“Get Up and Eat…”

7 Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.”— 1 Kings 19:7 NLT

1 KIngs 19:1-8 NLT

God had just used Elijah to defeat the 400 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, after that, God had given Elijah supernatural physical strength so that Elijah could catch and outrun Ahab’s chariot to Jezreel.  Now, Jezebel had threatened his life.  She promised to kill him before twenty-four hours had passed.  After seeing the miracles God had just performed, how could any human being think that they could do anything to one of God’s chosen people?  Even worse, after all Elijah had experienced, how could he possibly believe that God could not protect him from the threats of Jezebel?  Is the God on the mountain not still God in the valley?  Yes, He is!  We want to spend our lives living mountain top experiences.  We should take notice that there is very little life on the mountains above the timberline.  The view is great and the atmosphere is exhilarating, but there is not enough dirt or oxygen to sustain life.  The life-giving elements are down in the valley and we need to spend some time there as well.  Elijah was having his valley experience, wallowing in self-pity, as we so often do.  God said “get up and eat”.   He was preparing Elijah for a journey that would take all of his strength.  When God calls us to do a work, He always provides everything we need to accomplish the task.  It is up to us to decide whether or not we are going to “eat” the spiritual food that will prepare us for the trip through the valley and to the next mountaintop.  If  we don’t eat the spiritual food God provides, the road will be rough and the journey will be miserable.  But if we do eat and prepare, the road will seem to be smooth and the journey will be a joy as we experience the presence of Jesus leading us home.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – An

“Take Nothing For Your Journey”

2 Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes. — Luke 9:2-3 NLT

Luke 9:1-10 NLT

If Jesus told us to go on a mission taking no money, food or clothes, what would our reaction be?  Do we really trust God to completely supply our every need?  Do we trust Him to protect us from every harm that comes our way?  If not, we must ask ourselves, why not?  Has He ever failed on a promise?  Is our salvation not secure?  If He was able to do this for the disciples, is He not able to do this for us?  Every disciple came back safe and sound.  God had provided their every need.  We think “Oh, but society is different now, we wouldn’t be safe and people now are not as generous as they were back then.”  Again, we are guilty of wrong thinking and allowing ourselves to be deceived by satan.   The right question is “Isn’t God still God, can He not do today what He did then”?  And the right answer is “Yes He is and yes, He can.” If the people won’t feed us, then God can use another method, just as He did when the ravens brought meat to Elijah.  Either we believe that God can and will or we don’t believe that He can and will.  In a war zone, there is no neutral ground and we are living in a war zone.  There is a war going on around us right now.  We may not see the spiritual warriors fighting the battles, but we see the results of those battles around us every day.   We see people who are deceived and refuse to believe the truth.  They have eyes to see but they don’t see.  They have ears to hear but they don’t hear.

 Ephesians 6:10-18 NLT

Corinthians 10:3-6 NLT

“The G​o​spel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“I AM the Messiah”

26 Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah! — John 4:26 NLT

John 4:21-30 NLT

The trip from Judea to Galilee took Jesus through Samaria.  It was a rough journey and Jesus, in His human form, was subject to becoming tired and weary, just as we are.  The Samaritans and the Jews were not on the best of terms and rarely, if ever, spoke to each other.  Yet, Jesus began to talk to this Samaritan woman and tell her things about her past and her present situation. She realized that He was a prophet and began to question Him about the difference in the traditions of how the Samaritans and the Jews worshipped God.   Jesus began to explain these things to her and tells her that was the way things were but those things were changing.  The Samaritan woman says that she knows things will change when the Messiah comes.  It is then that Jesus reveals to her that He is the Messiah for whom she has been waiting.  Jesus uses the words “I AM”.  The same words that God had used when Moses asked God, “who shall I say is sending me?”  Hearing these words, she immediately becomes a missionary and runs to tell the whole town about Jesus.  When Jesus touches us, we have to tell somebody.  Do we still have that burning desire to tell people about Jesus, the Messiah, the great “I AM” or has the fire gone out?  If we no longer have that desire to tell others about Jesus, perhaps it is time to ask God to light the fires again.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“What Are You Doing Here?”

