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 17:17-24
And the LORD listened to the voice of Elijah. And the life of the child came into him again, and he revived.
It’s not every day that one thinks about death, but presiding over a funeral recently had me thinking about it head on. If we are honest, death can be a very scary prospect—even more so if we’ve lost a love one in a very untimely manner. Such is the case for the widow in our story today whose son became ill and he died. She was devastated. Not only had she lost her husband, but now her son as well. In her grief, she looked to Elijah for answers, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son” (v.18)?
At this point, we might wonder why we are looking to this widow as an “OT figure of faith.” Instead of entrusting her son faithfully to the Lord and accepting that it was His will to take him at this time, she lashes out at the prophet of God, Elijah. And even Elijah seems to be shaken, saying, “O LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” (v.20). Here was one of the Lord’s most prominent prophets apparently taking God to task for ending this boy’s life and causing the widow extreme heartache and hardship.
Death has a way of doing that to us. The most faithful amongst us can be shaken to the core in the time of death. There is something so final, so irreversible about death, that it can send shudders down our spines. Death rattles us, push us to our limits, and can even call God into question.
But as a way of preview of Christ’s resurrection, we see that God is the God of life— and He has power over death. Using Elijah, God raises the widow’s son to life. When Elijah gives back her son, she says, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth” (v.24). So through this miracle her feeble faith was confirmed and strengthened.
We learn from this story that God understands our fears and worries about death. But He is calling us to look to Him because He is able to do the impossible. By putting our faith in Jesus, we overcome our greatest fears. Let us never put our confidence in ourselves—even when death comes our way—but let us always place our faith in the object of our faith: Jesus who became nothing so that we might have everything, including life over death.
Bible Reading for Today: Hosea 12
Lunch Break Study
Read 2 Corinthians 9:7-8
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
Questions to Consider
- Why does God love a “cheerful giver”?
- Why are we not to give “grudgingly or of necessity”?
- Consider how you give your offering to the church? Is it with a cheerful heart?
- God loves joy-motivated giving to others because it expresses contentment in God’s gracious giving to us.
- To give grudgingly—or out of a sense of obligation—is to not thoroughly understand God’s blessings, the way he has blessed us and continues blessing us.
- Personal response.
“As base a thing as money often is, yet it can be transmuted into everlasting treasure. It can be converted into food for the hungry and clothing for the poor. It can keep a missionary actively winning lost men to the light of the gospel and thus transmute itself into heavenly values. Any temporal possession can be turned into everlasting wealth. Whatever is given to Christ is immediately touched with immortality.” –A.W. Tozer