How To Experience the Fire of the Holy Spirit

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 18:30-46.  Let’s go!

1 Kings 18:30 (NIV) 
30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the LORD, which was in ruins. 

On verse 30:  What does the writer of 1 Kings mean when writing that Elijah “repaired the altar of the Lord, which was in ruins”?  It means that Elijah was re-establishing a culture of worshiping the Lord, a culture that had disappeared in the face of rampant and ongoing idolatry in Israel.

What can we learn from this? Before you can experience much of the Holy Spirit, you need to repair and re-establish a life of worshiping the Lord.  That includes prioritizing weekly worship with your church community, spending regular daily time with God, and trying to live each day for God’s glory.

Don’t Play the Blame Game + Sincerity Is Not Enough

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 18:16-29.  Let’s go!

1 Kings 18:17-18 (NIV) 
17 When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?” 
18 “I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the LORD’s commands and have followed the Baals. 

On verses 16-18:  Ahab meets Elijah and contemptuously calls him “you troubler of Israel”.  Ahab was blaming the famine on Elijah, thinking, “This famine is all your fault, all because you prayed.”  Ahab failed to see that in fact the root cause of the famine was not Elijah, but rather Ahab and his family and their persistent disobedience toward God (v18).

What can we learn from this?  Before you blame your problems on someone else, ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and examine your life to see if you have any role to play in the problem you are complaining about.  Don’t play the blame game, but take ownership of your part in creating the problem.  

Lead Like Elijah, Love Like Obadiah

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 18:1-15.  Let’s go!

1 Kings 18:1-2 (NIV) 
1 After a long time, in the third year, the word of the LORD came to Elijah: “Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land.” 
2 So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab…

On verses 1-2:  God used Elijah to perform some of the most incredible miracles you will read about in the Bible.  Why Elijah?  I believe Elijah’s secret is that he was obedient.  Whenever God told him to do something, in faith he would obey (verse 2 to “So Elijah went…”).  If you want God to move powerfully in your life, it hinges on how quickly and fully you will obey the word He speaks to you.

1 Kings 18:2-6 (NIV) 
2 …Now the famine was severe in Samaria, 
3 and Ahab had summoned Obadiah, who was in charge of his palace. (Obadiah was a devout believer in the LORD. 

Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 17:1-16.  Let’s go!

On verses 17-24:  A widow in the town of Zarephath has been taking care of the prophet Elijah.  With Elijah’s help she has learned to put God first in her life.  But when this widow’s son, only a young boy, becomes sick and eventually dies, this widow gets angry at God and directs that anger at Elijah, God’s servant: “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” (v18)  

Elijah too is distraught by the boy’s tragic death.  He takes the dead boy in his arms, brings him to his room, and begins to pray: “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” (v20).  But then Elijah stretches himself on the boy and cries out to God three times for this boy to come back to life, and “The Lord heard Elijah’s cry” (v22).  Seeing her son back alive, the woman says “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth” (v24).

How to Experience God’s Supernatural Provision

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 17:1-16.  Let’s go!

On verses 1-16:  In these verses we are introduced to Elijah, one of the most powerful prophets in the Bible.  First, Elijah goes to King Ahab (probably in the capital city of Samaria) and predicts that rain will not fall in Israel for years except at his word (v1).  

Second, we see how God supernaturally provides for Elijah’s needs, initially at a brook in the Kerith Ravine while Elijah hides from Ahab and his prophet-killing wife Jezebel (v2-7).  Later God provides in an amazing way for Elijah and a widow’s family in the town of Zarephath (v8-16).

It Matters Whom You Marry

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 16:29-34.  Let’s go!

1 Kings 16:31 (NIV) 
31 He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him. 

On verses 29-33:  These verses summarize the 22 year reign of Ahab as king of Israel, although we will read about Ahab again in later chapters of 1 Kings.  One can make the argument that Ahab was the most wicked king in Israel’s history.  According to the writer of 1 Kings, Ahab “did more evil in the eyes of the LORD than any of those before him” (v30) and “did more to provoke the Lord to anger than did all the kings of Israel before him” (v32).

