Presentation on theme: "LEARNING TO OBEY 1 Kings 17:8-16. INTRODUCTION Today’s passage is about a widow who fed Elijah the prophet. She had little flour and oil but it lasted."— Presentation transcript:
LEARNING TO OBEY 1 Kings 17:8-16
INTRODUCTION Today’s passage is about a widow who fed Elijah the prophet. She had little flour and oil but it lasted until the end of the drought. Why? Because she was faithful.
In the earlier verses, we read about how Elijah announces that there is going to be a severe drought. Elijah heads to a stream where he is fed by the ravens. But the stream dries up and Elijah is told to move. What can we learn from this widow?
1.THE WIDOW’S OPPORTUNITY The widow had been chosen specifically to provide for Elijah. Many of us view giving as an obligation. We see tithes and offering as the price to pay for eternal life.
But giving must be seen as an opportunity rather than an obligation. When you are forced to give, there is no more cheerfulness. When we give out of love, it becomes a joy. The task of providing for Elijah was not given to anybody.
It was given to somebody. God does not want anybody to provide for His church. He wants somebody to give, somebody to teach, somebody to serve. Giving to God’s work must be an opportunity done out of love. Luke 4:25-26 – Even Jesus remembers.
2. THE WIDOW’S OPENNESS. The widow was honest in her evaluation of her financial situation. She was honest in what she had and what she could give. In the Middle East, you do not refuse a traveler a cup of water. She was given an opportunity to do her duty.
Note this point. A. God uses unlikely people. If you were God, would you send Elijah to a widow who had only a handful of flour?
B. God holds us accountable for what we have. God will never expect more from us then what He has entrusted to us. Elijah just wanted a piece of bread. The key to stewardship is in v. 13
The word “first”. He will give you all you need, if you live for Him and make His kingdom your primary concern. (Matt.6:33) Many of us practice residual religion. We give God the very best, of all our leftovers. Left over money, left over time, left over talents
A farmer had two calves. He told his pastor that he sell the calves and give one half to God. There was a big storm. The farmer came and told the pastor, “You know the storm last week? Well during the storm, God’s calf died.”
3. THE WIDOW’S OFFER-v. 17:14 God said, “if you trust me, then I will provide for you.” It is the same offer God is making today. “If you listen to me and trust me, I will reward you.” When you put God first, God puts you first.
4.THE WIDOW’S OBEDIENCE. The widow took God and Elijah at their word. She did what was asked. She gave out of her poverty not out of her plenty. The promises of God are dependent on our obedience to God.
Abraham had to leave his homeland in order to get to the Promised land. Moses had to stretch the rod before the Red sea parted. The widow had to use up her last bit of flour and oil before God provided more.
If your employer cut your salary by 10% tomorrow, would you die? Would you starve to death? In Phil.4:19, God will use His riches to provide for us. Do you trust Him to do that?
CONCLUSION The widow experienced an overflow in blessings just as the LORD had promised. God will provide when we trust Him and demonstrate that trust through obedience. Prov.11:24 – Possible to become wealthy.