Posts Tagged ‘Books of Kings’

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ELISHA EQUATION – Dec 7

December 7, 2014

“Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots and fire all around Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:17

mr finchIn a recent episode of Person of Interest, Mr. Finch was inquired as to his favorite equation. “What a fascinating question”, I thought. I don’t even remember his answer as I became lost in the consideration of whether I had favorite equation.

I really wanted to have a favorite equation. It seems such an intelligent thing to have. However, the opportunity for pride was quickly dispelled when I finally concluded that I know only a few equations worthy of being a favorite and those lacked the obscurity that pride necessitates in making others feel inferior. Nevertheless, I pursued the question of equation preferment.

As an engineer by education and profession, I have taken a lot of math classes. I survived mathematics not through any special abilities but through sheer determination. “Math for math’s sake” never intrigued me. It was only when I began to understand the beauty of its utility in physics that I began to enjoy it, which is probably why I am an engineer rather than a mathematician.

I have always been enticed by the ability of mathematics to describe the world we live in. The fact that we can use very simple and elegant equations to calculate the path of projectiles still fascinates me. The magnificent utility of a simple right triangle’s mathematics is fabulous.

I love mathematics that I can visualize in my mind; this mathematics makes sense with the physical world that I know.

We live in a 3-dimensional world. It is natural for us to visualize a 3-dimensional world. I even can understand the 4th dimension as space-time. It is the world of mathematics and physics beyond the 4th dimension where I become shaky.

The dimensions beyond the 4th are of an existence beyond our senses and the mathematics looses most of the simplistic elegance of Newton’s laws in my opinion. I guess that is why, beyond the 4th dimension, my ability to visualize the language of mathematics falls apart.

I really wanted my favorite equation to be one of quantum mechanics. As much as I long for the Schrödinger equation or Heisenberg equation to be my favorite, they are not. I don’t really understand them or the physics that they are calculating, no matter how much visualizing I attempt.

However, my lack of understanding does not diminish my belief in the existence of a 5th dimension. We are told that physicists are close to proving the existence of a 5th dimension. I have only to read my Bible to see that it exists.

What is it that you believe Elisha and his servant
saw along the horizon of Dothan? (2 Kings 6:8-19)

space horizon

Elisha prayed for his servant’s eyes to be open to see what existed but was beyond his ability to see. We know they could see their physical 3-dimensional world. We know that what they saw within the 4th dimension – time. They were looking into a world that existed beyond our physical world yet parallel with it.

Sort of sounds like the 5th dimension to me.

I believe that Elisha and his servant were given the ability to split the fabric of our dimension and peer into another to see its inhabitants – the servants of God. My guess is that there is some mathematics that describes the physical phenomenon that allowed Elisha and his servants to see this other dimension. I wonder if it has a name. I think I will call it the Elisha equation until I know its true name.

I sit at my desk and gaze out my window into the white fog. I can imagine it parting like a curtain to allow me to see what I know by faith is there. Unfortunately, I don’t know the Elisha equation and God is not doing it for me, so I will continue to live by faith.

However, I do find great comfort in the existence of the Elisha equation. I find great comfort in the reality that God and His servants are truly with me even though I do not see them. They know the Elisha equation and can aid me in any manner that is in accordance to God’s will. Therefore, Elisha’s words to his servant still ring true to us:

Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. (2 Kings 6:16)

My favorite equation is the Elisha equation.

It is an equation that I don’t understand, cannot derive, nor even describe but I believe to be true. It is an equation that describes a condition in a world created by my God in such a way for Him to send His own Son from one dimension into another to condemn the sin of my flesh in order that the righteous requirement of His law might be fulfilled in me.

That is a pretty glorious equation and an incredibly glorious God.

star-trails-from-space-01

PRAYER: Father, thank you for creating the world as you did.  Thank you for being near.  Help me to remember that I am never alone and that even interstellar dimensions cannot separate me from You.  Thank for making me a child of God.   I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

 

 

 

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“INSTRUCTION THAT MATTERS” – Mar. 3

March 3, 2013

“And Jehoash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all his days, because Jehoiada the priest instructed him.” 2 Kings 12:2

What will be the words written on my son’s epitaph?

How will a generation who has yet to touch this earth’s soil speak of my daughter?

My children will have a legacy.  They will be known for something.  I wonder what it will be.  Every life is known for the particular fruit that it bears. What will be their fruit?

I have a specific hope for them.

