REPOSTToday’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Charles Choe who leads Tapestry Church in Los Angeles, was first posted on September 30, 2015. Charles is a graduate of University of California, Riverside (BA) and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Devotional Thoughts for This Morning
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 understand 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.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you that I don’t have to fear death, for, in you, I have enteral life. But, whenever I find myself feeling not so confident about what may happen after death, remind me that I’ve placed my trust in the One who has conquered death. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Ephesians 5
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 Corinthians 15:50-58: I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.  Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.  For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.  When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”  “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
Questions to Consider
- What is the mystery Paul is referring to in verse 51?
- Why has death, man’s greatest fear, rendered meaningless?
- What work are you doing that you consider it to be in vain, and what work are you doing that is not in vain?
- It’s the mystery of Christ’s return. Christ will come and we will all be made like Him in a twinkling of an eye.
- Death has been defeated through Jesus Christ who gives us victory. As Christ rose from the dead, we too will rise from the dead.
- 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