Daily Devotion for October 8, 2019
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for the Morning
God, let your Holy Spirit be powerful to direct my thinking today, so that it be empty of self pity, dishonesty, self-will, self-seeking and fear. Inspire my thinking, decisions and intuitions. Help me to relax and take it easy. Free me from doubt and indecision. Guide me through this day and show me my next step. God, show me what I need to do to take care of any problems. I ask all these things that I may be of maximum service to you and my fellow man. In the name of my Lord Jesus Christ, I pray.
To Use My Gifts While I Have Them
Heavenly Father, I know that you have made my life on earth temporary. I know that my body will fail, slowly. There are things I can do today that I will not be able to do in the near future. There are gifts of my body that I will not have much longer.
Prepare me, I pray, for the inevitable loss of abilities, so that when they come, I may have comfort in my suffering, the comfort of perfect happiness soon to come. And let me live and use my abilities today, and for the short years while I have them, to live in obedience to your will and to walk in such good works as you have set out before me. In Christ’s name, I pray,
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
In what books of the Bible do we learn about Elijah?
1 Corinthians 2:14 (ESV)
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
2 Kings 2:1-8 (ESV)
The Ascension of Elijah (Part 1)
ow when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. And Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.”
So they went down to Bethel. And the sons of the prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he said, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.”
Elijah said to him, “Elisha, please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.”
Then Elijah said to him, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the sons of the prophets also went and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his cloak and rolled it up and struck the water, and the water was parted to the one side and to the other, till the two of them could go over on dry ground.
Notes on the Scripture
Elijah is second only to Moses as the great prophet of Judaism; some would say they share the honor. He is revered by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike. Yet Christians tend to know little about him, in part because he did not write a book and (like Moses) no book of the Bible bears his name. His story is told in 1 and 2 Kings.
His importance, unlike most people called “prophets,” lies not so much in his words as in his actions and his very existence. We might conclude that he was so godly that he was without sin, for he was apparently taken directly to heaven. (There is controversy over the subject.)
Nobody knows anything about his origins—he simply appears on the scene, ranting against a host of heathen deities.
He lived approximately 900 years before Christ. We don’t even know his birth name for sure (although he is sometimes called Elias)—Elijah is a Hebrew phrase meaning either “Yahweh is God” or “Yahweh is my God.” He performed many miracles and predicted the coming of a Messiah. Just before Christ’s crucifixion, he appeared with Moses to Christ and several of the disciples (Mark 9:2-9).
Elisha was Elijah’s spiritual heir, and like him, was a worker of miracles and a great prophet, continuing his work. But although he is also revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims, he was not the great figurehead that Elijah was and apparently died a normal death, awaiting the salvation of Christ. Elijah was special, a direct forebear of the Messiah, carrying the promise of salvation not only in his words, but in his being.
Today and tomorrow’s readings describe Elijah's ascension; he did not die, but was carried directly to heaven by a whirlwind.