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But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” — 1 Kings 19:9b NLT

1 Kings 19:8-18 NLT

After Elijah had eaten and then eaten some more, he ran for forty days and forty nights. His journey took him to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. This was the mountain on which God had given Moses the tablets of the Ten Commandments. God speaks to Elijah and asks him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” I imagine Elijah might have been wondering the same thing. Elijah answers by registering his complaint about being the only prophet left in Israel. God instructs Elijah to stand before Him on the mountain. Then, God sends a mighty windstorm, an earthquake and a fire, but God was not in any of those things. When we are wallowing in self-pity, it takes a lot to shake us up and get our attention. After God got Elijah’s attention, He spoke to in a gentle whisper. No yelling, no screaming, no rebuke, just a gentle whisper. Then, God reassures Elijah that he is not alone, there are at least 7000 other prophets that God has kept from bowing their knee to Baal. No matter the situation, God is always so gracious to us and reassures us that everything is okay. He is God everywhere and all the time! We are never alone and we are never given more than we can bear. Yet, we still fail, moan and complain and God comes to us wherever we are, wraps His arms of love around us and comforts us.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Get Up and Eat”

7 Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.” — 1 Kings 19:7 NLT

1 KIngs 19:1-8 NLT

God had just used Elijah to defeat the 400 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, after that, God had given Elijah supernatural physical strength so that Elijah could catch and outrun Ahab’s chariot to Jezreel.  Now, Jezebel had threatened his life.  She promised to kill him before twenty-four hours had passed.  After seeing the miracles God had just performed, how could any human being think that they could do anything to one of God’s chosen people?  Even worse, after all Elijah had experienced, how could he possibly believe that God could not protect him from the threats of Jezebel?  Is the God on the mountain not still God in the valley?  Yes, He is!  We want to spend our lives living mountain top experiences.  We should take notice that there is very little life on the mountains above the timberline.  The view is great and the atmosphere is exhilarating, but there is not enough dirt or oxygen to sustain life.  The life-giving elements are down in the valley and we need to spend some time there as well.  Elijah was having his valley experience, wallowing in self-pity, as we so often do.  God said “get up and eat”.   He was preparing Elijah for a journey that would take all of his strength.  When God calls us to do a work, He always provides everything we need to accomplish the task.  It is up to us to decide whether or not we are going to “eat” the spiritual food that will prepare us for the trip through the valley and to the next mountaintop. 
If  we don’t eat the spiritual food God provides, the road will be rough and the journey will be miserable.  But if we do eat and prepare, the road will seem to be smooth and the journey will be a joy as we experience the presence of Jesus leading us home.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“I Will Never Again Remember Their Sins “

even-smaller-bug-light1

12 For I will be merciful regarding their wrong deeds,​ and I will never again remember their sins.”​ – Hebrews 8:12​

In yesterday’s passage, we read about erecting landmarks and altars to remind us of the goodness of God.  We were reminded of how He provides for us and watches over us so that we might proceed safely on our journey.  He has established a new covenant with us beginning with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Instead of an earthly high priest, Jesus is our high Priest.  He has made each of us members of the royal priesthood.  We can now speak directly to God Himself.  He is the complete, final sacrifice so that it is no longer necessary for us to carry out the rituals required in the Old Testament.  Along with that new covenant, He has written His laws in our hearts and in our minds.  He has chosen to forget our sins against Him  The Holy Spirit testifies that this is true.  ( Hebrews 10:14-18).  Just as God forgives and forgets our sins, we are to forgive others. To do that, we are going to have to go back through the memories of our lives and tear down some mental landmarks.  All those memories that bring back the times we have felt or actually been mistreated are going to have to be dealt with and released into God’s captivity.  As humans, we may not be able to forget entirely, but if we follow the instructions given us in 2 Cor. 10:3-5 to bring every thought captive and teach them to obey Christ, then we will find that it is completely possible to make those bad times in our lives insignificant.  If not insignificant, then, at least, no longer worthy of mentioning.  Otherwise, they become the roots that produce fruits of bitterness.  Give those thoughts to God and allow Him to tear down the landmarks before they become strongholds that keep our relationship with God from growing into maturity.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Confidently Looking Forward”

