I once knew a man who was the most intelligent person I had ever known.
He was charming and handsome and when he walked into a room, the room was never the same. When he smiled it warmed your heart and when he laughed, you could not help but laugh with him. His laugh and smile were infectious.
He worked tirelessly at his career, making sacrifices that cost him his family but he achieved great success in the workplace. He was accomplished.
He was a man of many talents, one of which was investing his money and he invested it well. I remember during my visits with him, how his attention was always divided between me and the ticker tape stock market report scrolling on the television screen in the room. I understood. He was wealthy and brilliant — he needed to keep track of what his money was doing.
He was a man of faith but not in God. God was for the weak. He believed in himself and all that he could create, accomplish and attain. He was, after all a scientist.
When he was diagnosed with cancer, all the wealth he had attained, all the success he had accomplished, all the things he had created could not help him.
This intelligent, charming, successful man died after a short, devastating battle. On his deathbed, it was clear he was afraid of what might be on the other side.
This man was my father.
Why do I tell you this? My dad taught me a lot of things in life but perhaps my greatest learning was not what he had done but rather what he had not done. What I learned was even with all he had accomplished and attained — death came, as death will. But it was what I saw in the hospital that day that changed my life forever. I saw a strong, confident man, helpless and afraid because he didn’t know God. He didn’t know that death is not the end. He didn't know that God was there.
As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Over the past several weeks we have been studying the Old Testament prophet Elijah. There is much to learn from this man, a man that James says “was a man with a nature like ours…” (James 5:17). Elijah was just like us, an ordinary person and yet this man had extraordinary faith.
A faith that put God first in his life.
A faith that believed that God would provide for his daily needs.
A faith that knew that God could bring down fire from heaven and ignite a soaking wet altar.
A faith that brought false prophets to their knees crying, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!”
A faith that believed that God could stop the rain and could make it rain again.
A faith that each of us can have if we choose! “The Lord, He is God!”
Join us this Sunday as we continue to learn from Elijah.