How God Defines Success

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 16:21-28.   Let’s go!

On verses 21-28:  These verses summarize the 12 year reign of Omri.  From a political and military standpoint, Omri was an impressive king.  Omri outlasted his opponent Tibni in a six year civil war (v21-22).  Omri built a new capital city for Israel called Samaria.  Ancient Assyrian records even refer to Israel as “the land of Omri”.  So from a secular perspective, Omri was an effective king.  

However, from a spiritual perspective, Omri was a failure. As verses 25 and 26 say, “Omri did evil in the eyes of the Lord and sinned more than all those before him.  He followed completely the ways of Jeroboam…so that they aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, by their worthless idols.” 

What can we learn from this?  When measuring a person’s success, the criteria God focuses on is different from what most people focus on. 

The Dangers of Drunkenness and Sedition

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 16:8-20.  Let’s go!

1 Kings 16:9-10 (NIV) 
9 Zimri, one of his officials, who had command of half his chariots, plotted against him. Elah was in Tirzah at the time, getting drunk in the home of Arza, the man in charge of the palace at Tirzah.10 Zimri came in, struck him down and killed him in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah. Then he succeeded him as king. 

On verses 8-14:  Elah’s two year reign as king of Israel is cut short when Elah gets drunk and is killed by one of his officials Zimri.

What can we learn from this?  “Don’t get drunk on wine,” Paul says in Ephesians 5:18,”but be filled with the Holy Spirit”. Too much alcohol dulls one’s senses, clouds one’s judgment, and makes you vulnerable to attack.  In contrast, being filled with the Holy Spirit sharpens your senses, improves your judgment, and equips you to defend yourself against attack.

Be Careful Not to Repeat Your Predecessors’ Mistakes

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 16:1-7.  Let’s go!

On verses 1-7:  The reason God decided that the kingship of Israel would no longer go through Jeroboam’s family line and the reason God wiped out Jeroboam’s house entirely was because Jeroboam had turned away from the Lord to worship idols of his own making and led all of Israel to do the same.  Baasha must have realized this at some point.  Yet even after being the very instrument God used to wipe out Jeroboam’s house, Baasha becomes the new king and commits the very same sins Jeroboam committed.  Following in Jeroboam’s footsteps, Baasha worships idols and causes the Israelites to do the same.  Failing to learn from the mistakes of his predecessors, Baasha receives a message from God through the prophet Jehu: just like God wiped out the house of Jeroboam for their sins, God would also wipe Baasha and his house (v3-4).  

What can we learn from this?  

1. We are to honour those who go before us but we also need to be aware of what mistakes they made so that we do not repeat them.  

Don’t Get Blindsided by an Inside Job

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Kings 15:25-34.  Don’t Get Blindsided by an Inside Job + How Do You Want God to use Your Life
Let’s go!

1 Kings 15:25-28 (NIV) 
25 Nadab son of Jeroboam became king of Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years.
26 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, walking in the ways of his father and in his sin, which he had caused Israel to commit.
27 Baasha son of Ahijah of the house of Issachar plotted against him, and he struck him down at Gibbethon, a Philistine town, while Nadab and all Israel were besieging it.
28 Baasha killed Nadab in the third year of Asa king of Judah and succeeded him as king. 

On verses 25-28:  These verses summarize the short 2 year reign of Nadab king of Israel.  The writer of 1 Kings does not find anything noteworthy about Nadab except two things.  First is how Nadab followed his father Jeroboam in worshiping idols and doing evil in God’s sight.  Second is the way Nadab died: while Nadab is in foreign territory trying to capture the Philistian city of Gibbethon, another unsuspecting enemy — in this case, Baasha, an Israelite and a member of Nadab’s own kingdom — strikes Nadab down and becomes the new king of Israel.