Now What?

Last week, we took a look at the incredible story of Elijah facing off against the prophets of Baal on the top of Mount Carmel from 1 Kings 18. That is one of my favorite stories in the entire Old Testament. What we came away with was a reminder that God sometimes acts in powerful ways, along with the exhortation to keep an eye out for His activity in our lives and the lives of the people around us. This week, we are taking a step forward to finish the story by looking at what happened next. The outcome of that incredible mountaintop experience isn’t what we might have expected it to be. Dive in with me, and let’s see what any of this has to do with our lives.

Now What?

If you’ll indulge me just a bit, as we are coming up quickly on the one year anniversary of a truly historical event, I thought we might reminisce on it for a few moments. Forty-eight weeks ago (this being the 49th), a competition was held. This was not your every day, average competition, though. This was a true clash of the titans. Two teams met in pursuit of the same goal and only one of them would walk away a step closer to it than they had been before. The other would go home in frustration and anguish and perhaps even shame depending on how the competition unfolded. If you’ve done your math and are aware of my sporting loyalties, you have perhaps already deduced that this epic competition was none other than last year’s AFC Divisional Championship Game between the Buffalo Bills and my Kansas City Chiefs. Within minutes of the game’s dramatic finish, it was already being heralded as one of the single greatest football games of all time. 

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Digging in Deeper: Romans 12:2

“Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the joys of engaging regularly with the Scriptures is that they are always fresh. Always. Even when you have read and studied a certain passage many times, still there are depths to be explored as you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you further and deeper into an understanding of the God who is revealing Himself through these ancient words. This reality greeted me the other morning as I looked at Romans 12:2, a verse I’ve spent a lot of time with in the past. Let me share with you this morning what new (to me) perspective the Spirit shared with me.

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Morning Musing: John 1:4-5

“In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

We live in a world of darkness. There is darkness that is literal. Some people are still without power. When the deep freeze and high winds hit this area just before Christmas, lots of folks around here were without power through the holiday weekend. But for some, a lack of power is a daily reality. Their quality of life isn’t all that far removed from where people lived many generations ago. We may occasionally get nostalgic for that time when watching a show or movie about it, but we would not have really wanted to live back then. There is even more darkness, though, that is spiritual. And although that spiritual darkness is diminishing in some places, it seems to be rapidly advancing in others. What we need in this, or any darkness is light. Let’s talk this morning about where we can find it.

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Morning Musing: Luke 1:35-38

“The angel replied to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. And consider your relative Elizabeth – even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ ‘See, I am the Lord’s servant.’ said Mary. ‘May it happen to me as you have said.’ Then the angel left her.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

A huge part of preparing for Jesus’ arrival means preparing ourselves for Him to do things that only God can do. In saying that, I don’t just mean we must prepare ourselves intellectually for His acting in unexpected or unbelievable ways. We need to prepare ourselves to join Him in those actions. We must prepare ourselves for a life of total obedience rooted in faith. Without that, we aren’t going to experience much of anything He wants to do. This kind of willingness is what started Jesus’ whole journey on earth. Let’s talk about it this morning.

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 13:5-6

*** If you’ve been tracking with me for very long on here, you know that I’ve written quite a lot over the years. As a matter of fact, this month will see my 1500th post. Each of those posts take up storage space on my site, and with the addition of pictures and audio recordings, they take up even more space. A couple of years ago, I upgraded the site for storage purposes, but I’m almost back to the new cap. In an effort to create some space without having to upgrade again quite yet (I don’t get enough traffic to justify that), I am going to begin going back through and deleting old audio files. I’ll start with the oldest and work forward from there. I’ll plan to keep at least a calendar year’s worth of audio files before deleting them. This means that if you go back to an old post, the audio link in it won’t work anymore. I could go through and remove all of those old links…but, honestly, that’ll take a lot more time than I have to give to it. The posts will still be there for reference, though, so still feel free to search the archives if you’re ever in need of some thoughts on a particular passage. I’ve covered quite a lot of the Scriptures over the years. Thank you, as always, for reading and sharing. You are why I keep writing every day. ***

“Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for he himself has said, ‘I will never leave you or abandon you.’ Therefore, we may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

In 1984, Madonna sang what was arguably the anthem for the times when she declared herself a material girl living in a material world. That wasn’t just an anthem for the time, then, though, it was a description of the struggle we have always had to define our lives by the stuff we have. Jesus dealt with this directly. So did Paul. If we are going to live under the authority of the new covenant, we only get to have one God and Lord. And money’s not it. Let’s talk this morning about why we can trust God in that position.

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