The Priestly Work Of Prayer

child prayingToo often the Old Testament picture of a priest confuses us New Testament saints. We hear the word priest and we think, that must apply to some in the ministry profession. We think of the Levites performing the temple worship when we hear the word priest. But even the Old Testament gives a glimpse of what the New Testament priest was to become:

    “And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.’” (Exodus 19:3-6)

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Among Those Who Obtain Mercy

mercySometimes I need a reminder of who I am in Christ. Okay, I need this reminder most days. The Apostle Peter gives us four reasons to praise God because of whom we’ve become and have obtained:

    “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)

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Our Sense Of The Heroic

Little boy with swordLast night the incredible loss of my son Eddie came rushing back to me in a brief yet refreshing sense of grief. It is refreshing because grieving is necessary and its briefness is the mercy of God keeping us from dealing with it all at once. The knowledge that the Memorial Day weekend is upon us brought the memories of September 19, 2007 back to me again for the first time.

My son was a hero in every sense of the word. While Eddie would not agree with that statement, he and hundreds of thousands of men and women have given what Abraham Lincoln described in his Gettysburg Address as “the last full measure.” It is a sacrifice many of us imagine making but only a few are asked and even less answer the call. It is a sacrifice that our Lord Jesus not only admired but also freely gave:

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A Call To Repentance

Pray for OklahomaThe tornado tragedies in Oklahoma have once again brought to light the brevity of life and the finality of death. There will be many questions as to why this happened and why did innocent children have to die. We will have some speculate on this being an act of God bringing judgment upon the sinfulness of Oklahoma and/or America. We best tread cautiously on the last point.

Our Lord Jesus Christ was asked His opinion of a tragedy in Galilee and Jesus took the high road and avoided the obvious political trap being set for Him. Instead He asked His questioners a question, as was often His habit:

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Generous In Our Behavior To All Men

love your enemiesSo baby murderer Kermit Gosnell has given up his right to appeal his sentence “in exchange for avoiding a possible death sentence,” CNN.com reports on its “Justice” web page. You may be thinking, some justice that this murderer gets life after taking so many innocent ones. I know exactly how you feel.

However, I want to go back to what I wrote yesterday:

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A Time For The Redressing Of Grievances

Brass Scales Of Justice Off Balance, Symbolizing Injustice, Over WhiteYesterday Kermit Gosnell was found guilty on three of the four charges of baby murder. Much rejoicing was seen on social media and some not so Christlike comments followed on. While I understand the desire for vengeance, no one fights this urge greater than me, we must remember that we have a God of justice even when injustice seems to rule the land. Solomon reminds us:

    “Moreover I saw under the sun: in the place of judgment, wickedness was there; and in the place of righteousness, iniquity was there. I said in my heart, ‘God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.’” (Ecclesiastes 3:16-17)

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Good Hope By Grace

this-world-is-not-my-homeLast week was a tough week for me. Dealing with the issues of life was trying enough, but knowing what our present government has become in light of the Benghazi hearings it is enough to think of our nation as hopeless. If I were to look horizontally, that is all around me, for signs of hope I would have good reason to think of things as hopeless. But while I am living in this world, I am not of it because I am a child of the one true King as the Matthew West song proclaims.

The early church in Thessalonica felt this same despair in worrying of whether or not they had missed Jesus’ second coming. The Apostle Paul assure this church they had not and that no matter what they were facing, or whatever we are facing, the church is to stand fast in the truth of the gospel. That seems easier said then done when we are hard pressed on all sides but Paul gives us the key ingredients to rock solid faith:

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Windows Opened By Hope

Faith Climbs StairsAbraham’s faith was accounted to him for righteousness. It manifested itself in hope. Hope in what? His hope, driven by his faith, allowed Abraham to believe God when He promised that Abraham’s seed would become a great nation. This promise came to Abraham at the ripe age of 75 and his faith in God’s promise caused him to take his family and leave Haran. The Apostle Paul reminded the Roman’s of Abraham’s great hope in God:

    “…who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, ‘So shall your descendants be.’” (Romans 4:18)

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