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clergy February 11 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today's Bible reading: Exodus 28, 29

Dedication for Service

We christen boats and dedicate buildings and other things for service. In church and business and even the military we confer honors on people. Dedications are usually done publicly. To promote people we congregate in special meetings or at events to explain new titles, positions and authority given to those whom we wish to honor. We may even give honorees special garments or adornments to wear to distinguish them from others. We may give them an office with a name on their door and their own desk. We may even give them a secretary. By doing this we grant them dignity and respect in their new position. Though we may be accorded special respect and privileges of leadership, how we lead will win or lose the respect of our followers.

In Bible times anointing someone or something was a way of separating a person or thing apart for special service. In the Old Testament it was used for anointing priests, prophets, kings, and sacred items used in worship. Most of the time anointing a person or sacred thing was a public ceremony, done by pouring oil on the head, or smearing or sprinkling small amounts of bovine blood on the recipient to set him or it apart for special service. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ was the spiritual “anointed one” (the Greek name for Christ). He was anointed or chosen of God for a special purpose - to serve and to give his life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). Spiritually speaking, it is the blood of Jesus that consecrates us for service (1Peter 2:9 and Hebrews 9:14).

Moses was on Mount Sinai when he received instructions from God about how the high priests were to be clothed and set apart by anointing them. Special garments were to be worn to give them dignity and honor and to set them apart for service to God as priests (Exodus 28:2, 39-41). A small square breast piece, an ephod (like a smock), a robe, a woven tunic, a turban, a sash, and linen undergarments (to reduce sweating) were to be made for the high priests and their sons (descendants of Aaron, the brother of Moses). On each shoulder of the ephod, one onyx stone inscribed with the names of six of the twelve tribes of Israel was to be mounted and fastened. The small breast piece he wore over the ephod was to bear twelve jewels representing the twelve tribes of Israel. On their head they were to wear a turban that had a golden sign plate with the inscription “Holy to the LORD”. The priests were to minister with holy (dedicated and purified) things and represent holiness to the people (for picture, see more…). The priests were not only holy representatives of God but were also representatives of the Israelites and bore responsibility for them.

How do we view our leadership? Whether we are the leaders of our family, business, church, or other organization, do we realize our character and what we stand for are all important? The Apostle Peter wrote, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy,’” (1Peter 1:15,16, NIV). Do we realize we represent those under our care in their concerns? Do we realize we bear responsibility for them? The jewels and stones were visual reminders of whom the priests represented. Are there any visual reminders we could use to help us remember whom we represent? Though we may be accorded special respect and privileges of leadership, how we lead will win or lose the respect of our followers.

As in the Old Testament days of the priests and the New Testament days of the apostles, we Christians are also representatives of God. The Apostle Paul in 2Corinthians 5:20 says, “We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God,” (NIV). Like the priests and apostles who were involved in reconciliation, we, too, need to be involved in it. We need to seek to reconcile people with their creator, whether they are unbelievers, or believers who are out of fellowship with God. If you need forgiveness and peace with God, you can find it through our high priest, Jesus Christ (more...)

Lessons to live by:

  • Spiritually speaking, it is the blood of Jesus that consecrates us for service.
  • Though we may be accorded special respect and privileges of leadership, how we lead will win or lose the respect of our followers.
  • We need to seek to reconcile people with their creator, whether they are unbelievers, or believers.

Today’s Bible memory verse:

1Peter 1:15,16, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy,’” (NIV)

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