Ice Cream Dilemma

July 24, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Michelle Lim –

There is nothing more difficult for my five year-old than standing in front of the ice cream counter and being asked to choose a flavor.

Superman ice cream, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, cookies n’ cream—the list of choices is daunting.

Hands pressed to the glass he looks down at the flavors. “Superman. No, chocolate.”
He wavers back and forth until I finally require an answer.

It struck me the other day how much that sounded like how God feels about our choice to serve Him. He desires from each one of us unwavering faith.

But just like in Bible times it can be a challenging step. Defining moments come in our lives and we often don’t realize their import until they are gone.

In one such moment in the book of 1 Kings the prophet Elijah reminded Israel to be decisive in its faith. At that time the Kingdom of Israel was under the rule of King Ahab, one of the wickedest kings in all of Israel’s history.

The children of Israel were worshiping Baal and other gods right along with the one true God. King Ahab and Queen Jezebel encouraged the evil that continued to happen in the name of various religions.

Elijah issued a challenge to King Ahab to show all of Israel the one true God. King Ahab was to invite all of Israel to see the display on Mount Carmel. Two altars were built, one to Elijah’s God and one to Baal.

The prophets of Baal tried to call down fire, but their sacrifice remained cold. Elijah had more faith than I could possibly imagine. His faith didn’t waver. He called out to the people of Israel to quit wavering between religions, but to believe and serve only the one true God.

Dousing his sacrifice with water over and over, Elijah ensured that there would be no doubt about the hand of God. God consumed the sacrifice with fire.

When I watched my son try to pick ice cream flavors, I was reminded of how easily we can be distracted by other things in our lives, choosing them almost as if they had God’s place in our lives.

It’s amazing how something as simple as picking ice cream can challenge a heart.

“Elijah came near to all of the people and said, ‘How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.’ But the people did not answer him a word” (1Kings 18:21 NASB).

Rained Out

June 24, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Michelle Lim –

This baseball season the weather turbulence has rained and snowed out many of the games. Every day there’s a ball game my two boys look out the window wishing away the clouds.

As much as I love watching my sons’ baseball games, one day last week my emotions were a bit more ambiguous. We had already cheered through three games and attended three practices. Just this once I looked out the window wishing for rain.

My elation as the first plump droplets slapped against my window faded in the disappointment on my son’s faces. I managed to feel a dash of remorse, momentarily.
Just as soon as the remorse passed, all thirty seconds of it, my mind filled with all of the things I could do with the new time.

When I stood at the window wishing for rain, I had to hear the first rain drops before I knew that we’d be rained out. My faith in rain wasn’t that great even though we’d had many of rained out games during the season.

This reminded me of another man’s faith in rain. In 1 Kings 18, God told Elijah to go
present himself to Ahab and God would send rain on the famine ravaged Samaria.

Elijah didn’t look out the window. He just obeyed, knowing that God would do as he
promised. He believed so earnestly that he sent the servant seven times to look for rain
clouds.

When a cloud the size of a man’s fist was all that could be seen he warned everyone to
hurry down from the mountain before the rain stopped them.

What incredible faith that all Elijah had to see was a cloud the size of a man’s fist for him
to know that God had answered.

Oh to have the faith of Elijah in everyday life, believing that God can do anything with the mere suggestion of its possibility. Now, every time I look out the window I remember Elijah and his amazing faith. I look for a fist sized cloud and smile because I know that God can do anything with even such a small hint of His Presence.

Bible Verse: “So Elijah said, ‘Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you” 1 Kings 18:44b.

Lessons in Dirt

June 4, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Michelle Lim –

Our family spends every spring at the baseball field cheering wildly for my sons. Sometimes it seems like infield dirt and stained jerseys are our constant preoccupation. Even though we spend so much time at the diamond, the lessons we learn there are invaluable to life.

Last night one such lesson in the dirt reminded me of the body of Christ and how we journey together. Through the good and the bad seasons of life we need each other along the way.

The game was tied 7-7 and we were in the first inning of overtime. The first pitcher, my son, had gotten close to the full pitch count of 88 that is allowed in his league. So a new pitcher came into the game.