We invest a lot of time instructing our kids in academic subjects.  I will be deeply satisfied if they become known for their intellect…but that is not my specific hope for their legacy.

I coach my daughter’s basketball team.  It will be a blessing if she receives a college athletic scholarship…but that is not what I hope she is known for.

My son has participated in speech competitions and done very well.  I will be very proud of him if venues are filled to hear his oration…but that is not the legacy that I pray will be his.

My children may gain all the accolades of this world.  They may climb to the top of a variety of ladders.  Their resumes may drip with awards and accomplishments.  Success may follow them like an obedient pet.

However, what have they gained if their legacy is a forfeited soul? (Matt. 16:26)

Every legacy has an origin.  The foundations of my children’s epitaphs are being formulated now.

My hope is that, Lord willing, long after I am gone, it will be said of my son, “he loved the Lord with all that he was, for all of his days, to the glory of God Almighty; he was a good and faithful servant of his Savior.”  That my daughter will be a virtuous woman of God whose remembrance brings forth smile as it is said, “she loved her Savior with all that she was, for all of her day, to the glory of God; she was a good and faithful servant of the King.’ old school

I have no control over the legacy of my children.  Their faith is a gift from God to them.  However, this is not to suggest that my wife and I’s instruction is not without importance.  Jehoiada the priest was greatly used in the life of King Jehoash by instructing the young King.  We are told in proverbs, “train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6); Instructing a child in the Lord’s ways does matter.

As Matt Chandler has said, we are stacking kindling around our children with every Bible study, every encouragement in spiritual disciplines, every time we rely upon the Word, every prayer, every example of faithfully walking in the Spirit.  All of our instruction is spiritual fuel around the base of our children’s hearts.

There is no better sound to the ears of a child of God then to hear the “whoosh” of the Spirit sparking a mighty blaze of a passion for our Savior in the heart of our children to the praise and glory of our King.

My children’s legacies have begun.  The period of influential instruction is now.  Therefore, I want to be wise and focus on instructing them in those areas that will have eternal value and will result in an epitaph that will be a pleasing fragrance to our Father.

Now is the time of diligent instruction.  It matters.

PRAYER: Father, I know that the salvation of my kids is in your hands.  I pray Lord that you will save them and keep them.  Protect them from the evil one and lead them to persevere in their faith.  Father, I know and accept the responsibility that you have given me as a parent.  I know that I am modeling to them how to follow you.  Lord, give me the wisdom, understanding, and passion to show my kids how wonderful you are.  Father, take my kids and use them for your glory.    Amen

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PLAYING FOR AN AUDIENCE OF ONE – Feb. 11

February 11, 2013

“To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his abilities.” Matthew 25:15

Sonicnet.com campaign 11

Sonicnet.com campaign 11 (Photo credit: Fred Seibert)

Acclaimed violin virtuoso Joshua Bell took his violin to the train station as part of an experiment.  He played the Gibson ex Huberman.  It was handcrafted in 1713 by Antonio Stradivari during the Italian master’s “golden period,” toward the end of his career, when he had access to the finest spruce, maple and willow, and when his technique had been refined to perfection. The price tag for this violin is reported to be about $3.5 million.

In the three-quarters of an hour that Joshua Bell played, seven people stopped what they were doing to hang around and take in the performance, at least for a minute. Twenty-seven gave money, most of them on the run — for a total of $32 and change. That leaves the 1,070 people who hurried by, oblivious, many only three feet away, few even turning to look.

So many people just hurried past a performance that normally would have cost them hundreds of dollars if they were able to get a ticket at all.  A great performance is not dependent upon the venue or the audience and can easily be missed.

I think that there are so many Christians who are preoccupied by both venue and audience.  They don’t want to use their talents in a train station where only seven people will stop to listen or they may feel like they don’t have much talent and shouldn’t even play in a train station.   Every person has been given some talent.  It is up to us to decide what we are going to do with the talents that God has entrusted us with.

Brahms for a Sunday Afternoon

Brahms for a Sunday Afternoon (Photo credit: mRio)

The good servant will just play.  The good servant doesn’t worry if they are playing with the five talents of a virtuoso or the single talent of a hack.  The good servant will just play. The good servant doesn’t worry if they are playing to a crowded music hall or an indifferent train station.

We can become so preoccupied with applying our talents in a manner that we find acceptable that we end up not applying them at all.  That is the greatest waste of a person’s talent.  Jesus has a very specific description of this type of person, wicked and slothful.

