The Sunday before Christmas Johnny preached (in my humble and critical opinion) one of the best -- most likely, THE best -- Christmas sermon of all time. Of course, he preached from Luke 2. I laughed when he said it was the passage quoted by Linus in the Charlie Brown Christmas Show. Under one point in the sermon he went to 2 Kings 4. This is such a great story -- it's about the prophet Elisha's encounter with a woman whose husband died and left her in debt. She had no way to repay her debt. All she had was one jar of oil. Elisha told her to go to all her neighbors and borrow as many jars as she could. In fact, he told her to get a lot. (2 Kings 4:3 -- "do not get a few.") Then, Elisha told her to take them home and start pouring the oil into the jars. So, she started pouring out the oil and it continued to pour out until every jar was full. As many jars as she gathered was filled up. Then the oil stopped and she was able to sell the oil to pay off the debts. God performed a miracle on her behalf but, for her part, she had to start pouring to receive the blessing.
New Years day is quickly approaching. With it, traditionally, we make New Years' resolutions. Valerie Bertinelli isn't making any related to losing weight, thanks to Jenny Craig, but perhaps you are. Isn't that a common resolution -- eat healthy, exercise, lose weight? 2008 is going to be a year of changes for our family. Josh and I will graduate and I will go to work after 18 years of being at home. The most important thing, however, is that I want to receive God's blessing on my life. What will that look like for me in 2008? In order to find out, I've got to start pouring. To some degree, the blessing will be measured by my expectation... just like the number of jars that were filled were as many as were collected, I've got to be expectant and obedient.
In Luke 2:15 & 16, the shepherds had heard the message that the Savior (delivere, rescuer) had been born in Bethlehem. They had to take the knowledge they had and move from where they were to where God was. "So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger." (Lk. 2:16, NASB)
Moving toward God. Following in obedience. Sharing the Good News of Christ. Being expectant. Pouring out.
Serving the King,