Friday, February 24, 2012

The Still Small Voice

Elijah was discouraged.

He had triumphed at the showdown with the prophets of Baal. God had sent fire from heaven. The people confessed that the LORD (YHWH) was God and had killed the prophets of Baal! Elijah had prayed and God had sent rain to end the 3 1/2 year drought. Elijah had been so invigorated that he outran the king's chariot!

But it had not been enough. Even this great victory - this great show of God's power - this decimation of the false prophets and false gods and false worship - it had not been enough. Wicked Queen Jezebel was as evil as ever and was still working in opposition!

If this great demonstration of God's power couldn't wipe the slate clean and get things going in the right direction, what was the use of continuing the struggle?  Elijah ran away.

And he ran, and he ran, and he ran. And God graciously listened to Elijah's complaint. ("Blah, blah, blah - I quit!")

Then there was a wind so strong it broke the rocks in pieces.  That was followed by an earthquake. The earthquake was followed by a fire.

Each of these was a demonstration of God's great power! Surely God could send a wind strong enough to blow Jezebel away! God could send an earthquake that would shake her city down and crush her in the rubble! God could send a great fire that would burn wicked Jezebel up!  But in each of these demonstrations of power - wind, earthquake and fire - the scriptures say, "but the LORD was not in..." the wind, the earthquake or the fire.

After the fire, however, there was a "still small voice." The ESV translates this, "a low whisper." And at this point, Elijah recognizes that the LORD is there. And God graciously listens to Elijah's complaint a second time... ("Blah, blah, blah - I quit.")

Not so fast, Elijah!

  • God has the power.
  • God has a plan.
  • God will accomplish His plan by His power in His way and His time - Maybe by a still small voice.

Get over yourself - wait on the Lord!
(See 1 Kings 18-19)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Don't Be Afraid


The synagoge ruler was with Jesus when they got the word that his daughter had died. 
Talk about a discouraging word! 
I'm sure he was instantly crushed. 
Pain pierced his heart. 
Tears formed in his eyes. 
A wail caught in his throat. 
His knees began to give way...

(Mark 5:36 NKJV) As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”

Life is hard. Difficulties abound. Disappointment weighs us down. Sorrow floods our hearts.

But Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. There is nothing that Jesus cannot take care of, so there is nothing to fear. Trust Jesus. Walk with Jesus. Wait to see what Jesus will do to turn a terrible situation into a miraculous deliverance.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Love & Giving

Valentines Day is coming up fast and the theme aisle at Wal-Mart is loaded with red and pink packages with hearts (and chocolates) in abundance. Candy and Jewelry stores are promoting their products as the best expressions of romantic appreciation.

But where does love fit into all of this holiday fervor?
Is it fair to say that romance is not necessarily related to love?

Love is not attraction - physical or otherwise. 
Love is not a sense of pleasure derived from the object of your love. 
Love is not infatuation.

True love is a decision to give yourself for the good of the other.
True love is a willing sacrifice of self for the other.
True love is finds its joy in the delight of the loved one.

(John 3:16) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son...
(1 John 4:10) In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son...
(Romans 5:8) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

(Ephesians 5:25) Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 

Let your love run deep and strong. Give yourself - heart and soul - for life - no matter what.  

Then enjoy the holiday. Give gifts. Be romantic.




Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Exercise

I've been trying to get back into a routine of exercise.

You know the old saying, "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step? The same truth can be applied to exercise. A "routine" of exercise implies that it is something I will do with regularity. But before I can have a routine I must exercise the first day.

Getting started is hard. Since I was out of the habit of exercising, I needed to reorganize my morning schedule to fit in time for exercise. Since we have moved to a new home since I last had a habit of exercise, I also had to put together my equipment and find my exercise clothes.

Finally, I had no more excuses for procrastination and I got started, but had to start at a lower level than I had left off... And that's discouraging. But I did get started one morning last month.

My goal is to exercise three days a week.  That is the routine I desire.  But I have had interruptions. Special errands to run, meetings to attend, work to finish... So far, some weeks I only exercised one morning and others I exercised two. I have yet to exercise three in one week.

But this is how it starts. I am on my way. Eventually I will exercise three days in one week.  After that I will string several of those weeks together. Finally I will be in a routine of exercise.

It is the same with diets and devotions and memorization and pretty much everything else.

Waiting until everything is perfect is a sure way to keep from starting.