1 Kings 19:4-8
“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree.”
BREAD OF LIFE
(click on the title above to listen to the sermon)
The angel of the LORD came a second time, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.”He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.
Even when Elijah himself could only see scarcity, the God of abundance provided. I think it’s important for us to get this point right. God’s abundance is not dependent upon our ability to believe it exists.
Having faith in God’s abundance will certainly have a profound positive impact on our lives but it is a popular contemporary theological mistake to make God’s provision and abundance contingent upon my ability to appropriate that abundance by the strength of my own believing.
If that sounds a little confusing, let’s wrap it up like this. Two babies were brought forward for baptism. They were each sealed with the promised Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever. That gospel is true because the good news of what God has done in Christ spills over to include these children along with you and me.
Do the two little ones baptized completely understand the love and grace poured out upon them? Is it their deep faith and understanding that has made this promise real? Should we tell them one day, that if only they believe strongly enough these promises will be true?
God waited for none of that. In baptism, God puts the cart before the horse and says, I claim you as my child. I love you. I forgive you for sins you have yet to commit. You are mine.
You have been chosen and called to a life of purpose, meaning and adventure by the God of abundance. This is true even in the midst of your doubt and fear. Elijah lay down under the broom tree with no faith left and gave up. And God said, take and eat, Elijah. Oh, the places we have yet to go…
Questions to Ponder/Discuss
1. Has anyone ever tried to encourage you by saying something like, “if you really believe, God will answer your prayer?” If so, did this sentiment bring comfort?
2. How does faith in God’s abundance affect the way you live, give and serve?
3. A popular saying is, “God helps those who help themselves.” How does this statement relate to Elijah’s story?
Try to stay focused on God’s provision and abundance this week. When you are tempted to worry about what you lack, turn your attention instead to all the blessings that God has provided. Many have found that keeping a “gratitude journal” is helpful and a lot of recent scientific research supports this idea.