Tag Archives: faith

Verse of the day

February 19, 2021

Scripture

But Elisha said, “Hear the word of the Lord: thus says the Lord, Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.” – 1 Kings 7:1 ESV

Devotion

In 2 Kings, we read of a difficult time of political threat and economic meltdown. The city of Samaria was besieged and there was no food—to an extent that cannibalism reigned supreme (2 Kings 6:26-29). Inflation was so high that city dwellers could not afford basics of life. There were no cattle or sheep; there were only five horses in the city (7:13). It was such a depressing time that the king could hardly afford a decent underwear (6:30). The king was so physically weak he could not stand on his own and had to lean on someone’s arm (7:2).

People sick with leprosy were banished to total isolation, with no permissible contact with a wider society. But in this story, it was the marginalized lepers who risked it all to bring the Good News to the city (7:3-11). God always provides the way for His people. An economic meltdown is never an accident in the eyes of God. He turns around the situation for a purpose. God changes this disastrous economic situation, teaching several valuable lessons:

1. God turns the situation around to strengthen our trust in Him. It happened to Elisha by keeping the Word of the Lord (7:1). It is often through finances that God can clearly and objectively show us that He is in control of everything. God will use cash to strengthen our trust if we will just accept our positions as stewards and turn it over to Him.

2. God turns the situation around to develop our trustworthiness. Like the lepers in this story, we must take risks by entering the enemy’s camp and pass on the Good News to others. They trusted God to the point of risking their lives. They discovered something good and never kept it to themselves.

3. God turns the situation around to prove His love. God was showing the king of Samaria that He is the God of love and it is His love that can change the situation completely. Many of us remain outside God’s will because we are afraid to trust Him for the impossible. We can even appeal to laws of nature that this is impossible (2 Kings 7:2).

4. God turns the situation around to demonstrate His power over this world. The statement: About this time tomorrow, a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria (2 Kings 7:1,16,18) implies the abundance of food with low prices. We have to remember that we serve the God who is the Creator of the universe, therefore must relate with Him as well as to His power and resources.

5. God turns the situation around to unite Christians through many shared blessings. God uses the abundance of one Christian to supply the needs of another. The lepers in the story had this right (2 Kings 7:9). They concurred with the Apostle Paul about the Macedonian churches who were so generous regardless of their economic limitations (2 Cor 8:14).

6. God turns the situation around to provide direction for our lives. God was making a case to convince Joram, the king of Samaria that he must change his direction. He provided divine intervention at the time when nobody expected solution. A Christian seeking God’s will must be certain that he has first relinquished control of his life, including his finances, and is truly seeking God’s direction. We must persevere.

7. God turns the situation around to satisfy the needs of others. The lepers give us a lesson of unselfishness. If we have never learned to give, God can never give back. God cannot be in control if we believe we are the owners.

Think for a moment about the ways God has blessed you (financial or otherwise). What are some ways you could use these blessings to make a difference in someone else’s life?

1 minute motivation

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.”

Acts 1:7

God isn’t going to restore the earlier version of your life. He isn’t going to make things like they were. He doesn’t do that. That’s not His thing.

Jesus didn’t do a miracle the same way twice. It’s not going to be like it was. When they asked Him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” I want you to notice what He said back to them: 

“It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.”

He reveals His power, not by the details He puts in, but by the ones He leaves out. He could have told them the answer to that. 

But that blank space is the place where we learn to believe. I don’t have to believe what I know. I have to believe what God spoke

Bible Scripture of the day

Verse of the DayJanuary 21, 2020

Scripture

“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” – Mark 14:38 NKJV

Devotion

Our verse for today is part of what Jesus said to Simon Peter and the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before He was to be crucified. Jesus knew what was going to happen later in the evening. He knew that Peter and the disciples would be tempted by fear to abandon Him and to deny Him. In order to help them, Jesus told them what they should do. They should “Watch and pray.”

Jesus knew that the spirits of the disciples were willing. He knew that in their heart of hearts they were willing to stay with Him and pray with Him in His time of need. However, He also knew that the flesh of the disciples was weak. He knew that as bodily beings they were given to sleep and drowsiness at that late hour. He knew there would be a struggle between the sincere intentions of the spirit and the weakness of the flesh.

It is interesting to note that Jesus Himself won the battle between spirit and flesh. He had stayed awake and prayed. And when the temptation came later that night and the next day to abandon His mission on earth, He succeeded in pressing through to the end. The disciples, on the other hand, lost the battle between spirit and flesh. They fell asleep and did not pray. And when the temptation came to abandon Jesus, they did abandon Him. Peter even denied Him three times.

What does it mean to watch and pray? The word translated as “watch” refers to the alertness required of a guard at night. Jesus was telling the disciples to watch for any attacks of the enemy. If the disciples did not remain spiritually alert and if they did not pray for help just as Jesus prayed, then they would be vulnerable to the temptations the enemy would use to attack them.

Jesus’ admonition to watch and pray is a word for all Christians for all time. The enemy is still out there attacking us with every weapon he has at his disposal. Watch and pray, like Jesus said. Stay alert, stand guard, and keep watch for the attacks of the enemy. And pray for the help of the Lord to withstand them and to overcome them