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...to be an apostle...
The word "apostle" from our passage today means "one who is sent out". For example, in Jeremiah 1:6-7 the Lord chose Jeremiah to be a prophet when he was just a young man, "Then I said, 'Alas, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth.' But the LORD said to me, 'Do not say, "I am a youth," because everywhere I send you, you shall go, And all that I command you, you shall speak.' "
Whether it is a prophet or an apostle, the Lord chooses us -- we do not choose ourselves for the role. God chose Jeremiah to be a prophet and He chose Paul to be an apostle. Later, in Jeremiah 23:32 the Lord spoke about false prophets: "Behold, I am against those who have prophesied false dreams and related them and led My people astray by their falsehoods and reckless boasting; yet I did not send them or command them, nor do they furnish this people the slightest benefit."
Today, we might question whether an apostle, prophet, or pastor comes into our lives because he or she is from the Lord -- with God's power and authority -- or of his or her own accord. Unfortunately there are too many in the ministry today who were not called or sent by God. So how do we know the difference? I think the answer is in the last phrase of Jeremiah 23:32, "...nor do they furnish this people the slightest benefit." In other words, "They are in it for their own gain and as a result, lives are ruined by their falsehoods and reckless boasting." Once again, how do we know whether an apostle is sent by God or not? By the fruit. Disaster or salvation.
Have you been led astray? Did you miss the signs or ignore them? Were you told what you wanted to hear? For example, I personally have a problem with "prosperity teaching -- the name it and claim it philosophy" because by itself it is incomplete. To guard against being led astray by false or incomplete teachings, we would be well served to always place the authority of the written Word of God over the opinions of men. When listening to men, always ask: "Where is that in the Bible?"
There's nothing like God's Word to create purpose in your life that lasts the entire day and beyond. We encourage you to Read, Carry and Share the Word of God. Pocket Devotions are sent by E-mail every weekday (Monday to Friday). On weekends we encourage you to be creative and study on your own in any area of Scripture where God leads you.
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Pocket Devotions are written by Mike Brooks. A retired businessman, he is Moderator of South Shores church, leads the Deacon Board, serves on the finance committee, and he teaches a Men's Bible study and the Men's Ministry. Mike has a passion for evangelical missions. He is the husband of Sherry; the father of Ryan, Natalie, Krissy, Rebecca, and Amanda; the father-in-law of Ariel; and the grandfather of Conner and Christian.