Devotional on 2 Kings

2017 – Gunter Hill Campground – Montgomery, AL

Marching to the beat of their own drummer
2Kings1: That has to be Elijah the Tishbite!
Elijah has come a long way in the years since he fled from Jezebel. He now has a faithful assistant, Elisha, and a band of disciples. Generally, he stays out of sight. However, he remains a household name in Israel. You might say he’s bigger than life. Now that Ahab is dead, his son, Ahaziah rules Israel. However, things aren’t going well for him. Moab has rebelled against the rule of Israel and, to top it off, Ahaziah has taken a nasty fall and been injured. The ailing king sends messengers to seek a remedy for his injuries, not to Jehovah God, but to the idol Baal. It’s as they travel to Ekron to visit the Baal shrine that they encounter the old man Elijah, shaggy hair, leather belt and all. The Lord, he says, is angry with Ahaziah for turning to Baal as though he doesn’t exist and because of that Ahaziah is on what will become his deathbed. When they return with the message and describe the man who gave it, Ahaziah knows that Elijah has stepped out onto the public stage once again. Repeated attempts to arrest him result in fire falling from heaven. Clearly, it’s unwise to trifle with this man of God! Aside from his unusual appearance (and, come to think of it, the lightning strikes on his enemies), Elijah reminds me of some spiritual giants I’ve known. These are people who don’t make a big deal of themselves, who seem out of step with what most of us think of as “normal,” but spend a lot of time in the presence of God. When they have something to say, we’re wise to listen.
Take Away: Sometimes people who seem out of step with the world are very much in step with the Lord.

Devotional on 2 Kings

2017 – Gunter Hill Campground – Montgomery, AL

Spiritual role models
2Kings2: Your life repeated in my life. I want to be a holy man just like you.
There’s no one on earth as powerful as is Elijah. As he lives his last day in this world it seems he already has one foot in heaven and spiritual power and authority radiate from him. Somehow, probably because Elijah himself has announced it, everyone knows that this is his day. His assistant, Elisha, who has walked with him through the years, is glued to him on this day. More than once the old man of God has told him to stay put but both of them know it isn’t going to happen. Now, as a moment unique in human history nears, the old prophet asks Elisha what he can do for him before he’s taken. Elisha isn’t shy! He wants to be the man Elijah is. He desires that, even as their names are similar, that their walk with God will also be much the same. I thank God today for the spiritual role models he’s provided in my life. Frankly, it’s easy to fail to recognize them because I’m so close to the situation that I can’t see the big picture of their influence. Because of that I’m sometimes unaware of the spiritual depth of others till they’re gone. A couple of things come to mind as I consider these things. First, I want to open my eyes to spiritual greatness in these special people. Second, I want to allow the Lord to do in me what he’s done in them. “Your life repeated in my life,” — what a powerful phrase!
Take Away: Thank the Lord for powerful spiritual role models in your life.

Devotional on 2 Kings

2017 – View from Point Park on Lookout Mountain, TN

Swing down sweet chariot stop, and let me ride
2Kings2: Elijah went up in a whirlwind to heaven.
As I study the Scriptures I find two accounts of people who leave this world without tasting death. One is Enoch who, the Bible says, is “taken away” by God. The second is Elijah, who’s taken up by a whirlwind into heaven, accompanied by a chariot and horses of fire. I’ve read some interesting explanations of what’s happening on that day including one effort to somehow make this into an alien abduction! While I don’t have the credentials to take this event on from a scholarly point of view it’s clear to me that this entire passage is intended to convince me of the uniqueness and spiritual power of this man of God. On this day Elijah is overflowing with God’s power. Nothing like this has been seen on earth. Any understanding of this passage has to start with my recognizing that the intention of the writer is to convince me of the greatness of Elijah, the man of God. Ultimately though, this, and all Scripture, has to be read as a “God story.” God has done something in Elijah’s life. Earlier, I’m given a sobering picture of his humanity. In that account he’s a discouraged, exhausted, and fear-filled man. Now I see what the Lord has done for him and in him. He’s been transformed into the spiritual dynamo I see in this passage. Now, as Elijah disappears into the sky, I don’t find myself at the end of anything. Instantly God’s power begins to flow through Elisha. This story continues because God continues to work.
Take Away: The Lord uses some people in wonderful, amazing ways but the story of his work continues long after their story has ended.

