Re:Verse passage – 1 Kings 19:3-8 (day five)
And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. v.5
What a difference a nap and a snack make. I love the fact, here, that God let Elijah sleep. It feels like an epic nap because Elijah was awakened, ate, and then fell asleep again. Elijah had just had a “mountaintop” experience with the Lord, only to be followed by an extreme valley. As Elijah descended into that valley exhaustion, despair, and depression began to set in. But God knew what Elijah needed.
So, he let Elijah sleep. Then, He let Elijah eat. Then, He let Elijah eat and sleep again. Elijah thought that he knew what he needed, and he thought he knew the best way out of the situation he found himself in. We all are guilty of that at times. But God knows best. God knew that there was still work for Elijah to do, and He provided everything that Elijah needed to accomplish the work he was called to.
God knows the work that He has called you to today, so rest in Him to provide you with everything you need.
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
Associate Pastor, Preschool & Elementary
Re:Verse passage – 1 Kings 18:30-39 (day seven)
Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men.” 1 Kings 18:22
What is a prophet? Put simply, a prophet is God’s messenger. They are given a word from the Lord that is to be delivered to the people. The prophets of Ba’al believed they could summon the power of their god with their own words and actions. They believed their god existed to meet their needs. They were not divinely inspired, nor were they carrying a message. They were false prophets. The prophet Elijah brought a message directly from the Lord: there is only One True God!
Do prophets exist today? Absolutely! Today, you will hear a message directly from the Lord out of the mouth of Pastor Chris or Pastor Danny. These men have been seeking the Lord all week to hear what message they are supposed to deliver to you.
Likewise, false prophets exist in plenty today. Many of whom will tickle your ear. If a prophet/pastor tells you that you that God exists to meet your needs or that you can summon His power to make yourself more financially prosperous, they may be leading you closer to the worship of Ba’al than the worship of Jesus.
Re:Verse passage – Judges 16:15-21 (day seven)
But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him. vs 20b
There is a little bit of Samson in all of us. Maybe not so much the ability to wipe out an entire army with the jawbone of a donkey, but more so, we are like Samson in the orientation of our priorities. Many people might say that the sin that led to Samson’s demise was the 7th commandment, “You shall not commit adultery.” I would argue that the sin that most immediately led to Samson’s demise was actually the 1st commandment, “You shall have no other God’s before me.” The moment his strength left him was not the moment he slept with Delilah, but the moment he prioritized her above God. He deemed his ungodly relationship as more important than his relationship to God.
We may not be in an ungodly relationship or committing adultery (even though this happen more regularly than we might think according to Jesus) but we do choose ungodly things over God on a regular basis. Just look back over your week. How much time did you spend with the Lord? How much time did you spend on your hobby? How much time did you spend on your phone, tv, computer? Where we spend our time will show us what we prioritize. We are more like Samson than we might think.
Re:Verse passage – Matthew 6:5-13 (day six)
Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
10 May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today the food we need…Matthew 6:9-11
There is a flow to Jesus’ model prayer. Not surprising. He wanted his disciples to know praying should have both a bigness and smallness to it; the one flowing out from the other. The authentic kind of praying comes from a person who not only marvels at the holiness of God, but also longs for his glory to fill the earth. That’s bigness in praying; praying for the kingdom to come. The most authentic praying can’t help but pray that way.
But authentic praying is also small. It wonders and muses and asks about the details of the kingdom journey. How will God’s Kingdom come in my home, in my relationships, when I fail? Small praying is no less significant, because it longs to see God’s kingdom reign in the smallest parts of life. Small praying never gets ahead of itself; it concerns itself with today.
Is your praying both big and small? Try it out. It may just reorient your whole life.
Re:Verse passage – James 5:19-20 (day three)
“He who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”
Policing or shepherding – this is the choice facing all disciples of Jesus Christ regarding life together. Does Christ mean for the church to consist of good citizens, or people of promise? If it is the former, then we have no choice but to police one another in attitude, in behavior, and finally, in thought. If it is the latter, then we must submit to one another out of reverence for Christ, because the brother or sister in whose presence we stand will one day reign in glory. Jesus looked at Simon and saw the end from the beginning: You are Peter, a rock. Every interaction with him from that point took its cue from what Simon could become.
Re:Verse passage – Judges 6:1-16 (day six).
14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” Judges 6:14
It sure doesn’t seem like the Lord is with us! Do you know what it is like out there? (Judges 6:13)Gideon responded to his visitor with a complaint, and an observation. Things were not well. If only God would do something.
Little did Gideon know that God did intend to do something…by commissioning him to be the deliverer..
We tend to complain in just the same way. When things aren’t well, or not going the way we would like (big or small), we often look to others to take action, when often enough the problem and solution is staring us in the face.
Just as God sent Gideon to do something about their situation, could it be he is also sending you?
Re:Verse passage – Judges 6:1-16 (day three)
“But now the Lord has abandoned us.”
One of the most common phrases ever to make the rounds through the years in evangelical circles is this one: “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” The only problem with that is that it places an awful lot of faith in one’s ability to know where the sin ends and the person begins. That’s why in practice it just feels like “hate the sinner.” And then, it’s easy to project onto God that same way of assessing persons. If God hates sin, he’s surely going to hate you. Can you imagine that God would actually be very different than that? Gideon couldn’t. God’s big revelation to Gideon, though, is that people are not their sin. Therefore, God had never lost track of Gideon. Or Israel. Nor has God lost track of you.
Re:Verse passage – Mark 1:1-8 (day three)
“… preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins…”
The Pharisees didn’t listen to John, so they weren’t going to listen to Jesus. Pharoah didn’t listen to the nine plagues, so he wasn’t ultimately going to listen to the tenth. The family of the rich man in Jesus’s parable of Lazarus hadn’t listened to the prophets, so they wouldn’t listen to a resurrected Lazarus. Do you see a pattern here? God has designed reality in such a way that the now can prepare you for the next. You can refuse to accept the now, or you can turn and face it and let God’s Spirit teach you and form you. Is today inviting you to get ready for tomorrow? Probably.
Re:Verse passage – Philippians 2:19-30 (day seven)
“But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father.” vs 22
The relationship of Paul and Timothy is one of my favorite dynamics in the New Testament. Take a look through the latter parts of Acts and the letters to Timothy and you will see the progression of Timothy’s training. It began in such a way where Timothy was a young man in whom Paul saw potential, so he brought him on his team and invested in Him. Then we see Paul challenging Timothy, though young in his faith, to be a leader. He eventually becomes one of Paul’s most trusted companions. Paul saw potential, invested, cultivated, and sent him out!
We all have had those people in our lives who have helped shape our faith journey. They saw the potential in us and invested. They cultivated our theology and then sent us out to do the same for others. This is the model of discipleship!
Have you experienced this? Who has been a Paul to you? Who has been your Timothy? These are questions that we should ask and answer often!
Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. Psalm 36:1
The Holy Spirit speaks. His role is to whisper (loudly) the words of God deep within our hearts. Fullness happens when we listen. And His words, like seeds, buried deep into the human heart bear fruit.
The spiritual battle that rages in the human heart is a war of words. After all Jesus said, “From out of the heart the mouth speaks.” The Psalmist would agree. (Psalm 36:1)
While sin can no longer condemn, it still whispers bullets in this spiritual battle. Lies and half-truths hurling like 9mm slugs. But as children of God, the Spirit offers us a new voice, defensive measures and counter attacks.
Hearing His voice is our superpower. And eventually His words turn battlefields into orchards.