BEING GENEROUS IN DOING GOOD

Read: 2 Kings 4:1-7

Reflect: Elijah spoke for God whenever he was called upon. He oversaw the “School of the Prophets” and Elijah discipled a young man who would turn out to be one of Israel’s finest. The young man’s name was Elisha. Discipling someone, especially someone who desires to go into full-time ministry is the most important job in the world. The ripple effect of mentoring gives the mentor opportunities to reach many unsaved people who the mentor may never meet and to help people who need to grow into Christ, who are friends or acquaintances with the mentee.

WE ALL NEED AN ELIJAH

We all need a mentor, an Elijah, in our life, don’t we? They are there when we need them; they can be our most intimate friend. They listen to us and help us whenever we desire a listening ear. I have such a friend, and while I am discipling him, he (without knowing it) is discipling me. And that is what Elisha became to Elijah.

The time had come for Elijah to separate himself from his young disciple, and yet Elisha was so attached to the prophet that he said “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you. So, the two of them went on.” (2 Kings 2:6)  As the time came for Elijah to depart, Elisha asked of Elijah “Let me inherit a double portion of your Spirit.” And in reply, Elijah said, “You have asked a difficult thing, but if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours.” (2 Kings 2:7-10)

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH TWICE THE POWER?

So, what did Elisha do with this double portion of Elijah’s spirit? Well, he became known as the “Prophet of Miracles”! Elisha had twice the power of Elijah. He used that power in a merciful and beneficial way as we read in this account. A widow of one of the prophets asked Elisha for help. Her husband had been a faithful servant of the Lord, but since he died as a young man, he had left many bills behind. The bill collectors were threatening to take the woman’s two boys as payment (which was a common occurrence of Old Testament times).

Elisha asked the widow to go around to her neighbors and collect all the empty jars she could find. After she had finished, she was told to pour the small amount of oil she had into the jars. She poured and poured, and poured until she ran out of jars. She replied: “There is not a jar left.” (4:6) Elisha told her to sell the oil and pay off her debts and keep what was left for her and her sons. The widow was happy, Elisha was happy, and most importantly, the Lord was glorified. Every miracle that was performed, was performed by the power of God.

DOING GOOD TO ALL PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY TO BELIEVERS

Apply: This story demonstrates God’s care for his own. The Bible says: “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:10) God takes care of all his children, but especially He takes care of those who profess salvation. Knowing God’s character, how do we follow his example?  How do we reach the people in our own community or our own church? How about the lady who sat next to you last Sunday in church? There are several things we can do.

First of all, we contact the pastor in charge of helping people and ask, “Is there anyone in the church who could use my help?” Maybe something will come of this or not; but either way we make ourselves available. Second, we can listen closely to people who tell their stories. Sometimes by reading between the lines we can learn more about that person and some of their needs. Third, (this one comes from my Editor who personally does this every Sunday) do this before you enter the sanctuary. Pray that the Lord will lead you to someone He wants you to talk to that morning. (It must work, she’s always talking to someone!)

WILLING TO GIVE IT ALL TO GOD AND THEN SOME

I love Elisha. He didn’t just want Elijah’s spirit, he wanted it in buckets full. Never was he satisfied with what he saw in front of him, He wanted to see beyond. Elisha was willing to give it all to God and then some. Oh, to be like Elisha!

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