Wednesday – October 30, 2019 – Doing Better

2 Kings 2:7-14 (NIV) Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?”

“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.

10 “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.”

11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12 Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.

13 Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.

We’ve seen that Elijah was a man of prowess. Elisha proved to be the same. He might have been twice so. If you chart out the miracles in each of their ministries, Elisha performed twice as many as Elijah. Maybe he had better preparation then his predecessor had. Elijah may have been reluctant to call him, but he did a thorough job of training him. There was something in his character that caused him to want to be in the presence of Elijah. Even when Elijah wanted to leave him behind because of the hardships that he knew were ahead, he would not depart from his side. He went everywhere that Elijah went. He watched and observed, preparing himself to do twice as much for the Kingdom of God as his spiritual father had done. At least that is what he hoped for. He wanted a double portion of God’s spirit compared to what Elijah had experienced. 

Elijah was a man of reputation and often impressed people. He was known to have been transported by God from place to place. Read 1 Kings 18:9-15. When he ascended to heaven, people had no idea what was really happening. They simply thought he was being transported from one place to another. He wasn’t; he was going to heaven with a greater plan in place. 

When Elisha saw Elijah ascending to heaven and picked up his cloak that had fallen to the ground, he knew that his hope had been granted. Maybe he was able to do that because he saw himself as half the man that Elijah had been and symbolized it when he tore his own cloak in half. Big headedness will eliminate you from what God has for you. You must recognize that your call is based on God’s grace and not your self-importance. When he picked up Elijah’s cloak, he began his own prophetic ministry. He began by performing for his first miracle the same miracle as the last one that Elijah had done. Like Elijah, he did not suffer foolishness lightly and he became a force to be reckoned with. Afterall, he was the one who would destroy the last vestiges of King Ahab’s wicked house.

Could it be that God’s desire is that each succeeding generation become twice what the previous had been? 

 

Prayer: Lord, help us to not miss out on what You want for our generation. Encourage those of us who are coming to the end of our ministries and empower those of us who are just beginning. 

Monday – September 23, 2019 – The God of Generations

Matthew 22:31-32 (NIV) But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’ He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

 

God is the God of the living, not the dead. The proof of that reality is in the historically verified resurrection of Jesus who tells of His resurrection before He even died. Since death could not hold Him, it cannot hold those who believe in Him either. That includes those who believed in Him before He was born; including His forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They may be dead historically, but they are alive and in Heaven with Jesus now. Jesus’ influence would go on for generation after generation, with each preceding generation providing blessings for those who followed. Exodus 20:4 promises that God shows love to those who love Him to the thousandth generation. God promised Abraham that it was through his seed that all the earth would be blessed. Genesis 12:7 (KJV) And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him. Paul builds on this verse. Galatians 3:16 (NIV) The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.

 

It is through the one person Jesus that each succeeding generation could be blessed. All it takes is to believe in Him. I recently learned that my heritage on my father’s side of the family includes English Puritans who left England to escape religious persecution so they could worship Jesus in the way that He deserves. My mother’s family emigrated from France and were part of the French Huguenots who also left Europe under religious persecution. They too, wanted to see God’s Kingdom flourish. I have imagined the great cloud of witnesses referred to in Hebrews 12:1 as including my Puritan and Huguenot ancestors looking down from Heaven on me and rejoicing as they see me proclaiming and promoting the gospel today.

 

Prayer: Father, it is so exciting to see that what Abraham began in faith has continued from generation to generation in that same faith. Thank you for your plan of salvation.