Devotional on 2 Kings

2017 – view from Point Park on Lookout Mountain, TN

The God of Elijah
2Kings2: Now where is the God of Elijah?
I’ve had the privilege of knowing some spiritual giants in my lifetime. These people walked close to God and, like a motor boat crossing a calm lake, leave a broad, expanding wake that influences people far beyond their experience and even their lifetimes. They’ve influenced me. If not for them I wouldn’t be the man I am today. In fact, it would be easy for me to just focus on them and let them be my example and inspiration. If I do that that I’ll be a better person. However, as potentially positive as that might be, I’d be mistaken to do it. Elisha has known a great man, a man overflowing with the power of God. Now, though, that man is gone. Elijah’s disciples want to form a search party to try to find their master. Elisha, though, doesn’t seek Elijah. Instead, he seeks the God of Elijah. He knows that every good thing about Elijah was because of the God he served. He knows that the great need of his life isn’t more of Elijah. Instead, it’s more of the God of Elijah. Today, I thank God for those spiritual giants of my life. Their influence isn’t taken for granted. However, it’s not them that I need as I pursue spiritual excellence. No, it’s not them; it’s the God they served.
Take Away: Seek, not an “Elijah” but, rather, the God of Elijah.

Devotional on 2 Kings

2017 – Incline Railroad – Lookout Mountain, TN

Micromanaging others
2Kings 2: So there — didn’t I tell you?
Even as Elisha seeks the God of Elijah, the disciples of Elijah are still looking for Elijah. I can’t be too hard on these good men, assuming a lack of faith on their part. They’ve literally seen their master picked up by a tornado and carried away. Had I been there I too would have been inclined to view things from a non-spiritual viewpoint. They want to form a search party and try to find Elijah just in case the Lord was merely relocating him and not taking him from earth in a way never seen before or since! Again, I can’t be too hard on these men. Elisha assures them that Elijah is right where God wants him to be, but, when they insist, he agrees that 50 of them go on a search and rescue mission. Three days later they’re back and reporting that Elijah’s nowhere to be found. Elisha says, “Told you so.” Aside from the fact that I would have probably been among those on the search team, I note that sometimes I have to let people do what they want to do. I think I tend to waste energy trying to get people to do things my way when I’d be better off pursuing my vision and letting the Lord straighten them out when he knows they’re ready. Elisha knows without a doubt that the 50 won’t find Elijah. He also knows that they’ll have to find that out for themselves. Understanding that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t ever attempt to influence others. It does mean, though, that I’m free from trying to micromanage the lives of other people.
Take Away: Sometimes leaders have to simply give people permission to find out for themselves what the leader already knows.

Devotional on 2 Kings

2016 – Near Knoxville, TN

Better think twice before mocking bald men
2Kings 2: Elisha turned, took one look at them, and cursed them.
This story makes me uncomfortable. Some children mock Elisha, the man of God, so he curses them resulting in two bears coming out of the woods and killing 42 of them. What’s this all about anyway? Some Bible scholars I’ve read say that “children” is not the only meaning of the Hebrew word used. It can mean “servants” and can refer, not to 7-year-olds, but to young people and even young adults. However, reading that a group of 20-year-old servants mock Elisha and he curses them doesn’t do much to solve my discomfort with this incident. So what do I do with this passage? I think I have to just read it and go on, believing that there’s something happening here that I don’t get. I have to conclude that I’m missing some vital bit of information that would help me make sense of the passage. It isn’t unusual to have to deal with life issues that way. For instance, someone tells me that a person for whom I have great respect has done something totally out of character. I can’t defend what they’ve done but I can conclude that I don’t know the whole story. Perhaps, if I did, it would make sense to me. So, as I come to this passage I read something that doesn’t fit in with what I know about God: that “God is love,” holy and righteous. I can’t explain it, but instead of making me doubt God, it just reminds me that I don’t know the whole story about this or about another million or so issues of life.
Take Away: Sometimes I have to admit I don’t understand things and rely on the character of the Lord.

