Text: Luke 1:15-17; Mal 4; 1 Kings 17-19
Summary: The prophecy in Mal 4 is partially fulfilled in Luke 1 through the ministry of John the Baptist, who came in the spirit and power of Elijah. In both cases, the message is the same – Our Heavenly Father doesn’t want His children to go through the motions; instead, He wants us to turn our hearts toward Him.
Good morning, everybody. Please turn with me to Luke 1:15. As you’re turning there, I got word from Abraham and Sarah that Sarah’s father had a stroke in Korea. He is in the ICU but he seems stable. So let’s lift up Sarah’s father, Mr. Yoo, in prayer. Luke 1:15 is talking about John the Baptist.
5 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.
Father, we turn our hearts to you today. We don’t want to just go through the motions of singing and praying. And when we pray to you, we hope that our prayers do not stop at the ceiling, but Lord, we pray that it would reach heaven. We turn our hearts to you today. We pray that you speak to us, reveal your tenderness to your children. We pray that we will learn how to repent, and return to our tender, compassionate, loving Heavenly Father. We pray that we would be prepared to meet Jesus. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen
When we sang just now and when we pray, or when you follow along with me in prayer, where was your heart? Where was your heart? There was a crowd surrounding Jesus, we read about it in the Gospels. And Jesus didn’t comment when the crowds are pressing in on Him, but when a bleeding woman touched Him, He stopped everybody. Because that was a meaningful touch. So today I want to talk about turning our hearts toward God our Father. We have to intentionally turn our hearts. Luke 1 and actually John the Baptist’s ministry, it is a partial fulfillment of what we read about in Malachi 4. And let’s turn to Malachi 4. We may have mentioned it last week, but we didn’t really get into it too much.
5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”
And some believe that John the Baptist is Is the reincarnation, resurrection, whatever you want to say, whatever you want to call it, a reappearing of Elijah. Because Jesus actually says in Matthew 11, that speaking of John the Baptist, he is the Elijah to come. But Luke 1 says that John the Baptist came in the spirit and the power of Elijah. So I don’t think it’s the actual reappearance of Elijah.
And then we fast forward to Luke 11, which is the full fulfillment of Malachi 4. That in the great and awesome Day of the Lord, prior to Jesus coming a second time, there will be two witnesses that we read about in Revelation 11. And it is likely Moses and Elijah at that time who will prepare the way for Jesus’s Second Coming. Malachi 4 is speaking about Jesus’ Second Coming and the actual reappearing of Elijah, possibly, and reappearing of Moses, possibly. But in Luke 1, it is the partial fulfillment. And it wasn’t the full Elijah the prophet in the flesh, but it is somebody who comes in the spirit and the power of Elijah.
And it’s a little different. The parts that are the same in Malachi 4, it says that this Elijah the prophet, he will turn the hearts of fathers to the children, and the hearts of children to the fathers. But in Luke 1, it says he will turn many children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and the power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.
And I want to first talk about turning of the hearts of the fathers to the children. There are many different ways that this message to go but I’m asking the Lord even now to help clarify and organize my thoughts. First, the hearts of the fathers to the children. And it is not a natural thing, I think, for most fathers for their hearts to turn toward their children. Or they may be turned to the children, but they may be turned in the wrong way. And they may be an absentee father.
Many homes have no fathers. Many children grew up in fatherless homes. We have fathers who are not reflecting the Heavenly Father and they are maybe an absentee father, they’re more consumed with their career. Or maybe they’re paying attention to the children but in the wrong way. They’re trying to get the children to be successful before man and to be successful in this world. And so God is saying to the fathers, first turn to your children. Turn to your children in a way that I want you to turn to them.
And I think for the bulk of my parenting, my heart was not turned to my children in a way that God wanted me to turn to them. In fact, I was neglecting my children. In fact, I was dishing them off to daycare workers and to school administrators and to teachers and to youth leaders. I was dishing off the kids. And then a few years ago, the Lord stopped me and he says, no, you need to turn your heart to the children. And it is your responsibility to teach them my ways, to discipline them, to raise them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
And so the first thing the Lord wants, and this is all preparation, He wants fathers and mothers to turn their hearts to the children. And then it says, for the children to turn their hearts to the fathers, and to the mothers, I want to add. What is the best way that we as fathers and mothers, we can turn our hearts to the kids? What is the highest aspiration? What is the biggest prayer request that you have for your children? Is it not salvation? Is it not walking with the Lord Jesus? Is it not enduring to the end? Isn’t that what fathers and mothers should be praying for our children? Until the final day, when we can be assured that they will be in heaven with us? Isn’t that the heart of every father and mother? That our children will one day meet the Lord Jesus.
