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Friday, September 29, 2006
"Whom I Serve"
"Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, 'As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word'" (1 Kings 17:1).
Brooksyne has taught children since she committed her life to Christ in Junior High School. That's over 35 years and she's stored up many funny memories. Once she was teaching on Elijah and in describing Elijah she told the children that he was a "bold man." Making sure that she was not talking over their heads, she asked her preschoolers what the word "bold" meant. Little three year old Mandy quickly raised her hand and with much confidence answered, "He didn't have no hair."
Elijah is certainly among the greatest characters of the Bible. We have no background information on him except for the information found in the daily text, "the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead", which is how he is introduced into the Biblical narrative.
He served God during the notoriously wicked reign of Ahab and Jezebel. He is distinct in the manner of his exit from this world and for later standing with Jesus and Moses at the Mount of Transfiguration.
He boldly approached the wicked, polytheistic king with an eternally true declaration: "As the Lord, the God of Israel lives." Today, some 2,850 years later we who follow Christ likewise proclaim, "The Lord lives". And He is alive forevermore!
But it's the next phrase in the Biblical text that especially grips my heart as I prepare this encouragement. Only three, simple, monosyllabic words, "whom I serve." That was a bold stand to take before the wicked king.
Prosperity, along with spiritual apostasy (falling away from the faith), characterized the reign of Ahab. That's an interesting parallel to world conditions today, isn't it? Ahab, though a descendant of Abraham, didn't want to hear from this prophet and set out to kill him as a result of this prophecy of drought. And there are plenty today that don't want to hear anything from those who represent the living God.
Today we need men and women, teenagers and children, all around the world, who like Elijah will unashamedly declare their faith in the living God. May we personally proclaim, "The Lord lives, whom I serve" and boldly confront our apostate culture. How can we do that today?
Be encouraged today,
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
Today's Prayer: Jesus, I boldly declare that You are the living God whom I serve. Only a God like You can turn evil into good, exchange sorrow for joy, or offer life beyond the grave. May I fearlessly proclaim You to be the Lord and Savior of my life and tell of all Your wondrous deeds. I join with the apostle Paul in asking that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel to those who have not yet heard or comprehended its meaning for their lives. Amen.
PS: In light of the little girl's remark it's interesting that Elisha, who succeeded Elijah as prophet, was mockingly called "baldhead" in 2 Kings 2:23.
Earlier this week I mentioned a billboard that prompted a message titled "Who's It All About." Here's a photo of that billboard.
We found a song new to us that reinforces today's message titled Everliving God. (This is an mp3)
Through the years we have had a lot of humorous experiences in our service for the Lord (let alone family life) On this page we share several of our memories, along with some that daily encouragement readers have sent us.
Barn Sing-along - everyone welcome! Although we realize this invitation only applies to a relative few who receive our daily encouragement messages locally we would like to invite our readers to a Praise and Worship service on October 14 at my Amish neighbor's barn. We will also have another neighbor with his tractor and wagon for an authentic hay ride prior to the worship service. Brooksyne will be leading the worship. More details will be forthcoming. Contact us if you would like to come and need directions.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
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