After Elijah had eaten and then eaten some more, he ran for forty days and forty nights. That was sure some powerful carbos God fed him. 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 eveything 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.
1 There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. 2 After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.” 3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” 4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” 5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”—John 3:1-8 (NLT)
Nicodemus was a leader and a Pharisee. He came to Jesus at night because he probably did not want the other Jewish leaders to know about the visit. Nicodemus readily admits that he believes that Jesus has been sent from God. He wants to know more about this man that is proclaiming that the kingdom of God is near. Jesus immediately tells Nicodemus that unless you are born again, you will never see the kingdom of God. What an amazing concept! How can a human be born again? Jesus explains that He is not talking about physical rebirth, but spiritual. It is not a physical change, but a change of the desires of the heart. How does this happen? From a human standpoint, we are unable to explain what happens inside. But just as the wind comes and goes without our understanding, so the Holy Spirit works inside us to renew us and rebirth us as children of God. We may not know how, but the work that He does in our hearts leaves no doubt in our minds that we are being made into new creatures. At the very moment that we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, the new creation is born with all the rights that come with being a citizen of heaven. God will spend a lifetime completing the work that He has started in us, but finish it, He will. 1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,—Hebrews 12:1-2a (NKJV)
12 They are like dirty spots in your special Christian meals you share. They eat with you and have no fear, caring only for themselves. They are clouds without rain, which the wind blows around. They are autumn trees without fruit that are pulled out of the ground. So they are twice dead. 13 They are like wild waves of the sea, tossing up their own shameful actions like foam. They are like stars that wander in the sky. A place in the blackest darkness has been kept for them forever. 14 Enoch, the seventh descendant from Adam, said about these people: “Look, the Lord is coming with many thousands of his holy angels to 15 judge every person. He is coming to punish all who are against God for all the evil they have done against him. And he will punish the sinners who are against God for all the evil they have said against him.” 16 These people complain and blame others, doing the evil things they want to do. They brag about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want.—Jude: 12-16 (NCV)
Jude continues to warn us about the ungodly people that have wormed their way into our churches. Some have risen to leadership positions and influence others to follow them. They are blowhards that spew out evil without regard to conscience. They are like the wind that blows clouds without rain during a drought. They promise much but they yield nothing but dryness and false hope. These ungodly people join in when we are honoring our Lord by the taking of the communion meal. They participate without accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior ignoring the warning that the Scriptures give us: 27 So a person who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in a way that is not worthy of it will be guilty of sinning against the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 Look into your own hearts before you eat the bread and drink the cup, 29 because all who eat the bread and drink the cup without recognizing the body eat and drink judgment against themselves.–1 Cor. 11:27,28 (NCV)
These people are constantly complaining and blaming others for their sins. God is coming with thousands of His angels to punish all these ungodly people. Avoid fellowship with these people at all times. These are the kinds of people to whom Jesus was referring when He said: ” 23 Then I will tell them clearly, ‘Get away from me, you who do evil. I never knew you.’–Matt. 7:23 (NCV)
5 If any of you needs wisdom to know what you should do, you should ask God, and he will give it to you. God is generous to everyone and doesn’t find fault with them.6 When you ask for something, don’t have any doubts. A person who has doubts is like a wave that is blown by the wind and tossed by the sea. 7 A person who has doubts shouldn’t expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 A person who has doubts is thinking about two different things at the same time and can’t make up his mind about anything.–James 1:5-8 (GW)
God has promised to fulfill our every need. If we need wisdom, we need to ask, but when we ask, we must believe that God will do what He has said that He will do. Jesus told His disciples that they had “little” faith and that is why they could not do certain miracles. We must have faith and doubt is the opposite of faith. As long as we have doubts, we will change our minds anytime anyone tells us “God is not going to do that for you”. Make a decision based on what you know, not what you feel. Feelings are unreliable and can be used by satan to bring us down. Study the Bible asking God to guide you and give you insight into His Word. Then you can be sure that what you ask for lines up with His Word and He will give it to you. Why would He not do that? After all, He has already given His most precious procession as a ransom for our souls. 31 What can we say about all of this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 God didn’t spare his own Son but handed him over to death for all of us. So he will also give us everything along with him—Romans 8:31,32 (GW)