Have you ever had an experience that left you shaken? May be the loss of a loved one, being in or witnessing a fatal accident? How do you feel when someone close to us has been diagnosed with a life threatening illness? — All of these experiences and even more can shake us up… How do we feel when God’s word shakes us up? He uses his Word to speak to us directly, ponder this, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11 KJV).
There is always a purpose for God’s Word and for that reason we are left shaken (conviction)… Many times in the Bible God used these “Shaking Experiences” to get peoples attention and some of those resulted to changed lives. The Apostle Paul’s life was changed after he was shaken up on the road to Damascus, and the result? – Salvation and transformation… The Philippian jailer was left shaken after the jailhouse responded to God Holy dance from Paul and Silas’ praise worship with an earthquake, through this shaking the jailer and his entire house believed and were saved (Acts 16:25-34)… These were good shaking experiences!
I wish all shaken experiences in the Bible led to salvation… Some example was that of Felix the judge. He was shaken, yet remained unsaved… He was shaken by the truth but he denied and rejected it… He thought he could save the truth for a later time but ended up loosing it… Who is speaking to you today? What is your experience, shaken and saved or unsaved? Are you so hardened that you are choosing to ignore the truth..? Even Balaam’s donkey (one of most stubborn animals) was shaken by the truth of God’s appearance and responded by talking to its owner (Numbers 22:24-25)…
How will you respond to God’s Word when you are shaken… like Paul or like Felix or even like Balaam’s donkey? Remember all choices have consequences… Choose now and choose wisely for tomorrow may be too late. For Felix he waited too long and lost it! Take this advice seriously, “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
If this has blessed your heart and you want to learn more about what it means not to despise the days of small beginnings, call 253.220.7790 or email us . Better still join us as we study God’s word and worship at: Living Spring Fellowship, 1807 S. 223rd St. Des Moines, WA 98198 and Living Spring Fellowship, Edmonds (we meet fort nightly), at 8713 220th St SW, Edmonds, WA 98026 (call 253-220-7790 for details). Like us!
“… I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful” (Jeremiah 31:3-4).
God loves you and has a plan for you. He has a plan for your life and is interested in your family as well. He cares that you and I have some struggles and are seeking -healing and restoration from those struggles. “For I know the plans for you that I have,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). He provides hope for our lives, for good relationships and has promised eternal life with him ultimately. Join to study his word (The Book of Hosea) to find how we can take hold of those plans that he has for us so that we might enjoy – his prosperity – here in this life and find hope for eternal life.
The book of Hosea is a demonstration of “God’s Redeeming Love”. As strange as this may seem, we can even see evidence of love through “God’s Indictment of Israel” in chapters 4-7 and “God’s Punishment for Israel” in chapters 8-10.
In the first three chapters we saw Hosea’s experience with Gomer as an analogy of God’s experience with Israel. Israel became adulterous and as a result there was a period of separation from God, but after the separation there would be ultimate restoration.
Through these events we clearly see that God is holy (that is why He indicted Israel for her sins) – Hos 4-7. We also see that God is just (that is why Israel was facing punishment for her sins) – Hos 8-10. Again, we see that God is love (that is why He will restore Israel) – Hos 11-14 – Hosea proclaimed God’s great love for Israel by the way he declared God’s holiness and justice.
Like the children of Israel we have continued to enjoy God’s love despite our rebellion against him. He has promised that if we return to him he will forgive us and restore us to himself. He has delivered us from our sin where we have been held captives (like he delivered Israel from Egypt) through the death of his Son, Jesus Christ. He desires for us to return to him rather than continue to worship our idols (Hosea 11:1-2). Due to our rebellion we have not recognized and acknowledged how much the Lord has been nurturing us (Hosea 11:3-4).
In the same way we are to care for each other. Our unfaithfulness and lack of love for each other is a reflection of our unfaithfulness and rebellion toward God. These actions and even more, grieves the heart of God because we have failed to reflect his glory in our marriages as he ordained it from the beginning and called us to be one, just as Jesus and the Father are one.
As a result of Israel’s unfaithfulness they were taken into captivity by Assyria (Hosea 11:5-7). Just like Israel, our rebellion against the Lord and his plan for our marriage will make us captives in the hands of the enemy unless we choose to allow the Lord to be Lord and Savior over our lives and marriage. When we acknowledge him, he has promised he will rebuild our lives and our home (Hosea 11:8-11).
God will continue to hold us guilty as his representatives if we refuse to turn to him. Our pride, and evil thoughts will not go unpunished because they are a reproach to God (Hosea 12:7-14).
When you evaluate yourself and your marriage on God’s scale (Bible) where do you find it? Are you happy with where you are spiritually with the Lord? Are you interested in allowing the Lord to bring about a change in your situation? Take the first step toward the Lord and allow him to work in and through you for a better relationship both with him, your family and other believers.
Small is insignificant. Small does not amount to anything much. Sometimes it is thought that, “I rather have nothing than small that will not meet a need.” Small does not always have a physical potential to increase because it is small and hence many people consider small as anything significant. Is small really small? Does small have the potentials to grow or increase in anyway? Just as some think it is better to have nothing than little that is insignificant, many believe that, “it is better to have little than nothing.” “Who despises the day of small things?”(Zachariah 4:10a).
This passage implies that small does grow, should not be looked down upon and should not be neglected. Small is important and if well nurtured and cared for lives to be abundance and joy as the Prophet Zachariah concludes in the next section of that verse, “Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel” (vs. 10b). When a small thing is honored and valued, it grows and causes those who see it to rejoice over the great thing that has grown from that small beginning.
Our big dreams begin small. Our journey to a distant land begins with a small step. The biggest corporation begins with a small investment. The mighty ocean begins with a small drop of rainfall. The presidents and kings of this world begin by growing as small boys and girls. The largest congregation begins by a small group of faithful believer and followers. We are starting as a small group today, but we will grow if we don’t despise it. Don’t be ridiculed and don’t doubt what the Lord will do in and through you and me in the coming weeks, months, and even years. Many will see the growth and rejoice because of those great things the Lord has began through this small beginning.
With two small fishes and five small loaves Jesus fed the five thousand (Matt. 14:17-21). With only a handful (small quantity) of flour the widow of Zarephath fed her family and the Prophet Elijah for years until the Lord gave rain on the land in keeping to the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah (I Kings 17:12-15). With a little (small quantity) of oil the widow of the man from the company of prophets paid all her late husband’s debts to safe her children from being taken into slavery in keeping to the word of the Lord spoken by the prophet Elisha (II Kings 4:1-7).
What is that “small” thing that has been given to you by the Lord? According to God’s word through Zachariah the prophet, “do not despise it.” Do not think less of that day you began than any other day that God has given you. Begin by thinking small, grow by planning small, and develop by starting small. Share your small faith with someone. Share your small knowledge of God with a friend who does not have that knowledge. Share your small encounter and experience with the Lord with someone at work, in the bus, during your flight, in the train station or in the train etc. Don’t think the time is too short to say anything. Share anyways. Join in the small fellowship and encourage others there and be encouraged by those you meet with.
Remember the day of small beginning in Jerusalem with only 12 small men ignited the fire of the Holy Ghost that brings us salvation today. Those small tongues of fire has and is building cathedrals, sending missionaries, bringing revivals in cities and villages, in the open fields and the underground gatherings.
If your faith is as small as a mustard seed and you don’t despise it but value and put it to use, according to God’s word, it shall move mountains (Matt 17:20-21). I encourage you not to hide the little light that you have. Let it shine! Let it shine!! Let it shine!!!
Click on the link and be blessed: Days of Elijah.