And how should children pray for their parents? I still have parents, many of us still have parents, how should the younger ones when you’re still living in your parents home, how should children be praying for their parents? Is it not the same thing? They meet the Lord, That they stay saved, that they endure to the end. And so God is reorienting our hearts. He is saying, fathers, mothers, turn your hearts to the children. Ask God every day for their salvation. Children toward parents. Every day, you pray for your own salvation, you pray for your parents’ salvation. This is what God wants. He wants hearts turned in the right way to one another.
And then John the Baptist, his birth is the partial fulfillment of Malachi 4. It says in Luke 1:15, he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just. And so now, he’s not talking about just families, fathers turning to children, children turning to fathers. That’s part of it. That’s part of the preparation. But now he’s saying, you have a Heavenly Father, and now turn children of God, all of you, all of us, turn to the Heavenly Father.
And what was God so upset about in Malachi 4. What is God so upset about when Jesus begins His ministry, or even when John the Baptist is beginning his ministry? It is that the people of God are not turned in their hearts toward the Heavenly Father. And Malachi 4 is no different than the Pharisees and the religious leaders of Jesus’s day and John the Baptist’s day. That people are going through the motions. They’re showing up at the temple. They’re offering their sacrifice. They’re giving their prayers, they’re giving their lip service. But God is saying, your heart is not turned toward me.
And we tell our boys that when you greet somebody, make eye contact. Say, good morning, Uncle Andre. We want our kids to turn, to face the person that they’re meeting, not, oh hello (while not looking at the person), and just walk away. We want their eyes to turn, to make eye contact. And it’s showing proper respect. It’s showing that you’re greeting the person. You’re not just passing through. Oh, by the way, hello. No, that’s not what God wants. God wants our attention. God wants our eyes to turn to Him. God wants our hearts to turn.
And so before we pray, don’t just utter the words and just have your mind disengaged, and your heart distant from the Lord. You have to pause and turn your eyes to Him, and the eyes of your heart have to turn to Him. How many times do we pray, like before a meal and it’s just a script? It’s on replay, we just pray the same prayer every mealtime. It’s just autopilot. But how many times do we pause and say, Father, thank you? The same way that you fed Elijah, two times a day you airdropped bread and meat to Elijah to sustain him in the wilderness, the same way that you’re sustaining John the Baptist, also in the wilderness, with locusts and honey.
The same way that we have a job, we have a healthy body and we have a job that we can provide for our family, put food on the table. How many times do we actually turn and say, Father, thank you? This meal is directly from you. It may not be as spectacular as ravens coming down. But isn’t it the same thing? That God has provided food for His children. So that we’re not starving? We’re not beggars. We’re not dying of thirst. Our Heavenly Father is so tenderly providing for His children.
In Luke 1:76, this is now Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, actually prophesying about John the Baptist.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, 77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God
So when you turn to the Lord, the first thing you will realize is that all along the Father’s heart has been turned to you. And He’s not turned in an aloof kind of way. He’s not turned in a God Almighty kind of way. No, God is turned tenderly to His children. The first thing, when you turn your heart to the Lord, and you pause, and you’re not just in autopilot and just going through the prayers, going through the songs, showing up on Sunday, when your heart actually turns to Him, first thing you will realize is that His heart is turned toward you. And His heart is so tender towards you.
So if you struggle with God, do you love me? I want to suggest to you, I think you’re not turning your heart toward Him. If you think God, you don’t love me, God, I don’t know where you are. I want to suggest to you that maybe you’re just disconnected. Maybe you’re just mouthing words and you’re just going through the motions. And it takes time, the same way that you look up and you say, good morning, Uncle Andre. You have to pay attention, you have to divert your attention, look upon him. When we bow our knees, that is what we’re doing. We’re saying, Lord, we’re coming for you, and we’re turning our eyes toward you. We’re turning the eyes of our heart towards you.
