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Day Twenty 
When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.  The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “so be quiet.” then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the Lord has sent me to Jericho.”

And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho. The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” he replied, “so be quiet.” Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.”

And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on. Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up, and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground. When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.” As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
2 Kings 2:1-11

Do you know the two people in the Old Testament that never died? That’s right, they never died. It was Enoch and you guessed it, Elijah. This may be one of the great miracles in the Old Testament. Elijah the prophet was caught up in a chariot of fire to heaven. How much do you know about heaven? We all talk about heaven as though we know what to expect but the fact is we know so very little about it. The book of Revelation describes the walls of the city being so high and the amount of light there as well as the number of gates and the foundation stones at the base but not much else. I Corinthians 2:9 says, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” This says that nothing your eyes have ever seen will compare with what’s in heaven. Nothing you have ever heard can possibly get you ready for what you’re going to hear there. Nothing you have ever imagined will even come close to what God has in store for you.

Has your faith lost the awe factor? Has your faith become comfortable? If your faith has grown routine maybe it is time you ask whether you have stopped in Gilgal, Bethel, or Jericho.  Where is the God of Elijah in your life this morning? So often, we miss the extraordinary for the mundane and ordinary routine of our daily lives of faith.

A little boy lived out in the country around the turn of the century. He had never seen a traveling circus, and one was coming to his town on Saturday. When he asked his father for permission to go, his dad said he could if his chores were done early. Saturday morning came. Chores finished, and the little boy asked his father for some money to go to the circus. His dad reached down in his overalls and pulled out a dollar bill, the most money the boy had ever seen at one time. Off the little wide-eyed fellow went. As he approached the town, he saw people lining the streets. Peering through the line at one point, he got his first glimpse of the parade. There were animals in cages and marching bands. Finally, a clown was seen bringing up the rear of the parade. The little boy was so excited that when the clown passed, he reached into his pocket and handed him the precious dollar bill. Thinking he had seen the circus when he had only seen the parade, the little boy turned around and went home.

Isn’t it sad that some people come to church like this little boy who went to the circus? They may come with the intent to worship God, but all they see is the parade – the parade of liturgy, hymn singing, prayers, and preaching. They peer through their pews at all the activities and then go home; thinking they have been to God’s house, but they missed the main event – a personal encounter with Jesus Christ! Don’t miss the main event!