Thoughts on the Word
The ability to intercede for others before God is not something we choose to do - it is a task assigned by God.
It is a task He assigned to Aaron, to Jesus... and also to us. Do not treat it carelessly. It is an amazing privilege to help people receive God's grace and mercy. It is a promise that God will use us to reach the world around us. He will treat us as His ambassadors to the people of this world.
Jesus learned obedience through suffering. What does suffering teach us? Teach me? Do I really allow the hardships I face to teach me godly responses? To bless people who do not deserve it? To forgive readily? To give thanks in every situation? To pray for them? These are all commands that require obedience.
Yes, being put in these situations gives us an opportunity to learn obedience in the toughest situations. Jesus allowed it to bring out perfection in His life. I have seen it bring out bitterness in the lives of some people. To face unjust suffering brings either a heart that trusts fully in God or it makes us a bitter, broken person.
Let’s allow God to bring out His character through the suffering we face. Otherwise the noise of bitterness blinds our hearts and ears to hear what God is saying to us.
Time to Pray
Father, we all want the honor that comes with being given special tasks. Those tasks often have costs of obedience that are very high. We see the honor- but we do not see the cost. We want the honor - but not the cost.
Father, strengthen me to handle whatever comes with the challenges and tasks You assign to me. Give me Your strength, Your joy, Your ability to forgive quickly, Your willingness to bear others failures. These are not natural - but neither is the task we have been given. So today I pray for an obedient heart.
I also pray for a heart that does not allow the noise of bitterness to drown out Your Spirit. I will miss so much of Your wisdom, Your heart and Your compassion for the world around me if I allow that noise to be louder than Your Spirit. I do not want that to happen. Let the suffering and difficulties I face make me fully mature and not cause me to take my eyes off of You. In Jesus name, Amen.