The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

Have you ever been around generous people? How does that make you feel? What does that say about them? How does our relationship with God enable us to be more generous? Today we continue our story of God’s call on the life of Elisha and his generous gift to the local community.

     19 So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field. There were twelve teams of oxen in the field, and Elisha was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and then walked away. 20 Elisha left the oxen standing there, ran after Elijah, and said to him, “First let me go and kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you!”

     Elijah replied, “Go on back, but think about what I have done to you.” 21 So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant. [1]

     When Elisha was called by God, he could have given his oxen and plow to one of his family members, but he chose to slaughter the oxen and give them to the townspeople. Elisha chose to be generous. It was a choice. In that time, meat was a luxury reserved for special occasions.  Not only was Elisha removing the temptation to return to the field by roasting the oxen, but the whole town would hold him accountable. They would long remember the special meat meal that marked the call of Elisha to mentor under Elijah.

       As we grow in our relationship with the Lord, it changes how we see things of this world. Our human instinct is to hold onto worldly things. As the Lord transforms us, we are able to let go of things and give them to others. Elisha was storing his treasure in a different place. Jesus would speak of this when he walked on this earth. Matthew 6:19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. [2]

      How can we be generous today? Be intentional to listen for the needs of others as you interact with them. You may need to be a bit of a detective because often people don’t speak of what they need. Are your neighbors stressed about the virus pandemic or other issues in their life and need someone to talk to? Just taking time to listen to others is being generous. Could you assist a family with needs?

Recognizing needs is a skill that you can develop. Be intentional and pay close attention to conversations. You may need to read between the lines and watch body language. I can’t say that I am good at this, but I ask God for help. That alone makes a big difference in being more observant. Once you know their needs, offering assistance is the next step.

To hear more about the story of Elisha, listen here:

[1,2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

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