July 14, Tuesday

Editor’s Note:  The AMI devotionals from July 13-19 are provided by Pastor Charles Choe of Tapestry LA.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

1 Kings 17:6: And the ravens brought [Elijah] bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.
14Droughts and famines happen in every area of life. In baseball, when a player finds himself in a drought, it’s called a “slump.” And everyone has them—even the best of them. One time Mickey Mantle, the all-time great, went through a terrible slump that just would not end. One particular game, he struck out in all three at bats. Disgraced, he sat on the bench muttering to himself, when a young boy named Tommy Bera, the son of the great manager Yogi Bera, walked over to him. Upon reaching him, he tapped Mantle’s knee tenderly to say the words, “You stink!”

Droughts happen in every area of life, but spiritual droughts are the worst. When the brook runs dry in your soul, the easiest thing to do is to give up in despair. But despairing and quitting are not what God’s people do.

Elijah the great prophet is suffering right along with the entire nation of Israel through a famine, as part of the judgment for Israel’s idolatry. Elijah was called to be obedient in the midst of it, and we too are called to obey whether in plenty or famine. But we must understand this: God never calls us to endure a situation that He Himself is not prepared to sustain us through.

God provided for Elijah during the famine. God says, “I have ordered the ravens to feed you.” The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and evening. The ravens!—the dark, dirty, scavenging birds, close relatives to vultures, creatures the Law declared “unclean” (Leviticus 11:13-19). God used these greedy robbers known to snatch up dirty pieces from carcasses to provide sustenance for Elijah. God can and often will use the most unlikely source to supply his people when they are in need. Can you imagine the utter dumbfoundment on Elijah’s face the first time these birds dropped off his meal?

If you are spiritually dry right now, if the brook is running dry, then take a moment and consider how God is sustaining you. Such a reflection may surprise you. God’s grace may be through an unexpected friend or perhaps through a struggle that you sense the Lord is allowing for your eventual good. In recognizing God’s provision, you might find yourself closer to revival than you think. In all, we must remember the promise that “…God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). God wants to sustain and refresh you.

Bible Reading for Today: Hosea 10

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Lunch Break Study

Read Romans 8:28-30

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. [29] For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. [30] And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Questions to Consider

  1. God weaves everything together for the good of His children. The “good” in this passage does not suggest earthly comfort, but conformity to whom (verse 29)?
  2. What aspects of salvation are listed in this passage?
  3. We are told that God has always been doing “good” for us, starting from creation to the day of Christ’s return. How does this comfort you today?

Notes

  1.  The “good” is conformity to Christ. God works for our good as we strive to be more like Christ.
  2. These are all aspects of salvation: justification (v.30), glorification (v.30) and sanctification (v.28 – in that God is working all things together for our good, presently).
  3. Personal response.

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 Evening Reflection

“Our heavenly Father understands our disappointment, suffering, pain, fear, and doubt. He is always there to encourage our hearts and help us understand that He’s sufficient for all of our needs. When I accepted this as an absolute truth in my life, I found that my worrying stopped.” – Charles Stanley

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