LebBlog

LebBlog

Friday, July 19, 2019

Do it again...

A time of worship.

Elijah a Prophet of God calls together a time of reckoning as Ahab the king of Israel took Israel deeper and deeper away from the Lord and from worshiping the One True God!

Elijah commands Ahab to summon the people from all over Israel and to meet him on Mount Carmel. (1 Kings 18:19) He asks him to bring the fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table.

Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. (v20)

This showdown was intense.

Elijah will not only make a spectacle of the prophets but will very methodically begin to give honor to God in front of the entire assembly.

Israel had failed to serve the God who delivered them from Egypt. The God who revealed himself to  repeatedly.

Look how the Lord uses Elijah to call their attention to the past and to the present.

Elijah says to the people “come to me.” He begins to repair the altar of the Lord which had been torn down. (v30)

Elijah is setting the stage for a worship service!

Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.” (v31)

He reminds them where they came from. Twelve tribes scattered, with descendants looking at Elijah minister life to them again. A wake-up call! He reminds them they had an identity and repeats it to them. God knows your name. Actually, he gave you the name!

He takes the sacrifice, a bull cut into pieces and arranges it on the alter. (v33)

Here is the opportunity presented to them. Draw close to God!  With every stone placed I believe the reminder is clear.  God's people who had been called out of bondage and given the the land which they occupied had misrepresented God.

God’s people had become defiled by choosing to bow down to idols.

In our contemporary world, we enter sanctuaries and gather in our beautifully decorated buildings. But the call is the same.

Draw near to me. Come close my child whom I have called by name. Repent and turn back to me.

“Then the fire of the lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.” (v38) 

And today, as the Holy Spirit makes his presence known and we allow our hearts to be convicted, restored and renewed we too will fall prostrate and cry, “The Lord he is God.” (v30)

When we have strayed and somehow feel like there is a chasm between us and the Lord, what must we do?

Cry out to God repent and let him remind us again that we are his. His mercy today reached us a long time ago and continues to draw us to himself today.

Nothing else can satisfy. This world will lure us and have us bow down to the lust of our flesh, the lust of our eyes and the pride of life that reaps destruction.

“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us—eternal life.” (I John 2:20-25)

We repent. Restore us again.

“I know the night won't last . Your Word will come to pass. My heart will sing Your praise again/ 
Jesus, You're still enough. Keep me within Your love. My heart will sing Your praise again. 
Your promise still stands.  Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness. 
I'm still in Your hands. This is my confidence, You never failed me yet. 
I've seen You move, come move the mountains. And I believe, I'll see You do it again .
You made a way, where there was no way. And I believe, I'll see You do it again.”

(Lyrics by Elevation Worship, Do it Again)

God bless you!~Liz

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Thorns & Thistles - Oh My!

Yesterday my friend took me to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.
We walked and were able to observe,
touch and smell different types of flowers and plants in different environments from dessert to tropical settings.

When we traveled through the dessert plants, let’s say there was a lot less touching! The thorns kept my hands and fingers at a distance.

As we were leaving, I whispered to my friend, I wonder if thorns were around at the time of creation.

And that quickly the Holy Spirit reminded me of God’s Word that reads, “To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.”

Amazing! A product of the fall, the sin of man. God completed his creation and then rested. The sin of man brought a change to landscape of God’s creation and to us!

Death came along with every prickly plant.

It brings a different perspective to the thorn of crowns placed on the head of Jesus.

“They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.” (Matthew 27:28-31)

This is the Creator of the World who made everything perfect. He is crowned with the “sin” of man causing his very blood to be shed!

Can you feel that? Our worst condition placed upon him. It hits the very core of my soul!

Thorns and thistles the very image and product of our disobedience, always likened to separation from God, associated with sin in the Scriptures. This crown is placed on Jesus, and he took it!

They hurled insults at him. (2 Peter 2:23) He was despised and rejected by mankind. (Isaiah 53)

They taunted him. Mocked him. But as the blood drips from his forehead, this would be the way of redemption. He would make all things new again.

He did it because of us; our rebellion. Yet because of his unlimited love for us he will go to Calvary and give up his life.

A corrupted, sick world waiting for renewal.

“For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.” (Romans 8:20-21)

Without sin, there would be no need for redemption.
Without sin, thorns and thistles would not have been “produced.”

Redemption has come! He gladly took the thorns, the mocking, the beating because his love for us is grand, without limits!

Today, he offers this gift to you! Salvation is free!

The cost has already been paid by Jesus.

“See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Hebrews 3:12-3)

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Come, smell the flowers again. He is bringing restoration soon! It’s already been paid for.

God bless you!~Liz