And you just don’t say, Father, and then just rush off into your prayer. Just stay saying, Father, Father, Abba. Just keep saying it until your heart has turned. Because if you are hectic and frazzled in your day, and you say, Father, and you start praying, it’s like somebody saying hello, and you’re not even looking at them. You have to turn your heart, your eyes, your attention. Everything has to turn. And so just stay on that first, the way that Jesus taught us to pray. Father, hallowed be your name. Father.
Just turn to Him and I don’t know what will help you to focus. It takes so much time just to forget about our work and forget about our tasks. Forget about our to-do list. It takes some time and so just say, Abba, Father, hallowed be your name. And don’t go on in your prayer until your heart has sufficiently turned toward Him. The problem in Malachi, and the problem in Luke 1, in Jesus’s day, in John the Baptist’s day, it is the same problem in our day. The people are going through the motions and their heart has not turned.
In why is it so important that our hearts turn? Not only do we see that God is a tender God, but we see, what are you up to, Lord? What new thing are you doing in our midst? Because Malachi prophesied and then 400 years there was no more prophecy. So you can understand how people can get stuck in a rut, the same way that maybe prior to 2020 before COVID-19, we’re just going through the motions of church. And we were stuck in a rut, the same way that they were in Malachi’s day, the same way in Jesus’s day, the same way prior to 2020. Maybe we were stuck in a rut and just going through the motions. Why is it important for our hearts to turn? It is because if God has a new thing to show to us, that we will recognize it.
And all of Malachi’s prophecy and John the Baptist’s ministry is a preparation for the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. And if the people were not turned toward him, Jesus could be standing right in their midst, and they wouldn’t notice it. Because that’s not on their program. When they show up and they’re given the bulletin, it’s not in the bulletin. You’re just going through your list. You don’t think that Jesus is going to come. You don’t think that the Messiah is going to come. You think every day, today is going to be like yesterday, this week is going to be like last week. It’s just a routine.
And if people have that mindset, it’s so easy for the heart to be disengaged. And when God the Father says, here’s my Son, people don’t see it because they’re stuck in a routine, and their hearts are not turned. See, this is a preparation to meet Jesus. And if you want to receive whatever the Lord has for you, you have to turn toward Him. Not only to meet Jesus, whatever assignment He has for you, whatever will that He wants you to obey, your heart has to turn toward Him.
When I went on missions from 2000 to 2003, I did not realize at the time what the Lord was doing. The Lord, He was majorly rerouting my heart and He wanted to meet me afresh. And I didn’t realize what the Lord was doing. And so what I could just see with my eyes is, everything is lame compared to what I was customed to in my church back in the States.
Everything is lame. Everything is stripped bare, and I was complaining. Because imagine I was the one leading praise. You know, I’m not good at singing in English, and I’m singing in Japanese. Just think of how horrendous that worship experience was. I’m leading praise in Japanese. Everything was just a lesser, lamer version from what I experienced in the States. And I did not understand that the Lord was stripping me bare so that I could turn my heart toward Him and meet Him.
Instead of complaining, it was such a golden opportunity to meet Him, to turn my heart to God the Father, and to meet Jesus afresh. If only back then, I had turned instead of grumbling. If only I had eyes to see, what were you doing, Lord, in those three and a half years? Instead of complaining, I could have reoriented my heart and met the Lord Jesus and salvaged decades of my life.
And maybe prior to COVID-19, you were stuck in a rut and things were on autopilot and it was a routine. And you thought just by showing up to church, your heart is engaged. Just by joining a small group, your heart is engaged. Just by serving at the church, you just assumed your heart was engaged. And perhaps the Lord is showing you now, now that you’re at home, now that all you have is zoom, or Facebook Live or YouTube Live, all that you have is, that’s your experience of God on a Sunday.
Maybe God is showing you, is your heart really connecting? Is it really connecting with Him? Is your heart really turned toward Him? Because if your heart was turned to Him, then 2020 is no big deal. You could be stripped down everything, it’s a golden opportunity to meet the Lord. And if you’ve been meeting the Lord, then you’re not complaining. You actually could be thriving more in 2020 because all the noise and the clutter and the dust has been cleared. And it’s just you and the Lord. Can you connect with Him? In your personal prayers, can you connect with Him? In your personal worship, can you connect with Him? As you sing songs through the day, is your heart engaged? Such a golden opportunity this year when the routines of life have been disrupted, and God is inviting all the children of Israel to turn our hearts to the Heavenly Father.
