April 11

2 Kings 1-3, Psalm 101

There was a TV series which I loved in the early 1970's called "Kung Fu" starring David Carradine. He would go from town to town, sort of an unassuming loner. Not appearing at all intimidating, at some point in the show he would usually be picked on by the bullies of the town. He would take it up to a certain point then without fail turn around and take them all on, beating them and humbling them in the process. Though the character in this show trusted in his own strength, we have a God in whose strength we can trust in and therefore not fear. One of the great aspects of the prophets and a characteristic that we should emulate is they were fearless and did not care about fitting in or being part of the majority. Time and time again in Scripture, they are surrounded, and in impossible situations, but their unflappable trust in God makes them thoroughly calm.

We read in 2 Kings 1:9-10, "Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty men. So he went up to him; and there he was, sitting on the top of a hill. And he spoke to him: "Man of God, the king has said, 'Come down!" So Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, "If I am a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men." And fire came down and consumed him and his fifty." After a few attempts at this, he is eventually presented to King Ahaziah, at which time he calmly speaks forth the word of God in 1:16, "...Therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die." Notice that Elijah was fearless and since he was speaking forth the Word of God, he spoke with authority. Notice the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:28-29, "And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes."

J. Vernon McGee said, "There is much talk today about the fact that we should learn to communicate and learn to get along with everybody. May I say to you that this is not God's method. The compromise of the church and its leaders has not caused the world to listen to the church. As a matter of fact, the world is not listening at all. They pass the church right by. Why? The world will not listen until the church declares the Word of God. If the church preached God's Word, there would be communication." So, we, are armed with the same weapon that Elijah was, the Word of God. With it , we need not be politically correct and fear acceptance by others. Armed with the Word, we too can speak with authority. With it, from Ephesians 6:17, we are protected from attacks against the "principalities, against the powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12). With it, we need not fear humanity, as we read in Matthew 10:28, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." And armed with its truth and promise of eternal salvation we need not fear death, we can fearlessly said what Paul said in Philippians 1:21, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." We have God's Word continually at our fingertips, but, do we choose to rely on this or our own strength and ingenuity? If we want to stand strong like the prophets of old, may we fortify ourselves with God's Word and fearlessly take our stand. As Paul said in Romans 8:31, "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?"

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster