“A faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior.” (Titus 1:2-3 – God Takes the Initiative Through Inspiration)
God never breaks a promise. His eternal purpose before creation was to provide eternal life for His people, who entered into the covenant with Him. He fulfilled this in Jesus Christ, a fulfillment revealed to the world in Paul’s preaching. Such preaching came at God’s command, not from human pride. Let me repeat, as it can be no clearer said than this. “Revelation comes in God’s way at God’s time for God’s purposes through God’s chosen proclaimers.”
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, we pray for all those who think they are doing enough just by attending worship services; yet they don’t attend Sunday School classes, and both equip us to proclaim the message of eternal life and salvation by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, but do not even tell their next door neighbor how they can have eternal life in the kingdom of Heaven. Tough their hearts and minds to understand that they must do more to share the Gospel message to others. Today we continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
The way you live your life and treat others may be all that some people will know of the Bible!”
“Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles an prophets. They mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me, through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.” (Ephesians 3:2-9 – God Takes the Initiative Through Inspiration)
Here Paul claimed personal revelation from God concerning God’s eternal purpose of grace. Such revelation had not always been available. God made it known through the Spirit at the proper time. Christ accomplished what God intended all along—-incorporation of non-Israelite’s into such revelation. Apostles and other preachers also received it. Revelation came at God’s time to people God chose to accomplish God’s eternal purposes.
“What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—-or at the most three—-should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God. Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. Did the word of God originate with your? Or are you the only people it has reached? If anybody thinks he is a prophets? If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored. Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues, but everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.” (1st Corinthians 14:26-40 – God Takes the Initiative Through Inspiration)
Inspiration seeks to strengthen the church, provide instruction for life and faith, encourage God’s people, and promote peace. God uses every means to make Himself known in order to accomplish these goals. Insight into God’s revealed teaching many come to any faithful believer at any moment. Worship is a setting God uses to teach His people. God’s revealed will should be shared with the church in orderly fashion. Anyone sharing God’s revealed insights should do so to help the church and not to gain personal power or prestige. Revelation begins with God not humans. He gives all gifts of revelation and ministry.
Corporate worship in the early church included several elements. Worship sought to interpret God’s will clearly to His people and to strengthen the church. God the Father is a purpose filled and orderly God working for good ends. His actions are not never random or erratic; rather His purposes are not ever-changing. When worship becomes chaotic and out of control, it no longer reflects the God of peace.
Paul rote with conscious authority from God. He expected the church to follow his teaching. No person has a monopoly on revelation. All claims to inspired truth must be tested against the written revelation God’s Spirit inspired. Paul accepted women prophets (11:5) but insisted they maintain order and not do anything in their cultural setting which might bring disgrace on the church.
The problems at Corinth called for local solutions to the particular difficulties in the church. At Corinth, eating and drinking took place in private, not at the church. At Corinth, women spoke at home, not while in church. Prostitution, associated with pagan religion at Corinth, and other difficulties probably necessitated Paul’s words. In other contexts, women prayed, prophesied, and advanced the kingdom of God in the New Testament (1 Cor. 11:5); Acts 16:14-15 18:26; Romans 15:5-7). The church should solve fellowship problems quickly to avoid hindering the cause of Christ.
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praise God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in he sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’” (Luke 2:26-32 – God Takes the Initiative Through Inspiration)”
God’s promise to Simeon was at long last fulfilled. God does not forget His people, nor does He forget His promises to them. His promises are not always fulfilled in quite the way that we expect, because of our partial understanding; but God always fulfills His promises, sometimes in ways much greater that we had expected.
God honors devout, righteous people. The Spirit revealed to a humble and devout man that he would see God’s Child before he died. The Spirit let Simeon to the right place to find Jesus. Simeon, recognizing Jesus, spontaneously burs out in a celebrative song. Simeon’s song is not directly attributed to the Spirit as was Zechariah’s but it was not less inspired. Salvation resides in the person of Jesus Christ. The fortunate ones who saw Him in the flesh saw God’s salvation. Beloved, we can see Him with the eyes of faith and invite others to join us. He stands as our only hope of eternal life. Every race, color, culture, and language group are welcomed by Christ and His witnesses. Christ has provided salvation. We announce its availability to all others around us.