Just interesting parallels between Elijah and John the Baptist. Both of them started in the wilderness. Both of them wore camel’s hair. It must have been when John the Baptist was reading the Old Testament, he read the parts about Elijah, his heart must have been stirred. He must have known, this is my destiny. I am going to be a reappearance in some sense of Elijah the prophet. I will come in the spirit and the power of Elijah.
And when I think about Elijah because John the Baptist, I mean, his story is truncated. We don’t know much about how long he was in the wilderness. We don’t know much of how the Lord approached him and what kind of relationship he had. And so I spent some time this week just looking at Elijah the prophet, and the tenderness of our Heavenly Father. The fact that God would call Elijah into the wilderness and feed him through ravens. It is so true God feeds the birds of the air, He clothed the flowers of the field. He knows the number of hair on our head, and if we have no food in a time of famine, and when the rain has stopped, God will supply supernaturally food for His children.
God is so tender that He sends an angel and ravens to feed His prophet, Elijah. And Elijah also is learning the Father’s heart because his heart is turned to his Heavenly Father. He’s learning the Father’s heart and so when he goes into a fatherless home, a widow’s home, the widow’s son dies and Elijah so tenderly lifts up this son as if it’s his own son. He carries him upstairs, he stretches over him three times and prays for God to revive him, and God resurrects this son. So tender, that picture of Elijah the prophet praying for this son who clearly he has a heart for.
So in the beginning, in the Malachi prophecy, when you initially pray for your children if you haven’t really been praying for your children, it might not be natural for you to have a heart that is turned toward them. But I want to just encourage you, just start praying for them. Just start praying for them. Start praying that Jesus saves them. All the other prayer requests, yes, there are important things to pray for. But The most important prayer request for a parent to a child is, save my boy, save my girl. That’s all that I care about. And just pray that.
Even if you can’t have Elijah’s heart of just weeping and wailing, and urgently, desperately praying for your child to be saved, just start by praying for their salvation. Every day, just pray, turn your heart in that direction, start praying for them. Same with children to parents. I don’t know what kind of relationship you have with your parents. But for some of us, it is difficult to pray for our parents. Because our heart is not turned toward them yet. It is difficult. I would just encourage you, just pray for your parents every day. Just pray for their salvation. Is there anything else that pray for? Children for the parents. Do we pray for a long life? That’d be nice. Do we pray for them to prosper? That’d be nice. But what is the most essential thing that children should be praying for their parents? It is that they meet the Lord Jesus, and they have salvation, and they endure to the end.
1 Kings 18, during the climax of the showdown between the prophets of Baal, prophets of Ashera, and Elijah, he’s outmanned one to 850. And this is right before Elijah is about to call down fire from heaven to burn up the offering. He prays and amazingly, he says, oh Lord, you have turn the hearts back. So if your heart is turning to the Lord this morning, it is not you who’s done it. It is Lord God. It is His tender mercy. He has done it.
The fact that you are desiring to reconnect your heart and have a heart to heart connection, because in your Father’s eyes, your Daddy’s little girl. In the Father’s eyes, He looks at you and says, that’s my boy, I’m so proud of my children. That is how the Father views you. And if your heart is turning toward Him, just in the same way that Elijah before the fire came down, he already declares hearts are going to turn today. I know hearts are going to turn when they see this fire. Everybody who’s watching, and the children of Israel, the hearts are turned off. The hearts are cold, the hearts are distant. And he’s speaking prophetically, he’s saying, I know hearts are going to turn when they see the fire come down.
And so if your heart is turning to the Heavenly Father this morning, it is because the Lord is turning it for you. What an amazing truth. Then 1 Kings 19, you would think that God would be upset with Elijah after such a victory, that just a threat from a single woman Jezebel is enough to cause this Elijah, who was so courageous, so heroic, it is enough to cause him to flee. And you would think the Father would be upset. But again, the Father is so tender. When you look at the story of Elijah, you see the tenderness of our Father.
