Violence

It’s all around us.  Unspeakable violence and pain and loss.  People are doing horrible things to their neighbors.  They are putting themselves in danger and getting hurt.

Unfortunately, this is nothing new.  As I read the historical account in 1 Kings of Elijah facing off against 450 prophets of Baal, I am stopped by the picture this passage forms in my mind.  The prophets of Baal had just put a bull up on their altar and they are calling on Baal to come burn up their sacrifice.  Nothing happens. (of course)  So they began to shout louder and ‘slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed.’

The frantic violence I’m seeing in my mind looks a lot like the videos of looting and rioting that I see going on in our world right now.  And Satan is smiling.  His plans to divide and hurt as many people as possible are working.

Violence never fixes anything.  The gruesome self-mutilation of the priests of Baal sure didn’t do anything.

But wait!  I love this next part-

Elijah prepared a bull on the altar of stones and wood that he made as a sacrifice to the One True God.  To show the power of God, he poured 12 large jars of water on top of the altar.  The altar was totally soaked with water running down all over it and filling the trench around it.  Then Elijah prayed to God, asking him to show himself  ‘so these people will know that you, LORD, are God and that you are turning their hearts back again.”

As soon as Elijah finished praying, the fire of God came down from heaven and burned up the bull, the wood, the stones , the soil around it and all of the water.

“When the people saw this, they fell prostate and cried, ‘The LORD – he is God!”

Dear Father, we need you to send your power down to earth today.  We need this hate and division all around us to be burned up.  We need a purifying rain of your love and grace and peace to fall on each one of us today.  Let everyone see that you are the One True God.  Heal our country, Father.  Take the smile off of Satan’s face, God.  Turn all the angry, frustrated, violent hearts back to you, God.  You are the answer.  Thank you, Abba Father.  In the powerful name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Psalm 20, 2014

May the Lord always answer you when you call on him.May 6 2014

May he protect you.

May he send his mighty army of angels down from heaven to help you and support you.

May he remember all of the things you have done in his name and to his glory.

May he give you what you desire and make all of your plans succeed.

We all want to celebrate with you as God helps you succeed and have victory in the most important areas of your life.

May the Lord answer your prayers.

And this I know:

The Lord gives success to those who love him.

He answers them by using the mighty power in his hands.

Some people trust in themselves or in their bank account or in the stuff they own.

Not us!  We trust in God alone.

Others may fail, but not us.  Because God lives inside of us and we can stand firm!

Lord, give us victory in you when we call!  We’re watching for your answer!

The City of David

Jerusalem.

David built up the city and became more and more powerful because the Lord Almighty was with him.

On my recent trip to Jerusalem, we looked at an excavation site which experts believe to be remains of the City of David.  We stood where David lived as King.  It’s on the side of a hill looking down  on a beautiful section of Jerusalem.jerusalem from the city of david  We looked down upon the rooftops below us  just like David would have done when he saw Bathsheba.

The stories of David reverberated in my head as I looked out over David’s beloved Jerusalem.

First Chronicles tells us that the Lord Almighty was with David and he became more and more powerful.  Today, regular people like us don’t become more and more powerful by amassing armies and plunder.

We become more and more powerful as our witness to the power of God in our lives grows – when our faith becomes a rock which never waivers and cannot be moved.  Our power grows because God is with us all day, in every situation and we can feel him supernaturally moving through us.

And we grow more like Jesus who has all of the power.

Thank you, dear God!