VIDEO The Days of Elijah

I alone am left a prophet of the Lord. 1 Kings 18:22

Even before the pandemic, surveys showed that a third of Americans over 45 were lonely. The percentages were higher among young adults. During COVID, the numbers became a global health crisis.

Loneliness is an epidemic, but it isn’t new. Elijah had an emotional breakdown in 1 Kings 19, and loneliness was a factor. He felt alone in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He had no one with whom to pray or talk, and no one on whom to lean. He was a solitary man, and it unnerved him. Yet God was with him and spoke to him in a “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12). The Lord fellowshipped with him and at the right time gave him a partner in ministry, a young man named Elisha (verse 19).

Perhaps when we feel most alone, we can best hear God’s still small voice. He talks with us and fellowships with us. In His timing, He will provide the human companionship we need. 

Tune your ears to the still small voice of His comforting Word, which still speaks as in the days of Elijah.

Only God can solve the problem of loneliness. He created us in such a way that we have an emptiness that can only be filled by an intimate relationship with Himself. David Jeremiah


Adrian Rogers: Let the Fire Fall [#2478]

April 26, 2016

Our civilization is sick. With a rampage of violence, suicide, divorce, pornography, graft and corruption at the highest levels we are in desperate trouble. We need not fear what terrorists may do nearly as much as we should fear what God Almighty may do in judgment. But we CAN have revival in these days.

Remember and Celebrate

[Jesus] took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19

On December 6, 1907, explosions rocked a small community in the US state of West Virginia, producing one of the worst disasters in the history of the coal-mining industry. Some 360 miners were killed, and it’s been estimated that this horrific tragedy left behind about 250 widows and 1,000 children without fathers. Historians maintain that the memorial service became the seedbed from which the celebration of Father’s Day in the US would eventually grow. Out of great loss came remembrance and—eventually—celebration.

The greatest tragedy in human history occurred when human beings crucified their Creator. Yet, that dark moment also produced both remembrance and celebration. The night before He would go to the cross, Jesus took the elements of Israel’s Passover and created His own memorial celebration. Luke’s record describes the scene this way: “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me’ ” (Luke 22:19).

Still today, whenever we take communion, we honor His great, unflinching love for us—remembering the cost of our rescue and celebrating the gift of life His sacrifice produced. As Charles Wesley said in his great hymn, “Amazing love! How can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?”

By:  Bill Crowder

Reflect & Pray

How often do you find yourself just going through the motions when taking communion? What are some ways to keep your focus on the cross?

Father, when I come to the memorial table, help me to remember why my forgiveness was so costly, and help me to celebrate Your great, awesome love.

Self-Inflicted Adversity

Psalm 119:65-72

The difficulties we face originate from one of three sources. Some are allowed by the Lord to develop our faith, others are the result of Satan’s attacks, and still others could be due to our own sinful choices.

As you consider these three causes, which type is the hardest for you to bear? I think most of us would say the last one because we have nobody to blame but ourselves, and it seems as if no good could possibly result. Since Galatians 6:7 says we reap what we have sown, we see nothing ahead except a painful harvest.

But this kind of thinking fails to take into account the Lord’s redemptive abilities. He can use our failures to teach us valuable lessons—to fear Him, hate evil, and walk in obedience. What we learn can also become our protection from sin in the future, so in the end even our own mistakes are not wasted.

As painful as your situation may be, the heavenly Father deserves thanks for caring enough to discipline lovingly. Now it’s up to you. How will you respond to His warning? When we learn from experience, the scars of sin can lead us to restoration and a renewed intimacy with God.

Jeremiah and Inspiration

“Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” (Jeremiah 20:9)

Contained within the books of the Old Testament are nearly three thousand claims to its precise trustworthiness. Over and over again, the various authors claim to be communicating the very words of God.

A number of such claims were recorded by Jeremiah in his book. As we see in our text, Jeremiah was somewhat discouraged with the lack of response to his ministry. But, just as he decided to refrain from passing on God’s Word to the people, he felt an inner burning, recognizing that these words were much too important to ignore. These words had come from God Himself!

On other occasions, he heard the words of God directly and was commanded to pass them on with precision. “Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’s house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’s house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not [literally ‘to shave,’ or ‘to lessen in effect’] a word” (Jeremiah 26:2). This straightforward teaching of verbal inspiration is applied to the written accounts, as well: “The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book” (Jeremiah 30:1-2).

