It is more blessed to give than receive

2Kings 4-6 Today many wish they had a double portion of Elijah’s power to eradicate this dratted virus that has us quarantined. Instead, God has given us not a double portion of miraculous powers but the power of the Word so we might bear fruit in every good deed growing in the knowledge of God. [Col1]

Elisha had asked for a double portion of Elijah’s power, and Elijah granted it should Elisha see him depart to heaven.  Elisha then used that power to give hope to the widow whose husband had been a loyal follower of the Lord but now was near destitution because her bank account was empty. The next was the raising of the dead child of the Shunammite woman. And then he healed the poisoned stew.  Elisha used his power to alleviate suffering, provide healing, and even locate a lost ax head.  Elisha sought to be of help to all of these and, most likely, many more. Elisha is an example to us of how we may use our talents and gifts to bless God’s people.

What have you been given that you can share with others? Are you actively looking to share” 

“It is more blessed to give than to receive” [Acts 20]

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Jehovah Jireh Our Provider

Trust God not man

1Kings 17-19 Today people are beginning to grumble because their comfort zone has been disrupted. They have lost their trust in government officials, others, and even the God of the Bible. They just want the problem fixed which is precisely what the wicked King Ahab wanted too.  Yet God is God, and He will not share his glory with another.  To teach the evil king and queen, God will use his faithful prophet Elijah to remind us that nothing is too hard for God. He is Jehovah Jireh, our provider.

First, Elijah needs a place of refuge from the wicked king and queen. When the brook dries up, and the food is no more, God sends him to a widow outside the land. Here God tests Elijah with the death of the child. Will he trust God to raise a little boy from the dead? Will the widow learn that Elijah is God’s prophet?  In the meantime, God provides a simple man named Obadiah to show weary Elijah the truth that no problem is too hard for God. Obadiah protected and provided a place of refuge for God’s prophets. Step by step, God provided for every need. And when Elijah was weary, He provided a replacement in Elisha to accompany him.

If He could use the unclean ravens or an unnamed widow or an Obadiah, will He not provide for our every need? Yet if God provided for Elijah, will He not do the same for us?  Do you trust Him to take care of your essentials this day? in God I trust, I am not afraid. What can mere men do to me?” [Ps 56]

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Be Discerning

1Kings 13 & Gal 1 & Acts 17 (Be A Berean)

After Paul left Galatia, grievous wolves had entered and taken captive their hearts. Paul said to them, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting…” The author of 1Kings has recorded the story of the disobedient unnamed prophet sent to the wicked king Jeroboam. Before we judge this prophet harshly, we need to stop and see ourselves in this tale.

The prophet had stood tall and strong in the face of Jeroboam to warn him! God had sent a sign by Jeroboam’s shriveled hand and the broken altar. He had refused Jeroboam’s gracious gift of a meal and rest. YET—on his way home, he stopped to rest. God had said not to eat or drink or return the same way, but not about resting. An old man approached him, saying he too was a prophet with an angelic message. Was the old man a true prophet? This is when we let our guard down! We wonder why the prophet did not ask God for confirmation. But…why do we not ask God when we hear someone say, God has told me to tell you this or that? Beware of contradicting messages; if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t. God is not a man that changes his mind. If we want to know, pray and ask for discernment. Be forewarned; the adversary can use even what seems like righteous words.  

Stay alert! Be on your guard. Check the source; be like the Bereans in Acts 17. Check to see if it is true.

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“Look Alikes”

1Samuel 8

One year when I was teaching, I had six sets of identical twins and one set of identical triplets! The children who attended all wore uniforms, so it was a challenge to differentiate between them! The Prophet Samuel’s two sons who were so similar they could have been twins but they walked in the ways of the world, not Samuel’s. It was not just one of the sons, but both walked contrary to the ways of Samuel, and they did so publicly. Every godly parent, just like Samuel, wants their children to follow the path of godliness, but sometimes children do not. We say they “march to their own drummer.” The leaders of the nation came to Samuel to give them a replacement in a king. They wanted to look like twins. They wanted to look like the nations around them with a king to rule and fight for them.  

Samuel’s heart was broken to hear the leaders say: “we reject your sons.”  But God told Samuel: “Listen to the voice of the people regarding all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them;” and remind them of the consequences of their decision.

Proverbs tells us to raise up a child in the way he should go, and he will not depart from it. [Prov 22:6] But sometimes no matter how diligent we are, some children will seek the world, not God.

If this resonates with you, know that we are here to pray for you if you have children who march to their own drummer, not God’s.

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Faith Barometer

Judges 13 

God loves all people, but not all people love God, unfortunately. When you read the book of Judges, you need to keep that information front and center; otherwise, you will miss the blessings that He has for you.

In Judges 13, we meet a barren woman and her husband. Both are godly people, but it seems that God, in particular, loves infertile women, and in this story, this woman, we will call her “Mrs. Manoah.” She, like Elizabeth in Luke 1 and Hannah in the book of 1Samuel, is barren. To be infertile is a stigma, and God hears her heart. For four chapters, we read about this dear woman who will soon have her heart’s desire in a son named Samson. It is the “Mrs.” who is busy in the field and meets the angel of God. It is she that quoted verbatim his words to her husband, Manoah. But, like Zechariah, when Manoah heard that his wife would bear a child, he needed more confirmation. And, both sons, John the Baptist and Samson would be a Nazarite.

Mr. Manoah may not have understood all the details about Samson’s birth, but he is commended for his obedience and faith as he entreated the Lord. And like Jacob, wants to know the name of the “man of God.” He needs confirmation on all accounts. After seeing the miracle of the flame and the rising of the angel to heaven, he then has a crisis of belief: “surely we will die for we have seen God.” Not so, Mrs. Manoah! She was perceptive: look at the evidence, God answered our prayer, he accepted our offering, he wouldn’t have shown us these things or let us hear things like this! How great was her faith! And God blessed her with a son.

When God speaks, do we believe Him 100 %! Or do we need more confirmation like Manoah and Zechariah did?

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