
The importance of the twelve apostles or disciples became visible, for at times Jesus would take them away from others that were following with them, to give them special insight and reasoning for what He was doing and why. When He felt it was time, Jesus sent out his apostles by two’s, to preach and heal, as He had given them the power to do so. Upon returning Jesus asked them about their experiences and they were all joyous and full of what they had accomplished, but then they reported a case where there was no healing, none whatsoever. He explained to them that the power was not their own, but is was what was given to them by Him. He explained to them to lay hands on the person and invoke the power of Jesus Christ, and the power would flow through them and into the person, healing them.
This is still true today. The apostles also noted a man healing in Jesus’ name and they tried to stop him, but Jesus said that if he was a believer and called for the power in His name, the healing that took place was no different than if He or they had done the same thing. For me personally, I will always lay hands on someone’s head and call upon the healing power of Jesus, that if it be in His will to heal the person, they will be healed. I never know the answer to the question of whether their healing is in God’s will, but I know that He will do what is in His plan for the person. This is essentially a call for belief from two or more people calling on God’s plans for the one ill to be fulfilled, whether it is now (as they enter the kingdom and are fully healed for eternity or later when they are fully healed as a witness to God’s people.