Arise

“And it came to pass the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and much people.
Now when He came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her, and said unto her,
‘Weep not.’
And He came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And He said,
‘Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.’
And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And He delivered him to his mother. And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, ‘That a great prophet is risen up among us;’ and, ‘That God hath visited His people.’ ”  Luke 7:11-16

Not Heard

“And He said unto them,
‘Ye will surely say unto Me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal Thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Thy country.’
And He said,
‘Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; but unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.’ ”   Luke 4:23-27

“I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.”   Psalm 77:1

Words of Jesus; Son of God, God the Son – 091320

“And He looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And He said,
‘Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: for all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.’ ”  Luke 21:1-4  (KJB)

Words of Jesus; Son of God, God the Son – 091020

“And He spake a parable unto them that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; saying,
‘There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: and there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, ‘Avenge me of mine adversary.’ And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I fear not God, nor regard man; yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’
And the Lord said,
‘Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them?
I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?’
”  Luke 18:1-8  (KJB)

Giving From Poverty

“And He looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said,
‘Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: for all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.’” Luke 21:1-4 (KJB)

It seems that the wealthy; many of them; like to make much to do about their giving. Though any giving to aid those who are less fortunate, or are experiencing difficult financial times is generous. Being noticed for it, or seeking applause from the populace is not applauded by God.

Jesus, in the verses of Luke above, was sitting near by where the giving box was located, and He must have heard the jingling of the coins as they went into the metal receiving. Those who were more able to give wanted it to sound as though they were giving much, and Jesus noticed a poor widow who put in all that she had.

When it comes to giving who gives more the man with a million dollars who only gives a tenth of his wealth? or the one who lives from week to week on wages, whose take home pay maybe 400 dollars, and he/she tithes from that? I will let you answer that.

A few years ago there was two very well known billionaires who made the announcement, and quite publicly that they were going to give half of their wealth to aid the poor.  Now there is no doubt in my mind that that was a very noble act. Let us think about that for a moment.  At that time the younger one of the two had a net worth of over 50 billion dollars. Now let us think of that. If he was giving half of that to aid the poverty stricken, he still has a net worth of 25 billion. There is absolutely no sacrifice in the giving.

These people that were putting their money in the box were giving from their wealth; that is what Jesus said. The widow was giving all she had, and Jesus applauded this woman for doing so.

At this time of year many people get generous with giving. Giving gifts to family, friends, work associates, etc.  Organizations give food, clothing, and gifts because of the time of year it is.  That is wonderful. Why do we not make it a year round policy to give sacrificially to others in need? One month in a year. That is good.  Great giving would be doing it from January 1 through December 31.

Think of this. Genuine generous giving is when you give until it hurts; and you need to cut back on something for yourself  to give.

Jesus Christ gave us all He had. He gave His life, dying on the cross for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again. In Him and through His is life everlasting.

The Teaching of Jesus

“And He taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy Him, and could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.” Luke 19:47-48 (KJB)

During the final week of the life of Jesus as the God-Man walking among men He spent His days teaching in the temple, going out at night to the Mount of Olives to rest and pray (Luke 21:37).

In reading Luke 19 – 21 today I noticed many things about His teaching.  He taught some new parables of the kingdom, some warning the religious rulers of their impending loss of the kingdom.

He also took note of the generous heart of a widow who gave more than all, because she gave all she had.  People listened.  They were attentive; you might even say they hung onto every word He said.

No man taught like this Man; neither do any of 2019 in any part of the world; though some probably think they do.

I tend to believe that those who were seeking to destroy Him were jealous of His power of conviction, passion for God and His word, and love for the people.

Do you love the teachings of Jesus?  There might be some who will say, “But how can I hear the teachings of Jesus?”  There is only one answer to that question.  Pick up the Scriptures called the Holy Bible, and start reading, then you will hear the teachings  of Jesus.  If you are new to reading the Bible, then begin with the Gospels – Matthew through John.  You will be drawn to Him if you have a sincere heart to know Him.

Jesus came to die for you and me.  He died on the cross, was buried, and He rose again.  Hear Him, believe Him, trust Him.

Elijah-How One Man Made a Difference-Part 4

Truth in Palmyra

1 Kings 17:17,18

And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?

 This may very be a real “Say what?” moment. Things have been tough on both Elijah the Prophet and the widow woman he has been living with. Elijah has spent a year camped out by a brook, alone save for a providing bird. The woman had been living alone with her son, watching the land grow dry and her food run out. Then Elijah had come along and things may have seemed to be looking up.

The woman’s son…

View original post 1,095 more words

The Treasure of Giving

“And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And He called His disciples, and saith unto them, ‘Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: for all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, all her living.’” Mark 12:41-44  (KJB)

Jesus was watching people give into the container where the offering for the temple was received.  Many of the wealthier ones gave out of their abundance; this poor widow gave all that she had.

Who gave the most?  The poor widow did.

Several years ago a couple of billionaires of the U. S. of A. announced that they were going to give half of their wealth to aid the poor.  That was noble thing to do.  Both of their worth was around or over 50 billion dollars apiece. If they were giving half of that would they not still have 25 billion.  Such sacrifice.  Smile.

The widow gave all she had.  It is said, that our Lord said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” and so it is.  One of our greatest treasures is giving.  Giving from a willing heart.  Giving; not from what we do not have, but from what we have; with that willing heart.  That in itself is a treasure.

Our Lord Himself gave His best, His all to redeem us from our sins. He died on the cross.

Caring for the Stranger, the Orphan, and the Widow

“When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands. When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.” Deuteronomy 24:19-22 (KJV)

It is said elsewhere that they were to even leave the corners of their fields (Leviticus 23:22); and in these verses it includes the widow. It is called “gleaning” for the widow, the orphan and the stranger of the land to go out into the fields and the orchards, and the olive groves, and the vineyards to harvest what they could find.

This was a command of the LORD, and was a blessing from God to do so. The commandments of the Lord are not grievous (1 John 5:3). We are blessed by God in keeping His commandments. We bless others by keeping these commandments. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

The above is a good thing for a Christian business man to follow today.  Sure the practice of the law above involved agriculture, farming, sowing and reaping; however these same principals can apply to any legitimate business.  There are many businesses who have more profits than they need; many CEO’s who make exorbitant salaries, bonuses, etc. why not make some of that available to their employees, and neighborhood people in need?  Gleaning does not need to be just agricultural.

If you are a Christian business man consider this way, and when you do I can see you being blessed by God greatly.

Elijah, Elisha and Jesus

“Ye will surely say unto Me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal thyself. Whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Thy country.'”  And He said, “Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.  But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; but unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.  And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.”  ~Jesus (Luke 4:23-27)

Elijah in Prayer

No where in the context of the writing about Elijah are we told of Elijah’s praying, however, the New Testament does tell us of Elijah’s prayers,

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.   And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.”  James 5:16b-18 (KJV)

So we know that Elijah had power with God, and he received that power because of his commitment to God and earnest prayer.

As we were looking at Elijah ministering to the widow of Zarephath I neglected to mention that this widow was a Gentile.  As Jesus mentions in Luke (4:25-26) there were widows of Israel who could have used some help, but God sent Elijah to Zarephath instead, due to the hearts of the people of Israel being in rejection of God and His Word.

Now as Elijah is praying “the word of the LORD came” to him…

“And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, ‘Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.'”  1 Kings 18:1

This third year could possibly be the third year since he came to stay with the widow and her son.  God is ready now to call Israel to repentance, and to return to Him; and He will use Elijah to call the prophets of Baal to a challenge of fire.  We will not get into that just yet.

We notice in the verses to come that there was a servant of Ahab’s who was a God fearer, and had protected some of the other prophets of God;

“And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly: for it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)” 18:3-4

Ahab had called on Obadiah to search with him for water in fountains, brooks, and grass for caring for the king’s animals.  It seems quite pointed to see a king searching for food for his animals while maybe a unconcerned about the needs of the people.

We need to learn from Elijah the necessity of prayer.  However, without faith in God, much prayer avails nothing.  The power of prayer is not praying.  The power of prayer is GOD.  And Elijah loved the LORD, and believed Him and trusted Him unto life.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Elijah; Man of God

Those of us who have been involved in church and Christianity; and even some other religions know the term “Man of God”.  The basic idea behind the phrase is that a man is faithful to believing God, His Word and living it in His life.

We have seen where the “Man of God” confronted the king Ahab and told him of an absence of rainfall until he [Elijah] calls for it.  We know from the book of James that it was 3.5 years.  That is a drought.  We have read also where God provided for the prophet, the man of God, by sending him to a brook off the Jordon River, and God supplied him bread and meat until the brook dried up; and then he sent him to a widow woman with a young son; and he asked her to give him her last portion of food.  Because of the woman’s faith, she fed Elijah, and her barrel of meal never ran out; as the King James says, “Wasted not”, neither did her container of oil run dry.

