Thursday, July 02, 2009

2009 – Day 182.July 2 – Redirecting Our Gaze

2009 – Day 182.July 2 – Redirecting Our Gaze

Passage of the Day: 2nd Kings 2: 9 – 13 …
Linked for your study …

Second Passage of the Day: Matthew 17: 1 – 13 … Linked for your study …

My Journal for Today: It’s my last day studying the life and works of Elijah, one of God’s great prophetic heroes of the Old Testament. And Chuck Swindoll makes an interesting and accurate observation to close out this study. He makes the personal study note that Elijah’s life was one which causes us to look to the life of our Savior.

And in this final look, Swindoll redirects our thoughts, remembering how Elijah often spent time alone to allow God to shape his being just as Jesus did when He was on His trek to the cross. >>> And we saw Elijah’s courage to face the ungodliness of the leaders of his day. Certainly that has to remind us of Jesus as He confronted the misguided religious leaders of His day. >>> Then there was the compassion of Elijah which was exhibited during his time with the widow in the wilderness; and reading this, I immediately thought of the compassion of our Lord with the woman at the well or with the prostitute whom he restored to life eternal. … Then, we studied how Elijah had his own time of agony, much like Jesus’ confrontation with Satan in Gethsemane. >>> And finally we see Elijah being lifted directly into heaven much like our Savior who was lifted by the Spirit of God directly to be with God, the Father.

Is it no wonder that when Jesus asked his disciples about whom the people said He was [see Matt. 16: 13-14], they responded with the image of the Prophet Elijah. And any well schooled Jew of that day would know the prophesy of Malachi (in Malachi 4: 5 – 6) that when the Messiah comes, He would be preceded by one like Elijah; and we know, of course, from Scripture that this was fulfilled by the life of John the Baptist.

Swindoll is right that studying the life of Elijah takes our spiritual vision off of the world and ourselves and places our directional focus on Christ. Certainly Swindoll is right when he claims that one of the primary goals of every Christian is to be transformed into Christlikeness. And in seeking Christlikeness, we need to be able to see that we must take our eyes off of the world or our own desires and to do what Christ commanded of His disciples in Luke 9: 23, a passage I really hope you have memorized and internalized, because it is Christ’s command for us to become like Him … to deny ourselves, … to take up our crosses daily, … and to follow Him. Following in the life example of an Elijah certainly is walking in the truth of Christ’s commands.

And once again, as it so often happens when I come to my time with God in these morning times of my life, as today, my mind is taken back to that great old hymn …

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face;
And the things of this world will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

Studying Elijah’s life has allowed me to do just that; and it has re-energized me with the desire to become more like our Savior. And for anyone who might be spending time with God along with me here in this study, that is my prayer for you as well.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, turn our eyes to You so that we can follow You and become more like You. Transform us, Lord, into Your image so that we might glorify You, our Father, in Heaven. Amen

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