Devotional on 2 Kings

2017 – Racoon Valley Escpaees – trail at campground

Ditch digging for the Lord
2Kings 3: Dig ditches all over this valley.
An alliance of three armies has formed to take on the army of Moab. The armies of Edom, Israel, and Judah plan to circle around and attack from an unexpected direction. However, it all backfires. They find themselves a day out of Moab and in the desert having exhausted their supply of water. Jehoshaphat asks for a prophet of God and Elisha “just happens” to be nearby. God’s word through Elisha is that they’re to begin digging ditches in this desert plain because, without a single drop of rain falling on them, God will fill those ditches with water. Many years earlier Elisha’s predecessor had prayed for rain and, when a cloud “the size of a man’s hand” appeared on the horizon he stopped praying and started running in preparation for the rain storm that was coming. Now, Elisha promises water, but tells them that they need to start preparing for it before they see even the first drop. Obviously there’s a pattern here and in many other instances in God’s Word. God expects us to act in faith that he’ll keep his word to us. For Elijah that meant he needed to stop praying and start running. For this army it means that out in the arid, dusty desert they’re to prepare for flowing water. How does this principle apply to my life today?
Take Away: Our acts of faith really do have a bearing on what the Lord does for us and through us.

Devotional on 2 Kings

2017 – Near Knoxville, TN

Bring your vessels not a few
2Kings 4: He said, “That’s it. There are no more jugs.” Then the oil stopped.
Clearly the series of stories in the first part of 2 Kings are examples of what a powerful man of God Elisha is. Still, it seems that, like a symphony, each story is a variation on one theme: that when people have faith they act on that faith. These miracles all start with a need and the promise of God. Then, the person has to take action in preparation for God to move. In one story we see soldiers digging ditches in the desert in preparation for water to miraculously flow into them. Now we have a widow with just a little oil being told to go out and borrow jars from everyone she can. When she starts pouring oil out of her meager supply she fills all the jars she collected. It’s only when she runs out of jars that she runs out of oil. So often we take our needs to God and then stand back to watch what he does. However, in this, and the other stories, we see that God invites us to partner with him in what he does for us. No doubt, he does the greater work; after all, anyone can collect jars. Only God can fill them all from such a limited supply. Lord, help me to be a “jar collector.” Help me to be a person doing my part in working with you as you accomplish your purposes in my life and in this world.
Take Away: What does the Lord call you to today that will prepare for what he intends to do in your life tomorrow?

Devotional on 2 Kings

2017 – At old mill – Pigeon Forge, TN

Desperate faith
2Kings 4: “She said, “Everything’s fine.”
This is a surprisingly powerful story. Elisha the man of God promises a woman from the town of Shunem that she’s going to have a son. The child is born the following year. A few years later the little boy becomes suddenly ill and dies. His grieving mother seeks out Elisha. As she’s coming she encounters the servant of Elisha first. Clearly something’s wrong, but when Gehazi asks her how things are, her reply is “Everything’s fine.” It’s only when she gets to Elisha that she pours out her heart. Elisha goes to the lifeless child and performs a miracle, raising him back to life. While I see that this is another story intended to show me how powerfully God is working in the life of the prophet, I’m drawn to the Shunammite woman. If there’s ever an example of desperate faith it’s here. Her heart is broken as she lays her dead son on the bed. The only thought on her mind is to get to the man of God, the miracle worker who promised the son in the first place. She desperately wants to believe he can make things right, but looking into the face of such loss it’s nearly impossible. Knowing that, she realizes she has to get to Elisha as quickly as possible, and, instinctively, she knows that even saying the words, “my son is dead” will destroy the mustard seed of faith to which she clings. How is it that “it is well” in her life? It’s because she’s holding on to God with her last ounce of spiritual strength. This is miracle-working territory. Without a cross or an empty tomb she believed the impossible. God can do a lot with faith like that.
Take Away: All it takes is faith the size of a mustard seed to see miracles take place.

Devotional on 2 Kings

2017 – Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Apples or fish
2Kings 4: They not only ate, but had leftovers.
During our Lord’s ministry some of the people think Jesus is possibly one of the prophets of old, resurrected from the dead. It might be that they’re thinking of this incident. In fact, Luke’s report of the suggestion that Jesus is a resurrected prophet comes right after Jesus feeds the five thousand. In this case Elisha feeds, not thousands, but a hundred; and not with bread and fish but with bread and apples. It’s a different day in which a different man provides and different main course. But it’s the same God. Because of that the lessons are the same. One lesson is that “little is much when God is in it.” Another is that I can trust the Lord with my meager resources; he can make better use of them than I can anyway. Whether I’m thinking about Elisha or Jesus or apples or fish it’s good to be reminded that when I give my all to the Lord he does wonderful things.
Take Away: The Lord takes the little bit that’s our all and does more with it than we ever could.

