We’ve all heard the phrase, “What would Jesus do.?” That slogan was very popular when I was in middle school – I think. 🙂 There were bracelets, t-shirts and book marks to remind us to ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” It is easy to ask the question, but it is sometimes hard to do what Jesus would do, after all he was perfect. Or at least that is sometimes what I said in order to let myself off the hook for not doing what I should’ve done. But, there is another person we can compare ourselves with – Elisha, a prophet who first appeared in the Old Testament – 1 Kings 19. Today’s awe – inspiring sermon focused on Elisha and highlighted 3 Essential Components of Christian Character – commitment, concern and compassion. Elisha was not perfect, yet he exhibited each of these characteristics. The sermon text was 1 Kings 19:19-21. Elisha was committed to his job and to God, concerned for others (not just his family members) and compassionate toward mankind. His compassion toward mankind in particularly evident later in his life.
- committed – initially he was in the field doing hard work – plowing with 24 oxen; he later left everything he knew to follow Elijah and serve God;
- concerned – he made sure to say goodbye to his mother and father before leaving; and
- compassionate – he killed his oxen, cooked them and fed them to all the people (not just his mother and father).
Elisha’s commitment to God was not initially evident. But, the fact that he would leave all he knew and loved without question or complaint shows that he was indeed committed to God.
The bible doesn’t indicate that there was anything particularly special about Elisha. He didn’t appear to be popular, well known or rich. This reaffirms that God can use each and everyone of us if we are committed to him and his kingdom and concerned about and compassionate toward others. “Others” include those who hate us, misuse us and abuse us. “Others” also include people who may never be able to do anything for us in return. When God calls us, we are chosen for a particular task or tasks. We are specifically and intentionally, not randomly and accidentally chosen.
As Christians, Christ calls us to exhibit each of these character traits. (You may click on the hyperlinked bible verses to see my selections for each characteristic.)
- Commitment – Proverbs 16:3 and Colossians 2:23
- Concern – Philippians 2:4 and 1 Timothy 5:8
- Compassion – Ephesians 4:31 – 32
“When a man or woman has the conviction that he or she is doing the work God gave them to do, there is a zeal and a courage in their soul that all the forces of this world cannot destroy.” – Anonymous (quoted on In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley this morning)
Elisha left everything and followed Elijah so that he could serve God by serving man. He went on to do great works for God. When you find yourself being called by God, ask yourself, “What would Elisha do?”
I pray that each of us feels God doing an awesome work in us that calls us to submit to his will without question, reservation or complaint. Afterall, that is what Elisha would do.
Peace and blessings!
P.S. Hearing God’s word in a practical way that is applicable to everyday life and my Christian walk is revolutionary. More importantly, it is life and mind transforming, which I believe is the path to spiritual growth. I’m definitely praying for more commitment, concern and compassion. (for K.P.)
P.P.S. After having listened to Songversation at least 15 times (no joke) 🙂 in the past 2 1/2 weeks, I have narrrowed my favorite songs from the album down to 3 – Moved by You, Brothers’ Keeper and 6th Avenue. (Click on the links to listen to the songs.)