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Dedicated to the Lord

This last week, I talked with several people about why the Bible tells us (in James 5, to be accurate) to have the elders anoint those who are sick. Some people think there’s some sort of power in the Elders (there is, but it’s the Holy Spirit who lives in all believers), or in the prayer, or in the oil. The power the verse describes does not lie in any of those things. It lies in dedicating the sickness to God. Anointing with oil is a sign of dedication, it’s why David would not touch Saul, though he had the opportunity (twice). Saul was dedicated to the Lord. God promised David a Kingdom, but David trusted that God would handle His own anointed (dedicated) one. Throughout the Old Testament, we see this “anointing” occur. We hear it talked about in the New Testament, and we, many times, misunderstand it: this anointing (and every follower of Christ is anointed by His blood) is dedicated to God for His purposes.

Today I am weary, even though I spent much of the day resting yesterday. Part of it is because I drove some 550 Miles between Friday and Sunday, part of it is being a Father and a Husband, part of it is being a coach, part of it is the ministry I give to the Lord and his people, and part of it is the stresses and cares and anxieties I go through. I’m tired! Though I slept for several hours yesterday, I’m weary, my body aches, my head hurts, and I feel like crawling back in bed and not getting out again for a month. I do not say any of this to gain sympathy. I want none. These things are part of the calling God has given to me. I say all of these things because I am giving my tiredness, my stresses, and my worries to the Lord in Prayer.

While I am not bringing out the oil, I am dedicating it all to the Lord. I’m giving all of my triumphs, cares, joys and worries to the Lord, because the Lord is the only one capable of taking care of it. He is the only one who knows my design, and He is the one who knows my frame. So I am dedicating it all to Him. And this is the state we should all strive for, to have every facet of our lives completely turned over to the Lord. This is where Joy and Peace come from: understanding that the Lord will provide, give, take away, and handle every part of it, and trusting Him to take care of it! May I encourage you to stop striving in the world, and, instead, give everything over to God? Jesus died to set us free, so why not hand your life over to Him? Watch how the peace of God reigns over you, even if you’re weary and suffering!

Hebrews 13:1-16

Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

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