We need to use our talents and let God handle the rest.  It may be telling a stranger on the train about Jesus; teaching a Sunday School class; talking about your faith with co-workers or friends; leading your kids in a Bible study; encouraging your pastor & church leaders.  You may not think that is ministry but it is.  It is using the talents that God has given you.  You may only have the opportunity to lead a small group when you have the talent to preach.  Teach the small group with all of your talents and make it the best study ever.  Does it matter that your “train station” only has four people in it.

You may only have one talent.  Then play that talent with all of your heart.

You may have all sorts of talent but no opportunity. Then play those talents with all of your heart where you are today.  Don’t be discouraged about where you get to play your talents.  Play where you have an opportunity to play.  That is where God has you and He does not make mistakes.

Remember we are playing our talents for the Master who gave them to us.  Let Him worry about the venue and the audience.  Our job is to just close our eyes and play where we are, for His glory.

PRAYER: Lord, forgive me for being so much like the servant who refused to used their talents.  Lord, forgive me for thinking that the talents you have given me can only be used in a specific manner.  Father, you are my audience.  Lord, give me wisdom to invest the talents that you have given.  Don’t let me passively sit and let my life slide on by.  Lord, I will play my talent, where I am today with all of my heart and for your glory.  May you receive all praise and honor.   Amen

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THE SOURCE OF EXTRAORDINARY – Feb. 10

February 10, 2013

“And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt.” 1 Kings 4:29-30

“Who in all of history, other than Jesus, would you like to meet?’

I think that most people have played this game at one point or another.  King Solomon is a man who I would love to meet.  He is probably the most unique man in all of history.  I think that it would be absolutely fascinating to take a walk with Solomon and just listen to the breadth of his knowledge and understand.

Solomon was a very special person.  He was exceptional in every respect.  He knew music, poetry, philosophy, biology, astronomy, art, architecture, logistics, psychology, finance, diplomacy, and much more.  We are told that there was none like him has ever been before him and that no one after him would be like him.” (1 Kings 4:12)

Solomon was unique to all of history.  Think about that.

Leonardo da Vinci and Albert Einstein were not smarter than Solomon.

Rembrandt and Michelangelo did not understand art better than Solomon.

Aristotle and Plato were not wiser than Solomon.

King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Solomon was a very special man.  People traveled from around the known world just to listen to his wisdom.  I can’t get someone to travel from the adjoining room to listen to what I have to say.

Many people think that God can only use the extraordinary.  They think that since they are ordinary then God cannot really use them.  We need to remember that God does not search the world for special people that he can use.  He is not scanning the world to and fro in hopes of finding the perfect combination of intellect and speaking ability so that He can bless that person in preaching His gospel.  He does not have a list of assignments to the mission field that He is waiting for the right candidates to come along and fill.

God makes special people.

Solomon was not born extraordinary.  It was not obvious that he should be the next king.  There was a lot of controversy over how was going to inherit King David’s throne.  Solomon appears to have been a pretty ordinary choice.  Solomon got the job because of a promise made to his Mom.  Solomon was not extraordinary.

It was God who made Solomon extraordinary.

It was God who gave Solomon his wisdom and understanding and a breadth of mind that exceeded anyone of any time.  God did not need Solomon to fulfill His purposes.  God would not have put all His plans on hold if Solomon had happened to struggle with logic or if math problems stumped him.

God made Solomon special because He had a special purpose for Solomon.

It is good for us all to remember that there are no limits for those who are in Christ Jesus.  God will equip you precisely as you to be for precisely what He has for you to do.   God is looking for at least two qualities in us:

  1. Willingness to step out in faith.  Solomon was willing to accept the throne even though he knew that he was not quite ready.
  2. Humility – Solomon did not take that throne with the idea that he could figure it out.  He knew that he needed God.

That is what it means to live by faith.  We can do nothing without faith.  Yet, anything is possible for God.  What is keeping you from serving God?

Let’s set out in faith, trusting God to accomplish His will through us and to give us what we need, when we need it.

PRAYER: Lord, thank for giving me all good things.  Thank you for giving me all the talents and understanding that I have.  They are all gifts from you.  Father, I give them back to you to be used for your purposes.  Forgive me for being so good at coming us with limitations.  Lord, I can do nothing without you.  I pray Lord that you will fill be with you Spirit and with your understanding.  Help me to see this world with your eyes.  Lord, help me to live by faith in all that I do..     Amen

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