Monday, January 16, 2023

            The Bible has a number of accounts of people being raised from the dead and restored to life.  Perhaps the first one that comes to mind is Jesus’ resurrection on Easter morning.  Jesus also raised Lazarus from the dead and Jairus’ daughter.  But did you know that there is a story in the Bible where a person was raised from the dead by a person who was also dead?  That is correct.  And amazing!  There is an incident in the Bible where a dead person was responsible for bringing another dead person back to life. In this strange account, the man who was raised from the dead is not identified or named.  However, the dead person responsible for bringing the dead man back to life is named. You can find this account in 2 Kings 13:20-21, “Elisha died and was buried.  Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring. Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so, they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.”  Simply fascinating!  The dead body of Elisha the prophet restored another dead man to life.  What can we learn from this experience?
            First, we recall that Elisha was a dedicated and influential prophet who declared the Word of God whenever commanded to do so.  Our mission in life is to be influential as well—to influence others for the glory of God and so that they may come to know Christ in a personal way.  This story seems to make the case that the influence and faith of Elisha were so renowned that simply being near him or touching him was life-changing.  Have you ever spent time with someone who profoundly shaped your faith and life?  We occasionally encounter people who walk so closely with the Lord that we desire to have their company and presence in our lives.  We want them to influence or shape us by what they possess in Christ.    
            Second, we can develop a faith that outlives us.  Today, we are blessed by great preachers, hymn writers, missionaries and faithful followers of Christ who have already gone to be with the Lord.  But they leave behind testimonies, examples and lives worth remembering, examining and emulating. Their sermons, songs and stories live on!  We don’t necessarily touch the bones of the faithful hoping that they will raise the dead but we do cherish and remember their words, their service and their examples.  We can leave behind a legacy today for others to follow in future generations.  You could easily change the direction of your family tree by the choices that you make today.  Make some faith investments today that will outlive your life. 
            Third, God might be calling you to bring life to some dead places.  Maybe a friendship has grown cold or empty.  Maybe you have a grown child whose faith has become stale and lifeless.  God might lead you to speak a word or to offer some sort of encouragement or help.  God often works through ordinary folks to help others get back on track and back to their faith and trust in Him.  Maybe God is calling you to bring life to some dead places.  Maybe God would have you to reconcile with someone where resentment and anger have been allowed to linger and poison both of you. 
            And fourth, never put limits on what God can do.  We may have never imagined or expected God to work in a situation or a person but our expectations do not mean such things are impossible for God.  Nothing is impossible for God.  He can work in anyone at any time.  For reasons we may never know, God worked through the body of Elisha in a dark tomb in a place and time far from here and now.  We do not always know the ways or God or see them in advance.  Be open to what God may be able to do in your life.  Rejoice whenever you see God do something amazing, remarkable or miraculous.  God is as powerful today as He was when He spoke to Elisha and worked through that prophet.  We need a big faith today—because we worship and serve a big God.  Have a great Monday!  Remember you can share our Sunday worship with others at    

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