Monday, January 28, 2008

"Because He Loved Him." part 1

It is amazing to me how God provides all of us with what we need. When one of our preachers asked me to fill in for him to preach in four short days (yesterday being the end of that four days), I had no idea what I would speak on. Let me stop here and say that he also unwittingly gave me a great birthday present (yesterday was my birthday). There is nowhere else I would want to be on my birthday than somewhere being given an opportunity to speak the Truth. I am by no means a refined preacher but I love the Lord and there is nothing that makes me happier than being able to share his word and how it works in my life.

As I sat down the next night (Thursday) to study the Bible with my children (something I do not do often enough) I decided to read them the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 17. In this story, God tells Elijah to hide by the brook and that he will provide for him. God sends ravens to bring Elijah food and Elijah stays there until the water begins to dry up. This is all found in the first seven verses of this chapter. At this point, I stop and I am going to make a point about how Elijah went and lived a very uncomfortable life just because God told him to and that they should obey like Elijah does. God had other plans though. I asked my children (5 and 6 years old) why did Elijah do what God said without asking any questions. At this point, without hesitation, my six year old, Ethan responds "Because he loved him."

I paused. I was totally caught off guard by this response. I couldn't argue with that answer or ever provide a better, more concise answer. This 6 year old prince of God had just shaken my soul and I get misty eyed just thinking about how powerful this child's words were. Here I was, preparing to teach my children a lesson about doing what they are told and instead I am given a lesson. Talk about verification of Psalm 8:2.

Despite the effect this had on me that night, I still woke up the next morning not knowing what I would speak about. I was going to go with the obligations of Christians. I was off work that next day and I took Luke, my youngest son, with me to my parents to eat lunch that day. I was going to ask my father and mother's advise on what to speak on while there. But God had different plans. My parent's home is surrounded by tall, tall trees and that day in those tress were hundreds of crows, cawwing (is that a word) away. As my son and I got out of the car and walked inside Luke asked me what those birds were and I explained to him that they were kinda like the birds in the story we read last night about Elijah. After lunch, I left to pick Ethan up from school and the birds were still there as I was leaving, louder this time. When Ethan and I arrived back at my parent's house, the crows were still there singing their rancid tune and Ethan asked the same question as his brother before. "What are those birds?" As I was answering him, his answer to me the previous night hit me again and I then had my inspiration of what to speak on. God is so good.
Over the next several days I will be posting my thoughts on this and hopefully the words will help you answer the question I am trying to answer. Am I living a Christian life just so I can get something out of it such as Heaven, financial security, peace, etc... or am I living a Christian life for no other reason than I love God for everything He is? If you can answer yes to the second half of that question, then how are or do we show God we love him? It is a tough question but one we all need to ask ourselves because God has earned our love and we need to be acting daily to show God how much we love him.

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