VIDEO Seasoned Living: Oil

The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth. 1 Kings 17:14

In the Bible, people used olive oil for food, as a medicine, as fuel for lamps, and in ceremonies of anointing. It’s also a biblical symbol for the Holy Spirit. When David was anointed with oil, the Spirit came mightily upon him (1 Samuel 16:13).

In living a well-seasoned life, we need the oil of the Spirit. We need His anointing. But is there a danger this anointing will cease or that the flow will be insufficient? 

In the days of Elijah, a certain widow feared her cruse of oil wouldn’t last long. The drought had made supplies scarce. But Elijah told her that as long as the drought continued, her bin of flour would never be empty, and her jar of oil would never be exhausted.

The Lord gives of His Spirit liberally. He anoints us with oil. His Spirit will never fail us. Be filled with Him today!

It is futile for us to try to serve God without the power of the Holy Spirit. Warren Wiersbe


Elijah and Widow of Zarephath | 1 Kings 17 | Elijah raises the widow’s son

God Knows We Feel

By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:8

Feeling overwhelmed, Sierra grieved her son’s fight with addiction. “I feel bad,” she said. “Does God think I have no faith because I can’t stop crying when I’m praying?”

“I don’t know what God thinks,” I said. “But I know He can handle real emotions. It’s not like He doesn’t know we feel.” I prayed and shed tears with Sierra as we pleaded for her son’s deliverance.

Scripture contains many examples of people wrestling with God while struggling. The writer of Psalm 42 expresses a deep longing to experience the peace of God’s constant and powerful presence. He acknowledges his tears and his depression over the grief he’s endured. His inner turmoil ebbs and flows with confident praises, as he reminds himself of God’s faithfulness. Encouraging his “soul,” the psalmist writes, “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (v. 11). He’s tugged back and forth between what he knows to be true about God and the undeniable reality of his overwhelming emotions.

God designed us in His image and with emotions. Our tears for others reveal deep love and compassion, not necessarily a lack of faith. We can approach God with raw wounds or old scars because He knows we feel. Each prayer, whether silent, sobbed, or shouted with confidence, demonstrates our trust in His promise to hear and care for us.

By:  Xochitl Dixon

Reflect & Pray

What emotion have you tried to hide from God? Why is it often hard to be honest with God about difficult or overwhelming emotions?

Unchanging Father, thank You for assuring me that You know I feel and need to process my ever-changing emotions.

The Consequences of Unbelief

John 3:16-21

Many people think that rejecting Jesus is a choice without consequences. Although they don’t mind others following the Lord, they seem to be doing just fine without Him. However, they fail to consider both the present and eternal consequences of their unbelief.

Since God’s judgment is often seen as a future event, the urgency of salvation may be lost on people who want to enjoy the pleasures of earthly life and feel no need for a Savior. But Jesus said those who do not believe in Him have been judged already because they love darkness and don’t want their sins exposed by His light. In other words, they love their sin and are unwilling to turn from it. Living this way seems comfortable and allows them to rule their own life according to their desires.

There are also those who claim to believe in Jesus while still loving their sins and trying to hide them from His light. But attempts to have it both ways won’t work, and such people remain in darkness.

The pleasures of sin, however, are temporary (Heb. 11:25). The wise are those who truly believe and are eager to come to the light; they want nothing more to do with a godless lifestyle. Remember, it’s never too late to come to the Lord.

My Lord and My God

“And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God.” (John 20:28)

Thomas has been called “doubting Thomas” because of his initial reluctance to believe in the Lord’s resurrection, but neither the Lord nor the other disciples ever viewed him in such a light. His later ministry, as the first missionary/martyr to India, speaks clearly of his great faith.

It is only in John’s gospel that we have any specific insight into Thomas’ character. When the other disciples sought to dissuade Jesus from returning to Jerusalem, it was Thomas who urged, “Let us also go, that we may die with him” (John 11:16). Thomas understood the dangers awaiting them but was ready to go wherever Jesus desired him to go. In the upper room when Jesus spoke of going away, Thomas, still willing to go with Him anywhere, was the only one to ask, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?” (John 14:5). Then, just a few hours later, the Lord had been crucified, and soon “the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews” (John 20:19) as they hid themselves in the upper room.

But Thomas was not hiding! The Scriptures do not say where he was when Jesus appeared in their midst, but he was not hiding there like the others. He may well have been out working or witnessing, doing whatever he could to follow the Lord, but he (like the others) had failed to understand Jesus’ promise that He would rise again.

When the other disciples reported that they had seen the resurrected Lord, Thomas, realizing the tremendous significance of such a miracle if it were true, insisted he must see the proof firsthand. Then, when he saw the Lord, he showed a higher comprehension of what had taken place than any of the others, as he whispered in awe: “My Lord, and my God!” HMM

Praising His Loyal Love-Psalm 118

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever. Let Israel say, ‘His faithful love endures forever.” Let the house of Aaron say, “His faithful love endures forever.” Let those who fear the Lord say, “His faithful love endures forever” (vv. 1-4).

