Sunday, July 01, 2012

July 1, 2012 … The Torch of Discipleship Is Passed

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 2nd Kings 1-4 1 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passage: 2nd Kings 1: 1-2; 15-16 :[NIV] … 1 After Ahab's death, Moab rebelled against Israel. 2 Now Ahaziah [the King in Israel] had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and injured himself. So he sent messengers, saying to them, "Go and consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, to see if I will recover from this injury." … 15 The angel of the Lord said to Elijah, "Go down with him [Ahaziah, the king]; do not be afraid of him." So Elijah got up and went down with him to the king. 16 He told the king, "This is what the Lord says: Is it because there is no God in Israel for you to consult that you have sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Because you have done this, you will never leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!"
Highlight Passage #2: Kings 2: 9 :[NIV] … 9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, "Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?" "Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit," Elisha replied. 
Highlight Passage #3: Kings 3: 11-12 :[NIV] … 11 But Jehoshaphat asked, "Is there no prophet of the Lord here, through whom we may inquire of the Lord?" … An officer of the king of Israel answered, "Elisha son of Shaphat is here. He used to pour water on the hands of Elijah." 12 Jehoshaphat said, "The word of the Lord is with him." So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him. 12 Jehoshaphat said, "The word of the Lord is with him." So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.
Highlight Passage #4: Kings 4: 32-35 :[NIV] … 32 When Elisha reached the house [of a Shunammite widow], there was the boy lying dead on his couch. 33 He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord. 34 Then he got on the bed and lay on the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out on him, the boy's body grew warm. 35 Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. 

My Journal for Today: My chronological read today takes me into the book of 2nd Kings, Chapters 1-4, where we read of the torch of prophesy being passed from one great prophet and mentor, Elijah, to his mentee, Elisha. And as this light of God was moving forward, the darkness in which these two anointed prophets showed the power of God in their miracles and powerful words from God, the people of God, under the leadership of corrupted kings, withered in disobedience and disrespect of God’s authority.

 If you continue to read along with me, we’ll be reading about how the kings of God’s chosen people became more divided and disrespectful of God and His chosen prophets; and ultimately their division and disarray proved their demise with their falling into slavery to unGodly kingdoms.

 But in today’s reading, the story of two of God’s great spokesmen was chronicled, … Elijah and Elisha. And in a very personal sense, the relationship of these two men reminded me of the relationship I had years ago with an Elder in our church who became my mentor. “Dr. Bob,” as I called this Godly man, … him being a retired physician, undertook a challenging discipleship project when I asked him to help me grow in the Lord. I met with that man for seven years weekly and five years bi-weekly until he finally cut me loose and told me that the torch of discipleship had been passed; and it was then my responsibility to go and disciple others.

When I read, above, of Elisha asking for a double portion of the power exhibited by Elijah, it reminded me of how I sought to glean as much of God’s wisdom from my mentor, Dr. Bob, as I could get from him. And God used my “Elijah” to pass along a great deal of what I now carry with me as I mentor and disciple to other men of God who seek to become Godly men.

 If you, being like Elisha, seek to become more powerful from God’s Spirit in your life, using your God-given gifts for His glory, I hope you’ve had an “Elijah” (or like me a “Dr. Bob”), … one who will walk ahead of you in the footsteps of God, leading and teaching you, until you can glean as much power from that relationship as you can to pass God’s torch forward in discipling others.

 I’m afraid the model of discipleship exhibited in these chapters in the OT, as well as that modeled by the relationship between the Apostle Paul and the younger Timothy in the NT, is not seen as often as it should be in today’s church. And because of that, I don’t think the torch and light of Christ is being passed along from one generation of Christians to the next as it should be.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, help me to pass Your torch, imparted to me from my mentor, to others so that they can pick up Your light and shine it to the next generation of Christians. Amen

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