While the man of God is present in the home of the widow and her son; the son dies; and the woman is very distraught.  She is like many of us.  Since the man of God is in the house and home, then, “How can such an evil and bad thing happen to us?”  Now before someone goes off on a tangent fit let me first explain that it does seem implied by the reading of 17:18;

“And she said unto Elijah, ‘What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?'” (KJV)

Remember in John 11 Lazarus a close friend of Jesus was on his death bed; Mary and Martha (Lazarus’s sisters) sent for Jesus, but he lingered where he was.  Jesus said,

“This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.”  John 11:4

To read the rest of the event we find that Lazarus died, was buried, and had been dead four days; and Jesus calls his name and Lazarus comes out of that tomb alive.  God receives the greater glory by the resurrection of Lazarus, then by healing him of a sickness.

The resurrection of the widows son, helped the woman see more clearly that Elijah was the man of God.  She announces in the final verse of chapter 17,

“Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth.”  1Kings 17:24 (KJV)

The man of God in today’s world may not raise anyone to life after being dead; at least in the physical sense.  However, the man of God will be able to clearly present the way to knowing God, having fellowship with Him, and how God declares one to be righteous.  That is by way of the cross of Jesus Christ; His death, burial and bodily resurrection.  Believe the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will experience resurrection.

-Tim A. Blankenship

A Widow Challenged by the Prophet

The brook Cherith to which the LORD had supplied for Elijah was dried up due to the drought which Elijah had prayed for, received, and was supplied for by God.  Could God have not kept the stream flowing, water coming just for Elijah, rather than moving him on somewhere else?  He could have, but He chose not to do so.  There was  a widow woman, with a son who was about to come to terms with the possibility of starving to death; so the LORD sent the prophet to her.

Zarephath is the place where she lived, and to which Elijah went.  According to Strong’s it means “Refinery”; so there may have been some sort of oil refining going on in that location.  This widow woman, unnamed, has a young son she is providing for, and she is about to fix their last meal; and the LORD sends Elijah to her, and he presents her with a challenge,

“So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, ‘Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.’  And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, ‘Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.'” 1 Kings 17:10-11 (KJV)

Does Elijah know this woman is in dire straits?  He probably knows she is needy, that this woman needs some hope, and God sent him to help her.  Do you ever notice the circumstances God brings into our lives, good and bad, are often the means by which God shows Himself strong, and at work in His people’s lives?  This woman tells Elijah,

“As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”  verse 12

The economy stinks.  It has not rained in months, maybe a year or two, and this woman has great need.  Some would say; and I know they would because I have heard it; “How dare a man of God to ask a widow down to her last bit of food, feed him first”.  Who does this man think he is?  First of all he is a prophet of God.  Not the first one, or the last one, but he is one who is faithful to the LORD.  This widow was about to be blessed and provided for throughout the final months and days of the drought.  The prophet believed God would provide.

The prophet uses two of the greatest words you will find in Scripture to speak to the woman,

“And Elijah said unto her, ‘Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.  For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, ‘The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.’   And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.  And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.”  17:13-16

We are not told how Elijah knew to speak these words to the woman.  I think it could be possible that Elijah was walking with God, he knew the heart of God, and God knew Elijah’s heart, that anything Elijah would speak that glorified the LORD would come to pass.  No man walking with God will speak contrary to the will or glory of God.

Would to God that had that walk.  That is my prayer.  How about you?

Walking with God is possible only through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit who comes to live within is always with you, and leads you in your walk with God, to glorify Him.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Widow’s Gift

38 And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, 39 And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: 40 Which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.
41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.  42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.  43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.   Mark 12:38-44 (KJV)

This sounds similar to many of the religious leaders, preachers on television who promise great dividends for sending in their offerings.  They are really nothing short on theives [wolves] in sheeps clothing.  They love the greetings of the people; they really love the offerings of the people.  What they love most  is approval, and the adulation of the crowds.

Lest someone judge me for making this judgment let me say this.  Jesus is the one who is making this judgment.  You need not worry about my “judgment” it is His which will hold muster in the end.

The boastfulness and arrogance of the religious leaders is astounding.  As a matter of fact it makes Jesus sick.  These love to have all the attention focused upon them.  They like the service they do simply because it gives them notoriety and privilege.  They will take the homes of the widows without remorse, and plead for the widow to continue to give unto the end.

A widow woman comes and cast “Two mites” into the “treasury”.  It seems this was all that she had, and Jesus gives her more adulation than those who gave from their wealth.  This woman gave all she had, the wealthy gave only a portion of what they had.  It does not matter how much you give as long as you give it all to the Lord.  If the Lord has it all you will guard what you have left and use it wisely for God’s glory.  Does God have all that you hold in your possession?  Does He have you?

Tim A. Blankenship