Opportunities

I don’t know where the Spirit of the LORD may carry you when I leave you. If I go and tell Ahab and he doesn’t find you, he will kill me. Yet I your servant have worshiped the LORD since my youth. Haven’t you heard, my lord, what I did while Jezebel was killing the prophets of the LORD ? I hid a hundred of the LORD’s prophets in two caves, fifty in each, and supplied them with food and water. And now you tell me to go to my master and say, ‘Elijah is here.’ He will kill me!” 1 Kings 18:12-14

How is that the man that Scripture calls a “devout Believer in the Lord” in 1 Kings 18:3, can cower when Elijah asks him to get Ahab for him. In his own defense, he told Elijah about how he had helped 100 prophets, an action that would have meant certain death if he had been caught. Hiding and feeding 100 men in two caves is risky business to say the least. Now another prophet wanted to actually inform Ahab of his existence?

Before we’re too hard on Obadiah, think of the many times you were bold for God and all of a sudden you were fearful. All the ‘what if’ questions arose: what if they don’t believe? What if I make a fool of myself? What if they DO believe? What if? What if? What if?

Pray for boldness in your own life. Pray that you will be strengthened with God’s grace and knowledge and that you will go with God’s favor. Then open your eyes to the many opportunities that face each of us.

Continue Reading Opportunities

Risk Takers

(Obadiah was a devout believer in the LORD. While Jezebel was killing off the LORD’s prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them in two caves, fifty in each, and had supplied them with food and water.) 1 Kings 18:3-4

Obadiah was in charge of Ahab’s palace but he also knew what Jezebel was doing with the prophets of the Lord: she was killing them. At his own risk, he hid 100 prophets and supplied them with food and water. Jezebel would have surely put Obadiah to death if she had found out what he was doing.

Fortunately we don’t read about the Obadiahs doing the same thing in our world. If we did, they would cease to exist. But there are men, women, and children risking their lives for the sake of the Gospel. People continue to smuggle Bibles into closed lands, hold secret house church meetings, and even print Bibles in the cloak of darkness. There are others who risk it all too so that those in the closed lands can function. We don’t know their names but God does. And He understands their plight.

Pray for these nameless risk takers. Pray that they will continue to have strength and boldness. Pray that they will continue to fight on behalf of those who don’t have a loud voice in the West. Ask God what YOU should do to help them.

Continue Reading Risk Takers

Influence

Now the famine was severe in Samaria, and Ahab had summoned Obadiah, who was in charge of his palace. (Obadiah was a devout believer in the LORD. While Jezebel was killing off the LORD’s prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them in two caves, fifty in each, and had supplied them with food and water.) 1 Kings 18:2-4

Obadiah was in charge of Ahab’s palace. Ahab and his wife Jezebel did many evil things, and yet, they had placed Obadiah in charge of the entire palace. Time and time again throughout Scripture, we see that rulers put devout Believers (Joseph and Daniel immediately come to mind) in positions of high authority. Kings and other rulers need people they can depend upon.

Even today we hear stories of many of the Muslim leaders who put Christians in positions of authority. Why? Even though Muslims in general are opposed to many Christian beliefs, the leaders realize that Christians in their administrations won’t lie when asked a direct question. They are honest and dependable. What an incredibly unique opportunity.

Pray for leaders around the world who might have Christians in their midst. The Believers may not have the status of an Obadiah, but as they cook and clean and iron clothes for these leaders, they have opportunities that you and I will never have. And yet, they are often in grave danger at the hands of these rulers.

Pray for boldness. Pray for them to reap a ripe harvest. Pray that they will continue to grow in grace and knowledge of Christ our Lord.

Continue Reading Influence

Purpose

I’ve invited Maria Morgan to share a second day. I will return to the Book of Kings following this.

Maria I. Morgan is a freelance writer specializing in Christian devotionals and articles. Her devotionals are posted on her Life Lessons blog at www.mariaimorgan.blogspot.com. She resides in Georgia with her husband, daughter, cat and two retrievers. She can be reached at morgan.maria.i@gmail.com.

To say he’s athletic is an understatement. Our dog, Mighty Joe, sure does live up to his name. I would definitely say he shows great power, skill, strength or force; the words my dictionary uses to define ‘mighty.’

