Saturday, April 19, 2014

2 Kings 1-2

The 12 tribes of Israel continue to live divided lives in 2 Kings 1-2.  The larger northern kingdom, is known as Israel, and the smaller southern kingdom is known as Judah.  God’s faithful followers are the minority while the majority are lost in evil and idolatry.  The prophets are some of God’s chosen leaders, delivering His word to those who need it the most.  The great Elijah dies in a whirlwind.  And with an entourage of prophets from Jericho following him, Elisha begins doing God’s work right where Elijah left off.

So, like always, I read, and I think through what God is telling me, for my life.  What stands out?

Elijah stands out to me today.  He has a tough job, delivering God’s word to ears that don’t want to hear what he has to say.  He is constantly having to prove himself to others as a man of God.  Yet, he continues working hard for God.  It must have taken a great deal of trust and faith on his part.  

I keep thinking about Elijah and his run-ins with King Ahaziah’s three captains and their 50 men.  All three companies have the same mission or purpose.  They are supposed to bring Elijah to the king.  

The first two groups approach Elijah with their demands and are consumed by fire from heaven.  The third and final company has success.  And I know it’s not because the third time’s a charm.  There’s more to their favorable outcome than luck of the draw.  Check out what the third captain does differently…

“So the king sent a third captain with his fifty men.  This third captain went up and fell on his knees before Elijah.  “ Man of God,” he begged, “please have respect for my life and the lives of these fifty men, your servants!  See, fire has fallen from heaven and consumed the first two captains and all their men.  But now have respect for my life!”

The difference lies in the third captain’s approach.  His success is directly linked to his willingness to approach the situation with a humble heart.

The same is true for us.  When we say we have faith, that we are living for God, that we are believers, our approach is crucial in all situations.  A humble heart is life-giving on so many levels.

Jesus showed us what that looks like in the world.

“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”

Think about that.

How might Jesus be encouraging us to shed some layers, equip ourselves in the simplest ways, and serve beyond a temporary moment in time?

I can’t be too proud to beg or to serve when it comes to working with and for my glorious and all-powerful God!  

 A prayer for today-

Dear God,

Thank you for claiming me as Your child and sending Your son Jesus to be a perfect example of Your love in the world.  Forgive me for approaching things all wrong.  

I pray for a humble heart, full of Your grace, guided by Your Holy Spirit.  Especially help me have the heart of Jesus when it comes to _________________________.  

In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit I pray,

Praise and glory to God today and always,

*This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more.

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