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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sermon from June 3 - Obedience and Blessing

Obedience and Blessings
2 Kings 4:8-18
“Freely you have received, freely give.” (Jesus in Matt.10)

Does everything we give to God get a blessing in return? If we give to God, will we receive more in return? We don’t calculate how much or what we will get when we give. Instead, we realize we have all have received abundantly from the Lord and we give out of gratitude, as Elisha did.

Elisha, a prophet of God, began as a servant and disciple of the mighty prophet Elijah. When Elijah was taken up in a chariot of fire, Elisha begged for the double portions of Elijah’s anointing and God granted it to him. Elisha was able to perform more miracles of God than Elijah did. He did not keep his blessings; rather, he went around blessing others.

Remember the story of the Shunemite woman? Every time Elisha went to Shunem he stayed at the same home. The couple there provided him with a room of his own on the roof and meals. They showed him every kindness they could.

Elisha wanted to do something for them in return. He asked the woman what that might be. He could speak to the king or the captain of the army for them, that they would show them favor. She said they had all they needed. So Elisha asked his servant, Ghazi what they needed.

Ghazi said they didn’t have a child, and her husband was old. Elisha told her she would have a child within a year. She said, “Don’t lie to me.” She didn’t believe him. She didn’t want him to give her false hopes. But he told her by faith, and God honored his servant’s word. She did indeed have a baby the following year, a strong son.

Elisha might have remembered the story of Abraham and Sarah, God promised the child in their old age (Genesis 18). Abraham and Sarah both laughed, but they too had a child as God had promised, a son they called Isaac, which meant laughter.

God is God. He cares about our needs.

Robyn and Steve had a counseling ministry with little income. Because of a family crisis they traveled 5000 miles from home. Then they climbed into their van and headed for home. They were still 2000 miles away when the engine on their car died, and they had no way to get home. When they stopped at service station, they were told the engine had to be replaced. Since they did not have the money, they decided to coax the van home, pouring lots of oil and prayers into it, and they made it home.

When they got home they heard about a “car missionary.” The man replaced their engine for free. They were surprised and blessed by God’s goodness. Yes, obedience to God brings blessings.

Take a risk with God and obey, and let His blessing flow to you and from you to others.

Pastor Shim Habte, First United Methodist Church
544 N. Shasta, Willows, CA 95988 530-934-3190

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