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Summary: Second in a series on Elisha. In a world that believes in the survival of the fittest, God's people have resources available to us that go beyond what the world thinks is possible. Church is to be a culture of life, not of scarcity.

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VIDEO CLIP BEGINS THE SERMON…BE SURE AUDIO IS UP

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=> INTRO: Bill Collector Video. Taken from YouTube, a former bill collector talks about making harassing phone calls and threats.

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Slide: Woman holding child

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=> The Widow’s story to this point

Don’t you imagine that if we could speak to the widow, she would have some hard questions to ask.

Why MY family? - Her husband = prophet. Man of God. Godly family. Now he’s dead.

Why didn’t God answer MY prayers?

Wasn’t it enough to lose my husband? Why do I now have to lose my children?

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Slide: White documents with red writing

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=> Creditors Come Knocking

We heard some pretty extreme examples of what bill collectors are capable of.

Understanding that a creditor was coming to take her children away, I don’t think she was dealing with a friendly kind, if there is one.

I wonder how it all started?

With her husband being among the community of prophets, it’s not likely she was wealthy to begin with.

I wonder where the first loan came from?

Did they make her big promises? Did they make it sound like a great favor. (Just wait until harvest…I’m sure you’ll have more than enough to pay us back.)

Around her home, I imagine the pieces of furniture starting to disappear, one at a time. A table, a bed, even some of her treasured heirlooms.

Do you think she started to panic inwardly every time she heard a knock at her door?

But there wasn’t enough…and now all she had left were her sons, and a small jar of oil.

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Slide: Scarcity, Death, Limitations, Survival

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=> A culture of death

Part of us has to wonder what it is about the world that these scenarios even become possible.

Left to its own, the world creates a culture of scarcity.

We emphasize SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST.

If this world really is just one big game of the survival of the fittest, the weaker people of society become unimportant.

Those with power are focussed completely on maintaining power. Eliminating temporary threats.

In a culture of scarcity, we tend to believe that everything is completely locked in to place.

This is why even now we obsess over figuring out laws of the universe and laws of nature. We want them to be fixed, so that we can try and control all that falls within them.

We start to view human beings as mammals, rather than as image bearers of the divine.

And once a person is dead or dying, it matters little what becomes of them.

QUESTIONS If you want to examine the cultures your living in to discern whether you’re living in a culture of death, here are a few questions to ask:


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