June 23

1 Kings 18:36-37 (NIV) 36At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again."

Elijah had given the prophets of Baal every advantage. He gave them most of the day. They had hundreds of Baal priests. When they had exhausted all their efforts he built an altar of twelve stones, arranged the wood, and upon it placed the sacrificial bull. He dug a trough around the altar. Then he had the people drench the altar with water until the trough filled up.

It must have been 3PM, the time of the evening sacrifice. Elijah prayed the above prayer. He declared the reason for this test was that the people would know the God of Israel is the most powerful god, and that he was doing these things at God's command. He prayed that that the people would know that the LORD (Jehovah) is God. He prayed that they would realize God was turning their hearts back.

A fire fell from heaven and consumed everything, including the altar stones! Then the people shouted, "Elijah, Elijah, Elijah!" Elijah's name means God is Jehovah! They were declaring that God is Jehovah. Elijah's prayer was answered.

If we operate at God's command and pray with a heart to see people realize that the LORD is God, we can expect to see miracles also. We can expect God to turn hearts back to Him. If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

Pray the above prayer for your family and nation.

June 23

John 13:13-15 (NIV) 13"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

John's gospel is the only one that relays this important lesson. You can imagine the disciples wondering who was going to get the thrones to the right and left of Jesus in the Kingdom. Certainly they were not going to stoop to do the lowly job assigned to the lowest of servants. They may have been thinking that one day soon, they would be served continually. Luke tells us they were actually arguing during the Passover supper about who would hold the top positions. It is amazing how we can hear only what we want to hear.

Jesus' words were not understood, so He gave them an illustration that was certain to stick with them every day of their lives. He took a towel and basin and did the job of the lowliest of servants. Most teachers were waited on by their disciples. Some groups would even purchase servants. In Jesus' band, the Master was the servant. He always had been though they did not recognize it. That was unthinkable, unheard of, and almost impossible to accept. Peter balked at having Jesus perform such a menial task.

After the picture was clearly painted for them, He told them that they were to do as He had done. This was so contrary to the thinking of the world that it must have taken a long time to sink in. Has it sunk into your concept of reality? We never read of the Apostles fighting for power and position again. Maybe that is why the spokesman in Jerusalem during those early days of the church was not one of them. It took a century for the church to start making a hierarchy. If you are a leader or desire to be one, do you think of it as being the lowliest of servants? This was one of the factors in the rise of Christianity during that first century. How could Rome capture the leaders when it could not recognize them? Who would pick the servant as the leader except those whose thought- life had been transformed by the Spirit of God.

Consider: Like Jesus, mature spiritual leaders do not come to be served but to serve. Serve alongside them.