Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first, make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son.” — 1 Kings 17:13
Recently, I was teaching this youth group. I told them the story of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath. I built it all up and stopped right here at verse 13. I asked each of about a dozen kids what they would do. Would you give some of the last little bit of bread to this preacher? Or, would you say, “I’m sorry, what little bit I have left is only for me and my son”? It is a good question. If you were really in that situation, what would you do?
Kid after kid answered, “I’d take care of my family and their needs first.” They even made it sound noble. I was kind of discouraged until the very last kid. He simply said, “Because I know the story, I would give some to the preacher.” At that point, I read them the rest of the story. Many of them tried to justify their original answer and say they were still doing the right thing. Others said, “Look what we would have missed!”
Ever since then, I have had the simplest approach to obedience. I’ve been harboring unforgiveness in my heart. I said to myself, “because I know Matthew 18:21-35, I choose to forgive.” I found myself at an altar this past Sunday laying down the last of my unforgiveness simply because I know that story. What else do I need?
Lord, I heard a preacher talk about being dead. He said, “if someone hated me in this life, came to my funeral, and began punching my dead body out of rage, I wouldn’t care . . . because I’m dead.” The more I think about it, I haven’t been crucified with Christ like in Galatians 2:20. I don’t “die daily” like Paul does in 1 Corinthians 15:31. Many old things haven’t passed away like in 2 Corinthians 5:17. Help me become like a dead man with all my feelings removed. Help me say, “Because I know what God’s Word says . . . I will obey.” Amen.