He sends him an angel, and it’s not homemade bread, it’s heaven made bread. This cake must have been so delicious. It’s from God the Father through the angel and a jar of water. And the Lord passes him. and He says, Elijah, I want you to see me past by you. And there’s an earthquake, but the Lord is not in the earthquake. There’s a fire, but the Lord’s not in the fire. There’s a low, gentle whisper, and God is in the whisper. Which tells us, if you can hear a whisper, that means the Father is close. The tenderness of your Father, He’s been so close to you, all of your years, all of your days. If your heart turns to Him, you will see it. Everything that happens in your life, even your repentance, you will give thanksgiving to the Lord. Because He has turned my heart back to Him.
I want to close with Luke 1:78. Zachariah again is speaking about his son. You see how Zachariah’s heart. Zechariah was a religious person. He was just going through the motions. He was faithful, he was a righteous man. But in terms of what he expected from God, he didn’t expect much because he was just faithful, just doing the same duties week after week, suddenly God comes to him through an angel, and there’s no room for him to embrace this kind of a new thing that God is doing in his midst. And so he doesn’t have faith to believe what this angel is telling him about his son, about the fact that his elderly wife is going to have a child. He doesn’t believe. He doesn’t have faith and so he is punished because the leaders of God’s Church, if we don’t have faith, the punishment upon the leadership is more severe. And so Zechariah is unable to speak for the duration of the pregnancy.
But when John is born, you see Zechariah, his heart during those few months of being mute, of not being able to speak during those few months, as he was pondering this growing belly, the womb that’s growing in his wife. And he’s pondering the mystery of God and the power of God, his heart must have been turning toward his son. And now you see the expression of that turning of his heart. And this father whose heart is turned to his son, prophesies. In verse 78, he says it is because of the tender mercy of our God.
So he’s expressing, not his tenderness toward his son. He’s expressing the tenderness of the Heavenly Father, to all of the children. And the word for tender is emotional. Did you know that God our Father is emotional? Did you know that He gets so excited and proud when He sees our faith? Do you know that He gets so upset when people who do not have faith, especially the leadership are leading his sheep astray? Do you know that God, His range of emotion is immense? It is infinite. He’s very emotional. His jealousy is like a consuming fire. He’s intense with His emotions. He doesn’t have Asperger’s. He’s not on the spectrum. He has a full range of emotions. God our Father is tender toward His children.
At the same time, He is merciful. He is compassionate. He is full of pity. So 400 years since Malachi, God has been looking upon His people and saying, who will turn to me? And He sees a majority of the people are not turning, so He says okay, now I’m going to send John the Baptist. The same way that I sent Elijah the prophet, and people turned in Elijah’s day. And now I’m going to send John the Baptist, and I’m going to see people turn to me. And once people turn to him and the few, I think it’s a few, the remnant of God who actually turn to the Heavenly Father, the gift that they received was they were able to receive Jesus Christ. They were prepared to see the new thing that God was doing. Their hearts were prepared to receive God doing a new thing, offering Jesus, the Savior of the world who had died on the cross for their sins. No longer needing to sacrifice animals. That routine is over. Now there’s a new temple of God on display and now as New Covenant believers, the temple of the Holy Spirit is within us.
So turn your heart to the Heavenly Father. Turn your heart. Before you say, Father and then just rush off to the remainder of your request, just stay and say, Father, Abba, hallowed be your name Father, I come to you. Keep praying until you recognize that your heart has shifted. That’s what prophets do, they are waking up to people saying your heart is not turned. Wake up, turn. I’m doing a new thing. And the first thing you recognize when you turn to the Heavenly Father, is He’s been with me all the days long. He’s been with me every single moment. He has been so tenderly providing for me. And so, out of that realization, that as your heart turns and you see the heart of our Heavenly Father has been tenderly turned to you the whole time, there’s a lot of repentance that will come out of it.
Father, forgive me for thinking you didn’t love me. Forgive me for being anxious about my job. Forgive me for not thanking you for every meal. And I was just on autopilot prayer that I just pray. I don’t turn to you, I don’t recognize this food coming from a healthy body from a job that you’ve provided for me. this food is no different from a raven dropping off bread and meat to Elijah. It’s no different, and our hearts can turn to the Heavenly Father. So much repentance when you realize that your Heavenly Father’s heart has been to turned to you the whole time. And you turn to Him, there’s so much repentance. Father, forgive me for doubting your love. If you feed the birds of the air, you clothe the lilies of the field, of course, I am much more valuable. Why do I doubt? Why do I worry? There’s so much repentance.
