Living for Christ

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March 2010
Daily Devotions Reference List:
(Click here to view the daily devotions)

(3/1) Genesis 6:5-6
(3/2) 1 Samuel 8:4-7
(3/3) Jonah 1:4, 10, 15-16
(3/4) Luke 2:8
(3/5) Galatians 3:21
(3/6) Proverbs 3:11-12
(3/7) Psalm 9:15-20
(3/8) Genesis 6:13
(3/9) 1 Samuel 8:11a, 18-20
(3/10) Jonah 1:17a
(3/11) Luke 2:11
(3/12) Galatians 3:26-29
(3/13) Proverbs 3:13-18
(3/14) Psalm 10:1-5, 12, 17-18
(3/15) Genesis 9:12-13
(3/16) 1 Samuel 9:3, 15-16a
(3/17) Jonah 2:9
(3/18) Matthew 2:1-2
(3/19) Galatians 4:8
(3/20) Proverbs 3:21-26
(3/21) Psalm 12:1-7
(3/22) Genesis 9:16-17
(3/23) 1 Samuel 12:9a, 10a, 11
(3/24) Jonah 3:1-3a, 4b-5
(3/25) Matthew 2:16
(3/26) Galatians 5:1
(3/27) Proverbs 3:27-30
(3/28) Psalm 13:1-6
(3/29) Genesis 11:4, 7
(3/30) 1 Samuel 12:21, 24
(3/31) Jonah 3:10-4:1

Note: This is subject to change.

Daily Devotion Topic Schedule:
Sun - Psalms
Mon - Early History
Tue - Later History
Wed - Prophecy
Thu - Gospels
Fri - Paul's Letters
Sat - Proverbs
Life Lessons from Elijah
"Praying for a Purpose"

And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word." - 1 Kings 17:1

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. - James 5:16-18

I recently read something that caused me to wonder, what if our country's recession is an answer to someone else's prayer? Let's take a look at Elijah's prayer first, then I will explain what I mean by that. Elijah prayed fervently before King Ahab that it would not rain in the land until he gave the word for it to rain again. Why did he make such a prayer; did he hate the people, wanting them to suffer from thirst? Certainly not! And if that had been the motivation, I feel certain that God would not have answered the prayer in the same way. But Elijah's motivation was his love for these people who had strayed from God and were worshipping false idols. He needed something powerful and miraculous to get their attention, and because his motivation was pure and out of love, God answered his prayer and brought a drought to the land.

So Ahab sent for all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together on Mount Carmel. And Elijah came to all the people, and said, "How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." But the people answered him not a word. Then Elijah said to the people, "I alone am left a prophet of the Lord; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Therefore let them give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it. Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God who answers by fire, He is God." So all the people answered and said, "It is well spoken." - 1 Kings 18:20-24

Three years have passed and there is still no rain in the land, but that is about to change. Elijah proposes a contest of sorts to prove for all to see who is the true God. If you keep reading through chapter 18, you will see that Elijah mocked the other group of people, asking why their "god" was not demonstrating his power; perhaps he was busy or asleep. (As a little aside, isn't it comforting to know that our God is never too busy and never falls asleep?) He had so much faith and so much confidence in God that he knew beyond any doubt that God would prevail. That's the kind of faith we need today! And that's the kind of faith Elijah hoped these other people would have once this contest was finished.

And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, "Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again." Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, "The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!" - 1 Kings 18:36-39

These people had endured three years without rain, but any type of suffering is completely worth it if it ultimately brings people back to God. Going back to my initial thought, what if our recession is an answer to someone else's prayer? What if Christians in poorer parts of the world have been praying for us? We often think that they are the ones who are in need, but in a sense, we have more of a need than they do. They depend heavily on God because they have to; they don't have massive amounts of resources at their fingertips like we do. For some, faith is all they have, but that is all we really need. Could it be that these people love us enough that they want us to get to that point as well? To put it bluntly, our society has gotten materialistic to the point that it sickens me. We don't truly need the vast majority of the things that we have. We desperately need a wake-up call, and maybe this is it. Instead of blaming God for our problems, perhaps we should thank Him instead. We know at least two things for sure: He always has a plan, and His love for us is everlasting. Let us start to pray that He will use this recession for His greater glory and to bring this country back into a closer walk with Him.