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Sacrifice

Dare my King by Pastor Alex Ruelo

Dare my King by Pastor Alex Ruelo

Prophet Elijah is one of the many characters in the Bible that has the most amazing story. The most remarkable one is that time when he dared the prophets of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel to show the power of their “god” Baal by burning the sacrifice. The 800+ prophets did everything they could but there was no manifestation of Baal. Elijah on the other hand, poured water on the sacrifice to emphasize the power of the Lord, and immediately it burned. This brought deeper anger to the queen that made her want to kill Elijah. So Elijah runs for his life and prayed unto God, weeping, and asking him to just end his life and take him. God showed favor to Elijah and ordered him to take a rest through an angel. When Elijah woke up there was food beside him.

Through Elijah, we learned that our faith, brings us blessings and in Him, we found favor and rest even through transgressions. Here are 3 major lessons from the story of prophet Elijah:

1. Always remember God’s goodness and faithfulness – people often look at the bigger things, bigger opportunities, bigger blessings that we forget to see the little things that God has been giving us. We are eager to receive that one huge thing we want from God that we neglect all the little good things we are receiving. God’s goodness is relentless, His faithfulness is strong, and we, Christians must see that every day in our lives, God has been providing us blessings, we just forget to acknowledge these little blessings.

2. Problems are not from God – when we face difficulties we immediately turn to God and ask Him why is he giving us problems. What we do not know is these problems are not from God. Sometimes or more often than not, we create our own problems, our own sufferings and once we are on that position Satan will move and bring in more misery. What we can do is to pray and turn to God, and converse with Him the right way. Let Him search your heart and correct it. Rewire your heart, mind, and spirit that you know that once you are in a difficult situation, you turn to God not to ask Him why but to ask Him to help you.

3. In the time of waiting, God is moving – If we remember the story, Elijah and the whole Israel waited for the rain. It is hard to wait and keep the faith. It is hard not to wonder why God is letting you be in “this” situation. It is hard not to ask God of the things we don’t understand. Yes, it is hard because we are just human, but He is God. In the time of our waiting, know that He is moving, He is preparing something, and what He only wants us to do is keep our faith in Him.

Obedience is better than Sacrifice by Pastor Alex Ruelo

Obedience is better than Sacrifice by Pastor Alex Ruelo

Back when Samuel was old, he appointed his sons to lead Israel but his sons did not follow his ways. They accepted bribes and perverted justice and so the elders told Samuel to give Israel a king that will lead them all. Samuel prayed unto God and He said that it is not Samuel whom Israel has rejected but the Lord whom they have been rejecting since the day He brought them out of Egypt. God told Samuel to warn Israel that the king that will reign over them will claim everything as his rights. Despite this, Israel still insisted on having a king. And so Samuel anointed a man named Saul, God himself chose Saul. It has been said that there is no one like Saul among all the people. As a child, some of us thought that King Saul is a bad king all along. But he started off as a man chosen by God himself. As time goes by, King Saul become full of himself, he became jealous and disobedient to the Lord. God instructed King Saul to kill all Amalekites along with its animals. But King Saul spared the life of the king of Amalekites as well as its animals. He thought that the Lord would be pleased if he sacrificed those to Him. Samuel said to King Saul that the Lord is more pleased with obedience than sacrifices.

Just like the great King Saul, us people, when we experienced power and privilege can become the very person God doesn’t want us to be. We can be proud of ourselves and do things on our own. We can come short on obeying God while thinking we are doing more for Him. Here are some ideas about why King Saul fail and fall:

1. Sin gives birth to another sin – People tend to make excuses when caught. From our committed sin, we give birth to another sin that makes the situation worse. Just like when Samuel knew that the king and animals’ life were spared, Saul began to tell lies. Trying to redeem himself, he told Samuel that it would be given to the Lord as an offering.

2. 99.9% of Obedience is Disobedience – Always remember that obeying God requires your full trust. You cannot bargain with God, obedience to the Lord cannot be chopped into percentages. It is to obey or disobey.

3. All who exalt themselves will be humbled – As sinners, we hardly avoid blaming other people for our mistakes. We try our hardest to appear blameless putting other people down. But the truth is those who exalt themselves shall face God’s judgment and will be humbled.

4. We cannot fool God – When God tells you to do something, you obey. You cannot offer him something better than full obedience to Him. For God, it is more important that we obey than to offer him worthless things in exchange.

Remember: No sacrifice or offering can compare to a heart that loves the Lord, obeys the Lord and trusts the Lord — it is our best gift to God.