Saturday, April 20, 2019

Covenant of Levi (Malachi 2:4, 8)

Yesterday I got up at 4am and today slightly later but still before dawn. For many it’s public holiday or the long weekend. But in seasons of Christian celebrations priests are at work and I am constantly reminded of the Lord’s calling in my life to be His priest, and uphold the covenant of Levi. The paper I wrote for IOSOT in United Kingdom is exactly on such topic. Interestingly, the five academic papers that I wrote (only one published in 2015) are in topics close to my heart, my ministry and my calling. I was given a name tag yesterday at church. I don’t why some churches are into leaders wearing name tags and now even invited speakers get to wear one.
But I was not too unhappy as my name tag simply read, “Preacher” or Pengkhutbah in Malay. It is who and what I am, a preacher of God’s Word. I don’t just share or give polite homily or devotions but I preach. Preaching is declaring God’s will as revealed in His Word. The primary requirements of a preacher are two-fold that, he is Spirit-filled anointed by God and Word-filled, master of Scripture. For every Scripture is God breathed and useful for instruction (2 Tim 3:16-17). Look at the covenant of Levi. In Deuteronomy, the Levites are to guard God’s covenant and teach His laws to God’s people. In Malachi the priests are to preserved knowledge and people seek knowledge of God’s will through the teachings of the priests. No wonder I find my calling at times burdensome. Even as I write I feel the physical effects of my preaching some 30 hours ago. I am totally exhausted after one sermon and a 3-hour long service. Tomorrow it will be double work, two sermons. I have preached from the Gospel of Luke yesterday on Jesus’ teaching and tomorrow I will speak from the two great apostles, first Paul from Ephesians and Romans and the apostle Peter’s first letter from 1 Peter 3-4. May God help me and as Moses prayed for the tribe of Levites, “ Bless His skills and increase his substance” (Deut 33:11). As priests work for the Lord they look to the Lord for sustenance through the offerings and gifts of God’s people. As Paul says, if we have sown spiritually is it too much for us to reap some material benefits?

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