The ancient Israelites sang this psalm—the final song in the “Hallel”—as they marched to the sanctuary to worship the Lord. It was used during the Passion Week of our Lord (Matt, 21:9), and it may have been sung in the Upper Room (Matt. 26:30). It was God’s loyal love that energized the Israelite army to defeat the surrounding nations.

The wording suggests that these first few verses were either spoken or sung antiphonally. If we read the passage that way, the phrases spring to life:

  • Congregation “His love endures forever.”
  • Worship leader: “Let Israel say …”
  • Congregation “His love endures forever.”
  • Worship leader: “Let the house of Aaron say …”
  • Congregation “His love endures forever.”
  • Worship leader: “Let those who fear the Lord say …”
  • Congregation “His love endures forever.”

Though I can’t understand how this truth meshes with the obvious injustices in the world today, I know that God is loving and good. Though I see only a small slice of history, I know that God’s wisdom encompasses all of time and eternity. I’m learning to accept by faith his mysteries, “His love endures forever!”

Personal Prayer

Lord, this psalm causes me to consider how your loyal love extends to our nation, to the Wyrtzen household, and to all the community of believers who fear your name. I praise you for your enduring love!

What Is Faith?

My son, if your heart is wise, my heart will indeed rejoice.—Proverbs 23:15

“A man’s belief,” says Dr Albert Ellis, a well-known modern-day psychologist, “determines both his conduct and his character.” Proverbs 23:7, written almost 3,000 years before Ellis, puts the truth in an even more succinct form: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (NKJV).

There are two possibilities before each of us as we look at life: we can base our conclusions about the meaning of life on what the humanistic philosophers, poets, and historians tell us, or we can base them on what God tells us in His Word. Either we take the Word of God and live by it—or we do not. If we take the attitude that the prophets didn’t know what they were talking about and there are no such things as miracles in the universe, then we do what the writer to the Hebrews tells us—we draw back from the godly way of life (Heb 10:39). The biblical way is living by faith.

Listen to the word given to Habakkuk: “The righteous one will live by his faith” (Hab 2:4). Faith is taking the Word of God and relying on it. It involves believing what God says, simply and solely because He said it. The heroes of faith listed in Hebrews 11 did just that—they had no real reason for believing what God told them, other than the fact that He had spoken. Why did Abraham take his son Isaac to Mount Moriah? Why did he prepare to offer him as a sacrifice? Simply because God had spoken. A little boy, when invited to comment on the statement, “Faith is having confidence in what God has spoken,” said: “God has confidence in what He has said—so must we.”

Prayer

O Father, forgive my doubts and hesitancies—and help me to have an unshakable confidence in the truth and power of Your Word. Show me how to link my littleness to Your greatness. In Jesus’ name I ask it. Amen.

Further Study

Heb 11:1-40; Gl 3:6; Php 3:8-9

How does this chapter describe faith?

Write out your definition of faith.

The Overcoming Life

Ephesians 6:10-11

You will have to fight the enemies of your soul to the end, if you are to make the glorious finish on which you are calculating. How you are to do it so as to be brought off “more than conqueror” (Romans 8:37) is a most important question.

The first thing I advise is to find out the places in your heart and character where you are most in danger of being overcome. Every man, woman, or child has his or her most easily besetting sin, that is, some point in their thinking, feeling, or acting where they are weakest, and therefore likely to be most easily led into the doing of evil. You can be quite sure that the devil has discovered that place already, and you can be equally sure that that is the spot where he will be most likely to attack you.

Watch against unexpected attacks. Some of the most serious defeats in war have resulted from an insufficient lookout. “Taken by surprise” has been the reason given for any number of disasters. The same neglect of watchfulness will account for no end of defeats and backslidings in religion.

Resist the first beginnings of sin. The danger lies in the first glass, the first word, nay, often in the first look. The moment your conscience testifies to the presence of the tempter, stand on your guard, and resist the foe. With many temptations there is only safety in flight; arguments are useless, nay, dangerous.

Perhaps more people go wrong by dallying with the beginnings of evil than in any other way.

Keep out of circumstances, and away from places, in which you know you are likely to be tempted. Nothing can compare with the folly displayed by some who voluntarily associate with companions, relations and friends whom they know will tempt them to do, or allow things to be done which are wrong, or go into places where they know they will be tempted by the very things which have been their ruin in days gone by.

In the darkness and depression of temptation tell your case to the Savior. You can be sure of His sympathy. “Because He himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:18).

William Booth, The Warrior’s Daily Portion