And Elisha said, “Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled.” So, she did as she was told. Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another. 2 Kings 4:3-5
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written, ”He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor, his righteousness endures forever.” Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 2 Corinthians 9:8-10
If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? James 2:15-16
But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 1 John 3:17-18
In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35
Today’s thoughts from today’s verses:
The woman in our story exercised faith in God and His word to her through the prophet Elisha by being willing to obey and then by stepping out and doing what was asked of her. She exercised faith before comprehending how God would work or seeing any evidence that He would work on her behalf. God then did act on her behalf and she went from having nothing in the way of earthly resources to literally overflowing with them. She went from being empty to being full because she was willing to act in faith.
So, in regard to earthly resources, whether we are on empty, have an adequate amount, or are overflowing with them, we must check ourselves to see what kind of attachment our hearts really have with them. We all know how easy it is not to extend ourselves to help others even when we have the resources. But, because God has a great desire for our helping others to become a way of life for us, he specializes in making it possible for us to help others even in those times when we don’t have the resources. Using our financial resources for the benefit of others needs to be the rule not the exception even when we have very little to offer. Expect the unexpected: God loves to stretch what we have way beyond what is humanly reasonable so that He can meet the needs of others through us.
While God can stretch our resources, sometimes our limited resources for helping others is our own doing. We are called to be stewards of what God gives us and that means that we must use what we have wisely. We must answer the call to be ones who meet needs both on a one to one basis and corporately in conjunction with other believers. This will mean reducing what we spend on ourselves and purposely saving a portion of our resources for meeting the needs of others. We are called to be agents of grace individually and collectively. Even when we seemingly don’t have the means that is needed, we must not be afraid to respond in faith first, in anticipation of God expanding our means. God is so very gracious to us and He is working to extend that grace through us to others on an individual basis and corporately. It is important to realize that God greatly desires to do this at levels way beyond what we have even begun to imagine up to this point in our lives.
Today’s prayer response from today’s thoughts:
Lord, I want to love in deed and I want to believe indeed. I know that when I get to the place where both are actually true in my life, I will really be a sacrificial giver. Help me to put others first by giving to them generously from either the resources that are mine naturally or by those you provide miraculously, Lord. Amen!