Devotional on 2 Kings

2017 – Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Making it harder than it really is
2Kings 5: If the prophet had asked you to do something hard and heroic, wouldn’t you have done it?
It’s one of our favorite stories from 2 Kings. Naaman is the General of the Army of Aram, a nation that has a long and contentious relationship with Israel. He’s a brave and capable warrior who’s well respected in his homeland. Yet there’s one terrible affliction that not only haunts him, but is probably killing him. Naaman has leprosy. When he hears that there’s a man of God in Israel who heals people of this terrible disease he travels there, prepared to pay handsomely to be cured. To his dismay, Elisha doesn’t even meet him in person, but instead sends a mere servant with what sounds like a silly command: take seven baths in the muddy Jordan to be healed. Furious and humiliated, he turns on his heel to leave, but an old family servant gives the great general the best advice of his life. If Elisha had told him to do some great thing (for instance, pay a king’s ransom) to be healed, he’s prepared to do that. Why not, then, do some simple thing like, “take a bath and be clean.” Naaman listens and the result is a miracle of God and a happy ending to the story. I think I need to pay careful attention to Naaman’s story in my dealings with God. I’m ready to do the great thing like following some demanding course of action or making some big sacrifice as I follow the Lord. While stuff like this is sometimes a part of being a disciple more often than not it’s much less spectacular. “If you want to be my disciple follow me,” the Lord says. I respond, “You’ve got it Lord – I’ll serve you to the ends of the earth, I’ll make great sacrifices for you, I’ll be an example of total surrender to God.” The Lord says, “Tell you what, if I want you to do that stuff, I’ll tell you. For now, how about just walking with me?”
Take Away: What little thing is the Lord calling you to do today?

Devotional on 2 Kings

2017 – Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Do you see what I see?
2Kings 6: Don’t worry about it — there are more on our side than on their side.
The Lord has been revealing to Elisha the military plans of nearby Aram and Elisha has, in turn, told those plans to the King of Israel. Because of that, Elisha has become a prime target. In fact, on this morning in the town of Dothan Elisha awakes to find the whole town surrounded by his enemies. To Elisha and his servant this is more than an inspirational Bible story: its life and death. His servant is mystified by Elisha’s calmness in the midst of his pending capture. That is, he’s mystified until Elisha prays that this young servant will see what he sees. Surrounding the army that surrounds them is a “whole mountainside full of horses and chariots of fire.” With God’s army escorting him Elisha has nothing to fear from the army of Aram or anywhere else for that matter. God didn’t send the army of Aram that day, but he was prepared for it to come. Had Elisha been captured, well, that would have been an unwelcome thing for Elisha and company, but it could only happen if God allowed it to happen. Elisha might have been more aware of it than I am, but the Lord’s army is escorting me too. That doesn’t mean that everything always works out just the way I want. Still, difficult days only come if he allows it, and in the end, I have the assurance that victory will be mine.
Take Away: The Lord walks through life with us, even when we aren’t aware of his presence.

Devotional on 2 Kings

2017 – Clifton Mill, OH

A tale of four lepers
2Kings 7: Let’s go tell the good news.
The capital city, Samaria, is under siege and the result is a terrible famine. Things can’t get much worse there and people are being driven to horrible acts of desperation. Four lepers decide they have nothing else to lose. They’ll throw themselves on the mercy of the invaders. If they’re executed, they’ll die a quicker death than they would die by starvation anyway. When they arrive at the camp they’re surprised to find that there’s no one there! God has moved bringing terror to their camp. The mighty army has fled in panic not even knowing why they were running. The lepers have the time of their lives, eating their fill and ransacking the place. It’s at that point that one of them says to his friends, “We aren’t doing right. Back in Samaria people are starving to death while we’re enjoying all this bounty.” This real life story is also a parable for Christians everywhere. Like the lepers we’ve discovered something wonderful. Meanwhile there’s a world that desperately needs to know what we know. Like those lepers, if we aren’t telling we aren’t doing the right thing.
Take Away: I found it, but I’m glad to share it with you.

