John 3:16 says “God so LOVED the world that he gave his only son…” God is all about LOVE and God IS LOVE. Over the last 30 years as Rob and I have been Pastoring Shoreline Church in Austin Texas we have had an overarching theme and vision for our church family – ‘Unveiling God’s LOVE!’
LOVE is the win for Shoreline Church!
In 2 Kings 4 we read about a women who has lost her husband and had no money to take care of her 2 sons. She reached out to Elisha, a miracle working prophet looking for help. But when Elisha replied he said “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil” Elisha then instructed her to go around to all of her neighbors houses and ask for their empty jars, then go inside your house and pour oil into all of the jars. Elisha asked “what do you have”…
GOD WANTS TO USE YOU!
Often times we just want God to do a quick miracle and make it better – we want instant miracles, but God wants us to be involved in the process of a miracle. When we walk in HIS love we are playing a part in being a miracle to this world. In Ephesians 3:20 it says “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, ACCORDING to his power that is at work in US.” God’s plan involves us. With the widow it involved her gathering some jars. God wants to use you!
WHAT DO YOU HAVE?
Elisha asked her a question… what do you have? What can you give God to work with? Her answer was “I have nothing at all.” God wants to use our lives to bless and help and LOVE others but often the first thought we have is: “I don’t have anything, I can’t be used by God.” We think – Surely God – if you want something done you will use the pastor, or that established organization or all of the other, more qualified people… but then the woman says “Well, I do have this little bit of oil.” She was saying “well I do have this tiny bit of something, but it is so small, I didn’t think it was even worth mentioning.” HELLO!! Never underestimate what God can do with the tiniest little bit.
If we will take a little closer look at what we have – even if we think it’s worth nothing – we’ll see that there is always something we can give God to work with. What do you have? What is already in your hands? What has God already given you? It might be so small you are overlooking it. But I guarantee, you have something God can use!
USE WHAT YOU HAVE.
Jesus tells the story of the men with the talents, two of the men used their talents and made a profit and one buried his talent – the master came back and gave more to the ones who had used their talents but the one who buried it ended up with nothing. In Matthew 25:29 it says, “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. ” The worst thing we can do is sit around and do nothing with what we have.
God can use you in a big way. Bring him what you have and let him use it. You can be a miracle to those around you by showing the LOVE of God.
Don’t be afraid to LOVE big.
The prophet told the woman “Ask for all the empty jars you can find… don’t just gather a few.” God is a big God – he loves to do big things! Jesus did big miracle after big miracle, He opened blind eyes, raised the dead, multiplied the wine and food so there was an abundance left over! He LOVED in the biggest way… those who were the worst of sinners: prostitutes, despised tax collectors, and even those who persecuted, mocked and crucified him. “Father forgive them for they know not what they do!”
HE LOVED BIG. Ask Jesus to help you LOVE BIG!
In the rest of the story it says that she began filling the jars and as each one was full she would fill another jar, and another until there was not a jar left. And that is when the oil ran out. This is a pure miracle! I think it is worth noting that as many jars as she had gathered, that is how much oil she had. I bet if she had more jars, more jars would have been filled. The oil was multiplied according to how many jars she had. This is significant when we think about LOVE.
Maybe – as many people as we are willing to LOVE – God will use us to love!
We want to be known as a church that loves big. God wants to use you and all you need to do is use what you have.