You can repent as a parent, your heart has not turned to your children. You’ve been praying for them. You’ve been providing for them. You thought that all you needed to do was to bring them to your youth group and hand them off to somebody else. But when your heart starts turning to them and saying, it’s my responsibility, I need to invest in them. I need to pour into them. I need to teach them. I need to pray for their salvation every single day. And as parents, your hearts turn, there’s so much repentance that comes in our parenting.
And as children to our earthly parents, there’s so much repentance, that it is so difficult, Lord, for our heart to turn to our parents because we’re annoyed with them. We’re so frustrated with them. We don’t have Elijah’s heart toward this widow’s boy. We don’t have that type of heart toward our parents. And so there’s so much repentance as we try to pray for our parents. There’s so much repentance.
After you turn your heart to the Lord, after your repent, and end your prayer now that your heart has been prepared, Lord Jesus, meet me. Lord Jesus, I want to meet you. I hope you end every prayer with Lord Jesus, I want to meet you today. I turn my heart to the Father, his heart I recognize is turned toward me. I repent of all my sins, that I realize now that I see that the Father has been so tenderly, so compassionately, with so much pity, with so much love, He’s turned toward me, He’s provided for me, He’s loved me, I recognize that. I repent for not recognizing it. I give thanks to you. I say sorry for not giving thanks to you. And all of this is preparation for us to meet Jesus. So end your prayer with, Lord Jesus meet me. Okay, let’s pray.
Father, we lift up Sarah’s dad, Mr. Yoo. who is in the ICU. Your heart is turned toward him. We know that your heart is turned toward him. And we join you, may our hearts also turn toward him, we lift him up. We know that you do so tenderly, so mercifully with so much pity, with so much compassion, you’ve been pursuing him all the years of his life. We pray that even at this moment, you would meet him, that you would save him, that you would heal him. We pray that you would visit him in Korea in the ICU, and that he would know in this moment, you answered our prayers.
Father, we turn our hearts towards you. Forgive us, for so many times, we pray before meals, and at the beginning of the day, at the end of the day, throughout the day, we pray and we just rush off into our prayers. Forgive us. Lord, we don’t pause long enough to turn our hearts. We look at your hands because we want handouts from you. We want answered prayers. We don’t turn to see your face. Forgive us, Lord, for just going through the motions of religious life.
We thank you for COVID-19. It has caused such a disruption. So many people who are propped up by the routine and the programs at church. Now we’re laid bare before you. We see what we’re made of. And if we are having a hard time, Lord, it is a new beginning. It is an opportunity to start over. What a joyous thing, what a precious gift that you’ve given to the Church worldwide. That you’ve given us a time to reset. Time for our hearts to return and turn to you.
Father, we turn to you now. We see how your heart has been turned toward us all along. The whole time we didn’t recognize it. We grumbled, we worried. We were anxious. We prayed for the wrong things and did things without consulting you. We were greedy, we were ambitious. We pursued things that were not sanctioned by you. Father, forgive us. Father, forgive us. We didn’t give you thanks for your tenderness. You were tender toward Elijah the prophet. How that is a picture of all of us. We read in James 5 that Elijah is not a special person. Although he accomplished amazing things in his life, he is not special. All of us are children, we’re all on the same level. We all have the same Heavenly Father who is tenderly turned toward us.
Help us not to believe the lie that there are different tiers in the church, and only certain people have special access, and only certain people have intimacy. And the rest of us are beggars on the outskirts of the temple. No, Lord, teach us. We all have the same Heavenly Father. We turn toward you this morning. Forgive us for not recognizing it. Forgive us for not giving thanks. For in the same way that all of this, Elijah’s ministry was a preparation for the coming Messiah, John the Baptist’s ministry was a preparation for the coming Messiah, we understand that Jesus the Messiah has come.
But still we are preparing our hearts in the same way, we are turning our hearts, recognizing your heart toward us, repenting of all of our sin. And repentance is the best preparation to meet Jesus. So we end this prayer the way we want to end every prayer every single time we pray, Lord Jesus, meet us. Lord Jesus, meet us. Lord, we met you yesterday, we met you a year ago, we met you decades ago, but we want to meet you afresh today. Meet us, Lord. We pray that in the partaking of your body broken, and the blood being shed, we pray that you would meet us in a special way today. As we repent, as our heart turns back to you. Thank you. In Jesus Name, Amen