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Posts Tagged ‘Elijah’


(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– And their eyes were opened, and Jesus straightly charged them, saying “See that no man knows it.” – Matthew 9:30

– Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition. – Abraham Lincoln

Would we ever do anything in life – if people never knew we did anything?  What would be the point of living?  What would we really do at our jobs if we couldn’t put it on a resume later?  Would we ever participate in competitive sports where nobody won championships – and no one received awards and trophies?  What would politicians do – if they knew it would never be put on the nightly news?

What’s the harm if we blow our own horns now and then?  Do we sometimes pretend it isn’t a big deal if nobody seems to notice us much?  Does it really not bother us if life starts to feel like we are blending in with the greenery and scenery, as alluded to in “Take the Long Way Home” by Supertramp?”  If we really did live a life of relative obscurity, what might our obituary look like?

Perhaps something similar to this: “John Doe, 85, passed away yesterday.  He never did much.  He will not be missed.”  However, this certain John Doe did thousands of good things in his life.  Although local library books could have been filled by them, pursuing personal praise and public notice wasn’t his earthly purpose.  Just like Jesus, whose deeds would have filled a few more books (John 21:25).

During a Passover feast, some of those around Jesus could not understand why he tried to avoid personal attention as much as possible.  Some of them said to Christ, “Depart, and go into Judea, so your disciples may also see the works you do.  For there is no man who does anything in secret, while he himself seeks to be known openly.  If you do these things, show yourself to the world (John 7:2-4).”

There are similar scenes throughout the four gospels where Christ charged the disciples to keep quiet about things he did, what he said … even about who he was. For example, when Jesus was on the road with them to Caesarea Philippi, he asked, “Whom do men say I am?”  After answers such as John the Baptist and Elijah – Christ charged them they should tell no man of who he was (Mark 8:27-30).

Was Jesus denying he was God’s Son?  In 1901, theologian William Wrede labeled Christ’s seeming quest for confidentiality the “Messianic Secret.” However, Jesus was not trying to keep a secret.  He just did not want to receive the reverence if his identity was revealed.  It did not belong to him. Christ was simply seeking God’s glory.  Speaking about himself wasn’t the way to do it (John 7:18).

The same goes for us.  Job learned a very painful lesson in humility because of his huge “I” problem (Job 1:11-19, Job 29:14-25).  Tooting our own Christian trumpets is not truth.  It tarnishes God’s glory by putting a varnish on ours.  Whatever glory we may be seeking for ourselves in doing any work for the Lord – is not His glory (Proverbs 25:27).  It is glorying in everything but the Cross (Galatians 6:14).

Pure and undefiled religion in God’s eyes – is the kind unspotted from this world (James 1:27).  It is when we work quietly and privately away from the public spotlight.  Serving all others with the unfeigned and fervent love God commands (1 Peter 1:22) – without fawning all over ourselves.  Without sounding the attention alarm by having to publish our works in the church bulletin – or post them on Facebook.

Christianity is not a contest.  We are to prove our own work, so any rejoicing will be in ourselves (Galatians 6:4).  We are not wise if we compare and measure ourselves with what other believers are doing (2 Corinthians 10:12).  Showcasing is often created when we do this.  Contention between Christians and churches follows.  Confusion, pride, and evil works ensue (Proverbs 13:10, James 3:16),

Until the day of Christ’s return – we are to have faith to ourselves (Romans 14:22).  We are to pray in private and fast secretly (Matthew 6:5-6, Matthew 6:18).  We are to let others who are strangers praise us – not our own mouths or lips (Proverbs 27:2). All Jesus did on earth was to go about His Father’s business.  Teaching the Word of truth, without having to boast about it.  The same goes for us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Scripture from the NKJV and KJV)

– And Elijah came unto all the people and said, “How long shall you halt between two opinions?  If the Lord be your God – follow Him.  But if Baal – then follow him.”  And the people did not answer him a word. – 1 Kings 18:21

Many people back in Old Testament days had trouble truly following God – just as we can Christ today.  Some blatantly worshipped Baal – an earthly, worldly idol.  They had their own priest named Mattan (2 Kings 11:18).  Others appeared godly outwardly with lip service – doing lots of religious things like the Pharisees in the New Testament – but their hearts were fully set on Baal and the goods of this world (Matthew 15;8).

In the lead verse above, some had believed Baal so completely and faithfully – they were positive he could summon fire down from heaven to Mt. Carmel – and begin the blaze for a burnt offering.  Elijah felt like he was the only one left who was truly following the true God.  So, Elijah put them on the spot – and their hesitation in answering seemed to confirm his suspicions about their allegiance.  They then proceeded to call on Baal from morning to noon – but no fire. Elijah then mocked their god (1 Kings 18:22-27).

What usually trips us up more often than anything else in our walk with the Lord as Christians – and causes us to stumble – is when we try to switch back-and-forth between the world and the Word.  We’re of two opinions.  We cannot drink of the Lord’s cup – and the cup of the devils; nor partake of the Lord’s table and the table of devils at the same time (1 Corinthians 10:21).  We can try – but it usually makes for a very bumpy ride on the road to heaven.

Some call this straddling the fence as believers – the Word on one side and the world on the other.  The grass may be greener on the world side, but the grace is greater on the Word side. Grace is unmerited favor.  When we are on the world’s side, we tend to have a merited favor mindset – not an unprofitable servant one (Luke 17:7-10).  We’ll follow the Word outwardly – but inwardly our hearts are set on goods we think we may deserve from God – often by merely being a Christian.  We can always fool others – but never Him (Hebrews 4:12-13).

If we halt and hesitate between two opinions every morning we wake up – as to whom we choose to serve that day (Joshua 24:15) – the shiny and tempting lights of the world that Satan and his ministers like to blind our eyes with might be too bright (2 Corinthians 4:4, 2 Corinthians 11:14-15).  We’ll be like moths to a flame.  Except the fire will be just more of the devil’s deceptive darkness – disguised as a very luring light (Luke 11:35).

The name Baal has become synonymous with false gods and fake worship in much of modern Christianity.  It’s commonly accepted through etymology that  the name Beelzebub originated from Baalzebub. – the prince of devils or demons (Matthew 12:24).  What’s going to happen if the world and Satan start winning out over the Word – as they seem to be doing more and more in today’s Christianity?  What if we misuse Scripture to just to get what we want in this fleeting life?  Will those with the opinion of truly following God by the Word be the ones who are mocked this time around (2 Chronicles 36:16)?

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