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(Part 33)


February 1, 2018

Today’s readings:
1 Kings 2:1-12
1 Chronicles 29:10-12
Mark 6:7-13

We are destined for greatness as we live out the fullness of the ministry of Jesus as priest, king and prophet. To be a priest is to stand in the gap between God and His people. To be a king is to care for God’s people as servant leader. To be a prophet is to speak God’s word to His people and to the world.

King David fulfilled the priestly ministry. “Then David blessed the Lord in the sight of the whole assembly.” (1 Chr 29:10a). David stood before the Lord and before the people. He represented the people before their God. What are the ways by which a priest has proper focus on God, as shown by David?

  • He acknowledged God’s eternal dominion over the people. “Blessed are you, Lord, God of Israel our father, from eternity to eternity.” (1 Chr 29:10b).
  • He acknowledged the greatness of God. “Yours, Lord, are greatness and might, majesty, victory, and splendor.” (1 Chr 29:11a).
  • He acknowledged that God is King over all. “For all in heaven and on earth is yours; yours, Lord, is kingship; you are exalted as head over all.” (1 Chr 29:11b).
  • He acknowledged that all good things come only from God. “Riches and glory are from you, and you have dominion over all.” (1 Chr 29:12a).
  • He looked to God to bestow greatness upon His people. “In your hand are power and might; it is yours to give greatness and strength to all.” (1 Chr 29:12b).

A key to greatness is to look to and acknowledge the greatness of God. That is where it all comes from. And it is God who wills our greatness, and enables us to become great. We must acknowledge His complete dominion over us, and strive to do only His will, for His own glory.

King David taught his son Solomon the way to fulfilling the kingly ministry. What are the ways of an authentic servant leader?

  • He is strong and manly. “Be strong and be a man!” (1 Kgs 2:2b). A servant leader is not a wimp, not indecisive, not carried by emotions (his own and that of the people). He is firm and authoritative, but not authoritarian. He knows what needs to be done and goes strongly forward in accomplishing the mission.
  • He is faithful to God’s ways and is obedient to God’s commands. “Keep the mandate of the Lord, your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees as they are written in the law of Moses” (1 Kgs 2:3a). He strives for holiness and seeks only to achieve God’s will according to His ways.
  • He takes on and exercises God’s wisdom. “Act with all the wisdom you possess” (1 Kgs 2:6a). He looks not to human or worldly wisdom, which is oftentimes contrary to the mind of God. He continues to learn God’s ways and be formed in God’s mind and heart.
  • He raises his children (including his spiritual children in community) to be faithful and totally dedicated to God. He assures, in accordance with God’s will, that “your sons so conduct themselves that they walk before me in faithfulness with their whole heart and soul” (1 Kgs 2:4b). He builds up those under him, and looks beyond to the next generations.

A key to greatness is being able to build up the people of God, with firm leadership but a servant’s heart, such that God’s people are able to serve Him in building His Kingdom on earth. The king is to bring the people to total obedience to God and fervent observance of His ways. In this way will he be great, assured by God that “you may succeed in whatever you do, and wherever you turn” (1 Kgs 2:3b).

Jesus taught the Twelve how to conduct the prophetic ministry. They were to be God’s mouthpieces. They were to speak God’s word and do God’s work. They were to proclaim the gospel. They were given God’s authority, including “authority over unclean spirits.” (Mk 6:7b). How is a prophet to do his mission?

  • He is to rely completely on divine providence. “He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick­no food, no sack, no money in their belts.” (Mk 6:8). When God calls and sends out on mission, He provides and equips.
  • He is to focus on helping bring people to conversion. “So they went off and preached repentance.” (Mk 6:12). The missing first step in evangelization is the proclamation of the gospel. This is of utmost importance and urgency.
  • He is to engage in spiritual warfare. “They drove out many demons” (Mk 6:13a). Bringing people to conversion brings them out of Satan’s dominion. Thus the prophet is automatically engaged in the war that is raging in the heavens and on earth. He must be a holy warrior.
  • He is to be an instrument of healing, both physical and spiritual. “They anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.” (Mk 6:13b). He is to help free the captives of whatever keeps them in bondage.
  • He is not to be discouraged by rejection but must simply move on, looking at other opportunities. “Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” (Mk 6:11). There is much work to be done, and many opportunities that the Lord will provide.

A way to greatness is to be an authentic ambassador of Christ, representing him and moving forward his interests. A prophet speaks on behalf of God, with the authority of Christ, in the power of the Spirit. He brings renewal and liberation.

Being priest, king and prophet. The way to greatness in Christ.

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