Big Plans: Cutting Down Trees

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You probably don’t have to struggle too hard to go back to where you went from everything seemingly perfect to falling flat, from well planned to a painful episode. Maybe it is a career trajectory that took a nose dive, a divorce left your wave after wave of friendship lost at sea, or one mistake which leaves you fighting to get back your reputation. Today, we are going to face the wobbling cake moments head on as we continue in our sermon series GREATER THINGS as we look at 2 Kings 6:1-7. We’ve been following the miraculous moments in Elisha’s ministry- as he has confronted false gods, half-hardheartedness, a lack of faith, and today we go from our wreckage to God’s divine recovery plan. Even when it seems impossible.

We don’t oftentimes start off wobbling, we start off with…

BIG PLANS: Cutting Down Trees (2 Kings 6:1-4) The company of the prophets said to Elisha, “Look, the place where we meet with you is too small for us. Let us go to the Jordan, where each of us can get a pole; and let us build a place there for us to meet.” And he said, “Go.” Then one of them said, “Won’t you please come with your servants?” “I will,” Elisha replied. And he went with them. They went to the Jordan and began to cut down trees. Continue reading “Big Plans: Cutting Down Trees”

Show Me the Provision

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The 1996 movie Jerry McGuire made the line famous: “Show me the money!” From millionaires to McDonald’s employees people can feel short-changed at different points in time: “Life isn’t going how I planned!” or “I feel stuck in my job!” or “My marriage or family seems to be falling apart!” or “This isn’t what I signed up for!”

It takes a change in perspective to move away from feeling short-changed, trying to live out the American Dream of life, liberty, and property (pursuit of happiness) and begin living out the Divine Reality, moving from self-focus to selflessness, from “Show me the money” to first remembering that everything we have is owned by God! 

If you stop and think about it, all of those questions center on “me,” my desires, expectations, and plans. Martin Luther once said, “I’ve held many things in my hands, and have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands that I still possess.” Simply put when we cling it crumbles, and when we give away it remains.  Psalm 24:1-2 captures the scope of God’s ownership in our world and lives, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.” Fine God! You win, you can have Mount Everest, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, and the Mississippi River, but then we stop short of giving him control of our entire lives! We draw the territory line around our hearts–Trespassers will be prosecuted! Yet when we cling to controlling our own lives it crumbles! When we cling to fulfilling our own needs we crumble in our hollow emptiness.

When you look at the world we get the message that is counter to Scripture–cling to everything you can, meet your own needs, find self-actualization, or develop your own truth that works for you. The more we cling, the more things crumble! There have been times in my life where I’ve set out to meet my own needs, make myself happy, to find satisfaction in things besides God!  It is like going over to someone’s house thinking there would be dinner, but around 8:30pm you realize it’s not on the agenda! During the movie you wolf down the bowl of popcorn, lick the bowl for good measure and then your fingers getting every morsel (Your mother would be horrified!). Yet, the hunger remains, so when you leave where do you head? McDonald’s drive-through! It may blow your diet out of the water, give you heartburn, keep you up all night, but you are hungry! Yet you’ll be hungry again!  Instead Jesus gives us the key to being filled up and satisfied: Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

When our devotion, attention, and focus is on the creator and sustainer of all things—suddenly we find that out of God’s hand is the provision we have always been looking for! Not “Show me the Money!” but thank God for “Showing us His Provision!”