Paul often using sports analogies in Scriptures. In this video, we look at a few of these sports analogies and how these Scriptures can give us an amazing perspective on life.Watch this short clip:
The Bible is a powerful tools of the Christian faith.
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
The contrasts between 1 Kings 18 and 1 Kings 19 are sharp and startling. Earlier, Elijah is bold and courageous, victoriously facing all kinds of odds with the chapter concluding, “the hand of the Lord was on Elijah.” Elijah experienced God’s supernatural strength to do the extraordinary. But in chapter 19, we find Elijah fearful, running scared, exhausted, depressed, and wanting to die.
In the section before us we see the cause of the change in Elijah. King Ahab tells the notorious Jezebel what Elijah had done. She reacts with vengeance and threatens Elijah’s life. Elijah runs for his life down to Beersheba in the desert in the southern most part of Judah. Leaving his servant, he continues another day’s journey further into the desert, crawls under a scrubby tree and, in deep depression, asks God to let him die.
It is in this state of spiritual depression that we find Elijah. Elijah’s depression is the result of a “perfect storm”—the convergence of several common causes. The first factor is what we might call unrealistic expectations. Re-read 19:4 – “I’ve had enough” means “That’s the last straw—I can’t take any more.” It is easy to get in trouble by letting legitimate spiritual desires turn into expectations that go beyond what God actually promises. This happens most often by expecting that key people in our lives will make good decisions about God. Of course we desire that they do this, and we pray to this end. But God has never promised that our desires or prayers (or even God himself) will overturn people’s free will. I have been devastated by expecting family members to turn to Christ—only to suddenly harden again and back away. I have counseled Christian friends about their wrong attitudes, watched my counsel sink in—only to see them revert back to the same wrong attitude. When things like this happen, they are bound to make us sad because we care about them. But when we base our emotional security on people’s choices rather than God’s faithfulness, the result is serious depression.
It is at this very time when Elijah most needed his support most, that he left himself totally isolated (juniper tree; cave). But it is here where he meets God again. He is waiting to hear from God in BIG ways….(let’s read):
1 Kings 19:11-13 (HCSB) “11 Then He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the Lord’s presence.”At that moment, the Lord passed by. A great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Suddenly, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
James 1:19 (NASB) “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak…”
The last several Fridays, I have continued the topic of Self-care. Today, as a Christian life coach, I address self-care from a Biblical angle. Let’s think about what Jesus did in the Bible.
While Jesus did spent a lot of time with his disciples and in teaching. He also had time everyday alone where he spend in prayer (Mk 1:35, 14:23, Lk 5:16, 6:12,13, 9:28, Mt 14:32, etc). He modeled what it means to have an intimate relationship with Jesus and he modeled the principle in Psalm 46:10 (NIV) which says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Another concept to realize is that our bodies are important:
1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 (ESV) asks “do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. ” We need to take care of our bodies.
Finally, a key principle from a Biblical perspective is in regards to the Sabbath, a day of rest for the Christian. The Christian is called to keep this day of rest, holy (Ex. 16:23, Is. 58:13, etc).
Is this still true for in the New Testament?
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:9-11)
Does it have to be Sunday? Not necessarily. John Piper puts it this way (2013):
“Now I think that the principle in the New Testament (Rom. 14 particularly) is that God ordains that one day in seven be restful. I think that’s a creation ordinance for our good, for our health.”
The key is on the importance of rest, God even had a day of rest after Creation, we too need to rest in order to be our best the rest of the week!
Piper, J. (2013). What does it mean practically to keep the Sabbath Holy?
Retrieved from http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/ask-pastor-john/what-does-it-mean-practically-to-keep-the-sabbath-holy
My talk from Community 242 worship Night in Lancaster, Oh on Humility from the book : “Cross Cultural Servanthood” by Daute Elmer:
I am the guy that gets beat up….
Only 2 times in New Testament (that I know of) did someone ask God to make life easier…both times God said NO!
The first and primary example is of Jesus. Matthew 26:39 “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me. Yet, not as I will, but as you will.” The Lord Jesus Christ asks God the Father if there is another way to fulfill His Will right before he is betrayed by Judas and captured to be crucified for our sins. There was no other way. The cup would not pass from Christ.
The second example is of Paul. In 2 Cor. 12, Paul explains how he asked God to remove a thorn from his side three times. Yet, God said no. God said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
In American culture we are determined to get what we want when we want it. We are determined to pray for our the easiest life possible. This is not always what God wants.
God is not glorified by making our plans succeed. He receives glory when His will is done in His way.
Understanding what God is about to do where I am is more important than telling God what I want to do for Him.
This part of submission is hard for me. I get these cool, big dreams and I want to do them for God, but that is not how it works. God will come to me. I need to relax and submit to God.
If the dreams are God’s dreams and He wants to work through me to do something I could never do than that is what is suppose to Happen. That is how God will work. He has His own wa and His own agenda! God will not adjust to me. I must adjust to Him.
“We do not sit down and dream what we want to do for God and then call God in to help us accomplish it.” (From Experiencing God: Blackaby and King)
“It’s not a question of what you can do for me…what can I do for you, My King?” (Tree63)
I am guilty of these things. I will sometimes find myself dreaming of what I think God wants and then I will ask God for help doing it….
But it does not work that way. We must die to ourself and submit to God and what He is doing. We must die to ourself and let God do what He is going to do (not what we want to do or what we thing He is going to do) and then we must join Him in HIS work!