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February 1 – Introduction, and our dependence on God alone

On the road to Emmaus, two disciples walked with the resurrected Lord Jesus. Luke describes how beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself (Luke 24:27). It is little wonder that after He left them, they said to one another, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (Luke 24:31).

All of Scripture reveals Christ to us. He is written about in the Old Testament as well as the New, and in the Old Testament there are many types and foreshadows of Christ. Among those who were a type or foreshadow of Christ was the unique prophet, Elisha. He pointed to the ministry of Christ as he cleansed lepers, provided for widows, fed the hungry, raised the dead as well as foreshadowing the ministry of Christ in many other ways.

As we look at Elisha’s life, it is my prayer that we see the One whom he foreshadowed, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our dependence on God alone

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. – John 15:4

Scripture reading: 2 Kings 2:1-14; John 15:1-11

Elisha was called by God to take on the ministry that Elijah had begun. It was an enormous task. Elijah had proved the power of God on Mount Carmel as fire from heaven ignited a water doused altar. Elijah was the one who confronted wicked King Ahab head on. The Lord had even given Elijah power to raise a widow’s son from death.

What would Elisha need to fill such a high calling? Would it be imperative for him to be a great orator calling Israel back to the Lord? Would the success of his ministry rely on his ability to be witty and clever, winning the Israelites over with his personality?

Not at all. Instead, he recognized his dependence on God alone. He asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. By asking for that blessing, Elisha showed his complete dependence upon the Lord. By asking for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit, Elisha was acknowledging his own emptiness and his need to be filled with God’s Spirit for the work that lay before him.

The same is true for you and for me. We need the blessing of God’s Spirit within us. By the Holy Spirit’s regenerating power, we believe in Jesus Christ. He is the true vine; we are the branches. Apart from Him, we can do nothing, but through faith in Him, we have salvation from sin, eternal life and daily strength!

Suggestions for prayer

Instead of asking for material blessings, ask the Lord for spiritual growth and ask Him for wisdom in living out the truths of His Word in your life.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Ted Gray has served as pastor of First United Reformed Church in Oak Lawn, Illinois for the last 15 years.


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