His Whisper in the Stillness
In 1 Kings chapter 19, we read when Elijah ran from the king and the priesthood, both that had become corrupt, and hid in a cave. Powerful natural disasters such as high wind, bone jarring earthquakes, and fire ravaged the mountainside where Elijah was holed up. God; however, was not in any of these. Elijah went to the mouth of the cave and heard God's voice in a whisper.
Often times we try to hear God's voice within the sound in praise and worship, during the sermon in revivals as well as regular services. Sometimes it takes quiet time in our prayer closets or when we're alone with Him. He speaks in a small, still voice. We think He is in the high winds, powerful earthquakes, and mega heated fires when actually He is in the stillness of midnight talking in a whisper. If we are searching in the loud and powerful, chances are we would miss out on a tremendous blessing.
The Love of Money
In Mark chapter 10, we read where the rich young ruler came to Jesus and asked how he could obtain eternal life. Jesus told him to go, sell everything he has, give the proceeds to the poor, and follow him. In doing this, He exposed what the young man truly loved, and that was his money and possessions. The young man went away sorrowful because he couldn't part from what he had.
There are some Christians who have a barrier keeping them from serving God properly. That barrier is their wealth and possessions. These are outlets expressing their pride. Unless we acknowledge the fact that our money is not actually our money. It's God''s money and he wants us to use to help others in need. This is indeed an act of worship to the Lord and we will be thoroughly rewarded for it.
Jesus the Sustainer
In Matthew chapter 14, we read of the event when Jesus fed the 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish. Upon hearing the news of His cousin John's passing. He wanted solitude but when He saw the multitude with their sick and dying in tow, He had compassion for them, forsook His own desire, and ministered to them by healing their sick and delivering them from their demons. When the disciples wanted him to send them away so they could buy food for themselves, they failed to realize that Jesus, the Bread of Life, was feeding them spiritually. When He told them to feed them with what they had, they questioned how it could be done failing to realize who they were partnered with in ministry. Jesus blessed the food and started dividing it up among the people. When it was done and everyone was filled, the disciples gathered 12 baskets of leftovers.
Today we think humanistically as the disciples did and only think within the box so to speak. The disciples wondered how 5 loaves and 2 fish could feed a multitude of 5,000 men which counting women and children made it much more. We keep trying to do things on our own instead of leaving our burdens at Jesus' feet. We all need to realize that it's best to leave everything to Him because Jesus has the solution for all our problems because He is God and our sustainer.
What About Him?
In John chapter 21, we read where Jesus had asked Peter 3 times if he loved Him to which he, of course, replied that he did. Jesus then revealed to him how he was going to die. Peter then turned and looked at John and asked, "What about him?" Jesus' answer was so appropriate in saying Peter shouldn't concern himself on how John should die. Peter should concern himself on how he was to follow Christ.
We today seem to look and compare ourselves to another but when we do that we tend to rob ourselves of the joy we could have from following Jesus. Jesus taught the disciples and now us that we should not compare ourselves with another because we should focus on following Christ's example of humbleness and compassion. We should think of the needs of others before our own. We should sacrifice our time and energy on glorifying Him.
The Chosen One
In Acts chapter 1, we read of when the apostles, as what they became known, had to select one to take Judas Iscariot's place in the core group. This was following the Day of Pentecost so they had to decide from the 120 who would be the replacement. After much praying and fasting they had two finalists to choose the one. Joseph and Matthias were the two finalists in the selection process. The apostles prayed, followed the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and cast lots or voted on the candidate. The apostles chose Matthias as Judas' successor.
There will be times when we are approached with an opportunity to serve in some capacity. It's best to follow the same procedure the apostle performed in choosing the successor for Judas. We need to first pray and follow the guidance provided by the Holy Spirit. Only He knows if and when we're ready to tackle the job opportunity that has been presented.
Suffering for Christ
In 2 Corinthians chapter 1, we read where Paul taught the early church the fact that suffering for the faith is essential in spiritual growth. There were some who were falsely teaching that once the person accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they were free from sin forever. Paul made it clear this was not the case. He wrote that God allowed suffering so that people would turn to Him for redemption. He enlightened them the fact that when God delivered them through the trial, it made them stronger in the Spirit.
This is true with we Christians today. Whenever we turn to God and He delivers us from our affliction, we are made stronger in the Spirit, just as it did with the early church. We use our past experiences and tell of the deliverance from those trials to help others whom have endured similar situations. Whenever you are suffering from a physical or spiritual affliction, remember God is always there to help in a time of need.
Pursuit of Wisdom
In Proverbs chapter 4, King Solomon wrote that one needs to pursue the wisdom of God. He advised they should not only pursue it, but also to not forget it once they have obtained it. When God asked him the one thing he wanted, Solomon chose the wisdom of God. To him, wisdom was more important than riches. He wanted God's wisdom to properly judge the people.
Today we study God's Word to glean His wisdom. God's wisdom is just as important now as it was then. We, as Christians, are to pursue God's wisdom through the study of His Word by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Small group Bible studies are another way to obtain the wisdom of God. A spirit filled and led Bible study will enlighten the mind and feed the spirit. An enlightened mind and a fed spirit are essential to a fruit bearing ministry.
The Good Shepherd
In Isaiah chapter 40, we read one of the numerous accounts where God is referred to as a shepherd and we are referred to as His sheep. The shepherd takes care of all the sheep in the fold. He provides food, protection, and care when the lamb is sick or injured. He will leave the 99 to search for the one errant sheep who strays from the fold.
God does the same for us. He provides the means for us to purchase physical food but He also gave us His Word to feed us spiritually. He protects us from Satan, much like He did Job until He allowed the devil to afflict to test him. He will, at times, allow the dragon to tempt us to give us a trial to endure. We are made stronger in the spirit following the deliverance from Satan. When we come out on the other side of the trial, we have an experience that could help someone else that is going through a similar situation. He will heal us when we go to Him in prayer with a sincere heart. When we go astray in our spiritual walk, He will leave the fold to search for 1 lost sheep. That's the kind of God we serve.
In Deuteronomy chapter 10, we read where Moses reminded the Israelites by giving them a list to summarize what God expected from them. God expected them to fear or have reverence toward Him, serve Him and keep His commandments, finally, God wanted them to love Him with all of their hearts. These were the virtues that pleased God.
The same can be said for us today. We are to fear Him by showing reverence toward Him. We are to follow Jesus' example and have a servant's heart. We serve the Lord by keeping His commandments. Doing these things are possible because we love God with all of our heart. This is how we please our righteous and just God.
Jesus Rescues the Lost
In Luke chapter 19, we read of the account of Zacchaeus, being a man that was short in stature, climb upon a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus as He passed by. Jesus walked up to the tree, looked up, and called Zacchaeus out by name, and told him to come down because He needed to abide in his house. This caused the multitude to murmur. Some spoke out, more than likely the Jewish religious leaders, against Jesus going to stay in a sinner's house. THey did not like Zacchaeus because he was a tax collector. The Jews hated tax collectors because they felt they were traitors for collecting the heavy taxes for the Romans. Jesus, more or less, told them He was there to heal the sick and save the lost.
Jesus is still in the saving business. He will come into our hearts and change our lives. All we have to do is ask Him. He is always there and ready to save.