Posts Tagged ‘hope’

A Double Portion of God’s Spirit

July 8, 2014

A Double Portion of God’s Spirit

2 Kings 2:9: When they came to the other side, Elijah said to Elisha, “What can I do for you before I am taken away?” And Elisha replied, “Please let me become your rightful successor.”

What do you want most in life? Riches? Honor? Fame? Glory? Popularity? Pleasure?

These are all nice things, and God does give them to some people. But most of us have to be happy with our lot in life. There’s not much we can do to change that.

There is one thing, though, that you can ask of God. It’s found in the Bible passage we’re looking at today. Elijah was about to leave the earth and go to heaven. His disciple, Elisha, followed him down to the river. There, Elijah asked Elisha what he most wanted. Elisha was about to become a great prophet. Surely he could have anything he wanted, like Solomon did.

But Elisha had his mind on only one thing. He wanted a “double portion” of the Spirit that Elijah had had, as it’s written in other translations. What does that mean? He wanted twice the joy, twice the love, twice the peace and twice the power that Elijah had.

Isn’t that amazing? You know what is more amazing? Elijah gave it to him, in the name of God.

If you want to ask God for something special today, think about asking for a double portion of his Spirit. Your life will never be the same.

Prayer: Lord, grant to me that double portion so I can serve you doubly well. Amen.

Proven Once and For All

July 5, 2014

Proven Once and For All

1 Kings 18:39: And when the people saw it, they fell on their faces and cried out, “The LORD is God! The LORD is God!”

Do you ever wish God would simply show himself? That he would do a little miracle, just to prove he’s there? That he’d come down and talk to you, just for a minute?

People all through history have asked God to prove himself. “Where are you? Come down and show yourself. Don’t hide. We want to see you.”

God showed himself like that a few times in history. During the days of Noah, when the flood happened, God showed his power. In the time of Moses, when God sent plagues on Egypt and did miracles for Israel, God proved himself nearly every day. Then in the time of Elijah and Elisha, God performed many miracles. Finally, the age of Jesus and the apostles was filled with miracles.

In this Bible story about Elijah, we see God doing a stupendous miracle. Elijah challenged the idol-worshipers to a duel. When their god did nothing, Elijah called on the true God to send down a bolt of lightning. God answered immediately, and all the people fell on the ground. “The Lord, he is God!” they cried.

Why doesn’t prove himself these days? Actually, God often does prove himself. People see answers to prayer every day. We have the Bible, too, which is full of miracles. Many times people are healed in response to prayer. Don’t demand that God prove himself; instead pray. The answers you see will be proof enough.

Prayer: Lord, let me not demand proofs as much as study your word as the best proof. Amen.

He Did Right

July 1, 2014

He Did Right

 

1 Kings 15:11: Asa did what was pleasing in the LORD’s sight, as his ancestor David had done.

 

If you had someone write a line or two about you in the Bible, what would you like them to say?

 

“He sinned constantly.”

 

“She was a decent person, but she didn’t follow God.”

 

“He made some mistakes, but he always turned back to God.”

 

“She did right in the sight of God!”

 

When you read about the history of Israel, you will find this expression “he did right in the sight of God” frequently. The authors of 1 and 2 Kings, and 1 and 2 Chronicles, often referred to a king’s reign that way. Such kings weren’t necessarily powerful, like King Saul. Or famous, like King David. Or fabulously rich, like King Solomon. But they did one thing right: they did right in the sight of God.

 

How would you like that as the one sentence about you? It’s a good one, isn’t it? “He did right.” It means the person obeyed God’s commandments. He worshiped God. He took God seriously. And God blessed him mightily.

 

What can you do to “do right in the sight of God” today?

 

Prayer: Jesus, may I do right all my days. Amen.

Hanging with who?

June 27, 2014

Be Careful Whom You Hang With

 

1 Kings 11:3: He had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. And sure enough, they led his heart away from the LORD.

 

Hanging around with the wrong people can lead to disaster.

 

King Solomon is a perfect example. He liked having beautiful women around him. He enjoyed making them his wives. In those days, some kings of Israel practiced polygamy. Solomon went to such an extreme that he married 700 women during his reign.

 

God had warned the kings of Israel not to marry foreign women. He also warned them not to have multiple wives. Solomon disobeyed both laws.

 

Those wives from other countries worshiped idols. This was also forbidden. But apparently, Solomon didn’t care. He was the wisest man who ever lived, yet he acted stupidly in this matter.

 

Those wives liked worshiping idols. They told Solomon about it. They pestered him. They nagged. “Come, worship Baal.” Or, “It’s not hard. Try my goddess, Ashtoreth.”

 

Solomon was sucked in. He began to worship idols. God became very angry. He punished Solomon by taking half his kingdom from his son, Rehoboam.

 

Who you hang with matters. Bad people want to do bad things. They will drag you into sin, if you’re not careful. Choose your friends wisely. It’s a matter of life and death.

 

Prayer: Father, help me always to choose good friends to hang with. Amen.

God Deserves the Best

June 20, 2014

God Deserves the Best

 

1 Kings 8:10: As the priests came out of the inner sanctuary, a cloud filled the Temple of the LORD.

 

Does God deserve the best from us? Our best praises? Our best service? Our best love?

 

            King Solomon thought so. He wanted to build God a place to live on earth. It would be the most magnificent temple ever built. He called for the most skilled workmen. He paid for the best gold, silver and wood. He commanded the whole nation of Israel to work on the temple with all their hearts.

 

It took years. But one day it was done. The greatest temple the world has ever seen was finished. In fact, Solomon’s Temple is known as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, along with the hanging Gardens of Babylon, the pyramids of Egypt and the Colossus of Rhodes. Solomon outdid himself.

