Monday, May 31, 2010

"The Ministry of Memorial"

(Friends: This was written early yesterday morning, to be send out today. Interestingly, I had almost finished writing before recalling that today is Memorial Day in the United States, the day we remember and honor those patriots who have sacrificed themselves in order to obtain and preserve our freedom. We'll conclude the series on confession of sin tomorrow and Wednesday. Thanks, Glen).

"And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial" (Exodus 28:12).

Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are endowed with priestly privileges to enter the presence of God for His glory and the benefit of others.

"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ" (I Peter 2:5).

As Aaron bore the names of the children of Israel "for a memorial," so may we do the same for those with whom we live our lives, and for whom we have responsibility to reveal the love of Christ. This presents to us a simple and effectual way of intercessory prayer. That is, we intercede for people by naming their names unto our Heavenly Father, trusting and affirming that He will work in their lives according to the perfection of His wisdom, knowledge, and purposes. This involves keeping a list of people, perhaps written on paper, or in a computer file. Family, friends, fellow believers, colleagues, neighbors, governmental leaders, and people we encounter along the paths of life can be added to our list and simply named to the Lord day by day. He knows each person perfectly, and He knows how to work in their lives in precise accordance with revealing and exalting the Lord Jesus, and with meeting their needs.

Upon this basis, our Lord will lead us to more involved prayer throughout the day for various individuals, as He sees fit. As the years pass, of course, the list will grow and it will take several minutes at least to utter the names of those whom we bear before the Lord. Only eternity, however, will reveal how our Heavenly Father worked through our daily memorial. There is a particular joy in this expression of the love of Christ working in us, and most importantly, He is glorified as we fulfill the priestly ministry of memorial made possible by the sacrifice of our great High Priest who commissions us to "bear their names before the Lord" in a simple but sublime way of loving our world for His glory.

"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior."
(I Timothy 2:1-3)

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