04/12

April 12

Luke 13:22-35

Jesus teaches about being part of a household; which is a position. When He makes us righteous through our surrender, He gives us a righteous position, in His family. He also expects us to act as if we are from the family of God, living a righteous lifestyle. It’s not based on works, but on obedient reliance, resting in His love.

1 Samuel 10-12

Samuel obeyed the Lord, and he anointed Saul as king with a flask of oil that was poured over Saul’s head. The oil is representative of the Holy Spirit’s power on Saul to lead the nation. In verse 6, we see how the anointing can make a person appear to be different than he or she normally is. The anointing is a power that causes a person to speak or act for God. Samuel said, “The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.” When the anointing to preach or minister comes on someone today, it often does the same thing – falling on the person who is preaching, marking a noticeable difference. The Spirit “gave Saul another heart” – having the ability to change a person. The Holy Spirit adds authority and power to the words we speak, sometimes even giving revelation while speaking. Some have tried to fake the anointing by turning on a style of preaching or shouting, and have fooled many, but thank God for the authentic power of God that isn’t worked up or manipulated to gain influence over people. God’s power is real!

Following the anointing, Saul opens his mouth and prophesies as a sign of the anointing on his life. Saul was not in a the office of a prophet, yet he prophesied, something unusual under the old covenant. It was so unusual that there became a proverb, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

Under the new covenant, when someone is filled with the Holy Spirit, he or she will speak foreign words that glorify God. It is known as speaking in tongues, speaking in the spirit, or a prayer language. It’s unusual, and it’s God. It’s for every born again believer, receiving help from the Holy Spirit to pray and declare God’s purpose.

In chapter 10, verse 19, when Samuel proclaims Saul as the first king over Israel, he says, “But you have today rejected your God, who Himself saved you from all your adversaries and your tribulations; and you have said to Him, ‘No, set a king over us!’”

I see the same thing today in the United States and other nations. Some will elevate a president or leader rather than putting trust in God. Some cut off friendships or choose churches/pastors based on human government and political voice. I’m not saying that Christians shouldn’t vote or have conversations about their convictions, but I am saying we need to be mindful of where we put our trust.

In chapter 11, verse 6, we read that “the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard this news, and his anger was greatly aroused.” I want to point out a few things:
The Spirit of God was not always on Saul, but as the occasion demanded, the Spirit would come on him to perform a purpose (10:7).
In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit resides on the inside of us with an anointing that leads, teaches, and guides us (1 John 2;20,27).
In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is like a river that flows out of us (John 7:37-39).
In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit will still come on someone for a specific purpose.
Anger is an emotion, a tool of expression and motivation. There is such a thing as holy indignation, or a righteous anger. Jesus Himself showed anger against sin when He chased out the temple money changers (John 2:13-16).
The Holy Spirit moved on Saul when Saul heard the news. The Holy Spirit works together with us, moving with us as we follow His lead.

In 11:7, we see how the Lord used Saul to bring the people together in strength, with “one consent.” Saul unified the people with a common goal, and the enemy was defeated.

Samuel’s job in this season was to renew the kingdom. Let’s remember that Samuel was the last living judge over the whole nation. At the end of his life, he was replaced by a king, not another judge, not one of his sons. Samuel prophesied that the king would promote himself, but the people wanted Saul anyway. Samuel spoke words to condemn Israel for rejecting God as their king, but they wanted Saul anyway. I don’t think Samuel was too impressed with Saul, as we can see in Saul’s coronation in chapter 12.

Samuel says of himself in 12:2 “I have walked before you from my childhood to this day.” Each of us has a testimony of the life we live before God. Some tell of God’s rescue and restoration. Some tell of God’s power to keep and have a large impact. Whatever YOUR testimony, ALL testimonies are stories of redemption, giving God the glory for HIS mercy and grace. To God be ALL the glory and honor and praise!

Samuel admonishes Israel to continue to serve God and walk righteously before Him. In verse 12, again, Samuel mentions that God was once their king, but now they are looking for a man to fill that position in place of Jehovah. I cannot stress enough how wrong this decision was, for Israel was looking to a mere human to lead them rather than God Himself. Under whatever government you live, look to God to lead you. His form of government is a theocracy, not a monarchy, not a democracy. Also, be on guard that human government systems do not come into the church. God is merciful and blesses us, despite our human efforts to govern ourselves, even in the church. Let us not confuse civil requirements for God’s plan. God chooses pastors (also known as elders, presbyters, and bishops) to lead His church as He guides and anoints those pastors to serve Him. Too many churches have been shut down or lost their anointing because of control issues from the congregation or an authoritarian leader. Look to the Bible! God has given us His Word as a guide. Consider your individual life and your collective involvement in a local church. God’s kingdom come and will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

#covertocoverwithmelanie #covertocover #growchurches #bible #biblecommentary #melaniestone #readthebible #readingthroughthebible #biblereadingplan

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