47 All the men between thirty and fifty years of age who were eligible for service in the Tabernacle and for its transportation 48 numbered 8,580. 49 When their names were recorded, as the Lord had commanded through Moses, each man was assigned his task and told what to carry. — Numbers 4:47-49 NLT
When it was time for the Israelis to leave a place in the desert and move forward, the Tabernacle had to be completely disassembled. Moses and Aaron would assign each member of the Levite tribe a particular task to achieve this, The things that were in the Holy of Holies could not be touched by anyone but Aaron and his sons. If anyone else touched these things or even looked at them for a moment they would die or be put to death. Each person had a specific job to do and a specific way to do it. Some carried the Holy objects and others carried the poles and skin coverings. Aaron and his family were chosen by God to be the priests and the Levite tribe was chosen by God to be their helpers. If the move was to be successful, each person chosen by God must accomplish his task in the manner prescribed by God. God never changes. He has the same plan in place today and if the Church, His body, is going to move forward, each of us must do our job. Just as Israel was called out of Egypt and Aaron was chosen to be the priest and the Levites were chosen to carry the Tabernacle, we are called out of darkness and chosen to be priests and a holy nation. We may not feel a calling to be pastors, missionaries, choir directors or teachers in the congregation where we worship God. But in the Church, the body of Christ, each of us has a specific task to do. Just as the Levites were chosen to help Aaron and Moses, we have been chosen to help our local pastors and the Church staff. God has a specific plan and purpose for our lives. The Holy Spirit abides in each of us so we are not restricted as the Levites were. We can touch every area of our world with the Word of God. Ask the Holy Spirit what task God has assigned you and do it diligently.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
35 Late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late.36 Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat.”
37 But Jesus said, “You feed them.”
“With what?” they asked. “We’d have to work for months .”— Mark 6:35-37a NLT
Jesus is still saying the same thing today — “You feed them”. We are still doing the same thing the disciples did, we are asking –“With what?” When we have a worldly view of things, we see the impossibilities, when we are focused on Jesus and see through His eyes we see the possibilities. What an opportuinity and what an honor it is for us to be asked to feed the multitudes. This situation with the huge crowd and little resources was an opportuinity for Jesus to teach the disciples. Even though they had walked with Jesus for quite a while and had seen all the miracles that He performed, they still had not gotten the message. I am sure that if Jesus had said “tell them to sit down and I will feed them”, the disciples would have had litttle trouble believing that, but when He instructed them to feed the crowd, that was a completely different issue. We, like the disciples, sometimes hear the words but misunderstand our part. Jesus needed their hands and feet to walk and hand out the food, He would provide the food. When Jesus instucts us to do something, just obey and watch the miracle happen. When you look at your resources, they may seem too little to accomplish the task, but there will be more than enough. There were plenty of leftovers after everyone had eaten their fill and in the Old Testament, the widow’s cruse of oil did not run out, there was always plenty to fill the next vessel. God’s Spirit will not run out, there will always be plenty to fill the next person. Our part is to be carriers, God is the supplier.
4 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? — 2 Cor. 2:14-16 NIV
In the first century, when a king or leader had conquered a new territory, he would bring the captives back to his country and parade them down “main street’. This was to show his subjects how powerful he was and to receive their worship and praise. It also reminded them of what could happen if they ever decided to be disloyal to the king. These were unwilling captives. Paul is giving thanks to God that we are led in this triumphal procession as willing captives. We are captives and bondservants because we have chosen Jesus as our Savior and King. Now, it is time for each of us “to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere”. That Word will be good news to some because they will receive the Word with gladness of heart, accept Jesus and receive the gift of forgiveness and eternal life. It will be a stench in the nostrils of those who refuse to accept our God as the only true and living God and Jesus as their Savior and King. That rejection will lead to death and eternal punishment. Just as Paul felt inadequate to do that job, so should we. As he says, “who is equal to such a task?” None of us can do this work alone, It must be Spirit-led and Spirit-fed. As Paul also explains, “I can do all things through Jesus Christ”. And so can we do all things through Jesus. It is His plan, His purpose and it is accomplished by His power, not ours. We are to be faithful and follow His example.
1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. — Eph. 5:1 NIV
We are to offer our lives as a sacrifice and a fragrant offering to God. Just as bees are drawn to honey, others are drawn to Jesus by people who live sacrificial lives.
Do our lifestyles release a sweet smelling aroma of life or a stench of death?
20 Now may the God of peace—who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—
21 may he equip you with all you need for doing his will.
May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ,
every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.
22 I urge you, dear brothers and sisters, to pay attention to what I have written in this brief exhortation.–Hebrews 13:20-22 (NLT)
When God is calling people to help spread His Word, He is not necessarily looking for the beautiful, the talented, the rich, or the strong. He is looking for people who are willing to be available and obedient. When He calls us, He prepares us and equips us to carry out the mission. Through the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead, He is more than able to provide everything we need for the journey. Remember, when He sent the disciples out He told them to take nothing for their journey. 3 “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes. 4 Wherever you go, stay in the same house until you leave town.–Luke 9:3,4 (NLT)
Our part is to be obedient, the success of the mission isn’t dependent on us or our abilities. 10 “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. 11 It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.–Isaiah 55:10,11 (NLT)
When we are obedient to God, He is faithful to fulfill every promise. It is all for His glory and honor. Post 08-11-14