10 Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God. – Hebrews 11:10

Hebrews 11:8-10 NLT

Abraham responded to the call of God in faith and started on a journey to a distant land not knowing where he was going.  He didn’t ask God for a map of the whole journey, he just obeyed day by day. We keep asking God for His will for our life when all we really need to know is what does He want us to do right now. Does that mean that we live haphazard, unprepared lives?  No, we can see that Abraham immediately prepared to go on a journey  He packed up everything and started in the direction God told him.  He prepared his family and himself for the journey without knowing the way or when the journey would end.  Like Abraham, we don’t know the path or the amount of time we will be required to travel on the journey.  God wants us to be like Abraham, prepare and pack for the journey but trust Him to direct our paths.  Trust Him to take us to the Promised Land.  Just as Abraham was sometimes disobedient and got off the straight and narrow path so do we.  Through all of Abraham’s errors and sufferings, God was faithful and brought him back to the path.  He does the same thing for us and more. He is living within each of us giving us directions constantly if we are listening and praying.  When we fall, He picks us up, forgives us, loves us and encourages us to go on. We live in tents of flesh here on earth and some day we will shed those tents and take our final segment of the trip that leads to the city “whose architect and builder is God” where we will receive our inheritance along with Jesus. Focus on Jesus and keep our eyes on the prize!

17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.— Romans 8:17 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Father, Bring Glory to Your Name”


28 Father, bring glory to your name.”  Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.” – John 12:28 NLT

Glory

God the Father confirms that what is planned will bring glory to His name and that Jesus is doing what He has come to earth to accomplish. Even after hearing the voice that some thought sounded like thunder and others thought was the voice of an angel. they still did not understand and believe. Jesus tells them that the voice was for their sake, not His. He is completely confident that He is doing exactly what He is supposed to do. The world was judged to be sinful and all that sin was put on Jesus. The very moment that Jesus dies, God accepts His sacrificial death as payment for all of our sins. The master plan of satan has been defeated. Now it is up to each of us to believe this and accept it. God made the plan of salvation simple enough for a child to understand and accept. But that acceptance is just the first step on a journey with our Savior and Lord. The journey might get rough in spots, but His grace is more than sufficient to carry us.

Grace

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 05-19-2020

“Focus On Things That Are Above”

1. Since you were brought back to life with Christ, focus on the things that are above. – Col. 3:1 GW

Col. 3:1-8 GW

Paul tells us in Romans about the struggle he had with the flesh. He always wanted to do right, but found himself doing the wrong things. He knows what is right, but doesn’t always live up to that standard. We have the same struggle and as long as we are in this tent of flesh, we will always have it. We have to put to death our fleshly desires and focus on Jesus. The devil wants to keep us “sin-minded’”, but we need to follow after God’s Holy Spirit and be “Christ-minded”. If we have the mind of Christ, His attitude, and if we always try to see things through His eyes, then we can focus on things above and those fleshly desires will become less and less important. This does not mean that we live in some fantasy world, but rather, that the things of Christ become more real to us as we mature in our journey with Him.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 10-01-2019

“Take Nothing For Your Journey”

3 “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes.— Luke 9:3 NLT

Luke 9:1-6 NLT

The apostles spent somewhere between 2 and 3 years walking with Jesus. They learned about the Kingdom of God from His words and His actions. Over and over, they were amazed at the miracles He performed. And John tells us that if all the miracles that Jesus performed had been written down in books, the whole world would not be able to contain them. Wouldn’t it be great to have been an apostle with Jesus at that time? Maybe, maybe not. Re-read verses 3 and 4. Would we really jump at the chance to follow those instructions? I think most of us would not want to leave our comfort zones and go on such a mission. Salvation is free and simple. but walking out the whole plan is tough. “Lay down your life, take up your cross and follow me.” Do you hear the call?

Luke 9:23-26 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 09-03-2019