Devotional on 2 Kings

2017 – Clifton Gorge, OH

What are the chances?
2Kings 8: This is the woman! And this is her son whom Elisha brought back to life!
Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, is chatting with the king about Elisha. When the king asks to hear some of the stories of this spiritual giant’s life Gehazi begins recounting some of the high points of Elisha’s ministry. One of the stories he tells is that of a woman whose son died. When Elisha arrived, he prayed and the son came back to life. Even as the king considers such an amazing thing a woman and her son are brought in for an audience with the king. Her concern is property rights and such matters are a big deal for these descendants of Abraham. Gehazi can hardly believe his eyes. It’s the very woman and son that he’s just been talking about! Because of that, the king is quick to give the woman justice and maybe even a bit more. Is it happenstance that the servant of Elisha just happens to be visiting the king that day? Is it mere chance that when the king asked for some “Elisha stories” that Gehazi decides to talk about the resurrection of a certain woman’s son? Is it just coincidence that she shows up just as Gehazi finishes his story? I don’t think so. This has “God at work” written all over it. I don’t live out on the mystic edge of life about stuff like this. I do think that simple coincidences do happen. However, as I’ve heard somewhere, I’ve noticed that when I pray coincidences seem to happen more often. As I read this story today it’s nice to be reminded of that.
Take Away: The Lord has a way of creating happy coincidences for his people.

Devotional on 2 Kings

2017 – Horseshoe Lakes Thousand Trails – Clinton, IN

Run for your life
2Kings 9: Then open the door and get out of there as fast as you can.
The final chapter on the story of wicked Ahab and Jezebel is about to be written. Ahab is already dead, killed in battle, and now his son Joram sits on the throne of Israel. However, the Lord is about to keep his word that this family will not remain in power. Elisha sends a “junior prophet” to General Jehu. The prophet is to anoint him king and then he’s to run for his life. Apparently, Jehu doesn’t need much of a nudge to mount a coop and take over the country and almost immediately he moves decisively against Joram and his mother Jezebel. I’m interested in the order of Elisha that his representative name Jehu king and then get away from him as quickly as possible. Apparently, in spite of his being anointed king, Jehu remains a heartless, wicked man who’s going to be used of God but will never be a man of God. Elisha doesn’t want his associate to have any more contact with such a man than is necessary. If that’s correct, the lesson is that God’s people sometimes need to make alliances with those who are far from being righteous. We’re to work with them to accomplish some greater good but we’re also to be careful to remember who we are and not allow ourselves to be pulled into their lifestyles.
Take Away: While the Lord uses unlikely and unworthy people to accomplish his purposes, his people should be careful in their connections to them.

Devotional on 2 Kings

2017 – Trail near Cherry Glen Campground, Ankeny, IA

Missed opportunity
2Kings 10: God doing what, through Elijah, he said he’d do.
I don’t like reading the stories of uprisings, murders, and judgment found in the stories of Judah and Israel. Beheadings and assassinations somehow don’t make for good devotional reading! Still, there are some powerful themes in the story of Jehu’s uprising. God had judged Ahab’s sin years earlier, and even though he has, at times, blessed Israel with his help against her enemies, the Lord never overlooks what Ahab has continued doing. At the right time the Lord raises up Jehu to act in judgment on Ahab’s family. It’s bloody but it’s intended to give Israel a chance to return to the path that they left so long ago. Before Jehu’s finished Ahab’s family is destroyed and the altars of Baal are gone. In spite of all that, Jehu’s a disappointment. I see here that the Lord uses less than perfect vessels to accomplish his purposes. Also I’m reminded that no one has to fail. Jehu let a golden opportunity slip through his fingers.
Take Away: The Lord works in and through imperfect people to carry out his plans.

