DAY 19 – AN OBEDIENT RESPONSE
A RICH AND SATISFYING LIFE
WEEK 3 THEME – RESPOND TO GOD’S LOVE
This is my daughter and new son-in-law. They don’t seem to have any trouble sharing each other’s food and beverage at all! After many years of marriage, the story is quite different for me with my husband. But there’s a really good reason — he’s a beverage hog! [And I say that with a heart full of genuine love for the man.] His request sounds so sweet and innocent. As he reaches for my drinking glass, he says something like, “I’m really thirsty. Could I have just a little drink?” The next thing I know, my cup is completely empty, and I am complaining about needing to go get a refill.
Lately, I’ve realized he’s really not a beverage hog. I’m the one with the problem. God has been working on my heart. He’s showing me that my responses are often more generous towards strangers than towards my own family. My attitude with family members is often, “You can help yourself!” I’m learning that God desires acts of obedient generosity for the family members in my home as much as for the homeless man in my city or the missionaries across the world. I guess a few more trips to the refrigerator with a smile on my face are in my future.
Opportunities for obedient generosity require openhandedness without any reassurance that the hand will be refilled. Often when God asks us to be generous out of obedience, there are more questions than answers in the immediate circumstances. That’s certainly true for the widow of Zarephath found in 1 Kings 17:7-16. When the prophet of God, Elijah, asked her to share her food, he literally wanted her last groceries in the house in spite of the fact that she had no money in the bank to replace them! She had every practical reason in the world to refuse his request. Yet, she did not. Let’s see what we can learn from her example.
Here are your questions for today:
- What was God’s role in the story?
- What was the widow’s role? How did her attitudes and actions lead to a “rich and satisfying life”?
- How could these verses apply to your current situation?
- What one thing will you do different as a result of our study today?
Has God ever prompted you to an act of obedient generosity that made no sense from a practical viewpoint? How did you respond?