Reading through the Bible together

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

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We see another one of Elisha’s miracles when the widow of one of the sons of the prophets said, “My husband is dead and the creditors are coming.  All I’ve got in the house is this little jar of oil.” Why did she save that for the last? It was olive oil. Oil was a crucial basic commodity needed in the home. It was used for healing (medical anointing), for food (bread making), for beauty (cosmetic anointing), for light in their lamps, and for heat. The widow wanted her children to be well; she wanted them to be beautiful. She wanted them to be illuminated; she wanted her children to be fed. She wanted them to be warm.


In the Bible what does a woman represent symbolically? The Church. Shouldn’t we have oil in our church for all those reasons? I’m not talking about common cooking oil in a cupboard, of course; I’m talking about the oil of God’s Spirit.


What does it all mean? This is how a church grows. How much of the Holy Spirit do you have? You certainly have some. You seek out your neighbors who don’t know Christ; they are empty vessels. You bring them into your house to have a Bible study. You pour the little bit of the oil you have into them, and it will multiply.  Plus, you’ll have more for the next empty vessel and the next, until pretty soon all of the vessels are full. The miracle for the woman did not stop until there was nowhere else to pour the oil and she was able to pay off her creditors. There are other miracles in this chapter that we don’t have time to mention such as Elisha going to Shunem and raising to life a woman’s dead young son, purifying a pot of hurtful stew, and feeding a hundred men from twenty small loaves of bread.


God never runs out of the Holy Spirit; He only runs out of people who are willing to receive the Holy Spirit because we’re too full of other things. If you’re full of things of the world, you can’t pour anything else in. Do you make yourself available for God’s Spirit, or is your life too full of other things?


I love this about Jesus. King David said, “You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over” (Psalm 23:5). The disciples had 12 baskets of extra bread after the miracles of Christ. The Lord blesses us exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond. There’s an overflow; there are leftovers. That’s good news, isn’t it? You’re not going to run out of the Holy Spirit, especially if you share God’s love with others. He’ll open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing so that you’ll not have room enough to receive it all.


Dear Lord, Jesus opened the windows of heaven at Pentecost and filled His disciples brimming with the Spirit till their lives spilled over into the streets of Jerusalem and the New Testament church was born.  Please do it again for us today! – Amen. 

 

Doug Batchelor
Senior Pastor
Sacramento Central Church