Scripture Focus: 1 Kings 18.12-15
12 I your servant have worshiped the Lord since my youth. 13 Haven’t you heard, my lord, what I did while Jezebel was killing the prophets of the Lord? I hid a hundred of the Lord’s prophets in two caves, fifty in each, and supplied them with food and water. 14 And now you tell me to go to my master and say, ‘Elijah is here.’ He will kill me!”
15 Elijah said, “As the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, I will surely present myself to Ahab today.”
1 Thessalonians 1.4-10
4 For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
Reflection: Unity of Belief, Freedom of Expression
By John Tillman
Two years ago we focused on the opposite methods of two men serving the same God: Obadiah and Elijah. They were united despite serving the same God in different ways. We pray today a prayer based on 1 Thessalonians 1.4-10 to remind us that we are brothers and sisters, called to follow Jesus even though unity in belief does not always lead to uniformity of expression.
Unity of Belief, Freedom of Expression
We pray for brothers and sisters loved by God, who do things differently than we do.
Those who vote based on one issue, those who vote based on another…
Those who draw doctrinal lines in the sand differently than we do…
Jesus has chosen us. His love and gospel unite us.
May we not hold “different” gospels or be swayed by eloquent words or human arguments.
The gospel unites us not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.
May we live among believers and unbelievers, in ways that do not serve ourselves but, instead, sacrifice ourselves for them.
May we become imitators of the greatest servants among us…
Not the greatest blowhards, those so-called “leaders”…
Not those who use words to insult, harm, and slander…
May we imitate instead those who imitate Jesus,
Who take a message of grace and joy to the suffering
Who put aside personal gain to offer grace
Who hold out the gospel message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
Let us be a model to believers in our cities, our counties, our countries so that the Lord’s message will ring out from where we are.
May our faith make God’s message become known everywhere.
May our loving, gospel-centered actions speak so loudly that we hardly need to say anything about it. May the report of us be that we received well our fellow servants and the lost who are searching for the hope we have.
May we turn to God from idols, so that idol worshipers around us can see how to serve the living and true God
We can assuredly trust that he who was raised from the dead is able to rescue us from any wrath, pain, suffering, or struggle that we face.
May we do so joyfully and in unity with those also called by his name.
Divine Hours Prayer: A Reading
Jesus taught us, saying: “Alas for you when everyone speaks well of you! This is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.” — Luke 6.26
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.
1 Kings 18 (Listen – 7:08)
1 Thessalonians 1 (Listen – 1:27)
This Weekend’s Readings
1 Kings 19 (Listen – 3:53), 1 Thessalonians 2 (Listen – 2:53)
1 Kings 20 (Listen – 7:03), 1 Thessalonians 3 (Listen – 1:44)
Read more about Resisting or Assisting a Corrupt Regime?
We must remember that Obadiah and Elijah are not enemies. They are on the same side.
Read more about The Losers Who Write History
May we learn to listen to “losers” and learn what God may say through them.