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Lent 2011

Bring Life to the Dead

Day 34

By Missionary Susie Brunk, Booneville, Ky.

After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill; his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. She then said to Elijah, "What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to cause the death of my son!" But he said to her, "Give me your son." He took him from her bosom, carried him up into the upper chamber where he was lodging, and laid him on his own bed. He cried out to the Lord, "O Lord my God, have you brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I am staying, by killing her son?" Then he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried out to the Lord, "O Lord my God, let this child's life come into him again." The Lord listened to the voice of Elijah; the life of the child came into him again, and he revived. Elijah took the child, brought him down from the upper chamber into the house, and gave him to his mother; then Elijah said, "See, your son is alive." So the woman said to Elijah, "Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth."

—I Kings 17:17-24

What a great godly witness, bringing dead people back to life! And then they say, "Hey, you truly are of God; I know that God speaks through you."

What an entrance exam that would be! And yet, that is exactly what God expects. As a child of God, we get new life, real life. It is ours with the expectation that we share it. Growing up in a loving Christian home, I can remember very little what was mine that did not have to be shared with my brother, sister, parents or with others. Sharing was simply a way of life. It should be the same for the believer in Jesus.

How many dead people will you hold today?

In I Kings 17, Elijah had already stopped the rain. He had miraculously filled the daily flour and oil supply for the widow at Zaraphath. But he had to give life to a dead person before the woman said, "Now I know you really are a man of God."

Today, I think many of us believe that being baptized, answering a few questions about what we believe, becoming a church member, and spending a few hours at the church on Sunday morning means we have passed the entrance exam. But guess what? The people of the world want more! They like us if we feed them. They may be impressed with a flashy show, but they aren't really listening until we bring life to dead people.

Here in the Appalachian mountains of Eastern Kentucky, we get lots of calls from folks who say to us: "We need food." "We need heat." "We need transportation." "We need help." But behind all the requests for aid, we know what they really hunger for is love and for God's all-consuming, all-encompassing mercy and grace. Hardly anyone gets scolded into the Kingdom of God.

In Acts 20:7-12, Eutychus fell from a third story window ledge, landed in a heap, and was pronounced dead on the spot. Paul hustled down, threw his arms around the corpse, and declared that he would live. In much the same way, we have the opportunity to touch spiritually dead people with the saving grace of the Gospel of Christ.

How many dead people will you hold today?


Gracious God, give us your heart of compassion to reach out to a lost and dying world. May the resurrection power of the Gospel bring spiritually dead people to new life in Christ. Amen.

Last Updated: 04/15/2014

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