 

Was God pleased? You bet. God came down and dwelt into the holy of holies deep inside the temple. There, a cloud filled the temple, shining and glorious. This was to be God’s home on earth.

 

Solomon’s Temple has long been destroyed. But God has other temples to live in. Do you know what they are? The hearts of his people. God makes our heart his home while on earth. Have you given your heart to God for him to dwell in?

 

Why not tell God right now that you want him to make a temple of your heart? That you’d like him to live inside you?

 

Prayer: Jesus, come live in my heart and make it your home. Amen.

An Amazing Offer

June 17, 2014

An Amazing Offer

 

1 Kings 3:5: That night the LORD appeared to Solomon during in a dream, and God said, “What do you want? Ask and I will give it to you.”

 

What if God appeared in your bedroom and said, “Ask whatever you want. I will do it for you. Anything.”

 

What would you ask for? A new video game? A special friend? Straight A’s in school? Money?

 

Unfortunately, God made such an offer only once in history. He came to King Solomon, the new king of Israel, and offered to give him anything. Solomon, perhaps in a stroke of genius, asked for just the right thing: wisdom to lead his people. God liked that request, and gave him wisdom. But he also threw in wealth, grandeur, power, fame and plenty of friends, too, just because Solomon had answered so wisely.

 

Would you ask for wisdom, if God gave you that choice? Through wisdom you can live a successful, happy life. Through wisdom, you can solve your problems with speed and skill. With wisdom in your heart, you might become an adviser to a president, or you might even become a president. Wisdom is the key to many things.

 

You know what? God offers you the same thing right now. He will give you wisdom, if you ask him, the same kind he gave Solomon.

 

Why not ask God to start giving you wisdom today? You’ll be surprised at what happens, if you do.

 

Prayer: Lord, give me wisdom that I might be great at what I do. Amen.

God Is a Rock

June 8, 2014

God Is A Rock

 

2 Samuel 22:2-3: The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold, my high tower, my savior, the one who saves me from violence.

 

Have you ever come upon a huge rock – in the forest, by a lake, or in your back yard? How do you feel when you stand on that rock? Doesn’t it give you a feeling of solidity – like no one could knock you off?

 

The Bible calls God our rock because like a rock, we feel strong when we stand on him. A rock seems powerful, centered, unmovable. No matter how much blasting and hitting someone might do, that rock won’t budge.

 

God is our rock. When we stand on him, we find stability, security, strength. He won’t move. He’s powerful, and like a rock, no one could overcome him.

 

God is your rock in three ways:

 

1. He provides stability and strength. You won’t be defeated or overwhelmed when you’re standing on him.

 

2. He shelters you in the storm. Ever sit under a ledge of rock in a rainstorm? It’s comfortable, dry, safe. God is like that. He gives us safety in the storm.

 

3. He cannot be moved by others. Real rocks can be dislodged or broken up. But not God. He’s a rock the size of the universe.

 

Stand on the rock today. Feel its power. Feel its safety. You can be sure no one will be able to knock you off this rock!

 

Prayer: Father, you are my rock and I will stand on you forever. Amen.

Leadership

June 4, 2014

True Leadership

 

2 Samuel 19:7: Now go out there and congratulate the troops, for I swear by the LORD that if you don’t, not a single one of them will remain here tonight. Then you will be worse off than you have ever been.

 

“Say something, Harry,” Luk whispered. “You’re captain of the team.”

 

Harry stammered and hemmed and hawed. What could he say? They were losing the game. There was no way they could come back.

 

“What are we gonna do?” another member of the team asked.

 

Harry prayed in his mind. “Please, God, help me. I don’t know what to do to encourage these guys.”

 

No sooner had he prayed than a thought came to him. “Remember that movie about the kids’ football team that was way behind and they came back?” he asked.

 

Someone named the movie.

 

“That’s right. That’s what we’re going to do. We’re not gonna let these bums steam roll us. We’re going down fighting. Let’s hit it, guys. We’re on a roll!”

The team went back to the field and played their hearts out.

 

Leaders need to step into tough situations and lead. Are you a leader? Sometimes, like David in the Bible story for today, you will need to jump into a situation and offer words of encouragement. Don’t duck out. Young people need leaders as much as adults. So give it your best, and leave the rest in the hands of God.

 

Prayer: Lord, show me how to lead in school, church and on my team. Amen.

True Leadership

June 2, 2014

God Honors Kindness

May 29, 2014

God Honors Kindness

 

2 Samuel 9:7: But David said, “Don’t be afraid! I’ve asked you to come so that I can be kind to you because of my vow to your father, Jonathan.”

 

The new guy rolled into the office in a wheelchair. Several employees simply avoided him. But Cal walked over and introduced himself. “I’m Cal Thurston,” he said. “What’s your name?”

 

The crippled man held out a bony, gnarled hand. “I’m Steve.”

 

Soon they were good friends. Cal wheeled Steve wherever he needed to go, and Steve felt like a king.

 

A similar thing happened long ago in Israel. David could have killed Mephibosheth. After all, he was an enemy. King Saul fought against David every step of his life after David became famous. But David had sworn to his best friend, Jonathan, that he would take care of his children.

 

Mephibosheth was crippled. He certainly couldn’t lead a troop against David’s army. He might try to rally the people behind him in the name of Jonathan and King Saul. But he had no interest in that. He simply wanted to survive.

 

David showed kindness to Mephibosheth. He gave the young man a place at his table. He honored the youth with friendship and grace. God ultimately rewarded David for his kindness, too.

 

God loves kindness. Who can you be kind to today?  

 

Prayer: Father, teach me to be a kind person to everyone. Amen.