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Colossians 4 (mainly first 6 verses)

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This chapter is a chapter of how to be a master. summed up, that is the general theme. We see in the first verse, Paul addresses masters. So who is a master? . . . Do you have anyone that looks up to you? Maybe you are in charge of them as a boss or a teacher? Maybe you are a leader of an organization? Maybe you just have a lot of influence in your group of friends? Next year, I am going to be the men's group leader for Cru, so that would be just one scenario I can think of for me personally that will place me in a leadership role. whatever the case, Paul lists here several steps to follow as masters.

1) verse 1 - Be just and equal to those that look up to you. Treat everyone with respect in the same degree. Don't make favorites or pay out love unfairly.

2) verse 2 - Continue in prayer and be thankful for answered prayers.First off, pray for those continually that look up to you. Pray that God would show you how to lead daily. Pray for his will on your life. simply pray. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us to pray about everything! And then, don't just pray, but watch your prayers with thanksgiving! If a prayer gets answered, don't take credit, or forget about it, thank God!

3) verse 3-4 - Pray for those that are placed above you. Those that you look up to. Paul asks the people at Colosse to pray for him while he is in prison that God would open a door for him to share the gospel and that God would make it known what Paul would say. That's an amazing heart! Continue to pray for those above you, that they might know how to lead, how to share the gospel.

4) verse 5 - Walk with wisdom. Don't be foolish, walk in wisdom for there are people looking up to you. As stated in Romans 14: 14-23, don't do anything that would cause a fellow brother to stumble. Even if you don't have a conviction against it, your brother might, so be walking with wisdom!

5) verse 6 - Let your speech cause thirst in others! This is a great verse. salt causes thirst. Paul tells us to let our speech be filled with grace and seasoned with salt that we might know how to answer every man. When someone comes to us, we should flood them with God's love and grace and make them thirst for God. You can do that simply by pouring out unconditional love on others, being a witness to the testament of Jesus Christ. But once again, refer to step 2: pray pray pray!

1 Kings 21

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King Ahab just doesn't get it. In Chapter 19, God used Elijah to show him the reality and power of the true LORD. In Chapter 20, We see God promising to protect and bring victory to Ahab and the people of Israel. But at the end of chapter 20, Ahab has mercy on King Ben-hadad and lets him free, going against the will of God. And now here, in Chapter 21, we see King Ahab throw a temper tantrum because his materialistic virtues demanded that he take control of Naboth's vineyard. Make a short story even shorter, Ahab complains to his evil wife Jezebel, who in turn orders the killing of Naboth and then gives the uncontrolled vineyard to Ahab. Looks like he got exactly what he wanted without even doing anything. wrong. After Elijah comes back on the seen, read what God had to say about Ahab in verse 18.

"...Hast thou killed, and also taken possession?" KJV

Just as Adam was guilty for the first sin even though Eve ate of the fruit, Ahab is guilty even though Jezebel did the dirty work. Ahab was the one that complained to his wife about his problems and did not tell the whole story. Ahab complained because he knew his wife would do something about it. Therefore, God looks at Ahab and asks, "Did you just kill Naboth for his possession?"

But after all Ahab has done, the minute Ahab humbles himself in verse 27, the LORD has mercy on Ahab. He doesn't take away the consequence of all Ahab's sin, but he has mercy on him. The steps are coming together for Ahab, each chapter we see God pulling him closer and closer. So does Ahab choose to repent and follow the Lord? or does he return back into carnality? God can only do so much to show us His love, but in the end we have to choose to love him back. He can't force us to choose Him.

1 Kings 20

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We have quite the scene before us. King Ahab stands on one side of the ring, King of Israel, the most wicked King yet to ever govern Israel, the same king that Elijah had just straight up owned by the power of God. On the other side, stands King Ben-Hadad, King of Syria, standing next to 32 other kings, all with armies, horses, and chariots! So lets visualize this scene: We are in the hills and mountains of Israel, King Ahab (to remind you again, the most wicked king of Israel) with 232 young men and 7000 people in total, taking on hundreds of thousands of Syrians with horses and chariots. If you have ever watched the movie 300, visualize the odds of that battle when you think of this. Now I want you to visualize something else with me: still visualize the massive army of the Syrians with their chariots, and keep the 232 valiant men of Israel in the picture, but this time add in legions upon legions of angels following behind the 232 men in their chariots. That's right! God chose to protect Israel yet again, despite having the most wicked king ever that probably would never think of God for a second. Verse 13 shows a picture of God's flooding grace,

"Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it in to thine hand this day; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD" KJV

Like seriously? God still wants this guy!? He still has grace on him!? He still has a plan for him?! Are there any people in your life that you think are at the farthest point from God? That have denied him in everything that they do? Or maybe not even God. Lets bring this straight to home. Do you know anyone who's every act, is an act of defiance, or hate toward you? or maybe they turned their back on you. Could you ever imagine loving them like this? God still wants to have his Glory made evident to the entire kingdom of Israel despite them turning their backs on Him.

Well the Israelite army wins. That was an easy one to guess. But the Syrians aren't done. They regroup and plan a battle in the valley (because our God only lives in the mountains and hills apparently). But God is yet again on Israel's side and sends the same word to King Ahab in verse 28. My favorite verse in this entire chapter comes in verse 27!

"And the children of Israel were numbered, and were all present, and went against them: and the children of Israel pitched before them like two little flocks of kids; but the Syrians filled the country." KJV

We have two little flocks of kids, against an army so vast that it covers as far as the eye can see! And this time, the battle is set in the valley where the chariots and horses are of much more use. But once again, no army is too big for our God. Israel (or should i say God) takes out 100 thousand men in the first day, and when they try to flee, God kills another 27000 people. All to show
His glory and to show His grace for His people. That is astounding.

I would like to look at King Ahab though for a second. He was a worshiper of idols who forced idol worship in all the kingdom. But when the prophet of God comes to him, he listens! and he doesn't just listen, HE LISTENS! He takes the promise to heart and believes in faith that they will win by following this seemingly impossible plan. but why? I suggest it was because of Elijah.

Elijah had just mocked Ahab, his idols, and his prophets of Baal, and showed them exactly how powerful His God was! Put straight forward, Ahab was owned. Elijah may have wanted to destroy all of the idolaters in Israel, but God just wanted to use Elijah to plant a powerful seed in Ahab's heart. A seed that would began to open his heart to listening to what God had to say.

So whether you are Elijah, a man of intense faith that finds himself hiding in a cave forgetting the providence of God; or whether you are Ahab, who has at one time turned his back on God completely; or whether you are just an Israelite in the background; possibly you are one of the 7000 in 1 kings 19:18 who have followed God, or maybe you are one of the many others that have slipped up and left God behind, KNOW THIS, God is with you! And with God with you, nothing can defeat you! in the valleys; in the mountains; against an army of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions; God will always win, and he already has!