ODJ: use what you have

February 1, 2014 

READ: 2 Kings 4:1-7 

“What can I do to help you?” Elisha asked. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?” (v.2).

In 2008 economists confirmed that the UK was in recession. Sure enough, in time, as many as one in ten people lost their jobs, and the normally bustling high streets fell silent as many well known companies became insolvent.

Due to my work as a DJ on a Christian radio station, I was asked to speak to a group of people who had been hit hard by the economic slump. I shared the following biblical account in an attempt to encourage them.

In 2 Kings 4:1-7 a widow sought help from the prophet Elisha. Her husband, who had been “a member of the group of prophets”, had died and some men were going to take her two sons as payment for his debts (v.1). Elisha asked the widow, “What do you have in your house?” (v.2). The woman produced only a flask of olive oil (v.2). But God miraculously allowed the oil to flow from the flask until she had filled many, many containers (vv.5-6). She then sold some of the oil to pay her husband’s debts, and she lived on the remainder.

Years later the disciples asked Jesus to send a hungry crowd away to fend for themselves. But Jesus said, “You feed them” (Matthew 14:16). Lacking faith, they replied, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” (v.17). Jesus then took the meager amount of food and miraculously fed 5,000 men (plus women and children). In fact, “they all ate as much as they wanted, and afterwards, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers” (v.20).

Today, God multiplies what we have when we surrender it to Him. Rather than looking to others for your provision, look to what God has provided. He alone can multiply the talents and treasures He has given you. He alone can truly bless and sustain you. —Ruth O’Reilly-Smith

Read Matthew 15:32-38 and see how Jesus once again multiplied a small portion of food to feed 4,000 men (plus women and children). 
What has God given you that could help sustain you and bless others? Why is it important for us to seek our provision from God’s hand?