So much was resting on the shoulders of this young pitcher. He was nervous, but so wanted to win one for the team. The fans cheered him on, but more importantly his team cheered him on. First, one ground out to second. Then, two hits that landed runners on first and third. It was crunch time.

He wound up and pitched it right down the middle, strike one. The batter hit the second ball foul. Then came three balls in a row. The fans held their breath. This was the game. The cheers rose until just before the pitch then dead silence.

STRIKE THREE! The batter was out. The pitcher ran to the catcher and flung himself in the air. The dancing made me smile. The sheer joy in that celebrated moment was wonderful. No matter what would have happened in the bottom of the inning, no one could take away that moment of pure joy.

The boys went on to win the game, but that game was won long before. With every practice and affirmative word the boys and coaches said to one another, the more their skill grew. When their back was against the wall, they came out victorious. Not because of one individual, but because of the culture of excellence and encouragement on their team.

That got me thinking about the family of God. Do we have that culture of excellence and encouragement in our faith family? What could you do today that would build up your family so when their backs are against the wall they will have victory?

Bible Verse:

“But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today”, so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13 NAS).

Waters Gone By

May 10, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Michelle Lim –

Life is seldom predictable, but one thing we all face is hardship. For some it seems as if hardship is an everyday companion. At those moments, it is difficult to keep a faith-filled perspective.

Every time I think I deserve a better shake I think of Job. The man lost all of his possessions, his family, and his health, but still served God. Even though his friends told him to curse God and die, Job chose to believe that God had never left him.

How bad would things have to get before you would curse God and die?

I hope you never have to find out, but each day when we spend time getting to know God, we build the balance of our rainy day fund. No, not in dollars and cents, but in faith. All of the verses we learn and words of Jesus we read give us the ammunition to fight our own doubts and fears when things are at their absolute worst.

Job 11:13-14 gives us a formula for surviving and coming through adversity with victory:

1. Devote our hearts to God and worship Him. Reach out to Him in our struggles as well as the good times.
2. Get rid of sin that is in our lives. Both the things that are in our homes and our hearts. When we don’t allow evil to have a foothold, it gives God the territory.

When we do these two things, God gives us strength and hope. It is counsel far wiser than Job’s friend who said he should curse God and die. It builds up our faith so we are ready when trouble comes. It keeps us from doing things that would separate us from God, when times are tough. Following this formula we will find the strength to face our struggles with a faith perspective.

“Then, free of fault, you will lift up your face; you will stand firm and without fear. You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by” (Job 11:15-16 NIV).

A Child’s Perspective

April 2, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Michelle Lim –

Some days it is difficult to accept the changes in our lives. We look around for someone to blame, or complain that the world is different. But really, change can also be a sign of growing. What used to feel right is suddenly not.

My son Micah is the most amazing child. I know, I’m mom, but he is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! He takes on life with tenacity, always living on the boundaries. No matter what happens, he embraces each moment.

One day when Micah was four years old, he taught me something so important about Godly perspective in life.

Micah is all arms and legs. I call him forty pounds of wonderful, because he is still so thin at age eight. Despite how thin he is, he grows at an amazing rate. Shoes are a six month change at best. One moment his shoes fit perfectly. The next, his toes are pushing through the leather.

On this sunny summer day we were headed to the park. My kids all had their shoes on except for Micah.

Micah crammed his feet into those shoes like a pro, but they were pinched tight. He looked up at me as seriously as possible and said, “Mom, my shoes have outgrown me.”

He still says that today when it is time for him to change shoes, or clothes because of another growth spurt. It could be a devastating ‘I’m getting too big for all of the things I love.’

Not for Micah.

For him it is all about those shoes not being ready to be part of the journey he is going on. He chooses to view life with a joyful perspective. All is well with him. It is the shoes that are having trouble.

Do we look at life with a Godly perspective? Or do we focus on the negative side of the things around us?

In 2 Corinthians Paul talks about keeping a Godly perspective when things may not be going our way. We aren’t to lose heart, because eternal glory outweighs it all.

Has your life outgrown you?

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV).

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