Editor’s Note: The AMI devotionals from July 13-19 are provided by Pastor Charles Choe of Tapestry LA.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
1 Kings 17:9-16
12 And she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.”
Have you ever felt like throwing the towel in, where your situation was utterly hopeless, where you felt like your back was up against the proverbial wall, and that no matter what you did, you weren’t going to make it? Such was the case of the widow in today’s reading. She, along with her son, was faced with starvation and was fixing their final meager meal when the prophet Elijah met her. And through this impossible situation, both Elijah and the poor widow would find out that God is the God of the impossible.
Imagine asking a widow, a single parent raising her son alone in the middle of a famine, for the last morsel of food she had. This is by all accounts an unreasonable, if not a ridiculous request. She was in a hopeless situation with no means of solving her dilemma. But here is what God wanted to show her: He wanted the widow to take the focus off of herself and the situation and focus on the Lord and His power. And for this to happen, she needed to first offer what she had –which was a jar of oil—to the Lord. Though she didn’t have much, she still had something that God could use.
God is going to do miracles—but first, He wants us to offer what we have. God can actually create something out of nothing, but He wants us to first see what He has given us and offer that to Him. We see this all throughout the Scriptures: Moses’ rod became the “rod of God,” and the little boy gave up the few loaves and two fishes to God. For Jesus taught: “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matt. 17:20). God will bless you respectively to the degree you empty yourself to Him.
The truth is, the Lord doesn’t always let us in on what He’s doing, but trust fills the gap when we don’t understand. We must give our good Father the benefit of the doubt: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6).
Bible Reading for Today: Hosea 11
Lunch Break Study
Read 2 Corinthians 9:7-8
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
Questions to Consider
- Why does God love a “cheerful giver”?
- Why are we not to give “grudgingly or of necessity”?
- Consider how you give your offering to the church? Is it with a cheerful heart?
- God loves joy-motivated giving to others because it expresses contentment in God’s gracious giving to us.
- To give grudgingly—or out of a sense of obligation—is to not thoroughly understand God’s blessings, the way he has blessed us and continues blessing us.
- Personal response.
“As base a thing as money often is, yet it can be transmuted into everlasting treasure. It can be converted into food for the hungry and clothing for the poor. It can keep a missionary actively winning lost men to the light of the gospel and thus transmute itself into heavenly values. Any temporal possession can be turned into everlasting wealth. Whatever is given to Christ is immediately touched with immortality.” –A.W. Tozer