Pattern of Good Works (Titus 2:7)

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Monday, 23 May 2005
In the Midst of the Whirlwind
Now Playing: Are we depending on Him in our stormy winds ?
Topic: Troubles
2 Kings 2:1, 11

And it came to pass, when the Lord was about to take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

In the Midst of the Whirlwind

Eagles have an interesting flight pattern. Instead of fleeing the winds of stormy weather, they turn to face them. The same winds that blow others away are used by these magnificent birds to lift them higher.

A storm lifted Elijah into the presence of God. Traveling from Gilgal with his disciple Elisha, he was forewarned by the sons of the prophets in Bethel, and again in Jericho, that this was the day God would take him away. But instead of fleeing from this potentially frightening possibility, the prophet continued on, content to let God have His will. When they crossed over the Jordan River, a chariot of fire separated Elisha from his master, and a whirlwind lifted Elijah up and away. The roaring winds of a desert storm, which normally brought destruction, became for Elijah the vehicle by which God elevated him into heaven.

When life's whirlwinds blow through our lives, we have a choice. We can focus on our trials and troubles, or we can use the whirlwind to be lifted up before the Lord in prayer and praise. What others see as a deadly devastation can become that which draws us more completely into God's presence.

Don't run away from the storms of life. They may be God's method of bringing you closer to Him. Instead, spread your wings of prayer and praise. Consider the winds of strife as opportunities to be lifted closer to the Lord.

Don't let your trials blow you down; let them lift you up.

(from W. Kroll)

Posted by dondegr1 at 9:00 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 23 May 2005 9:01 AM EDT
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Thursday, 31 March 2005
O Troubler
Now Playing: Are we blaming others when we should look at ourselves ?
Topic: Troubles
Author: Woodrow Kroll
Source: Lessons on Living from Elijah
Scripture: 1 Kings 18:17-18
Is That You, O Troubler?

1 Kings 18:17-18

Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, "Is that you, O troubler of Israel?" And he answered, "I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father's house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and you have followed the Baals."

Is That You, O Troubler?

A well-known professional golfer was playing in a tournament with then-president Gerald Ford, fellow pro Jack Nicklaus and Billy Graham. After the round was over, one of the other pros on the tour asked, "Hey, what was it like playing with the president and Billy Graham?" The pro said with disgust, "I don't need Billy Graham stuffing religion down my throat!" With that he headed for the practice tee. His friend followed, and after the golfer had pounded out his fury on a bucket of golf balls, he asked, "Was Billy a little rough on you out there?" The pro sighed and said with embarrassment, "No, he didn't even mention religion."

Elijah found himself in the same situation. Without even opening his mouth, the prophet found himself accused by Ahab as a "troubler." The accusation was obviously false. It was Ahab who was Israel's true troubler. His sin and the sin of those who had gone before him were the cause of God's judgment on Israel. But it was easier for Ahab to place the blame for his uneasy conscience on someone else than to face the truth about himself.

The world is always looking for someone to blame, isn't it? And Christians are a convenient target. We Christians are different (which make us suspect to start with), and the witness of our lives can be very convicting even when we say nothing. No wonder Christians have borne the brunt of persecution from the time of Nero to the present.

Don't be surprised or dismayed if you are being persecuted, in whatever form it may take. Consider it a confirmation that Christ is obviously within you and radiating from you.

Jesus Christ is both a comfort for Christians and an irritation for the world.

Posted by dondegr1 at 8:42 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 7 April 2005 3:12 AM EDT
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