Devotional on 2 Kings

2017 – Beed’s Lake State Park, Hampton, IA

Ready or not, here it comes
2Kings 11: Athaliah, oblivious to his existence, ruled the country.
Jehu’s purge nets both Joram, wicked king of Israel, and Ahaziah, the king of Judah who has become a partner with Joram in his sinful leadership. Ahaziah’s mother, Athaliah, takes her son’s place, not only on the throne but also as one committed to evil. Her first act is to kill anyone in her family who might contest her claim to the throne of Judah. It appears her plan has worked, and it would have, except for the bravery and quick action of Jehosheba who hides the infant Joash from his own grandmother’s murderous intention. Now, six years later, it’s time to act. Intrigue abounds as plans are made to dethrone the pretender Athaliah and elevate Joash to his rightful place as boy king. As this takes place we’re told that Athaliah is “oblivious” to it all. I think the Lord often works like this. Ordinary people and even the wicked pursue their goals, pressing on, thinking everything is working out as anticipated. Meanwhile, God is at work in the underground. Big things are coming and we’re “oblivious” to it all. For Athaliah it means that her hijacking of the throne of Judah is soon coming to a bloody end. For followers of the Lord, it means that we’d better keep our eyes on Jesus and be ready for — well, be ready for “whatever” comes next.
Take Away: Even when we can’t see it, the Lord is at work, preparing for the next big thing.

Devotional on 2 Kings

2017 – Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis, MN

Covenants
2Kings 11: Jehodiah now made a covenant between God and the king and the people. They were God’s people.
A seven-year-old boy sits on the throne of Judah. His mentor is the priest Jehodiah, a man committed to God. As Joash is installed as king the priest makes a covenant with God on behalf of the young king and his people. Joash will rule the nation “under God” and the people will view themselves as “God’s people.” A second covenant promises that Joash will rule justly and the people will willingly live as citizens under his rule. These covenants will stand for 40 years, throughout the lifetime of Joash. Covenants are powerful things. They bind people together and commit them to certain courses of action. They create a roadmap for relationships and behaviors. Covenants are commitments between two or more parties, a contract of sorts. The people of Joash’s day are impacted by the covenant for a lifetime. What am I committed to that has that level of impact? Or, maybe better said, is what I’m committed to worth the effort? How about you? Are your covenants worth keeping? The Lord has offered one covenant that is worth everything. It’s the one sealed with the blood of Jesus.
Take Away: Are the covenants of my life worth keeping?

Devotional on 2 Kings

2017 – at Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis, MN

Building fund
2Kings 12: Why haven’t you renovated this sorry-looking Temple?
The sample we’re given of Joash’s leadership of Judah is his faithfulness to repair the Temple of God. Any building will deteriorate if it is not cared for and Joash realizes that the Temple is overdue for some serious work. He orders the priests who serve there to use offerings for that purpose, but it never happens. Instead of being used on the building, the money is absorbed in the everyday operations at the Temple. When Joash sees this, he changes tactics and creates a system by which money can be given for this specific purpose. The people respond and during his reign Joash sees the Temple restored to much of its former glory. So what do I see in this incident? First, I’m reminded that the building where worship takes place needs regular attention and that the Lord gifts some people for this task. The church needs to recognize that and both finance and empower these people for their work. Second, I see that without leadership things gradually fall apart. In this case, not only is the building deteriorating, but the plans for financing the renovations also come apart without Joash’s leadership. It isn’t enough for him to have the vision and then put a plan together. He has to be sure that the plan continues to completion. Third, I see that the best way to finance such an operation is with money specifically given for that purpose. The expenses of the Temple continue even through the building project so the money has to be given above the regular offerings. Finally, I see that people are willing to give to such a project. People don’t have to be brow beat to give if they see the need and that something is really happening. Clearly, these are good principles for today even as they were good so long ago.
Take Away: Leadership not only provides vision and plans. It also stays engaged as the vision is made reality.

Devotional on 2 Kings

2017 – Lake Geneva Christian Center – Alexandria, MN

Temporary repentance
2Kings 13: It didn’t make any difference: They didn’t change their lives.
Jehoahaz takes his father’s place on the throne if Israel but there’s no religious reform. Instead, he continues down the path of God-ignoring idol worship. As happened during the time of the Judges, God allows the enemies of Israel to come in and dominate them. For years the people are miserable in this sorry state of affairs. Finally, Jehoahaz humbly comes to God confessing his sins and the sins of the people. In his mercy, God answers, raising up a warrior who drives the invaders out. Of course, this results in a great revival of Jehovah worship. At least it should have. Without missing a beat they continue their idol worship with hardly a tip of the hat to God. Once again, I see here the mercy and patience of God. No question, he wants to care for us and to bless our lives. Also, there’s the truth that mere human freedom is not the ultimate need of man. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in freedom and thank God for it. However, the greatest need of humanity is not for liberty. Rather, the need is for changed hearts. Otherwise, everything else is just window dressing.
Take Away: Everything else comes up short when compared to the transformation the Lord brings to lives.

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