This past Saturday, my husband and I were out working in the yard. Our daughter will have her senior pictures taken this week and we wanted to have some of them taken on the bridge overlooking the pond. Weeds needed to be pulled, rocks needed to be placed around the waterfall and pinestraw had to be laid to provide the right background we had envisioned. We let Mighty Joe join us while we worked.

When we first got Mighty Joe, he didn’t understand that he was a retriever. After spending a day teaching him how to fetch a ball and consistently telling him, “You are a retriever,” he caught on quickly and now is rarely seen without a ball. He literally spends hours dragging his ball from one end of his ‘bark park’ to the other. Sometimes he amuses himself by tucking his ball into a stack of firewood and going after it with all he’s worth.

On Saturday, with tennis ball in mouth, Joe came over to me and dropped his gooey prize at my feet. I threw his ball and returned to pulling weeds. It seemed I could only pull a weed or two before my fine Chesapeake was back, waiting for me to throw his ball again. I could tell it was a bit irritating to my husband, who was also outside working; after all, technically, Mighty Joe is his dog. Not to be deterred, however, Mighty Joe resisted my husband’s whistling and coaxing and continued to bring his ball to me.

As he continued to streak after his ball and leap into the air to nab it before returning to me, I thought about his intense focus. No matter where I threw his ball, he knew enough to keep his eyes on the ball, retrieve it and return it to me for the next throw. Although it was uncomfortably warm, his mind was bent on retrieving. He didn’t let anything dissuade him from what he viewed as his ‘purpose.’ I thought about Ecclesiastes 9:10a “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might;” (KJV) God used our dog to provide the perfect visual example of this verse for me.

When God has something for me to do, can He count on me to focus on the task, never taking my eyes off of Him, until the task is completed. Or am I distracted when others would have me get involved in another area? Do I let the inconveniences I encounter, become excuses for me to quit, or am I willing to persevere in spite of uncomfortable circumstances?

I love the way God uses the simple things in life to teach us profound truths. My desire is to complete those things God has asked me to do in order to cultivate the characteristic of the person in I Corinthians 4:2 “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” (KJV) What is your ‘purpose’? Will you choose to be a faithful steward today?

Continue Reading Purpose

Diligence

For the next two days, I have invited Maria, another devotional writer, to share a couple of her devotionals.

Maria I. Morgan is a freelance writer specializing in Christian devotionals and articles. Her devotionals are posted on her Life Lessons blog at www.mariaimorgan.blogspot.com. She resides in Georgia with her husband, daughter, cat and two retrievers. She can be reached at morgan.maria.i@gmail.com.

My husband, Steve, enjoys gardening. Not surprisingly, we both enjoy our landscaping the most when it looks its best. Steve reminds me often, that if there is one square inch of planted area in anyone’s yard that doesn’t have weeds growing in it, someone obviously took the time to pull the weeds.

I started feeling guilty yesterday, when I knew Steve went outside several times, despite the heat, to pull countless weeds. I was working in the air-conditioned comfort of our home, but I felt the tug to go out and pull my share of our weed crop.

After pulling my hair up and donning my oldest clothes, I grabbed my gloves, trowel, and weed bin, and set off to tackle the weeds on the hillside closest to the road. ‘Out of control’ is the only way I could describe the mess of weeds that stared back at me. I was tempted to abandon my mission and head back into the house. Thoughts of Steve, sweating in the heat, stopped me and I stooped down and got to work.

As I began looking at the weeds I was pulling, it was interesting to see that there were really only a few kinds: crab grass, clover, and tall, tuberous ones with shallow roots. Once again, I was reminded of the similarity between the weeds on my hillside and the sin in my life. Usually I tend to struggle with two or three areas in my life that tend to be what the Apostle Paul referred to as ‘besetting’ sins (Hebrews 12:1). These are the things that surround us or attack us from all sides, according to the American Heritage Dictionary. They can range from self-centeredness to any number of addictions. It’s a conscious, daily battle to experience victory in these areas.

When I allow God to put His finger on the ‘weeds of sin’ in my life and gently extricate them from the soil of my heart, I know I am much more pleasing to Him and able to be used by Him. According to John 10:10, Christ says, “…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (KJV) His desire is to give me victory over my ‘crop of weeds.’ His will for me is to be conformed more and more into His image – one day at a time. Will you give Him access to your ‘weeds?’

Continue Reading Diligence