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Pastor's Devotional Thoughts

"Come and see." John 1:39,46.

The gospel of John is always fascinating to read. I got to read chapter one again this week. Every time I read this chapter, I usually focus on the beginning part of the chapter where it talks about Jesus being the Word. It's a very important part. But this time, I saw this part. "Come and see." Come and see what? John the Baptist was with 2 of his disciples.

When Jesus approaches them He asks, "What do you seek?"

In return, they reply, "Rabbi, where are You staying?"

Jesus answers, "Come and see."

In the later part of the chapter, we have Philip and Nathaniel. Philip is overjoyed to have found Jesus of Nazareth. He is so eager to introduce Him to his buddy Nathaniel. But Nathaniel doesn't seem too excited.

Nathaniel asks, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"

Philip says, "Come and see!"

Friends, we need to "come and see" for ourselves. We need to step up and give it a try to see who Jesus is. We shouldn't be like Nathaniel and say, "What good is it? Is it any fun?" There should be no doubt but be able to "come and see" for ourselves and realize that Jesus is the Giver of the "Living Water!"

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1 Kings 19:21 “So Elisha turned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them and boiled their flesh, using the oxen’s equipment, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah, and became his servant.”

God tells Elijah to appoint Elisha as the next prophet in place of him. As soon as he hears from God, Elijah departs from where he is to seek Elisha. At last when Elisha was found, the 1 Kings tells us that Elijah “threw his mantle on him.” The book does not mention that Elijah said anything. That is all he did. Put a mantle on Elisha. This action itself did not need any explanation in words, because this action was a symbolic act of calling one to ministry as a prophet.

Elisha understood that meaning. Elijah did not have to explain in words what this meant. Elisha had to make a choice. 1 Kings 19 gives a hint that Elisha had a pretty decent living, if not wealthy. When Elijah found Elisha, he was plowing in the field with 12 yoke of oxen. Doesn’t that tell us something?

Well, when Elisha was put on with a mantle, he knew he would have to give up what he had in order to serve as a prophet. And you can see his hesitation and dilemma in 1 Kings 19:20 where he asks Elijah, “Please let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.”

Friends, when God asks for you, we need to be willing to give up what we have in order to follow Him. Also, God does not want us to hesitate. He wants a firm decision, at this moment. Elijah said, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” He is asking Elisha to make a personal decision.

This was Elisha’s response: “So Elisha turned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them and boiled their flesh, using the oxen’s equipment, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah, and became his servant.”

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1 Kings 6:38 And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished in all its details and according to all its plans. So he was seven years in building it. 1 Kings 7:1

But Solomon took thirteen years to build his own house; so he finished all his house.

One of the greatest achievements of Solomon was that he built the temple of God. If you read the description of the temple in 1 Kings 6 you can see how awesome the temple must have been. Solomon put in a lot of effort and work to build the house of God. It was not an easy task and surely it was not a job you can finish in a short period of time. In fact, the last verse of chapter 6 tells us that it took 7 years to build the temple of God.

The next verse, which is chapter 7 verse 1, starts with the word “But.” And it says that it took 13 years for Solomon to build his own house (compared to the 7 years for the Temple of God. 7 is a symbol of completeness in the Bible though). I wondered at why the verse would start with the word “But,” when you can also start the verse with other words such as “And” or “Then” or “Next” or “After that.” The author chose to start the verse with the word “But.” The Bible does not mention or indicate whatsoever that building your own house for a longer period of time than the length of time spent in building the God’s house is wrong. It does not say that Solomon was wrong in doing so. We don’t know what Solomon’s intention was.

Whatever Solomon’s motive or the intention was, I imagined to myself what mine would have been if I were Solomon. It is easy for us as selfish humans to value mine over God’s. After all, if you really think about it, everything you have is from God. We should always be able to put God’s things first over my own personal agenda. We should always learn to set our priorities straight.

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