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A Unlimited Supply

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (St. John 10:10) God does desire to give us abundance in life and has an unlimited supply for all His children. There is a story from the life of the prophet Elijah in which we may learn how God goes about distributing His abundance.

The story reads, “Then the word of the Lord came to him, ‘Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.’ So he arose and went to Zarephath; and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, ‘Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.’ And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, ‘Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.’ And she said, ‘As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a cruse; and now, I am gathering a couple of sticks, that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.’ And Elijah said to her, ‘Fear not; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord the God of Israel, “The jar of meal shall not be spent, and the cruse of oil shall not fail, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.”’ And she went and did as Elijah said; and she, and he, and her household ate for many days. The jar of meal was not spent, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord which he spoke by Elijah.” (I Kings 17:8-16)

God’s lesson on abundance begins with an account of destitution. There had been a lengthy famine in Israel brought on by the idolatry and sins of King Ahab and his queen, Jezebel. Many people were at the point of starvation.

God told His prophet Elijah to go to Zarephath to a certain widow’s house. When Elijah arrived the woman was gathering a few sticks to make a fire that she might make one last meal for her only son and herself. She and the boy were going to eat their last bit of food and then die. All their resources were depleted and they knew it.

This is where we too must begin if we are to receive God’s abundance. Our merely human resources are meager. In fact we are destitute and we must admit that fact. Remember how Christ our Lord began His Sermon on the Mount with the proclamation, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (St. Matthew 5:3)

This widow lady had already explained her situation to Elijah yet he requested that she first give him something to eat. The prophet of God was asking this woman to place his needs above those of herself and her young son. Was this an act of arrogant presumption and an inflated ego on Elijah’s part or a test of the widow’s faith? Certainly it was the latter. The prophet was testing this woman’s values. Was she willing to place the need of someone else ahead of her own needs?

It is clear from Scripture and experience that for us to receive God’s abundant supply we must place Him first in our lives. As long as we center our attention on ourselves, our wants, needs and desires, we will not share in God’s abundance. It is only in forgetting ourselves and focusing upon God that He can truly bless us.

As the widow turned to go Elijah said to her, “Fear not.” The prophet added those words because she was undoubtedly afraid. Starvation was imminent. Who wouldn’t be fearful in such a situation Fear is a destructive force. Fear will keep us from receiving God’s abundance because fear looks away from God and focuses on self and circumstances. Fear can only be defeated by looking to God in faith.

This lady knew quite well that the only food she had in the house was a jar of flour and a bottle of oil and neither were full. But she obeyed the prophet’s request. And because of her obedience the jar and bottle were never empty.

No, this widow did not become wealthy, but God honored her faith and graciously met her needs. God wants to do the same for us. As St. Paul put it, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19)

As we approach Thanksgiving let us not forget the One who has supplied all our needs and always will as we trust and obey. To Him be all glory and thanks. Amen.

by Rev. Frank M. Levi

Parish News
The annual Family Picnic took place Sunday afternoon, October 1, 2000. The Lord blessed us with a warm and sunny, although windy, day for the picnic. Thank you to all who attended, brought food and helped out.

Homecoming Sunday was October 8, 2000. A lovely luncheon was provided by the Woman’s Guild for which we were all most appreciative.

Missionary of the Month

Domestic Missions
Pray for Bishop & Mrs. Fincke (Ann), their children Katie, Emily, Elizabeth, and Andrew.
All Saints Reformed Episcopal Mission. Vacaville, California.

Happy Birthday!
Nov. 3 - Bishop Franklin H. Sellers
Nov. 10 - John Horn
Nov. 17 - Olive Denning
Nov. 19 - Doris Sellers
Nov. 21 - Bryan Reagan

As we observe Veteran’s Day on Saturday, November 11, let us fly the flag of our nation and remember in prayer all the men and women who have served this country.

Feast of St. Andrew
Thursday, November 30, 2000. Pot Luck dinner at 6:30 p.m. Evening Prayer at 7:30 p.m. The offering will go to World Relief to help feed and clothe the world’s needy. This is in support of World Relief’s annual Day of Hope.

Advent begins, Sunday, December 3, 2000. During Advent there will be a basket in the Narthex for donations of non-perishable food items which will go to the Tinley Park Food Pantry. We appreciate your support of this annual effort to help those in need.

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