But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19.
Read the story of the widow of Sarepta. To this woman in a heathen land God sent His servant in time of famine to ask for food…. Wonderful was the hospitality shown to God’s prophet by this Phoenician woman, and wonderfully were her faith and generosity rewarded….
God has not changed. His power is no less now than in the days of Elijah…. To His faithful servants today as well as to His first disciples Christ’s words apply: “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me” (Matthew 10:40). No act of kindness shown in His name will fail to be recognized and rewarded. And in the same tender recognition Christ includes even the feeblest and lowliest of the family of God. “Whosoever shall give to drink,” He says, “unto one of these little ones”—those who are as children in their faith and their knowledge of Christ—“a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward” (Matthew 10:42).
Poverty need not shut us out from showing hospitality. We are to impart what we have. There are those who struggle for a livelihood and who have great difficulty in making their income meet their necessities; but they love Jesus in the person of His saints and are ready to show hospitality to believers and unbelievers, trying to make their visits profitable. At the family board and the family altar the guests are made welcome. The season of prayer makes its impression on those who receive entertainment, and even one visit may mean the saving of a soul from death. For this work the Lord makes a reckoning, saying: “I will repay.” …
“Man doth not live by bread only,” and as we impart to others our temporal food, so we are to impart hope and courage and Christlike love…. And the assurance is ours: “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
Conflict and Courage p. 207
—–update—John is still in ICU after his surgery on Friday. Please pray for a swift recovery. Ron
One evening, my grandfather thought of a new game to entertain me. It was actually a game that he had played when he was a boy, but it was new to me. Giving me a sheet of paper and taking one himself, he explained that we would each draw the head of something and then fold the paper just so a little of the neck was showing. It was important that the other person not see what we drew until the game was over. Then we traded papers and drew the body and arms. Again we traded papers and drew the legs. Only then could we unfold the papers and see the entire picture. One time my grandfather drew the head of a chicken while I drew a girl. When we finished our drawings, we had a chicken with a girl’s body and chicken legs and a girl with a chicken’s body and girl’s legs. Another time my grandfather drew a lamp and another time a fish. Most of the time they were very funny like that. I never knew what he was going to draw.
Just as I couldn’t see the drawing that my grandfather was doing on that sheet of paper until all was finished, so we are not always able to understand what our Great Re-creator is doing in our life—we cannot see His completed “drawing” until He is finished. Through the circumstances of life, He molds our character. Through disappointments, heartaches, and trials, we learn to rely upon His leading, His strength. Through the changes we experience, we learn to appreciate His unchangeableness.
Yet, how often we fight against this process and make it difficult for Him to work, even so, He patiently picks up the pieces and begins again. Jeremiah was given a vision of this molding process. “The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, . . cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand.” Jer 18:1-6 Isaiah adds, “O LORD, thou art our father, we are the clay, and thou our potter, and we all are the work of thy hand.” Isa 64:8
Oftentimes, our Heavenly Father chastens us in order to bring about the needful results. Solomon admonishes, “My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD, neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth, even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” Prov 3:11,12 Paul explains this more fully, “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons, for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure, but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” Heb 12:5-15
Let us allow the Holy Spirit to work in our life cooperating fully with Him, waiting patiently for the “drawing” to be complete. Let us pray “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” that by “beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, [we] are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Ps 119:18, 2 Cor 3:18 Let us submit ourselves to God’s shaping of our life, that we may resist the devil more fully, for we have the promise that if we do, he will flee from us.