Saturday, February 18, 2017

Set Apart

Today’s Bible Reading:  Numbers 3-4; Acts 25
Topic: Ministry

SCRIPTURE:  Numbers 3:5-7, 12-13

5 The Lord said to Moses, 6 "Bring the tribe of Levi and present them to Aaron the priest to assist him. 7 They are to perform duties for him and for the whole community at the Tent of Meeting by doing the work of the tabernacle.

12 "I have taken the Levites from among the Israelites in place of the first male offspring of every Israelite woman. The Levites are mine, 13 for all the firstborn are mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set apart for myself every firstborn in Israel, whether man or animal. They are to be mine. I am the Lord."


This passage points out the need that some people in society take the duty of serving God by serving in the clergy. The final plague in Egypt, before the pharaoh finally let the Hebrew people go to be free from the bondage of slavery, was the death of the firstborn of all Egypt. The firstborn of the Hebrews were spared if the door frames of their homes had the blood of a sacrificial lamb applied to them. Therefore, God ordained that the firstborn of Israel was from henceforth to be set apart in service to Him (v. 13). Here in Numbers, God has allowed that in the stead of the firstborn, the tribe of Levi would be set apart for the work of the ministry and serve at the behest of Aaron the high priest (v. 6).    


Today, as in this Old Testament passage, God calls some men and women to serve Him in the work of the ministry of our High Priest – Jesus Christ. This is certainly a high calling and one that is reserved for those for whom the Lord has ordained it. Today that calling is not as clear cut as, “I’m the firstborn in my family so I will become a minister” or, “I was born into a family of ministers, therefore I will be a minister too.” No, the ministry is not merely to be a career choice, but one must know the calling of the Lord to him or herself personally. There are some people serving in the ministry who should not be. They were never set apart by God for that service. There are some who should be serving, but have not yet discerned God’s distinct call to them. There are some whom God is calling, but they are resisting that call. I was one such who resisted God’s call to serve Him as an ordained minister. Oh, I did serve the Lord as a layman, as all of God’s children should, but I allowed other life pursuits to define my primary place in God’s society. I am so grateful that my Lord was patient with me. I have known no greater fulfillment or honor than to be among those whom God has set apart for the work of ministry to our High Priest.       


Lord, help me always to serve You honorably and effectively as a minister ordained by You. Thank You for the grace you lovingly extend to me as I continually mature as a minister for You. In worship and thanksgiving. Amen. -AP

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