This book, which throughout contains such strong condemnation of falsehood, and which was written over a period of more than two thousand years by numerous authors, yet without any contradiction between these writers, surely is the Word of the eternal, holy God. It is the information our Creator knows we need. JDM

The Lord Is Holy

The Lord reigns! Let the peoples tremble. He is enthroned above the cherubim. Let the earth quake. The Lord is great in Zion; He is exalted above all the peoples. Let them praise Your great and awe-inspiring name. He is holy. The mighty King loves justice. You have established fairness; You have administered justice and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt the Lord our God; bow in worship at His footstool. He is holy (vv. 1-5).

Dr. Karl Menninger, internationally celebrated psychiatrist, has asked the question, “Whatever became of sin?”

The ugly reality of sin fades away when we love our vision of the dazzling holiness of God (Isa. 6). In our modern perception the shed blood seems cannibalistic and barbaric, the price of forgiveness is cheapened, and the good news is relegated to the religion section of the local newspaper.

This psalm inspires us to recover the truth of God’s character. He alone is holy— “perfectly pure and worthy of profound reverence.” This is the pillar—the sine qua non—upon which everything in Christianity rests!

Personal Prayer

Dear Lord, I praise your great and glorious name because you alone are holy.

A Wonderful Old Hymn

Holy, Holy, Holy

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!

Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;

Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!

God in three person’s, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! all the saints adore Thee,

Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;

Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,

Who wert and art and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee,

Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;

Only Thou art holy—there is none beside Thee,

Perfect in pow’r, in love and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!

All Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth and sky and sea;

Holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty!

God in three person’s, blessed Trinity!

Words by Reginald Heber. Music by John B. Dykes.

A Lost Art

For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor?— Romans 11:34

A subject which is of great interest to many today is anthropology: the study of man. Although this subject is of great importance, for a Christian there is something far more important: the study of God. The great preacher C. H. Spurgeon said: “The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy that can ever engage the attention of a child of God is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father.”

The contemplation of God seems to be a lost art today. We appear to be more concerned about subjects such as church growth, the end times, signs, wonders, and miracles. I am not suggesting these issues are unimportant, but they must not be allowed to replace the supremely important matter of the constant, earnest, and continued investigation of the great subject of the Deity. The more we know of God, the more effective will be our lives here on earth. Those who have given themselves to the study of God tell us that it humbles the mind, expands the soul, and consoles the heart.

It humbles the mind. When our minds grapple with other subjects, we feel a degree of self-content and come away thinking: “Behold, I am wise.” But when our minds engage with thoughts of God, we discover that there is no plumb line that can sound His depth, and we come away thinking: “Behold, I know nothing.” In an age that stresses the supremacy of the human ego, it is no bad thing to learn that there is something far greater.

Prayer

Gracious and loving heavenly Father, teach me how to focus on You and contemplate You so that all vanity and pride dies within me, and I go on my way no longer caught up with how wise I am but how wonderful You are. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Study

Isa 40:18-26; Jb 11:7-9

What probing question does Isaiah ask?

What conclusion had Zophar come to?

Fireproof Faith

Daniel 3:1-23

Its construction must have been the topic of conversation for months. The colossus made by Nebuchadnezzar was 90 feet high and nine feet wide and could be seen for miles. It surely was the talk of the empire!

The dedication of the golden image was an elaborate affair. The stern demand was proclaimed throughout the kingdom so that everyone knew that when the symphonic sound was heard, it was the cue to prostrate themselves before the golden image and pay homage to the king.

To forestall any rebellion, the king constructed a large furnace within sight of the image and his decree warned: “Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace” (Daniel 3:6).

The orchestra struck the note, and as its symphonic sounds wafted across the plain, “all the peoples… fell down and worshipped the image of gold” (Daniel 3:7). All the peoples, except for the three devout friends of Daniel. The astrologers were quick to report the defiance of the faithful three.

The three Hebrews acknowledged they had no claim on divine intervention, but had absolute faith in God’s almighty power. The response of the faithful three served only to increase the rage of the king who ordered his furnace to be made seven times hotter.

The faith of these three men becomes enshrined in that Westminster Abbey of the Bible, Hebrews 11, with its roll call of heroes “who through faith… quenched the fury of the flame” (vv. 33, 34).

The external setting may be different, but the inner truth abides. There are still many who know the experience of a fiery furnace, of a brutal force that seeks to destroy faith, and a Presence that enables them to survive the testing by fire.

The setting is no more barbaric than our own time. The distance from Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace to the fiery furnaces of the Holocaust is not that great. And what about the “silent holocaust” of 1.5 million legalized abortions every year in our country?

This chapter may be as up to date as any in the Bible. Even as we read, devout Christians in certain countries are suffering in prison for their faith, some even facing death.

This great text reminds us that “the God we serve is able,” (Daniel 3:17) and in our fiery furnace experience He will be with us and make us adequate.

Henry Gariepy, Light in a Dark Pl