Tag: consuming fire

Thankful for Jesus’ Mercy!

Scripture reading for October 27th:  Luke 5-9

Key Scriptures:  Luke 9:51-56  “As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.  And He sent messengers on ahead who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for Him; but the people there did not welcome Him, because He was heading for Jerusalem.  When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?”  But Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went on to another village.”

Jesus was heading for Jerusalem and went through Samaria.  He sent messengers ahead to prepare a place to stay, but was not welcomed there because of the racial strife between Jews and Samaritans.   The disciples felt that this was an affront worthy of God’s fiery judgment but Jesus rebuked them!  Followers of Jesus must leave all judgment to God alone!  Mercy must be shown to those in ignorance and unbelief.

Thankful God knows when to judge:  “Then he (King Ahaziah of Samaria) sent to Elijah a captain with his company of fifty men.  The captain went up to Elijah, who was sitting on top of a hill, and said to him, “Man of God, the king says, ‘Come down!'”  Elijah answered the captain, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!”  Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men.”  (2nd Kings 1:9-10)

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The Prosperity Trap!

Scripture reading for February 24th: Deuteronomy 8-11

God’s ways are that of a father.  He cares deeply for the welfare of His children and because He loves them, He disciplines them.  Moses, in his second message, continued to encourage this younger generation to remember, listen, and learn to obey God completely so that they would enjoy and prosper in the new land God was giving them.  In fact, Moses had prophetic insight about a major problem that they would soon face and sought to warn them about a danger he saw lurking in this wonderful new land.

This land was a good land and full of wonderful things that would supply needs of the children of Israel.  There were valleys and hills, vineyards and groves of fig trees, land to grow wheat and barley, and an abundance of pasture for flocks.  There were deposits of precious minerals in the land and the ability to have wealth.  Moses warned them to be careful when they enjoyed this wealth.  They could easily forget God!  (Deuteronomy 8:10-11) When that happened they would surely find trouble.

Prosperity is something we all would like to have and God also wants us to prosper.  (3 John2)  Our thinking often goes something like this: ” if only we had a nice home on some land, then we will be happy and satisfied.”   We scrimp and save to finally get the nice home but find our friend got a nicer home!  We are soon dissatisfied and begin the process all over again, losing sight of the joy of a relationship with God and  with our family because we placed our focus on getting something.

Real prosperity is loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.  (Deuteronomy 6:4) It is contentment with what God provides and enjoyment of His presence with us on our journey.  We need to remember that He is the source of everything.  (Deuteronomy 8:17)  God took His children through the wilderness to demonstrate that He would take care of them.  They had manna to eat every day, but were dissatisfied with that supernatural food.  He wanted them to learn that our true food is the word of God coming from His mouth to us.  (Deuteronomy 8:3-4)  Jesus reiterated these words from Deuteronomy when He was tempted of the devil to turn stones into bread in the wilderness.  (Matthew 4:2-4)  Jesus went on to live this out for us and shows us the way to ultimate prosperity!

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